Do you know what the definition of a hypocrite is?
Hypocrite- a person who pretends to have virtues, beliefs or principles that he/she does not actually possess.
Hmm… sounds familiar doesn’t it?
Perhaps an ex boyfriend who gives you mixed signals is a hypocrite?
Well, that is what we are going to be exploring today.
Every single day hundreds of women ask me hundreds of different questions about their ex boyfriends and I have to say that lately I have been noticing a trend. For whatever reason there has been an uptick in the inquiries revolving around exes who give off mixed signals.
For example, it’s not uncommon for me to receive a question like this,
“Chris, I broke up with my boyfriend a few weeks ago but now that a few weeks have passed he is acting like nothing has happened? How do I interpret these mixed signals?”
So, for those of you who know me extremely well (and I like to think that some of you do) any time I see an uptick in questions like this I like to go out and write massive guides giving you as much insight as I possibly can about your ex boyfriend.
Well, here I go again 🙂 .
Welcome To My Mixed Signals Page
You know the beautiful thing about this site?
(Besides the fact that it’s AWESOME.)
It’s the fact that I can be completely honest with you about your boyfriend and because of that I can help you gain incredible insight into him.
For example, sometimes you can’t fully rely on your friends to tell you the truth because they are afraid of hurting your feelings when it comes to certain situations (like a breakup.)
Not me though…
Nope, I have no problem laying down the law.
I’m an impartial third party with years of experience in the breakup realm (I have seen thousands of situations.)
I’m not a bad guy to have in your corner, huh?
Why is any of this relevant to mixed signals?
It’s quite simple really.
Some of the thought processes that men have when they give you mixed signals may be hard to hear.
BUT YOU NEED TO HEAR IT!
Of course, I wouldn’t be a very good “relationship consultant” if I just left you out to dry without giving you mini solutions to overcome the mixed signals you get from your ex now would I?
(I spruced up my LinkedIn profile yesterday to include “relationship consultant” since that is technically what I do with Ex Boyfriend Recovery but I digress…)
Here is how I have this page outlined,
Part 1- What Is A Mixed Signal?
Part 2- Why Your Ex Boyfriend Gives You Mixed Signals?
Part 3 (A)- What Your Ex Boyfriends Mixed Signals Mean
Part 3 (B) The Mini Solutions To Your Exes Mixed Signals
I decided to combine part 3 because I figured it would be easier for me to give you the mixed signal and then the solution to the mixed signal in one fell swoop. I mean, something tells me that you would get annoyed if I gave you all the mixed signals in one place and then I made you scroll down the entire page just to see the mini solutions to the mixed signals.
Anyways, I am getting off topic again.
(That tends to happen a lot if you hadn’t noticed)
Lets move on to part 1 of this guide!
PART 1 – What Is A Mixed Signal?
I want to play a game with you.
The game is called “role play” and we are going to pretend that we are in a fantasy situation for a moment.
The two of us are walking down the street one day when we pass a hat shop. Now, being the very cool person that I am, I am what you would call a certified hat enthusiast. So, as I look at the hats in the window and there is one hat in particular that catches my eye. I like it so much that I go on and on about how I would love to have that hat. In fact, I make such a big deal about it that it seems like that hat is the holy grail of hats.
The exact date when this entire debacle occurs is May 9th.
What is the relevance of that date?
It’s the day before my birthday.
So, being the generous person that you are you go into the hat shop (after I have left) and you decide to buy the hat for me as a birthday present. In your mind you are thinking that you did an incredible job with this present because I made such a big deal about it.
Well, on May 10th (my birthday) you give me my birthday present, the hat.
You watch excitedly as I am about to open “the holy grail of hats.”
Your hands shake with excitement as I tear off the wrapping paper…
“He is so close to seeing it” you think to yourself.
Then it happens…
I see it.
Except there is a problem.
I look disgusted.
In fact, I look so disgusted that I don’t want anything to do with the hat.
I hate it…
What the heck just happened here?
