What Mixed Signals Really Mean

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Hey Wendy,

There’s an old romanticized saying: “If you want her, go get her.” But it seems the more modern model is, “If she’s not giving you the time of day, go find someone else who will.”

I’m stuck in a crappy situation. A woman I want to be in a relationship with is showing me a bit of interest but is also giving me mixed signals, and sometimes she’s aloof. What do I do with that?

Jeremy K.


Hey Jeremy,

How do you feel about partnering with someone who plays games?

How about someone who doesn’t let you know where you stand at any given moment?

Someone who makes you doubt yourself?

Who doesn’t let you all the way in?

I’m sure she’s super sexy, and this mixed-signals thing makes the chase more exciting. But I have to ask: Is she relationship material or conquest material?

This behavior is that of a young person who’s not ready for a relationship.

If, however, you’re both mature enough to be in a relationship for reals, find a way to lay your cards on the table. You can work out the specifics of how to do it in your own words, but I suggest you say what you see. For example:

“Somedays you seem interested in me, and other days, I’m not so sure about you. How about we each say what we want from each other, and see where we land?”

Her answer should tell you everything you need to know.

If there’s hesitation on her part, go with the modern model. Because as fine as John Cusack was in Say Anything, holding up a boombox in front of someone’s bedroom window to get them to like you is so 1989. And it’s so much more satisfying to be in a relationship with someone who likes you (and pays attention to you) consistently.

Good luck!

Wendy Newman is the author of 121 First Dates. She’s a dating, sex, and relationship expert who’s led hundreds of workshops and revolutionized the lives of over 70,000+ women internationally.