Receive LOVE in your mailbox

Try our weekly newsletter with amazing tips to bring and retain love in your life

12 Simple Tips To Read Mixed Signals From A Guy

Not sure if he’s stringing you along or is open to something concrete in the future? Cannot decode his pattern of blowing hot and cold with you? Don’t understand why that amazing evening ended with an out-of-the-blue remark that made you wonder where you stood with him? Unable to get his game? Unsure why he seems to act insanely jealous one moment and then, play it cool when you flirt it up with other guys just to make something of his confusing behavior? Beginning to think he is unsure of what he wants? Or simply emotionally unavailable? Worried that he has slipped into a pattern of being available at his convenience? Afraid he’s keeping you ‘on the line’ as a time filler until the right tick of time brings him his Ms. Right? Or terrified that takes it as a given that you’d invest in him whilst he can get away without much effort?

mixed signals

Image source: Google, copyright-free image under Creative Commons License

Now, now, do NOT jump to conclusions. If the above situation is the soup you are thrashing your head against, whilst trying to swim to the shore, I have news for you. Good news!

Suggested read: Revealed: What men secretly want from women

The situation isn’t uncommon. Mixed signals from a guy are commonplace – an art at which guys are top dog! No kidding! They are the undisputed kings of creating confusion and can’t seem to undo the blurred lines between flitty and flirty. And if you are dating one such guy sending mixed signals and REALLY like him, do not despair. All is not lost (although it’d do well to chip in the disclaimer that there are good odds he really may not be into you!) – you can decode these ‘seemingly’ ambiguous signs and turn things to your advantage.

Here’s what you need to know about reading the mixed signals from a guy, decoding them and dealing with them:

1. Playing the game


Image source: Google, copyright-free image under Creative Commons License

This one is the most common of the lot. Most of the signals in this category seem to be of the male ego-bolstering kind – ones that make him believe that when he deploys a conscious plan to attract her and is also able to keep her hanging by the thread, he is actually playing her own game against her, and nailing it. However, this deliberate move, more often than not, results in unnecessary complications. I mean, how often do you find yourself keen to pursue somebody who is shooting those interest-darts in your direction and the very next moment, not even giving you a glance?  If such is the game spread on the table, your only move should be to play along. Don’t pull out your hair if he acts like he’s head-over-heels for you one moment and indulges in some friendly banter the next morning – just relax and show him that two can play at the game! 😉

2. The flirty-flitty dilemma

couple in love

Image source: Google, copyright-free image under Creative Commons License

Just like dilly-dallying in those ridiculous dating squabbles and playing silly who-beats-who games in dating, this one is another flippant way guys resort to, to keep you on the hook. It is unfair, yes, wrong, yes – but happens! They know a good catch when they see one, flare up the flirtation flame but douse the fire soon as they aren’t really ready to revel in the warmth of the deep-burning embers.

Unable to get themselves to be ready for something deeper, they are also unable to let go and do not want you to settle either. That’s why the vacillation. Your move – challenge him in his own game. You flit when he does and flirt it up even better than him. Don’t be bound by the rules of his game, try and take control. By switching of the game every now and then, you’d have him pinned to the same place you are in, and boy, would it get interesting! After all, you’d find out if he will try or you can turn your attention toward another, worthy of it!

Suggested read: Things women want men to know about dating

3. Blowing hot and cold

couple in love

Image source: Google, copyright-free image under Creative Commons License

One of the most used ones in the arsenal, this is like the machine gun of mixed signals. Something the guys just cannot stop firing off endlessly. As such, you will have too many of those MIA responses alongside some buzzing awesome chemistry. So, what’s the deal? It could be that he isn’t ready for the next step but does not want you to take that step with somebody else either. The good thing about this – maybe he’s unsure of taking that next step, but is certain that he wants the next step in his life to be with YOU. Time is your best bet here, you can give it some reasonable amount of time and effort to see if he can slay his fears to pave the path to a consistent present and a stable future with you!

4. Scared to step out of singledom

woman thinking

Image source: Google, copyright-free image under Creative Commons License

Boys will always be boys. If he is part of a group of singletons, he’d not want to lose out on his ‘guy connections’ because of the time that he’d have to invest in her. Yep, that’s the bros before hoes maxim for you. It applies here and he is too afraid of stepping out of his freedom zone and losing the fun that his single status and lifestyle furnishes. The tip for ladies who know this is one of the reasons he doles out those mixed signals, to give him his space. One of the worst responses to handle the situation is to be huffy. You do not yet know if this person is really into you, so keep those demands off the table and recognize the emotional tug-of-war that can happen if you burst out. The more you push, the more he’d retract and pull  away. Instead, breathe easy and allow him room for breathing too. If he really wants to come around, he will. But ensure that when you wait around, you do so by taking off your blinders, you cannot be in the queue endlessly!

5. Testing the waters

couple in love

Image source: Google, copyright-free image under Creative Commons License

Not unlike women, men tend to have a thing for testing the waters before diving in headlong too! So if you find him contradicting himself in words and actions, maybe he is just trying to gauge if you are interested enough to pursue them. I know, I know – stupid dating polemics – but well … the only thing you can do is pass the test. And that’s if you really like him. However, if he still behaves like a cranky parent who is never satisfied with the digits on the report card, bail!

