4 Subtle Signs You Might Be Sending Mixed Signals To The Person You're Dating

by Alison Segel
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The other day, someone told me that I was a f*ckboi. I didn't even think that was possible, but apparently yes, women can be f*ckbois, too. I guess I'm hugely annoying to date. I can be inconsistent, unreliable, hot and cold, and unclear about my needs. When my last ex threw up his hands in frustration with me, after yet another fight where he had labeled me "confusing," I had to ask myself: Am I sending him mixed signals?

Sometimes, I expect my partner to be a mind reader and know what I want and need without me having to say it out loud. Then, when I don't get what I want (without ever having explained what that is), I get angry. What a fun rollercoaster to ride on! We can name that theme park "Mixed Signals."

Mixed signals are another way of just being selfish, and it sucks if you're on the receiving end of them. So the point is this: If you want to date maturely, it's best to avoid them as much as possible — giving or receiving. So here are some subtle signs you might be sending mixed signals to the person you're dating. If you recognize any, then it might be time to start figuring out what you really want.

1. You Still Flirt With Other People (In Front Of Them)

Emmanuel Hidalgo

Whenever I used to like someone, I would try to set them up with my friends to gauge their reaction. If they were willing to date my friend, then that meant they didn't like me. If they refused, then I assumed it was because they liked me back. It was an insane way to gauge someone's interest, but playing games was the only way I could think to foster a relationship with someone. Emotional immaturity at its best.

If you flirt with other people in front of your significant other in order to get a rise out of them, create drama, or incite jealousy to test whether or not they like you, the only thing you're actually doing is sending mixed signals that you don't care. It should be simple: If you like someone, don't flirt with other people in front of them.

2. You Never Initiate Contact First

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Out-of-date relationship books, like The Rules, as well as cultural and societal stigmas, preach that men should pursue, and women should be pursued. However, it's 2017, and what are gender roles anyway? The last thing relationships are these days is traditional. And with my last partner, following these guidelines actually got me into a lot of trouble.

Two months into my relationship with my ex-boyfriend, he looked at me and said, "I feel like I am doing all the work here." And he was right. I was constantly waiting for him to text me, and I would never reach out to make plans first. In an entire two months of dating, I had called him on the phone zero times. I thought that was my role! He was a hunter! I was gathering texts and phone calls from him!

We broke up because he felt that I was not that into him. After all, that's what my signals were saying. Being passive in a relationship can actually just make you seem disinterested. So if you like someone, contact them. If you never initiate contact first, think about what kind of signal that would send someone.

3. You Play Games

There's no quicker way to end a relationship than by playing games. You might think that will get someone's attention — and maybe it will pique your crush's interest at first — but it's not the way to get a sustainable, mutually respectable relationship.

I used to break up with guys at least two times before committing to them. I thought that if they would stick with me through that, then they had the patience to stick with me through a relationship. The only thing that got me were men who were addicted to drama.

You know who likes games? Players. So don't test your partner's affection by putting them through relay races for your love. That's immaturity at its finest.

4. You're Wishy-Washy About Labels


If you want a relationship with someone, then say it. If you're not looking for anything serious, let your partner know. When you aren't explicit with what you want from someone, you get into the aggravating territory of leading someone on, and we all know how bad that can feel. It's not being noncommittal that hurts as much as dishonesty or being confusing about your intentions or plans for the future.

If your actions aren't matching up with your words, then most likely, you're frustrating the hell out of the person you're dating. Tell your partner verbatim what you need and want in a relationship, and act accordingly. And if you like them, don't forget to contact them every once in a while. There's no harm in initiating contact first.

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