Understand Men: Mixed Signals from Men Are So Confusing

Discover how to understand men and their mixed signals which can be confusing. Texting, canceling, cooking you dinner, what does it all mean?

understand menWhat Do His Mixed Signals Mean?

“Hi Ronnie Love & Dating Coach for Women,

I need some help to understand men. Two months ago I was in another town on business. When I got to my hotel that night a guy I went to High School with had messaged me on Facebook saying he thought he had seen me in his town and had I been there? I told him I had. We exchanged a few short messages, then he asked me to dinner. I told him I was leaving town the next day. He said to let him know the next time I was in town and we could “grab a bite to eat.”

Three weeks later I let him know I would be in town the next day. He said that unfortunately he was busy and he couldn’t make it. But when I pulled into town the next day he texted me and asked me to lunch. We met for an hour. We haven’t seen each other in 20 years. He’s 40. I’m 39.

He Didn’t Make Future Plans

We left the lunch with no future plan. I was a bit confused as to whether it was a date or not. A few hours later I texted him to say it was great seeing him. He said he loved chatting and “let’s do it again sometime.” Honestly, I don’t understand men.

So, a few weeks later I let him know I’d be in town in a few days and asked if he wanted to get together. He invited me to his house for dinner. He’s a trustworthy guy so I accepted. Still couldn’t tell if it was a date.

The night before he called to cancel because he had to work. But he said we needed to get together the next time I was in town. I wondered if that was a way of him deciding he wasn’t into me.

I gave it one more shot, texting him the other day that I’d be in town again and would he let me treat him to dinner? He accepted, but today he texted and asked, if it’s it okay for him to cook me dinner at his place.

I can’t figure this out. Is this guy trying to pursue me or is this just a friend hosting a friend when I’m out of town on business? I’m totally into him. He’s very grounded and a kind person. I want him to like me. I just can’t tell if he likes me as a date or as a friend.

Ronnie, please advise me what to do!

Wanting Him”

understanding what his mixed signals meanHelp With His Mixed Signals

Dear Wanting Him,

Being a dating expert, here’s what I understand about men. When a man cooks you dinner, in his mind, sex with you is for dessert. This happened to me more than once when I was dating. And I continue to see it with many of my clients.

Making you dinner is not about friendship, but it’s not about a relationship either. Don’t have dinner at his house unless you plan on sleeping with him. Even though you know him, I strongly advise that you keep your get togethers in public, so you don’t end up heartbroken.

As a love and dating coach for 20 years, I’ve observed plenty of male behavior to understand men and their mixed signals, games and nuances.

Unfortunately, you have put yourself in a difficult position because you keep communicating first, letting him know when you’re in town. In a relationship where a man is genuinely interested, you would not have to do this.

My best dating advice is that your high school buddy is hoping to get lucky.

5 Insights on His True Intentions

understand a man's true intentions1. If he kept in touch between visits, he’d know when you were coming to town and could pursue you. Since he is not doing that, he is NOT pursuing you. In fact, you are doing his job for him by texting and initialing dates.

2. Cancelling plans does happen on occasion. But, he could be seeing other women which causes him to cancel. His excuses about work could be true, but I doubt it. It’s just so typical of the excuses I hear.

3. Another clue he’s not pursuing you is how after he left you with the vague closing, “Let’s do it again sometime.”  That’s not the sign of a man pursuing you. To be clear about how to understand men, an interested guy would say, “Let’s do it again; when will you be back in town?”

4. Preferring to make dinner at his place does more to ensure he can make a move on you then anything else. It’s a proven strategy for men to get a woman into bed. If you’re willing to go to his house, that gives him the impression he can maneuver the rest.

5. Texting and Facebook are supplementary methods of communication, not the primary choice of a man with genuine interest. And, he’s not trying to reconnect and get to know who you are now. So while it seems like he is sending mixed signals now you have a good idea of how to understand men.

Here’s more on men who are inconsistent in their pursuit.

When A Guy Confuses You, That Tells You Something Right There

understand men and mixed signals

This is why you feel he’s sending mixed signals. He’s not being clear because he knows you want more than he’s willing to give. But he can’t say that since he has his own agenda (hoping to hop in the sack with you).

However, he’s not putting in any effort into winning you over. That’s why you can’t tell if this is a date or friendship. And it’s also a signal he’s not serious about you.

You want a relationship that hopefully builds to lasting love. That’s the Real Deal. However, when a man behaves like this, he actually is being very CLEAR. He’s demonstrating that he’s not into you enough to pursue you, but happy to sleep with you if you make it easy.