Well, I gave you a mixed signal about the hat.
I gave you information that led you to believe that I liked the hat when in actuality I didn’t.
That is what the definition of a mixed signal is,
Mixed Signal- A person feeds you information that makes you believe one thing when the reality is that, that one thing isn’t necessarily true.
The Synergy Between Words, Actions And Mixed Signals
Words, action and mixed signals all have a close synergy if you really think about it.
For example, if you have just broken up with your ex boyfriend and he tells you that he wants absolutely nothing to do with you then his words lead you to believe that he isn’t that into you anymore.
Of course, if the very next week he is hitting on you or acting like a breakup never happened then those two actions will probably lead you to believe that he is still into you.
As a result we have a mixed signal.
Think of it like this, if your exes words and actions do not agree then he is most likely giving you a mixed signal. If his words and actions end up agreeing then he is most likely not giving you a mixed signal. Check out the graphic below to further illustrate this point,
Do you see how this synergy works to decipher whether or not you are getting a mixed signal?
Good, lets move on to part 2 of this guide.
PART 2 – Why Your Ex Boyfriend Gives You Mixed Signals
Join me as we take a trip into the deep recesses of a mans mind.
Let me warn you beforehand though, this trip might be a little frightening for you.
Eye opening but frightening.
Because I am going to be letting you in on all the deep dark secrets that most men are afraid to tell you.
And you know the best part?
It’s coming from a credible source because I am a man. I know how my kind thinks.
However, before I start let me set this up a little bit.
Last night when I was brainstorming this guide I took out a sheet of paper and jotted down all the reasons that I think an ex boyfriend could potentially have for giving you a mixed signal. When it was all said and done I had determined that there were six main reasons for why an ex boyfriend could potentially give you a mixed signal.
Does that mean that there are only six?
No, in reality there are probably thousands of little reasons. What I ended up doing was picking and choosing the reasons that were most common.
Ok, now that I have that out of the way lets get started!
Reason 1 = He Is Not 100% Sure About You
Lets go through a little fake scenario here for a second.
Lets say that during your relationship with your ex boyfriend he was constantly telling you that you were the one, that he wanted to have your kids and that he was going to marry you. However, when push came to shove and it became time for him to step up he didn’t and as a result the two of you broke up.
Now, you took him at his word when he told you that you were the one but his actions didn’t back his words up and as a result he gave you a mixed signal.
Simple, he wasn’t 100% sure yet about you.
Now, What do you think I mean by that?
For a man to make a deep commitment to a woman he has to feel 100% sure about her.
Getting married, having kids and big life goals like that essentially end a mans bachelorhood forever.
Gone are the days where he can be selfish.
Gone are the days where he can “date around.”
Gone are the days where he can go out and party the night away.
Men don’t give their bachelorhood up very easily.
It takes a special woman to pull him away from it and if he isn’t 100% sure about the woman then he is not going anywhere.
All it takes is one doubt to creep in for him to start questioning you.
For example, lets say that one day your boyfriend asks you to meet him out for a cup of coffee. Now, since you are a bit of an early bird you get there ahead of time and as a result a guy comes up to you and starts flirting with you. It is at this moment (when this stranger is flirting with you) that your boyfriend walks in and sees you and this guy talking.
What does he think upon seeing this?
Well, he probably assumes that you are flirting with this guy and all of a sudden doubts start to creep in his mind.
“How many other guys does she flirt with?”
“Would she ever cheat on me?”
“Do I want to be with someone who flirts around?”
All of these thoughts your boyfriend has happen in a split second and they start to make him question a long term commitment with you.
That is where the mixed signals come in.
He may have told you that the two of you were going to be together forever.
That the two of you were meant to be but when he is faced with a situation like the one above and he starts to question you he begins to backtrack on his word. Of course, you get very confused when you have these mixed signals but it’s not that confusing at all if you really think about it.
It all just boils down to the fact that men don’t want to give their bachelorhood very easily.
It has to be worth it to them.
