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How to Deal with Mixed Signals and Get Past Them

by eharmony Editorial Team - November 22, 2023

Mixed signals can be frustrating even in regular social situations, let alone your romantic life. One moment you’re feeling a real connection and the next they seem cold or distant, as if they’re not interested. It can be maddening.

How to deal with mixed signals can be a case-by-case situation but here are some tips for how to deal with mixed signals from a guy or a girl and when it’s sometimes best to move on.

How to deal with mixed signals: 8 Different types of signals

Mixed signals are when someone you‘re interested in varies between positive and negative feedback on your attempts at romance. They go out with you on Thursday but won’t answer your text on Friday. Then on Saturday morning, they like a bunch of posts on your socials. They call you that night but then only respond to one message the next day. It can feel purposely cruel.

You can be confused as to where you stand with this person. How to deal with mixed signals for a girl or a guy can be especially frustrating because they may be completely unaware they’re doing it. It may just be part of their communication and dating style.  But for you, it’s a painful and confusing process of second-guessing yourself.

Let’s look at eight different things to consider when trying to figure out how to deal with mixed signals and finding the right person for you.

1. Self-reflection

When looking at how to deal with mixed signals from a guy or a girl, the first place to start is yourself. This may be how they normally operate in their dating life but is this compatible with how you view growing intimacy?

If it’s not you then you need to stick to your boundaries and what you expect. Otherwise, not only will the relationship be premised on a lack of mutual respect but you’ll never feel like your needs are being met.

2. Communication

Communication is the foundation of any healthy relationship so why not define that if you’re figuring out how to deal with mixed signals? If it’s still quite early in the dating process, you may feel sheepish about being too intense or crossing their boundaries.

This is a reasonable concern. But feel it out and see how open they are to the talk. If you feel like you have common ground, then tell them how their behavior have left you frustrated and confused. Find out where you stand.

How to Communicate in a Relationship

Learn more about how to communicate in a relationship in constructive ways. We cover how to communicate your needs in a relationship and be there for your partner.

3. Trust your instincts

Every situation is different and all relationships have their quirks, so it’s also important to draw on your experience to make a judgment call. 

Trust your intuition when you’re looking at how to deal with mixed signals from a girl or a guy. Even if the basic facts might tell you this person is behaving indecisively, you may feel like your moments together still have tension and chemistry. It’s important to trust what you feel inside.

4. Establish boundaries

Having firm boundaries is not only vial for how to deal with mixed signals, it also establishes a healthy relationship pattern of mutual respect.

So if they only text back after two days, let them know it’s not how you want to interact. If you expect a quicker response, let them know. And be firm about it, while also being responsive to their boundaries.  

5. Managing expectations

When looking at how to deal with mixed signals from a guy or a girl, you may need to consider your own expectations. Are you happy with something casual or are you actively seeking a serious relationship?

It may be worth looking back on your interactions and dates and gauging what kind of energy your relationship has been giving off. It could be that, despite your growing emotions, your expectations can be out of synch with theirs’.

6. Observing patterns

When you become obsessed with how to deal with mixed signals, you can miss the forest for the trees. Try not to overanalyze a single instance of a mixed signal and see what their behavior has been like over time.

Do they regularly check in? Are they trying to get to know you better? Is there a consistency to their behavior that perhaps the odd mixed signal is interrupting? Try and look at their actions over time, rather than instances.

7. Taking care of yourself

When figuring out how to deal with mixed signals from a girl or a guy, it’s important to look after your emotional health. You may be trying hard to make this work, but your incompatible outlooks are just making you tense and unhappy.

They may have good excuses but you just can’t get past that it doesn’t work for you. Try going without screens for a day and ignoring them or just meeting up with a friend for advice.

8. Making decisions

Remember when figuring out how to deal with mixed signals, above all, this is your decision. Take agency in the situation. Look at how they make you feel and how you emotionally respond to their actions.

That’s your north star. You deserve the kind of relationship that makes you happy and if you can’t see them ever fulfilling that, it may be better to call it a day. But if you can’t help feeling something, don’t be afraid to dismiss a few things. But always ensure the decision is completely yours.  At eharmony, we take a deep dive into your communication styles when you join, then try to match you with someone compatible. Take our Compatibility Quiz for free and discover the difference today.

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