Have you seen the adorable social media videos of dogs wanting to go outside, so they can come right back in again?
But it’s less than amusing when your man gives the same mixed signals.
What do you do when he doesn’t want you but doesn’t want anyone else to have you?
Pulling you closer only to push you away can leave you hurt, confused, and insecure.
And like a dog, your guy wants to mark you as his territory, even when he’s made it clear he doesn’t want a relationship.
It’s really messed up, and you don’t need to stand for it.
Why Is He Sending Mixed Signals?
Mixed signals can be legitimate or a fabrication of your mind. Sometimes, there’s a little bit of both.
There are three key reasons you might notice mixed signals.
- He Isn’t Sure What He Wants: You know when you go to a store and ask the salesperson to hold an item because you aren’t sure if you want it yet? That’s a similar way men send mixed messages. They aren’t sure if you’re the right one for them, but they don’t want to let go of the chance.
- He Loves Playing the Game: Men are natural hunters, dating back to the caveman days. They live for the thrill of the kill and getting their “treasure.” This can start a cycle of pulling away and pursuing, depending on your actions.
- You Are Reading It Wrong: Only in romantic comedies does the man say he doesn’t want anything serious but then the two fall blissfully in love. Just because a man isn’t giving you the attention YOU want doesn’t mean he isn’t giving you the best attention he can afford at that time.
15 Unnerving Signs He Doesn’t Want Anyone Else to Have You But Won’t Commit Himself
Your generation will significantly impact the importance of having a dating title or understanding each other’s boundaries.
GenX daters are more likely to distinguish between dating and exclusivity, while Millennials and Gen Z have blurred those lines. However, the warning signs are all the same.
1. He’s Offering Conflicting Words and Actions
Maya Angelou said this best, “When someone shows you who they are, BELIEVE THEM!” If he tells you he wants to meet your family but has an excuse three times in a row for bagging out, then it’s clear his words and actions don’t match.
If he tells you he’s never felt this way before yet won’t commit, he’s confusing you while keeping you on the hook. Actions speak louder than words. But only always.
2. He Ghosts You Often
You just had the best date ever, yet it has been a week since you heard from him. He agreed it was a great date, so what gives? He could’ve been out exploring other options. He could’ve been busy.
Just when you are ready to delete his number and block his social accounts, he comes back with an amazing excuse. If this happens more than twice, he’s playing you.
3. He Won’t Answer the Question, “Are We Dating Other People?”
You want to level the playing field at this point, right? You just want to know if it’s okay to date other people or if it will ruin a good thing with him.
Before you delete your dating apps, remember that this is YOUR decision.
You should decide if you are going to date other people. Don’t ask him. Tell him, either way, what you choose. If he’s obtuse about this question, you already have your answer, even if it’s one you don’t like.
4. He Has a Lot of Female Friends
When you see his social posts with other women, this is a tricky mixed message, yet he claims they are all friends.
Is he letting you meet these female friends? Does he leave the room to talk to them on the phone? Is he also posting photos with you on social media?
There’s nothing wrong with having friends of the opposite sex, but you should feel confident about where you stand in any dating situation. Especially if he’s giving you flack for a photo with your best male friend.
5. He Has Moving Deadlines
This is a masterstroke when it comes to committing without committing. He might tell you, “Let me get through this project at work.
Then we can spend more time together.” However, there always seems to be a new reason why he can’t have “the talk,” and you’re left in limbo.
Too often, women miss that the lack of an answer is the answer. Plus, any man who is into you won’t let work, the holidays, family obligations, or a nuclear missile attack keep him from giving you the attention you deserve.
6. He Has No Idea What He Wants
Unfortunately, ladies, this is when we tend to over-analyze his every move. If he’s honest about what he wants and doesn’t want at that moment in time, believe him.
It doesn’t matter how ready you are for the romance. You’ll pick up mixed messages if it’s not a two-way street and only see what you want to see.
7. He’s Watching Your Every Move Online
Raise your hand if you’ve ever been out of touch for more than two to three days, but he’s still “liking” every one of your posts or commenting about every Tweet.
It’s a great tactic to keep you baited because he’s interacting in some way but not in the way you prefer.
8. He Leaves You on “Read”
There should be support groups and t-shirts for “He left me on read.” This guy will get your text messages as soon as you send them and can confirm by the “READ” word below it.