Reason 2 = He Doesn’t Know What He Wants
I am going to switch gears for a moment here and get a little personal.
Can you guess the last thing I really wanted in my life?
And when I say I wanted it I mean I really wanted it and was ready to do anything to get it.
Figured it out yet?
It’s this gal,
Yup, there was absolutely no hesitation on my part which is how I knew she was the one.
Why am I telling you this?
Because I know myself better than anyone and I know how I act when I don’t know what I want (which prior to my wife I really didn’t know.)
Not a lot of people know this about me but before I got married I was single for a long time.
It wasn’t the fact that I was scarred by a past relationship or anything like that either.
It’s the fact that I was still searching around for what I wanted.
I am not afraid to admit that I gave women mixed signals as a result of this.
In fact, I even backed out of dates at the last minute because in the back of my mind I would be thinking,
“I don’t know if I really want this girl…”
Any small hesitation like that in my mind pretty much hurt any woman’s chances with me.
Perhaps I should be more specific with what I am talking about here.
Ok, a long time ago there was a girl who had a pretty big crush on me and she wasn’t shy about it either. Pretty much every time I saw her she would hit on me and while I was a little flattered with the attention at first I didn’t really have a “sure” feeling about her. To be honest, I didn’t quite know what I wanted so not many women would have made a huge impression on me.
Anyways, this girl would always be pushing for a date with me.
(She came on a bit strong at times.)
Eventually she was so forceful with trying to get a date that eventually I broke down and agreed to go on one with her.
Here’s the interesting part though, as I said above I wasn’t 100% sure about what I wanted so this created a lot of doubts and fears in me that I would be wasting my time on a date with her so at the last minute I would back out of the date and say that there was some other important event I would have to attend (usually I would make it up.)
In other words, I gave her a mixed signal.
Because I didn’t know what I wanted.
Reason 3 = He Wants To Keep You As A Friend
When you dated your ex boyfriend you gave him certain benefits.
- Physical Benefits- Touch, hugs, kisses, sex
- Emotional Benefits- Someone to talk to, emotional support
Obviously now that the two of you are broken up he is no longer going to receive those benefits from you. However, that doesn’t mean that he is going to stop trying to obtain them from you. In this section I would like to specifically focus on the “emotional benefits” and I will leave the “physical benefits” for the next section.
I almost look at being there emotionally for your partner like the safety nets you see at the circus with the flying trapeze.
You’ve seen the flying trapeze before, right?
If not, it goes a little something like this,
Now, can you imagine doing this without a safety harness or net and you were in front of a crowd where one mistake could end your life?
The same principle applies to some ex boyfriends after a breakup.
They look at the emotional support that you gave them during the relationship as a safety net and they can’t stand to live without it.
They feel vulnerable and scared.
So, what do they do?
They try to get their safety net back (your emotional support.)
This is where mixed signals come into play because you interpret them trying to get their safety net back as them trying to get you back.
Of course, some ex boyfriend want a lot more than your emotional support back…
Reason 4 = He Is Trying To Sleep With You
Lets do another fun little role play situation.
Your ex boyfriend breaks up with you and at first he feels confident with his decision.
However, as time slowly ticks away something interesting begins to happen to him. He begins to remember all the good times you had together.
The times you held hands…
Your first kiss…
The first time you made love…
It is at this point that he begins to focus in on the sex part more and more.
(He is a man after all and all men have needs.)
He is enthralled with the memory of your touch.
How you feel…
How you fit…
Pretty soon you have invaded his thoughts and he thinks to himself,
“I have to have her again.”
Now, perhaps I should add a bit of back story here.
The two of you had a lot of problems with finances and you fought constantly over them. In fact, the last fight you had over finances was so bad that it actually resulted in your breakup.
While he still wants you physically he also hasn’t forgotten that fight. In fact, that fight hurt him so much it is his prime reasoning for not getting back together with you 100% in a committed relationship.
So, what does he do?
He decides to see if he can get you in bed without getting into a committed relationship with you.
