Inconsistent Men – What His Mixed Signals Tell You About His Intentions

Inconsistent men send mixed signals that can drive you crazy. You wonder, “Why does he ignore me if he likes me?” Maybe he calls, texts or even asks you out sporadically. Find out what it all means.

inconsistent menMixed Signals & Confusing Male Behavior

Dear Love Coach Ronnie,

I’ve been talking to this cute guy for three months. We have gone out a few times and it’s been a blast. But he keeps giving me different signals, so I feel confused about us.

Sometimes he acts like he likes me and sometimes he acts like he doesn’t. This is such confusing male behavior!

Why does he ignore me if he likes me? Most of the time I contact him first, usually by text. He does respond, but doesn’t really initiate. What do you think I should do?  What’s your professional opinion on this guy?  Thanks, Texting Gal

Is He Into Me or Not?

Dear Texting Gal,

I realize this is confusing male behavior since he is so inconsistent. You don’t know if he’s into you or not because he’s so on and off again. Any woman would find his mixed signals confusing.

The tendency for most women is to look at his actions that show he DOES like you and rely on them rather than look at the big picture of his overall behavior. Unfortunately, that’s not the best strategy and can easily lead you astray.

That’s why initially, you should let the man lead, just like in ballroom dancing. In other words, don’t initiate anything for the first several (5-8) dates – let him do all the work.

Using this strategy is the ONLY way you can know how interested a man really is. When he makes the effort to get to know you, stay in touch and see you without your prompting, that’s the true test of his interest.

Inconsistent men tend to be flaky and won’t put in this kind of effort.

Why Does He Ignore Me If He Likes Me?

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Why would a man who seems interested choose to ignore you, not respond or delay response? It sure isn’t a sign of true love! Don’t struggle trying to figure out his mixed signals. That’s a big waste of your time.

Instead, I recommend letting him run the show and watch what he does. When you sit back to observe his behavior and notice what he does to be with you, that will make it a lot more obvious what he’s up to. If he’s not consistently pursuing you, he’s not that into you.

What should you do in a case like this?

Do nothing! Don’t text, email, call him, or ask him out. Your job at the start of dating is to respond to his efforts, but that is it. When you hold back on reaching out, inconsistent men show their true colors.

His Silence Sends a Message!

why does he ignore me if he likes meIf you’re still wondering why does he ignore me if he likes me, keep in mind: His silence is a form of communication. He’s telling you through his lack of action that he’s not that into you. He absolutely does not care about you the way you do for him. This is NOT a relationship of balanced attraction or interest.

Signs He Cares But Is Scared

Many of my clients are so busy looking for the signs he cares but is scared, they miss the point entirely. He may act like he cares some of the time.

But if he doesn’t initiate and you always text first or suggest getting together, he’s not into you or the right man for you. These are more examples of confusing male behavior.

He doesn’t care ENOUGH to pursue you consistently, so he’s NOT serious. You know this because his efforts of inconsistent men to see you are sorely lacking.

So, even if he says the sweetest things, sends texts with heart emojis, or tells you he thinks he’s falling for you, it’s all smoke and mirrors if he doesn’t take you on a date at least once a week.

Gain a Better Understanding of Men

why does he ignore me if he likes me - man on benchThese are not signs of being scared, but of insincerity. Maybe he wants attention or to build his ego. He might not be capable of a relationship or he’s cheating on his current woman.

That’s why he’s the wrong man. Inconsistent men leave you hanging with their confusing male behavior. The right man doesn’t send mixed signals!

At the start of dating, following the man’s lead will help you gather important information about him. How often does he text or email? And more importantly, how often does he schedule a date? Inconsistent men just don’t have lasting potential as a mate, regardless of what they say or the attraction you feel.

He’ll Show His True Intentions

inconsistent menThat’s why I recommend you hold back from contacting a man. Give him a chance to show you and demonstrate  what his true intentions are. Follow this advice so you NEVER WASTE YOUR TIME again.

Observing a man’s actions is much better than relying on his sweet words to find out how he really feels. This is how you outfox inconsistent men and their confusing male behavior.

However, in your situation, you’ve already been interacting and dating for a few months. You can’t really start over which makes things more difficult for you.

I’m going to take a risk and be really honest and direct with you since you did ask for my professional opinion.

Inconsistent Men & What You Need to Know

A man’s on again off again efforts to see you and build a strong relationship can be a symptom of several undesirable aspects of his long-term potential. Inconsistent men send mixed signals because they might be:

  • Dating lots of women
  • Not emotionally available
  • Not sure what they want
  • Keeping you “on the line” as a time filler until he finds a better woman
  • Thinking you are better than nothing
  • Wanting to sleep with you without investing much time or effort 

He’s Not Serious about You

why does he ignore me if he likes me In this case I’m sorry to say he’s not serious about you. And when a man isn’t seriously interested, you have no leverage or power to change things. So, please listen to my advice and don’t keep trying.