The way to understand men and what is really going on is actually more simple than you might think.

How to Respond to Mixed Signals

Sometimes women think talking to a guy to understand what he’s thinking will help and change everything. They imagine how having a direct, open and honest conversation will automatically clear things up. Unfortunately, this is not true.

The reason this doesn’t work is that men might not want to have an open, honest conversation. And they definitely don’t like confrontation, particularly during the initial stages of dating.

Another point to keep in mind is that some men don’t know what they want. Others just want to sleep with you, but aren’t about to say that to make themselves transparent. That’s why there are often so many mixed signals.

For these reasons, my dating advice is to stop texting and letting him know when you will be around. Don’t initiate any contact and leave the ball in his court. If this high school buddy seriously wants to see you, he knows what to do. And if not, you’ll be completely clear about his intentions.

Pulling away is often the only way to know how important you are to a man during the early stages of dating.

If you want more expert dating advice on understanding mixed signals, download my free book His Mixed Signals Are So Confusing





Single for too long, Ronnie wanted to find love. She put her skills from personal development and her spiritual path to work, dating 30 men in 15 months to meet her adorable husband Paul. Discovering the keys to manifesting and midlife dating, she founded It’s Never Too Late to help smart, successful women find love or live an empowered and magical life. Ronnie Ann Ryan, MBA, CCC, is a Certified Coach who has helped 1,000s of midlife women with her Love & Magical Life Coach services. She’s the host of the Breathe Love & Magic podcast and has been featured on NBC, ABC, & Fox News, NPR, BBC, eHarmony, MSN.com, and Connecticut Magazine among others. Also, Ronnie is the author of 6 books which are available on Amazon.

29 thoughts on “Understand Men: Mixed Signals from Men Are So Confusing”

  1. I like this guy I’ve known him for about a year. He’s a singer and plays shows at different bars around town. My family sponsors him. He had a girlfriend but even when he was dating I felt like he was flirting with me. He would make comments like “ I’m too pretty to be doing this” and that he’s sure I have guys chasing after me all the time. He broke up with her once and then they got back together. He wouldn’t say much to me anymore. Then he sends a message saying he wishes he could give me more attention. They broke up two months ago and the other day I asked his opinion about a dress. His told me that I wasn’t allowed to wear it cause I looked amazing in it and would give someone a heart attack if I wore it. He called me flawless. Then when I started to flirt back, he was like “oh no don’t flirt with me, you’ll get me in trouble with your dad.” I said you started it and he said that he was telling the truth and wanted me to know I looked amazing in the dress. I’m just really confused with all mixed signals. I feel like he likes me and was flirting with me, but I’m frustrated and wanted some advice

    • Hi Tiffany, the problem here is that you think his flirting means something. It doesn’t. Some guys just like to flirt. And even if he thinks you’re attractive, he’s clear he’s not going to date you because of the work relationship with your family. So let it go and move on if you don’t want to moon over some guy who isn’t really into you. When a man is into you, he ASKS YOU OUT and spends time with you. Not just flirting, texting or talking. So really, these are not mixed signals at all – he’s pretty clear he’s not going to get anything started. There are plenty of other guys so let this one go. He’s not the man for you.

  2. Hey Ronnie,
    So i met this guy at a gym a couple of days ago, then he asked for my number, & we talked about stuff and it was going good. He seemed happy & basically told me we should get to know each other & that he was interested. We planned to meet up again at the gym. I usually work out with my friend so I told him after my workout was done I’d talk to him. He just ended up leaving a little before I was done so i texted him & asked why he left. Before texting I realized I didn’t reply to his messages from before (about calling him) so i thought maybe it was that, but i ended up sending him 4 more short messages about 2 hours apart, & he didn’t respond to one. I’m just so confused right now and I do way too much overthinking.. It could be another girl, it could just be me, he could’ve just been busy. I’m not sure so I guess I’m just wondering what you think.. It was going perfectly fine, I don’t understand what happened, but I’m not going to text him again. If I see him at the gym, I’m going straight up to him and talking to him about it. I feel as if there is something wrong, but I think about it and I’m just like what could’ve been wrong?

    • Hi Dee, I agree with you – overthinking will drive a woman crazy! That’s why I tell my clients to date more than one man at a time at the beginning until someone shows enough consistent interest to get to exclusivity. Did he not respond because you didn’t answer him about the call? Who knows. But here’s what you need to keep in mind for next time. Don’t chase men. He walked out the door – it’s his loss. So mistake #1 is you texted him when he left. Mistake #2, you texted him multiple times in 2 hours when he didn’t respond. I’m so sorry to say this, but now you look DESPERATE and sadly that is unappealing. No one will ever know why men flake (or why women do either). You’ll never know his reason. But what you can control is how you respond to situations. Come from a strong place of confidence and don’t chase men. Let them come to you. That’s the only way you’ll ever know if a man is genuinely interested in you or just blowing smoke.

