Anonymous in IL asked: “I like this guy who sends super mixed signals. We were friends and could talk openly, but he was never serious. He says things like ‘That guy probably thinks you’re hot’, and ‘Oh you’re really sweet, you talk so sweetly’, and he touched my cheek while saying bye once. Other times he calls me weird, says he’s scared of me. Recently he’s been avoiding spending time alone, and he refused to come for my birthday dinner saying he had to study. What should I do? Do I confront him or see how things go?”
Liz says: Mixed signals are a sign that someone’s just not that into you. When someone’s really into you, it’s clear, and they don’t risk losing your attention or affection by growing distant or putting you second. It’s understandable why you’re confused by his seemingly flirtatious behavior toward you, but he’s probably aware that you’re into him, and it feeds his ego to feel wanted. Doesn’t it suck that flirtation isn’t always a sign of actual interest? Some people use it to get attention and to feel attractive, and others might flirt to manipulate people, like the guy I knew who bragged that the barista at the cafe he frequented often gave him his shots for free after he winked at her or told her things like she was “too pretty to be single”.
If he was into you, he’d want to make you his girlfriend and he’d want to be with you on your birthday. Why did he say he was “scared” of you? Sometimes when we are attracted to someone and we get vague signs of possible interest, we hear from others, who mean well but are misguided, that our love interest hasn’t made a move because they’re just “intimidated”. Don’t buy this excuse for a second. It hurts too much when our feelings aren’t reciprocated, so it’s human nature to protect our egos by inventing possible excuses for why the relationship hasn’t become a committed, intimate twosome. Its hard to admit to ourselves that our love interest is just not into us for whatever reason, but it has to be done to heal and move on to someone who is worth our time.
If you have some serious questions for him or don’t think you could move on without first confronting him, by all means have a private chat with him. It’s easier to move on when you’re not left wondering ‘What if?’