Really confused by his mixed signals

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  • #937015 Reply


    Firstly please let me apologise for the length of this post. Sorry x..
    I’m feeling really confused regarding a guy I’d been seeing..
    We went on a date over several years ago and got on really well but we never went on a second date but friended one another on Facebook although never stayed in touch..
    Fast forward to July this year and I received a message via Facebook from him saying he seen me about our estate a fair bit over the last several weeks and asking how I was. We chatted via text over the next week, then met up for a walk the following week, and a couple of walks the week after for 2 or 3 hours at a time and just fell into chatting away as though we’d been in touch since our date all those years back and there was a strong physical connection/chemistry between us.. three or four weeks in we slept together. He then had a week off work, and we spent time going walking, cycling, out for a picnic, enjoying a cuppa and a chat and falling into bed together a further few times. He then went quiet on me over the next week, short one word/one sentence replies to texts, I put it down to his long and rather stressful week back at work, as being manager he had a lot to catch up on following his return to work after his hols. We caught up for a couple of cuppa an chats, and walks over the following few weeks, and slept together again. The day after we slept together he invited me out for a walk, but he was really off with me, snappy and on occasion made a few mean comments, it was like he didn’t want to be with me. The next day I messaged to see how his day had been at work and he eventually responded about 4 hours later with, ‘not ignoring you, crap day x’ So I empathised with him and said I was there if he needed a chat. The next evening he messaged me to say, ‘another crap day x’. I again empathised and said it sounds like work was really quite tough at the mo. He responded, ‘Yep, it’s easier to shut myself away and ride my bike’, I said I could hear things were difficult and it sounded like he needed some space, and that I was here if he needed a chat.. and I left it there. Towards the end of the same week, I received a message from him wishing me a nice holiday away (I was off on hols for a week the next day) and to please let him know when my two sons and I had arrived safely. I messaged when we had arrived and during the week of my hols he messaged almost every day in the evenings to see how we were/what we’d been up to.
    The day after returning home from my holiday, he asked me round for a cuppa. We chatted away about my holiday, his work etc, then he told me he was sorry but that he couldn’t be in a relationship with me because he didn’t want to hurt me. We decided to remain friends which we were both happy with.
    Since then (over the last 3 weeks) he has texted me every few days or so and we’ve chatted via text, I’ve not initiated any texts in that time but have responded to his and enjoyed the little bursts of messaging. He invited me over for a cup of tea last weekend and we had a good old chat, but he was also flirting with me, chatting about our previous bouts of lovemaking, what he thinks about/of me, and hugged me tightly before I left to go home. Over this last week he’s again been pinging a text every few days, and yesterday he sent me a picture of the box of teabags he’d bought for me of my favourite tea, and this afternoon he invited me round for a cup of tea. I popped by this afternoon and we chatted away about our week, he then turned the conversation onto him setting up a dating profile for me, which I thought was a bit of strange thing to say. This led on to some deep conversation about past relationships mostly mine, and him welling up with tears and apologising for hurting me, which led to me shedding a few tears. We then talked more about this and that and conversation flowed back to relationships and our lovemaking. We agreed we are strongly physically and sexually attracted to one another, and I told him that I can’t have the physical attraction without the emotional attraction, I can’t just switch that part of me off, it’s just how I am. He said he understood and said he struggles so hard to make the emotional connection for fear of the past repeating itself and being afraid of change. There were more tears on my part, as I felt quite emotional at this point (I’ve a lot of other things going on in my life at the mo – mental illness with my son and my father). He hugged me, told me I’m beautiful just as I am and told me he’s there if I need a friend. I left a short while later once I calmed down, and he stood up as I did said come here gorgeous, and pulled me in for another hug and we kissed one another’s cheeks. Just before I left he said, ‘I’ll get the fire pit set up one evening when the nights get a bit darker and we can sit outside and chat with our cuppas’.

    I’m not sure if writing all this down helps to explain why I’m confused.. I’d like more, but I’m not sure if he does or doesn’t because from my point of view I’m getting mixed messages.. So I guess I’m asking for an outside perspective because my perspective feels somewhat blurred.. What are your thoughts? How do you see this from your perspective? What would you do in my position?

