Are you sending (or receiving) mixed messages?

stop goYou know what mixed messages are, but you may not be aware you’re sending them:

  • You tell the guy you’re dating you want to move slowly, yet you try to seduce him on the third date.
  • You claim you like to cook, but when you invite him over for a DVD you always ask him to pick up take out.
  • You say you want a committed relationship and are only interested in dating him, but your dating profile is still active.
  • You tell him he’s wonderful and are smitten by him, but you make no effort to introduce him to your friends.

mixed messagesYou know how important words are. And you know how important actions are. But when words and actions don’t match, we believe the actions. In college, studying non-verbal communication, we learned that good trial attorneys are trained to notice a witness’ body language to discern if they were telling the truth or not.

So are you being congruent with your words and actions? Or is there a gap?

And what if he is sending mixed signals:

  • He tells you how much he cares for you, but you hear from him only once a week. A lack of action (he doesn’t call) is really an action (other things are taking his attention and priority).
  • He says he really likes being with you, but he only asks you out once a week for midweek dates.
  • He expresses how hot you are and how much he’s attracted to you but he doesn’t touch you nor try to kiss you, even after several dates.

Something is amiss.

If you become aware of your own inconsistencies between words and actions, sit down with a friend, counselor or note pad and ask yourself what’s going on. Conflicting words and behaviors often exemplify conflicting attitudes.

  • You think you should like him because all your friends say he’s a nice guy. But you are always late to dates with him, even though you’re punctual in all other areas of your life. Part of you doesn’t really want to go out with him.
  • You’re saying what you think would make him happy, or more attracted to you, but what you’re saying isn’t true. Knowing he has kids you say, “I love kids” even though you don’t like being around them much.
  • Part of you tells you that you should behave a certain way, or “women your age” should act a particular way. You are toned and fit, yet you wear matronly clothing and old-fashioned hair and make up because you don’t want to appear too sexy.

And if it’s he who’s sending the clashing communications, gently point them out and ask him about it. He may get defensive or deny the incongruence. If he does, he’s probably hiding something.

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3 responses to “Are you sending (or receiving) mixed messages?”

  1. Bookyone Avatar

    Hi DG,

    Wow, is this ever true. In the past I’ve found myself doing this (sending mixed messages) and unfortunately I didn’t always know how to correct the problem. Fortunately, it’s a non-issue now, but it’s definitely something to remember when I start dating again.

    IMHO, your blog is the best one out there for practical informative dating advice. 🙂

    Best wishes from bookyone 🙂

  2. Catherine Avatar

    I have been on the receiving end of mixed messages with a guy for over a year. He flirts, calls, emails extensively, but doesn’t come through with the actual dates. There is a “dual” relationship in that I see him for business at least once a week, but the relationship isn’t such that it would be negatively impacted if we started to date regularly. In fact I am leaving that career this summer and he knows all about my transition.

    After much pondering and trying to decipher what “he really means” I have finally decided that any relationship that takes this much work just isn’t worth it! Every time I pull back and decide to write him off that is when he becomes more attentive, but this time I’m done and won’t be “playing” anymore. Why all these silly games? When I have tried to discuss it with him he finds ways to deflect the conversation and then “hides” for a week or two, then it starts all over.

    So you are right on the mark when you say actions speak louder than words and when they are incongruent look to the actions for the truth.


  3. David Deangelo Fan Avatar

    I think I’ve been guilty of doing this in the past. Think I want to take things slowly, then the caveman in me comes out and it’s all over…..