Why Do Women Give Mixed Signals?

We all know a guy who was really into a woman when she suddenly threw him for a loop. He thought everything was perfect until her mixed signals set him back. Today we’re breaking down why women give mixed signals and what you can do about them.

There are tons of different mixed signals a guy might get from a woman. You’ll read all about them below, as well as learn why these signals are given off in the first place. Finally, you’ll learn how to respond to these signals in a way that keeps you smart, stable, and sane.


What Are Mixed Signals?

Mixed signals are a series of inconsistent messages. Their most popular place of residence is within new or forming relationships.

Mixed signals are often seen a few weeks or months into dating someone new, whether you’re dating exclusively or not. These inconsistent messages creep onto the scene and soon take over. The comfort and excitement you felt when you first met the girl are suddenly transformed into anxiety, confusion, and even panic. What happened?

We’ll get into the why soon, but first, let’s break down what kinds of mixed signals are out there.

Hot and Cold

The #1 mixed signal across the board and the world is being hot and cold. One day this girl seems to be totally into you. You’re flirting, she can’t get enough, she’s even calling you out of the blue because she misses you. Then – BAM – radio silence. She’s gone hot and cold.

This mixed signal is cyclical. Her conversation wanes and she barely acknowledges your attempts to rekindle things; maybe she even ignores your texts altogether. Then you happen to see her at a social event or bump into her on the street. She seems overly excited to see you, ecstatic even. BAM – back to hot.

Hot and cold changes include:

  • Texting a ton one day/week to barely the next
  • Flirting and being physical to staying an arm’s length away
  • Making multiple plans with you then suddenly canceling them all

Disappear and Reappear

The initial disappear mixed signal is known as ghosting. Things seem fine, you and this girl are vibing, and you’re talking often. Suddenly she goes MIA. Not light MIA either; she straight-up disappears on you with no word or warning.

You’re a confident guy, and you want to shoot your shot with this girl. So, you try and try until your pride is on the line so you finally give up, telling yourself you aren’t going to reach out anymore. Ironically, lo and behold, your phone dings; speak of the devil. Cue the reappear.

The disappear and reappear mixed signal could go on eternally. Plenty of us have seen it happen for years between two people who continuously hook up just to lose touch and then come back together again weeks or months later.

The only sign of the disappear and reappear is in the name.

Taking Words Back

Another mixed signal is the woman who always goes against her word. One day she tells you she loves you, but the next day she says it was a mistake. Or, contrarily, she’s screaming her head off that you’re the worst, but the next day she makes puppy eyes at you and says she wasn’t serious.

Taking words back is a dangerous game because it leaves your head spinning and doubting everything you’ve heard. If we can’t trust what people say, how are we to trust people? This mixed signal is enough to make anyone’s mind a rollercoaster.

  • Some phrases she may say and take back include:
  • I want something serious, I don’t want to date anyone right now
  • You’re perfect, It’s not you, it’s me
  • I’ve never felt this way before, I’m confused

On-Screen or Off-Screen

Another type of mixed signal, mixed personality we often see is the difference between a woman behind a screen and in person.

This girl takes it a step further by insinuating your wildest dreams from behind her typing fingers only to leave you looking like a fool when you do end up meeting in person. She may suddenly seem shy or maybe not interested at all.

If you do bring up those conversations, she’s likely to act surprised or to tell you that you misinterpreted what she meant. Either way, you’ll end up feeling catfished.

Top on-screen/off-screen actions:

  • Great phone calls to lifeless in-person conversations
  • Emotional messages to a timid in-person presence

Reasons Why Women Give Mixed Signals

As adults, we are responsible for our own actions. Even so, there are tons of factors that steer our decisions, and some are less controllable than others. There are many reasons why a woman may give mixed signals.

Some reasons include:

  • Fear
  • Uncertainty
  • Baggage
  • Attachment style
  • Using it as a way to test your feelings for her
  • Fear

As cliché as it sounds, some people are truly afraid of getting into a serious relationship. Commitment issues are a real thing and many times they come from a person who is insecure about themselves. Women may give mixed signals when they are afraid of being vulnerable, getting hurt, or failing in a relationship.


Another reason women may throw out mixed signals is that they’re uncertain about what they want. Having clear goals and intentions is not always easy. A woman who hasn’t explored all her options may be wary about settling for less than she can get.

Whether she doesn’t value you or simply hasn’t decided if she wants to stop being single, she’s too uncertain to stick to one guy.


Who hasn’t had a crappy relationship in the past? The toxic ones leave lasting effects, and she still may not be over the damage done to her by her past dude. She’ll trust you less than a stranger on the street, and her actions will show it.

Attachment Styles

Believe it or not, you sometimes can scientifically explain mixed signals. Attachment styles are the psychological connections we form with our caretakers from infancy. These affect how we form future relationships and friendships as adults. If she came from a rocky or unpredictable childhood, she is much more likely to throw out mixed signals as a part of her attachment style.

Testing You

Some women try to test out their men before committing. Mixed signals are one way to do so. She could be testing to see how dedicated you are to her. If she suddenly pulls away, she’ll be interested to see whether you care enough to try and get her back or not.

How to Respond to Mixed Signals

She’s given you mixed signals, maybe even all of them. Now what? Your reaction is the key to the story’s ending. There are three steps you should take when a woman gives you mixed signals.

1. Communicate

When all is said and done, you’ll want to be the bigger person in this situation. Responding with more mixed signals or petty actions only makes you look bad. Reach out to the girl and send her a clear and mature message stating how you feel.

You don’t have to get mushy; if you’re into her, tell her you are and ask if she is too. Let her know you don’t have time for games and that you want to be clear from the get-go.

2. Continue

If she responds positively, that’s great! Keep it going and set up some hangouts or date nights. Talk more about your expectations for keeping things clear and what you both want with each other. Whether it’s serious or just a hook-up, make sure both of you are laying it on the table.

3. Cut Off

If her mixed signals continue and you aren’t getting far with her, it’s time to cut the relationship off. Entertaining her is only going to get old and distract you from other women who are dying to get the chance to be with you. Tell her why you’re stepping away and then do so – no looking back. Three billion other fish in the sea await...

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