  3. The first two months of the relationship he seemed to be head over heels for me. But now he usually texts back in an hour and never wants to have deep conversations with me. He can drive around and hangout with friends yet he told me his parents don’t even let him drive? He gets defensive when I try to bring things up in a mature manner and it spirals out of control. The other day I had a presentation and needed some encouragement, like, “You’re an incredible person, you can do this!!” but all he could pull out was something sexual, and didn’t even wish me luck. He confuses me and I’ve stressed so much over him it’s honestly impacting my physical outlook. (I’ve lost weight, my hair is thinner than before.. I usually wake up with post-crying bags) Is he just being a guy or am I expecting too much? I want things to work out because I know he can be better but I’m very confused at this point.

    • Hi Brooke, It doesn’t sound like you did anything wrong to me. The only ting you are guilty of here is expecting him to be like he was. Things do change and when they do, it’s your job to decide, “Is he still the right guy for me?” Based on your comment, the answer is “NO!”

      You want a man who will be supportive, talk about things and add to your life. But this guy is stressing you out so he is a DRAIN. It’s up to you to realize this relationship is not working and then move on. Hanging on to a man who will not talk about things or try to improve is a recipe for stress, heartbreak and low self-esteem. Knowing this after two months it will only get worse.

      The good news is – you didn’t waste 6 months finding out he was the wrong guy! So tell him you are done and move on. Take time to heal and then go find a new guy to date. You know you have found the right guy when he is consistent over time and adds to your life.

  4. Hello, Miss Ronnie. I may have a question that you cannot answer. If so, I am sorry. But I am a trans girl who lives in small town Missouri. People around here are not really known for being the most open minded. So I have worked VERY hard on sounding myself with people who do not let religion cloud logic.It has been a hard fight. But I have managed to do it for the most part. Well I have never been in a relationship. I am twenty-five now and I am starting to feel the weight of loneliness crush me. I have started to hang out with a few men who I am starting to really like. And having never been in any relationship I find it hard to hide the fact I am crushing on them. Well they will do things like invite me out to eat. Or ask if I want to go for a walk with them. And just things like that. But when we do, they never really say anything like “I want to see you more.” Or anything that would imply that they think it was a date. And it is starting to hurt. A lot. I end up crying when I get home every time. Because when they ask, I feel like it is a date. But then it ends up just feeling like 2 friends hanging out after. But I don’t then know why they want to go out to eat? Or go on a walk at night? Or go up to the city to walk around. Are they just trying to mess with me? I mean. These men are drop dead smoking hot. They have good jobs. They are very stable in life. They could really have any girl they want. Am I just a stupid little girl lost in her dreams for even considering they would want to be with someone like me?

    • Hey Allison, Sounds like you are going on dates to me! Just because you don’t get asked out again, doesn’t mean you didn’t go on a date. I’ll tell you what I’d tell any woman – don’t build your self confidence based on how men respond to you. You have to be strong within yourself and know you are a fun date. You can’t look for your validation outside yourself – that will always lead to heartbreak. So when a man ends up just being friendly, that’s OK, there are more men out there.

      Now just in case you could be doing something that causes men to put you in the friend zone, check out my Free audio program 12 First Date Mistakes that Can Ruin Your Chances for Love.

  5. There’s this guy that I hang out with sometimes and I think I kinda caught feelings for him. I’ve chilled at his place 2 times, but I snuck over. He told me to be quiet so I didn’t wake up his parents, but I was kinda tipsy so I was a little loud, but we still had fun. He kinda took me home earlier than normal and when I text him just to ask a simple question he reads my message and ignores it. I did ask if he was mad and he said no, but started to ignore me after that. So I decided to just let him go. So about 3 weeks went by, but then he texted me a few days ago and I didn’t understand his message then I said what? And he read that and ignored that too. It’s weird because lately he’s been sending me videos of him and his friends hanging out. So I’ve just been ignoring his messages. I’m honestly confused.

    • Hi Ashlen,
      You sneaked over to his house without an invitation? That sounds a little bit much. I advise you not to show up to see any guys uninvited. It’s just not good form. Let men pursue you – its a much smarter strategy. In addition, when a guy doesn’t respond to your texts, why would you keep texting. Just ignore him and move on. Sounds to me like he’s very casual and potentially a game player. Time to move on.

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