Yet he doesn’t respond for hours, if not days. He knows this is going to intrigue you and keep you guessing. Maybe he forgot during a night of gaming with the guys, but if it’s often happening, address it.
9. He’s Getting the Milk for Free
Your mom or grandmother were right, to an extent. If a man gets all the benefits of a committed relationship without committing, he isn’t in any hurry to move things forward.
You shouldn’t act like a committed partner until you are in a committed relationship. If you pull back, he’ll be forced to make a decision.
Just because you’ve been intimate with someone before doesn’t mean you have to continue doing so. There isn’t a “point of no return.”
You can always pull back, but don’t send your own mixed message. Be honest about why you are doing so.
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10. He Tells You
Women are so attuned to vibes and side comments, yet we can easily ignore them when we don’t like them.
If your guy is repeatedly dissing marriage or talking about failed relationships and how that will “never be him,” he’s not double-dog daring you to be a better partner.
He’s sending a message he doesn’t want a committed relationship. Could that change? Sure. Should you bet on it? Nope.
11. He Chases You
If you repeat any of the mixed-message behavior he gives to you, he’s suddenly very interested again. It’s because you’ve started a new episode of “The Hunger Games.”
He wants to chase you down and win you over again. A man who doesn’t send mixed messages might realize he’s about to lose a good thing and chase you down. A man who is giving mixed messages lives for that cycle of drama.
12. He’s Not Holding Up His End of the Deal
Maybe you agreed that you would date other people, but when you dare to actually date someone else, he’s mad.
He might lay a guilt trip on you with phrases like, “I know we said we’d date other people, but you went on a date the next night! Did you sleep with him? Are you going out again?”
When it turns into an interrogation, you’re trapped in the land of double standards.
13. He’s Fantastic in Bed, and He Knows It
A man who knows how to send mixed messages likely knows how to push your buttons in the bedroom.
When a man realizes he can win you back or calm down your suspicions with a passionate night, you might see more emphasis on your needs.
If a guy only gives Olympic-level organism attempts when your relationship is on the fringe, he’s using sex to lure you back in.
14. He’s Not Sharing Information
When we’re dating a person with long-term potential, we will become vulnerable and share secrets.
We’ll confide in the other person as advancing rates while the relationship blooms.
If you’ve been dating someone for more than three months and don’t know more than you could find on his LinkedIn page, you’re likely involved with someone keeping you at arm’s length.
15. He Love Bombs and Discards
This sequence is the hallmark of a narcissist. Your attention fuels his ego. If you start to pull away due to his mixed messages, he’ll “love bomb” you and be the guy you fell for.
As soon as you try to establish a boundary, he’ll “discard” you and seek another source of ego-boosting fun – but still make it clear he doesn’t want you to date.
Unfortunately, you can’t convert a narcissistic to a long-term relationship unless you sacrifice all boundaries. Run as fast as you can from this mixed-messages master.
What to Do When You See Signs He Doesn’t Want You But Doesn’t Want Anyone Else to Have You
First, you must ensure this isn’t the start of stalker behavior or mental instability. Fans of the show “You” got a reality check on how a man who seems perfect can be a scoundrel.
Second, you must decide if you want to play this game.
- Talk to a Therapist: Your best friends will give emotionally-driven advice, where a therapist can help you sort through the push-pull tendencies of your beau.
- Be Honest: Discuss your concerns with your suitor. Leave emotion out of it. He might be able to shed light on his bad habits. You’ll also see how much he cares about your feelings or perceptions.
- Walk Away: We tend to fight for relationships if we have invested a lot of time. Don’t waste more time on someone who is playing games. Don’t give an ultimatum. Just walk away, explaining this situation isn’t working for you anymore. If he pursues, the ball is in your court if you want to get back on the merry-go-round.
Another perspective on this involves the one thing missing from the mixed messages: communication. When we’re left to interpret actions or become wishy-washy by his grey-blue eyes and 6’3 stature, we forget to stand our ground and communicate our concerns.
Boundaries and communication are critical when dating someone, so you can avoid mixed messages.
If you see he lives for the thrill of the hunt but not the monotony of a lazy weekend binging television and getting to know each other, it’s likely not worth your time.
Remember the old-but-true line of “He’s just not that into you,” and you deserve someone who is totally into you.