Make it a point to go out and flirt with new guys to find a man who will consistently call, text and date you. You deserve so much more from a romantic partner.

Don’t put up with this nonsense thinking it’s going to change. If you find yourself wondering “Is he into me?” that’s a sure sign HE’S NOT.

This isn’t a matter of holding out and being patient long enough for him to suddenly get serious and become consistent. Either he is or he isn’t.

No matter how much you like a guy or how good you feel when you are with him, that has nothing to do with his own dating agenda. So many women get caught up in how a man feels vs. what his actions are to win you over. This is where your heart gets broken.

The best thing you can do if you are serious about finding lasting love, is let go of inconsistent men as soon as you see this pattern emerge.

How to Recognize a Relationship Ready Man

On the other hand, there are ways to recognize a man who is relationship ready. It’s time to move on to find a man that wants the same lasting love that you do. Here’s what to watch for to see he might be ready:

  • Calls at least once a week or more
  • Takes you on dates at least once a week
  • Texts in between and stays in touch
  • Wants to get to know you
  • Tries to please you and win you over
  • Introduces you to friends and family (within 2 months or sooner)
  • Asks you to be exclusive (this can take a couple of months)

If you meet enough men, you’ll find a good one and the right one for you!

Wishing you love,
mixed signals

 


P.S. Ready for more “straight talk” dating advice? 


Single for too long, Ronnie wanted to find love. So, she made a few tweaks and then dated 30 men in 15 months to meet her adorable husband Paul. Discovering the keys to midlife dating, she founded It’s Never Too Late for Love to help other smart, successful women find love too! Her mission is to share her proven dating advice  and keen insights about men with women everywhere who are serious about finding love with the right man. Ronnie Ann Ryan, MBA, CCC is a Certified Coach who has helped 1,000’s of midlife women with her Love & Dating Coach services. She’s been featured on BBC’s 5 Live Radio, NBC, ABC, and Fox News, NPR, eHarmony, MSN.com, MORE.com, Connecticut Magazine among others around the world. An established author, you can find her 6 books on Amazon.

193 thoughts on “Inconsistent Men – What His Mixed Signals Tell You About His Intentions”

  1. Hello Ronnie, The guy I’ve been talking over the past 3 months has been inconsistent after first 2 weeks. So I simply texted him I don’t want to continue because this is getting us nowhere and I no longer wish to waste my time. He tried to reach and call me a lot after that but I simply ignored regardless of how bad I wanted him to be mine. After few months, maybe he gave up on pursuing me, he blocked me and went back to his ex who he swore he’d never go back to cuz she was toxic. I still don’t understand his intention to this day. It’s almost been 6 months now since he blocked me and just recently I found out he unblocked me. Why?

    Reply
    • Hi Tina, This man is not serious about dating or you. But he’s not satisfied by his ex for some reason, so he reaches out for extracurricular activity. This allows him to fantasize about women he texts and talks to without really cheating on her. Please block him now yourself and move on. He doesn’t have good intentions or you would have been dating him already.

      One last thing – don’t waste your time trying to understand why a man does something. You could lose your mind doing this because you will never know. He might not even know. The only question worth asking is, “Is he making me happy, treating me well, and adding to my life?” That’s a definite NO in this case and how you know it’s time to move on.

  2. Hello Ronnie can i email you my info on my relationship i don’t won’t no one reading what i want to share with you

    Reply
  3. Hi Ronnie, This situation I am ashamed to even say. Long story short I’ve had health issues. I came across a man 11 months ago who sought me out on social media. He would called and texted every day. He is going through a divorce, has five children, and his job is being a police officer. He called and texted for months while I was enduring my health issues. Then his communication slowed. In 11 months time we were only intimate four times. Two months ago he stopped asking me out and the calling stopped. There was a “Hey” text here and there and selfie pictures this man. What happened? He has lost all interest and is playing games or doesn’t want to deal with me or my health issues. Now he is back on social media. Please advise thank you.

    Reply
    • Hi Lena, From what you have told me, I have to agree with you, he has lost interest. I don’t mean to tell you how to feel, but I will say there’s no need to feel shame. This could happen to anyone! I know this is sad but you’ll never know the reason why. Maybe it was your health. Maybe it had nothing to do with you! He might have his own problems or he only wanted something fun and easy. Who can say? I encourage you to let him go and no longer contact him. You want a man who WANTS to spend time with you. Forget social media for dating. Try Bumble, Hinge, or Match when you are ready and start meeting enough men to find one good one!

  4. I met someone online about 3 months ago. At first it was texting and/or phone calls every day. We’ve been on about 5 dates (every other week more or less). I noticed a decline in texting and calling so I stopped initiating any contact. He still texts me almost every day and calls maybe once a week. I NEVER initiate. However, he hasn’t tried to make plans with me in a few weeks. Also I notice he doesn’t text/call in the evening any more. Seems a little strange. Should I stop replying to him?