The mixed signal comes in when you interpret him trying to get you in bed as him trying to commit to you again.
After all, sex is a lot more meaningful to women than it is to men.
Why do I say that?
Because a woman always risks getting pregnant when she has sex with a man. So, for her to give her body and soul over completely to a man is a lot more meaningful than for a man to give his body and soul over to a woman (though that is meaningful too.)
PART 3 – What Your Ex Boyfriends Mixed Signals Mean And The Mini Solutions To Them (A) & (B)
You will notice that in this section I combined two parts (A) & (B.)
Now, if you are confused as to what this means don’t fret. It simply means that what I am going to be doing in this section is listing the most common mixed signals you can potentially receive from an ex boyfriend and then I will give an in-depth description as to what it going on in your exes head when he gives you the mixed signal.
Of course, most people would stop there but not me. Nope, after I give you the in depth description of the mixed signal I am also going to give you a mini solution as to how you can overcome the mixed signal.
Why am I doing this?
Because you need to know how to approach a situation where you get a mixed signal. Too many women freak out and run around like a chicken with it’s head cut off when they feel the brunt of a MS (mixed signal.)
I don’t want that to be you.
I want you to be prepared.
Lets get started.
Mixed Signal #1 – He Breaks Up With You (Says He Loves You Post Breakup)
I can’t tell you how many times women come to me saying something like this,
“Chris, my ex and I just broke up a few weeks ago and he recently just got back in touch with me and told me that he loves me. Of course, it’s been another two weeks and he hasn’t even responded to any text message or phone call since… What is going on?”
In my opinion what really matters here is when he says he loves you.
What do I mean by that?
Lets take two situations.
Situation 1- Your ex boyfriend says he loves you 1 week after the breakup.
Situation 2- Your ex boyfriend says he loves you 6 weeks after the breakup.
When you look at these two situations which one do you think is more powerful?
Situation 2 is.
Because if your ex boyfriend says he loves you right after the breakup he is still highly emotional and the feelings of an emotional person can be a little bit inconsistent.
He can hate you one moment and love you the next.
While he may mean it I would still take everything he says immediately after the breakup with a grain of salt.
Of course, when you look at the other situation, situation 2, the chances are a little bit higher that he means what he says.
6 weeks have passed after the breakup.
That is roughly a month and a half.
It is more likely that emotionally he is in a calmer and more logical state. Thus, there are more meaning behind his words.
A lot of women freak out when they get this mixed signal but I have found that in most cases the “I love you” from their ex came 1-2 weeks after the breakup. So, lets just operate under this assumption when we look at the “mini solution” for this mixed signal.
The Mini Solution
The first thing I think you should do is determine when the “I love you” was said.
This way you can get a gauge on how much your ex boyfriend really means it.
Remember the rule,
“The farther away the “I love you” is from the breakup the better.”
Of course, above I said that we were going to operate in a worst case scenario situation where the “I love you” came 1 to 2 weeks after the breakup. Well, in this case it is more likely that your ex boyfriend is shotgunning his wild feelings all over the place and it just so happens “I love you” is one of those feelings.
You know what I have always found interesting about the phrase, “I love you?”
It’s the fact that any time anyone says it they are expecting an answer back.
“I love you too.”
So, your ex boyfriend saying “I love you” is almost a way of seeking affection/admiration from you.
He is expecting the normal,
“I love you too” response.
Well, I don’t want you to say it back.
Instead, I want you to say something like,
Why should you say this?
Remember, men always want what they can’t have.
If your ex boyfriend tells you that he loves you and you don’t say it back it will raise your value in his mind. Yes, he may be hurt at first that you don’t say it back but in my opinion it is a better option than saying it back.
Think about what will happen if you say it back.
He will probably be happy for a split second and you will have verified to him that he can still get you whenever he wants.
He isn’t going to chase after something he already has.
(P.S. This even works if he says something like, “I miss you” too.)
Mixed Signal #2 – He Tells You That The Two Of You May Get Back Together Down The Road (Never Comes Close To A Reunion)
This is a common “go to” for ex boyfriends.
