How to Read Mixed Messages

Women's Dating

How to Read Mixed Messages

Dr. Wendy Walsh Dr. Wendy Walsh • 9/25/14

Probably the most common question I get here at DatingAdvice.com has to do with confusing signals sent from a romantic interest.

Both men and women alike send cryptic messages about their level of interest, especially in the early stages of dating, that can make a suitor downright jittery. They might even wonder if they should proceed or not.

First off, know this:

Every great love affair begins with anxiety about whether one can capture the heart of the object of their attraction.

That anxiety, combined with sexual attraction, is the heat that eventually becomes romantic passion.

If you think about it, every great love poem, song and artwork depicts a kind of unrequited and uneasy love, a deal that was not yet closed.

The first step to understanding mixed signals is to contain yourself and wait. You won’t get an answer by bombarding your love with texts and phone calls. In fact, that may scare them away.

We all like to think we are falling for a higher status partner, and if you look clingy and needy at the beginning, you won’t look like a higher status mate.

Take days or even a week between a contact and your date may wonder what other romantic opportunities have your attention.

At the beginning, wait and see is the best approach.

Having said all that, there are people who have a come closer, go away attachment style.

These people really don’t trust love and when things get too close, they may react with either a disappearing act or a sudden quarrel that pushes you away.

They will reveal themselves after a few months of dating, and my only advice is to comment on their behavior in a non-accusatory way. He may not even realize he is doing it.

The good news is if someone with this kind of anxious attachment style falls for someone who can bond in a secure way, they can actually be healed through your consistency.

But if the dramatic games of pulling back and fighting are hurting you, it may be best to cut your losses and part ways.

“Ask yourself if this relationship is

hurting you more than helping you.”

It’s important to pay attention to behavior more than words.

Many people have a hard time connecting feelings to words.

Is your love crush showing up? Do you two have fun dates or just bedroom frolics? Is there a lot of phone time where you talk about real things — family, life goals, etc? These are the big indicators that he is into you.

In the end, listen to your stomach. If your date’s inconsistent behavior or emotional avoidance gives you an uneasy feeling in your gut, then you have to pay attention to that.

Ask yourself if this relationship is hurting you more than helping you. If it doesn’t feel like a comfy home for your heart, you may have to bravely walk away.

Photo source: momspark.net.