6. Blurry boundaries

woman thinking

Image source: Google, copyright-free image under Creative Commons License

Some guys just take the mixed signals game a tad bit too far. They’d give you a clear thumbs up sign by having you meet his friends (and maybe, his folks too) but shall not ask you out. Or they’d want to have a say in why contacting someone from your past is bad but shall have no qualms texting their ex about Kerry Wood’s 20-strikeout game! Twisted? You bet.

These guys are just trying to seek approbation from friends and family before asking you out or ensuring that you stay on the hook – hook, line, and sinker – and that is just mind-boggling, no? Whether you want to take someone who prefers to swim in murky waters or not is your call! There’s no solution to setting boundaries in an equation that is, in itself, undefined and muddled.

Suggested read: Mistakes all women make in relationships

7. You there?

woman thinking

Image source: Google, copyright-free image under Creative Commons License

The ‘is he there or not’ dilemma haunts every woman who receives mixed signals from a guy. From petty, immature games like varying text response times, skipping the promised call or not showing up on time ever to more grave and serious behavioral patterns like leaving your friend’s party midway, without notice or flipping out at the mere mention of some more involvement, when you were talking ‘love’ the previous moment, are all signs that may make you want to reconsider the dynamic betwixt you. Try and probe matters to uncover the reasons behind such a treatment. If it stems from some deep-rooted fears, the fact that he has been through the ringer before or simply that he wants to be 100% sure first, respect that and give him considerable time. If he comes around, great. If not, move on.

8. The sex syndrome

couple in bed

Image source: Google, copyright-free image under Creative Commons License

Mixed signals from men also come from a desire for the ‘friends with benefits’ arrangement. Guys would like to have all the perks of a relationship minus the emotional commitment. So he keeps checking to see how far you are willing to tread the intimacy path without popping the question he wants to dodge! My advice in the situation would be to hop in the sack, only if you aren’t going to regret it later. Coz when you go all in for a romp with someone with whom you do not have a ‘clear’ equation with, you are accountable for your own actions. Avoid being prey to the victim mentality and do what you think you’d not bemoan later.

9. Behind the scenes action

woman thinking

Image source: Google, copyright-free image under Creative Commons License

Sometimes, the skeletons in the closet may be a reason guys fear going all in. He may feel quite a bit for you but he is probably scared, trying to overcome his inhibitions, and be secure about forging a healthy relationship this time. Probing him or pressing him further shall only push him away. If he needed you to conquer his demons, he’d have asked. Do not press on until then and give the equation some warmth to melt off the scrapes of the past so you can solidify your present.

10. Tick, tick, tick


Image source: Google, copyright-free image under Creative Commons License

Now, this is one of the genuine ones why mixed signals might be coming your way and you might be reading too much into them, when in actuality, there’s nothing much to read. Guys aren’t as effective multi-taskers as us women – so, if a reply lands in your inbox a li’l late, be patient – maybe things are crazy at work, maybe he’s had a tiff at work or maybe he’s busy juggling too many things and has been having a harrowing day! Give him time to get his act together. And you do not have to worry about this category, really.

11. The secret story

couple holding hands

Image source: Pixabay, under Creative Commons License

Sometimes, guys send out mixed signals because they are nervous, intimidated or just too scared of the intensity and novelty of the connection he feels with you – on all levels. The best thing to do in this case is to not set off the panic alarm and give him his space. Coz ladies, men sometimes work at lightning speeds, and at others, can go as slow as molasses. It is okay, really!

12. Pull out the notebook and show him the notes

couple sitting on a bench

Image source: Pixabay, under Creative Commons License

The last resort (when all else fails and the mixed signals from guys keep seeping in) is to confront him – tell him you have been trying to decipher the reason behind his behavior, work around it but it hasn’t worked. Posit a direct question about what he really wants and do not settle for vague answers. If he says he’s looking forward to a solid future, stay on and watch out for the change like a hawk. But if the person just denies doing any of it and/or is indifferent toward the discussion, it is plain sad you can’t do squat about it. Just walk away with dignity and never look back.

Suggested read: Signs you have found yourself a real man

Remember, reading mixed signals from a guy isn’t easy. It requires ginormous patience and might not always yield a positive result. Dealing with them is another Herculean task. While it is completely okay to resort to the above tips to try and extricate the frustrating situation from the murky and muddled waters onto the shore of fun n’ frolic, make sure that you know it might not always happen. And make your peace with that. If you can make it happen, good, congratulations!

If not, just know you deserve better! A real man will never play such petty games! A direct and honest approach is the way to your heart, give yourself that! When someone is really interested, they will prove it in words and actions. Don’t allow the player to play you, like the game he might be in love with. Fold your cards and deal yourself a fair set of cards!

And that’s all from me today! See ya soon! :)

Featured image source: Google, copyright-free image under Creative Commons License

Article Name
12 Tips To Read Mixed Signals From A Guy
Mixed signals are splattered everywhere and it isn't just women who are guilty. Find out all about decoding the mixed signals from a guy.
Sejal Parikh

Sejal Parikh

"I'm a hurricane of words but YOU can choose the damage I do to you..."