Understanding Men: His Inconsistency Drives Me Crazy

Need help understanding men? If you are with a man who is inconsistent with his attention and dates, read on. This post will help you know what to do next.

understanding men, dating coachUnderstanding men – when he says one thing but does another, what does it mean?

“Hi Dating Coach Ronnie,

I have been with my boyfriend for 1-1/2 years now with a 3 month breakup in between. The break up was preempted by his involvement in a major lawsuit regarding his business and his brother. His stress level went through the roof.

Prior to the lawsuit/breakup he pursued me, welcomed my two children in his life, anticipated my needs and provided for me financially and in other ways. He talked of love and marriage and “couldn’t imagine any reason why we wouldn’t be together forever”.

Shockingly his supposed reason for breaking up with me was that he felt pressure from my children to be their father. My two children are both from an anonymous donor so there is no father. I guess it was all to much for a 53 year old never married without children with his stress.

We have now been back together for two months. His lawsuit continues which he describes as traumatic but he came back to me because “he missed me like crazy”. He tells me he loves me and my children but he is afraid. He seems to get a bit carried away and has again talked about the possibility of living together or marriage.

I just listen and don’t contribute much as I don’t buy it because of his INCONSISTENCY. He is very inconsistent with calling and responding to me. Prior to the breakup he called me daily and always responded. Also not too good at initiating plans to get together. For example it is the weekend and he did not call or respond to my text yesterday and we have no plans for this weekend. It drives me crazy. I feel ignored, disrespected, and uncertain about his feelings for me. Also I harbor lots doubts, hurt and resentment because of the break up.

Yet at the same time, the day before yesterday he called and came by to see me. He invited the children and I to go to a waterfront resort for couple days over Xmas with lots of activities for the kids and a spa for us.

I’m a little mixed up as to what to do. Do I pull back and try to teach him a thing or two? Or are we beyond that? Do I confront him and ask for my needs to be met? Or just go with the flow be loving and accepting of the space he maybe needs right now?

I would really appreciate your advice and help with understanding men.

Thank you,
All Mixed Up

Dear All Mixed Up,

Inconsistency is one of the toughest behaviors to deal when it comes to understanding men. But as a dating coach for women, I want to be objective and point to a few things that are obvious to help you get very clear about this difficult situation.

1. He told you he is afraid. This explains his inconsistency. When he feels good, he moves forward, talks about the future and makes plans. When he’s scared, he pulls away, doesn’t answer you and doesn’t make plans to see you. When a man is afraid, you are going to get shortchanged. You would be better off with a man who is ready for a relationship. This guy is not ready or even emotionally available.

Some men feel like they must be the provider, even if you haven’t asked. Sounds like this might be the case. So the pressure is real for him, even though it’s self-imposed.

2. His plate is full. He’s in a big lawsuit and it’s with his brother, creating family discord and stress. That’s a plateful of trauma that won’t clear up quickly. He could easily be preoccupied and self absorbed. Who knows how long this could take to resolve which doesn’t bode well for your relationship.

3. You feel ignored, disrespected and uncertain. These are not the feelings you want to have about a man you are thinking about moving in with. To make that kind of commitment and transition, especially with children involved, you want to feel confident, loved and wanted. For this reason alone, you can see he is not the right man for you, at least not at this time.

He can’t give much because of his own emotional turmoil. When it comes to understanding men, it’s good to realize what is behind the behavior. But you must also recognize when the likelihood for change is limited – as it is in this case.

4. Don’t teach him a lesson. You can pull back, but please, do not try to “teach him a lesson”. That is manipulative and not a mature approach. The hard thing with understanding men is to remember he is already doing the best he can. You feel it is not enough and that sort of says it all doesn’t it? He’s not the right guy for you.

5. Don’t confront him. You may be tempted to confront him and lay it on the line. Not sure how this will really help you. It’s a combative way of approaching a conversation and probably won’t land well. It will feel like pressure to him which he doesn’t need right now.

Calmly Tell Him How You Feel and What You Need

Instead, my advice is to tell him how you feel. In a calm way, let him know that this isn’t working and why. Tell him that you understand his situation, but you need more consistency for the relationship to continue. He may not be able to deliver, but this is the best way to give him a shot. If he has what it takes, he’ll demonstrate that in the next couple of weeks.

Can I Put Up with This or Should I Move On?

Keep in mind, that he might not be able to give you any more. At that point you have a decision to make.  Sounds to me like you are already at the end of your rope. Know that love is not always enough. You deserve consistency and to feel wanted, respected, and appreciated. You may not get that with Lawsuit man. To put up with a substandard romance will cut into your self-esteem. My hope for you is that you will not do this.

My experience has shown time and time again, understanding men is a lot easier than most women think. When you take a step back and look at your situation objectively rather than emotionally, you can see he can’t give you what you want. And he has said so and shown you that in his behavior.

I hope this has helped you with better understanding men.

Wishing you love,



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.

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