You’ve been talking to someone for the last few days, and everything seemed to be going great – until they started sending mixed signals. First they stopped replying to your messages. You thought they might be ghosting you, so you started to move on… and then they reappeared in your inbox, acting as though they never left.
Can you relate to this? If so, you’re not alone. Mixed signals are (sadly) a common part of dating, but that doesn’t mean you have to deal with them.
Here are four common mixed signals (and how you can deal with them).
1. Common Mixed Signals: Expecting You To Be Vulnerable (Even Though They Are Closed Off)
When you start dating someone seriously, it is normal and healthy to open up and be vulnerable – but it is essential that both people open up. If you are dating someone and they expect you to be vulnerable but they won’t return the favor, it normally means one of two things; they struggle with attachment issues, or they don’t want a serious relationship.
Either way, the best thing you can do is say to them that the relationship feels unequal, and then ask them what they think. If they are happy to have the conversation the relationship could get stronger, but if they don’t want to talk you may want to consider moving on.
2. Blowing Hot And Cold
Do you have amazing Zoom dates, only to be ignored for days afterwards? This is a perfect example of a mixed signal, and it can be very tiresome and frustrating. It can be tempting to blame yourself if this happens, but remind yourself that the issue lies with them. So don’t message them or ask what is wrong; distance yourself, and let them decide what they want without putting pressure on them.
3. Not Making Time For You
They often ask to meet in person or over Zoom, but they can never commit to a date. This could mean that they are busy, but if over two weeks has passed it probably means that the date isn’t a priority to them. This can be a little upsetting, especially if you really liked the other person, but you shouldn’t have to chase someone before you’ve even been on a date together.
4. Public Displays Of Affection
Your dating someone who is really affectionate in private – but when you’re out in public, they act more like a friend. This can be annoying, but it isn’t necessarily a mixed signal. Some people love public displays of affection (AKA PDAS), but they aren’t for everyone, so we suggest mentioning how you feel to your date to see how they react. If they say they don’t like PDAs, respect that choice – but if they say they don’t want to mislead people, it might mean they aren’t really invested in the relationship.
If you’re still not sure how to proceed, check out our blog post “Should you wait if they aren’t ready for a relationship?”.