Before the breakup is final they like to throw in a simple phrase that most women hold on to for dear life,
“We will probably get back together down the road.”
Of course, when push comes to shove and you are down the road the two of you aren’t even close to getting back together.
This results in a very big mixed signal since you were under the impression that the two of you would get back together.
But what is really going on here?
What does your ex boyfriend really mean when he says,
“We can get back together later.”
Well, the first thing I want to explore is whether or not your ex boyfriend actually means it or not.
While I don’t want to give you a false hope to hold onto I will admit that there are men that really do mean it when they say that they want to get back together later.
How did I arrive at this conclusion.
Through a good friend of mine.
We actually went out for a beer (a few years ago) and he told me something really interesting.
“Chris, I love my girlfriend to death but I am thinking of breaking up with her so I can play the field a bit… She is definitely the one I want to marry but before I marry her I want to get the “single life” out of my system.”
Here is the thing, he was 100% serious. I looked in his eyes and I knew it.
He would have broken up with her and gotten right back with her.
Funny thing is she broke up with him later that year.
The relationship gods are funny like that.
Anyways, generally speaking when a man tells you something like “we will get back together later” he usually doesn’t mean it. Now, that doesn’t mean you can’t get him back you just have to get a little creative.
The Mini Solution
Lets just assume that your ex boyfriend has told you that he will get back together with you down the road.
What is he doing here?
Well, he is stringing you along.
He wants to keep you as a friend (perhaps with benefits down the road?)
All in all I think it’s clear where he is putting you, the friend zone.
So, what is the best way to get out of the friend zone?
You reverse friend zone him.
I actually talked about this recently with EBR 012.
Reverse friend zoning is the art of putting your ex boyfriend in the friend zone instead of you. I like to tell women that an effective way to do this is to treat their exes just like they would with a gay best guy friend.
A woman with a gay guy friend treats that guy friend a certain way.
She will call him up and ask him for favors,
“Hey Gary, I need your help moving into my new apartment.”
She will tell him about the men she might date,
“Gary, you will never believe it. I just met the most incredible guy.”
You need to treat your ex boyfriend this exact way.
Let him experience the friend zone for himself.
Mixed Signal #3 – He Talks About Getting Engaged, Having Kids And Having A Happy Life (And Then Breaks Up With You)
“Chris, I don’t know what to do… He just broke up with me and I don’t understand. He told me that he was so in love with me. We talked about getting married. We even picked out our kids names. How can he just end things? We seemed so great a week ago.”
This was an email I received today from a woman desperately trying to win her ex back (I paraphrased it a bit.)
This mixed signal is unfortunately a pretty common occurrence in the dating world. Your ex boyfriend, who you love more than anything has just painted a picture of pure romantic bliss for you and you had no choice but to believe him.
Of course, when it really came down to crunch time he is nowhere to be found.
So, what happened here?
Did the idea of a life long commitment scare him?
Possibly, but I think there is a deeper explanation.
Lets look at the facts.
What we know so far if we operate under the assumption that your ex boyfriend has given you this mixed signal is that he has told you,
A. He says loves you
B. He says wants to marry you
C. He says wants to father your children
When most women hear these three things from a man that they are in love with they experience very strong emotions that tie them closer to their man.
When women are emotionally tied to a man life is pleasant for that man.
- That man will get more sex.
- That man will feel more admired.
- That man will feel more loved.
All in all, life is pretty good.
Most men understand this so they will say (A), (B) and (C) to achieve more sex, more admiration and more love from their woman.
Do they mean it deep down?
Maybe a part of them does.
However, for the most part they are doing it to gain “point’s” with you.
So, when a breakup does occur and a woman is confused as to what the heck happened to her life plans with their partner this is usually what is going on.
The Mini Solution
Take everything with a grain of salt.
Do you remember my graph above about words and actions?
(How if the words and actions agree there is not a mixed signal and if the words and actions do not agree there is not a mixed signal?)