    Thanks for listening/reading x

    #937017 Reply


    Do not expect more from this person. He has deep commitment fears that have nothing to do with you, but will screw with YOUR emotions every time if you allow them to. It’s easier for him to have any emotional intimacy with you if he downgrades you to a friend. Then he can enjoy your companionship but he’s always got one foot automatically out the door and can point to how he already told you he doesn’t want to be with you so it’s “not his fault” if you have feelings and get hurt. He’s warned you who he is and all he can offer you. I would not take him up on staying friends unless you can put up and enforce some strong boundaries (no flirting, no talking or reminiscing about past sex you had together, no more touching than a quick friendly greeting or departure, nothing besides how you’d be with any other platonic friend) AND you get over your romantic feelings towards him. This isn’t going anywhere more because men who can show up for you and aren’t willing to lose you, don’t flake out after sex, don’t tell you they’re going to hurt you, and don’t let you go. Listen to what he’s telling you, because when actions and words don’t align, the more negative of the two are what you need to believe, even if you don’t want to. Inconsistency isn’t actually mixed signals… it indicates the signal that the person is not relationship material.

    It may seem easy to reach out to him in hopes of the support of a romantic relationship because that’s a nice break and distraction from dealing with your family members’ mental illness issues, but he isn’t a stable or safe support network for you on the level you’re seeking. I hope things get better with your family soon.

    #937030 Reply


    Agree in that he has warned you that he only wants to remain “friends.” Men have this innate capacity to separate and compartmentalize their lives based on how they feel about each person. He doesn’t feel the type of romantic love HE needs to feel in order to go the relationship route with you. He is feeding you a bunch of excuses, instead of just being honest and real, in that, he simply doesn’t feel the same way about you, that you do him.

    Up to you if you want to remain in unrequited love limbo by continuing to entertain him but don’t expect him to have a sudden ‘aha moment’ in hopes his feelings will change the more you chit chat or hang out with him. The only way that could happen is if you cut him off permanently, and he, on his own volition, comes to see you in a different light, while your away. Just know, there’s a tiny smidgeon of a chance (less than 2%) it will happen but it at least gives you time away to wean yourself from him, as he’s your heroin, and the only way to end a love addiction is to completely remove yourself from your drug (him).

    Unless you can fully resolve yourself that he is not going to love you back, and you can fully accept those terms, only then should you continue to maintain a fully platonic friendship with him. Those are the boundaries you need to set with him, and yourself, if you want to remain “friends” to end all those mixed signals.

    #937033 Reply


    Sorry – you aren’t getting mixed messages. He did the classic “hit it then quit it.” The way to avoid this happening in the future is to have a talk BEFORE you get into bed with a guy. And what Maddie said is right – of the words and actions, the more negative of the two is the truth.

    Don’t waste any more time and energy being “friends” with this guy – he doesn’t deserve any more access to you. He can’t be trusted, based on the things you report he said to you. He can sense your vulnerability, that’s why he’s handing you all this song and dance and crocodile tears about being afraid of the past repeating itself and not just going away. I can almost guarantee you’ll end up in bed again “by accident.” He knows you’ll fall for it when he tells you one night over an evening “chat” how beautiful and irresistible you are in the firelight. And then you’ll really be devastated when he tells you the next morning that he likes you (well enough to have sex with you) but he can’t be anything more than friends with you. Which he already told you.

    Tell him in a text you thought things over and it’s best if you just cut contact and move on, and you wish him the best. Then you block. You don’t respond if he says anything back before you can block him. He won’t want to let you go, and you have to remember it’s not in your best interest to stay in touch with him or see him anymore.

    #937208 Reply


    He really only wants occasional sex from you.

    “I’ll get the fire pit set up one evening when the nights get a bit darker and we can sit outside and chat with our cuppas.” You go over, have sex, the next day he is cold… Lather, rinse, repeat…

    ps: He already told you he could not be in a relationship with you.

    #937209 Reply

    Liz Lemon

    The thing about being friends with someone you used to date/sleep with, is that you usually need a period of distance (no contact) before you can even attempt friendship. You can’t go from sleeping with someone one week, to being friends the next week.

    I agree with what the others have said. Like Maddie said, there’s no mixed signal here– this guy is simply not relationship material. He’s toying with your emotions. It may be unconscious and unintentional, but he’s doing it all the same. The best thing you can do at this point, for your own sanity, is cut him off. You can’t sit around a bonfire drinking tea with him as a friend when you have all these feelings inside. And like Angiebaby pointed out, it’s very likely you’ll “slip” and sleep together again, and he’ll immediately pull the “we’re just friends” card. Don’t let him jerk you around like this. Just cut him off.

    #937230 Reply


    Agree with liz. You need to cut him off.

    #937462 Reply



    You are obviously a very special woman. I am sorry to hear about your current family struggles. You must move forward to guard your heart. He enjoys your company, but he is not feeling love with you. Love between two people is rare. By moving forward, it opens the door to allow it to come into your life.

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