    Reply
    • Hi Stella, Good for you for catching on. He is not your man. Texting means nothing – it just gives him a feeling of being connected without really doing anything. And it keeps you holding on and hoping. Since he has stopped making dates, that’s a signal that he is done. I encourage you to stop the texting and block him. Or if he contacts you again, you can say, “This isn’t working for me” and wish him well.

      The problem with doing this rather than blocking him, is that many men will argue with you or reassure you that they are into you. Yet nothing will change. That’s why I recommend blocking him, to spare you from that additional time investment and hurt. Once you accept that the right man for you would never behave this way, you can let go more easily, clear your head and heart and move on to date again.

      I also want to point out that a man who sees you every other week is a man who is not serious about finding love. He has other priorities or is just dating around. There’s nothing wrong or bad about this except it shows you his reasons for dating are not the same as yours – which I assume is to find true and lasting love. If a man can’t see you once a week, he is showing you that he is not really available, regardless of why that is true (he’s busy, his kids, he travels for work etc.).

  5. Dear Ronnie ,
    I’ve been sorta talking with this guy. And he used to call me every day and make time. For me everything was going good 🙂 I know he caught feelings for me because he expressed that to me and now he’s being Inconsistent

    Reply
    • Hi Emily, If he had real feelings, he’d be consistent with his attention. Don’t be fooled by a man’s empty words. Only his follow through and actions to get to know you and spend time with you count. Sounds like it’s time to move on.

  6. Ugh I figured it out to late after I embarrassed myself. It’s been over 25 years since my last date. I thought he was a friend and that is what I was looking for. I thought he was shy so I took the reins. I only texted a few times tried to offer an activity to get together and always figured he was to busy. Never made a big deal of it. When I did see him he would always tell me his story of his family and mom dying and the lost girlfriend all several years ago. I felt bad for him – to me it screamed someone looking for a friend. No problem I am a good listener. Well I decided to ask him how he felt well he went into panic mode I just listened how he wants to be alone and doesn’t want to date at all and we are just aquaintence/friends. I don’t get that – who tells an acquaintance their family stuff? I guess we never were friends WOW I was stunned. Then realized hey dummy, he doesn’t like you F him think of yourself. That was a first for me and definitely a last. Girls don’t let men work on your heart strings – it’s a below the belt move.

    Reply
    • Hi Danielle, Sorry this happened to you and so long ago! Your advice is wise. Too bad you never dated in 25 years and let him get under your skin and block your love life. But it’s never too late! You can rid yourself of this and move on to find a man who wants love with a woman like you. The choice is yours. I wish you love no matter what.

  7. Hi Ronnie-
    I’ve been seeing this guy for 7 months. He’s been a player in the past, very much into MANY women, but seems to want to settle down and have a solid future {family}. He has this “timeline” in which he wants all this “family” to start….a couple of months from now. During these months, he wants some alone time (because he’ll never get it again, and has never had it in the past…3 marriages/divorces). Need your opinion. My gut tells me the women thing isn’t over…and will never be. Should I move on? BTW…I’m in my 50’s, financially secure (he is as well), and want a family…..don’t have a lot of time to waste on this one!

    Reply
    • Hi Michelle, I’m afraid I have to agree with your gut. He wants a family but not for the next 3 months? Sounds fishy. Why would you want to open yourself up to that level of vulnerability with a man who says he’s ready but not yet? What’s going to happen in the next three months that he needs alone time? Sorry, I recommend looking elsewhere.

  8. Hi Ronnie,
    I’ve been talking to a man for the past two weeks, we started talking on a dating app and then a week later moved to text messaging. We send long messages back and forth and I have learned a lot about him in the last two weeks and vice versa but I’m finding he doesn’t message me on the weekends. And when we do message each other, it’s more like an email or letter in that it’s not a back and forth conversation but we cover a lot in a long message. He has said he wants to take things slow because of running his own business and dealing with his father’s recent passing. I know it’s only been two weeks and even though our conversations have been good I’m worried I might be wasting my time. Is it too early to tell if he’s truly interested? Is this behavior normal so far or is he subtly telling me he’s not that interested?

    Reply
    • Hi Courtney, Yes you are wasting your time – good instincts! When a man only texts and not on weekends, that tells you something. He’s probably got a woman in his life. Also, when a man says he wants to take things slow, this means he doesn’t want you to have any expectations and he’s not serious. Also, sorry to say texting means nothing about a man’s intentions- you’ll want to read this post which will explain. After a few days of messaging, talk by phone and try a video chat to get to know a guy to stay safe during the pandemic. Then if things go well, you might decide to meet face to face. Dump this guy and move on.

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