Well, I want to apply the same type of logic here.
If your boyfriend is promising you a marriage, kids and a white picket fence then you have my permission to get excited over it because the thought itself is very nice.
However, that’s all it is, a thought.
“I want to marry you…”
“I want kids with you…”
“I want a life with you…”
They are just words.
Your boyfriend hasn’t actually gotten down on one knee and proposed to you.
He hasn’t actually given you kids yet.
He hasn’t actually built a life with you yet.
Until those things actually happen you need to take his words with a grain of salt.
Words mean nothing after all, only actions do.
Mixed Signal #4 – Your Ex Boyfriend Acts Like He Wants To Hang Out With You (But When It Comes Down To It He Never Does)
I have a lot of experience with this in my life because I have come up with a lot of pretty lame excuses for standing girls up at the last minute.
(I am bad, I know.)
How this mixed signal works with your ex boyfriend is pretty simple.
After the breakup you and your ex boyfriend seem to be making some positive progress towards a reconnection. The two of you are back on speaking terms and have even started flirting a little bit. Of course, he doesn’t seem to be getting the hints that you are dropping that you want him to ask you on a date. So, instead of waiting around you decide to go on the offensive and actually ask him out.
Notice how Kakistos (I will give a free ebook to the first person who explains this reference in the comments ) was very receptive to the cup of coffee.
Of course, when Tuesday does finally come around Kakistos sends you this text,
Now, in the world we live in everyone has a busy schedule so you decide to forgive Kakistos and decide to ask him out again on Friday.
Again he acts super interested and excited and again he stands you up.
This happens three more times and you start to wonder if he is doing this on purpose.
Well, that’s what I am here to help you discover.
My Experience With Standing Dates Up
Lets use me as the benchmark for the average man or in this case your ex boyfriend.
I mentioned above that I have come up with a lot of lame excuses over the years for standing dates up.
(Not proud of it to be honest.)
Well, right now I don’t want to focus on the excuses I want to focus on why I came up with the excuses.
Personally, it was never the fact that I didn’t like the girl.
Every girl I have ever gone on a date with I have always thought in my head,
“I have the potential to like this girl”
However, what would make me use excuses on them was the fact that I would always think to myself,
“I am not sure I have the potential to fall in love with this girl.”
If I wasn’t 100% sure that could happen then I didn’t really want to go through with a date.
You are probably wondering why I would even agree to a date in the first place if I thought I couldn’t fall in love with the girl, huh?
Well, a lot of times I wouldn’t reach this conclusion until right before the date when I had gotten to know the person a little bit better.
So, what I think may be happening with your ex boyfriend if you get this mixed signal from him is that he is having doubts on if he could “re-fall” in love with you again.
Is “re-fall” in love even a word?
Anyways, he may be concerned that the two of you tried it once before, failed, and he doesn’t want history to repeat itself again.
The Mini Solution
Overcoming this mixed signal is a function of overcoming his doubts.
Look, right now it’s clear that he is having doubts that the two of you can fall for each other again.
However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t sway him.
Of course, you can’t just approach him one day and say,
“Kakistos, if we get back together it will be different.”
Men will find this approach too aggressive and instead of bringing him closer you will push him farther away.
Instead, I would say that your best approach to overcoming his doubts is to use his emotions against him.
You want to knew what drew me to my wife?
It was the fact that when I would daydream about her and I together it consumed me. That’s all I would think about for most days. Heck, it’s all I think about still. I mean, I am supposed to be writing a post about ex boyfriends and here I am going on and on about her again.
(Sorry for that… I just love her way too much.)
If you can get your ex boyfriend to daydream about you that way then he will say yes to meeting you in the parking lot of McDonalds for heavens sake.
How do you achieve this “daydream affect?”
If you become his UG (ungettable girl) getting a date with him should be the least of your worries!
Anyways, that’s going to do it for me.
Can you think of any other mixed signals I missed?
If you can please comment and I would be happy to dissect them for you there.