Dating Magazine

Demystifying Your Ex’s Mixed Signals And How To Handle It

By Louise Hadley
Demystifying Your Ex’s Mixed Signals And How To Handle It

One moment your ex is hot and the next moment your ex is cold. One moment they are showing interest in you, and the next moment they act like a total stranger to you.

I've had many comments from my readers recently about such mixed signals given off by your ex.

Your ex suddenly contacts you and asks you how you are, but when you reply out of pure politeness (thinking that your ex might want to get back together), then your ex suddenly "disappears and never replies back.

Have you ever experienced this before? If you have, don't worry because you're not alone.

So, what is exactly on your ex's mind? Why are they suddenly interested in you one moment and totally shut off the next?

Are they interested in you or are they just trying to play mind games? You get very fed up and you get confused with all these mixed signals that your ex is giving out. So, why are they doing all these?

Let's uncover them here and let's go deep into the mind of your ex to find out what these mixed signals mean and how you can deal with it.

But before we dive into what these mixed signals mean, let's first analyze what exactly is a mixed signal.

What Is A Mixed Signal?

A mixed signal is basically any communication and/or action that contradicts or is not congruent with a former behavior. Some are harmful and some are harmless. The key is to identifying which is harmful and which is harmless.

Here are some mixed signals that are not related to relationships:

  1. Someone declares that he hates to eat peanuts, but immediately goes to the store, grab a packet of peanuts and eat it.
  2. When driving a car, you say that you want to turn left when you mean to turn right.
  3. When approached by a sales person, instead of rejecting him saying you are not interested, you tell him that you will come back later to find him but you don't.
  4. You say you will join a fitness program next week, but when next week comes, you don't.
  5. You make a new year's resolution that you will do certain things and accomplish it by the end of the year. But by the end of the year, you are no different from where you started.

Does any of these resonate with you? I'm sure it does because without realizing it, you too give some mixed signals.

So, why do people (including yourself) give off mixed signals every day?

Mixed signals happen for several reasons:

  1. It is meant to confuse someone
  2. It is meant to get a deliberate outcome out of someone
  3. It is unintentional and/or the former action was forgotten
  4. The consequence of the former action was realized and regretted

So let's go into each one of them in detail.

To Confuse Someone

This is often used by magicians, tricksters, con-artists and pick-up artists. The whole idea is for the person who use these mixed signals to confuse and manipulate another person's mind.

Magicians like to call this "misdirection". This is where you intentionally let your subject focus on certain areas so you can do something else in another area without your subject realizing it.

For example, magicians like to turn his head towards his right hand and start talking about his right hand and moving it, while discreetly hiding or bringing an object out using his left hand.

This way all your attention will be directed towards his right hand. Why? Because he is looking at his right hand, that's where you naturally focus your attention to as well.

And the moment you look at his right hand, the "trick" is done with his left hand. And when he re-emerges with his left hand with some other object, you become amazed because it seems like "magic" to you.

But had you focused on his left hand from the start, you would notice that he had quickly moved his hand to grab an object for the trick.

Tricksters and Con-artists also give mixed signals to confuse their subjects.

For example, they will come across as very sincere and honest to you. Everything they say will make you think that they are really looking out for your best interest. But once you give them the money, you never hear from them again.

Pick-up artists are also experts at this. They use mixed signals all the time to confuse women and easily get them to fall in love with them.

Basically what pick-up artists do is appeal to women's interest and consistently shower them with affection and attention. At this point, the girl may not necessarily have strong emotions for them as yet, but once the pick-up artist deliberately "pulls" away, the lady is left panicking in many cases and suddenly realizes her strong feelings for the pick-up artist.

This form of "mixed signal" has been used for centuries and is very effective in confusing the girl because she will identify the "pulling" away as an issue of her self-worth. She will suddenly feel that she is "not wanted" and has been "rejected".

At this point, the girl without realizing, has "fallen in love" with the guy but when in actual fact, she was unconsciously just wanting to not be "rejected" or "unwanted". So when the pick-up artist finally appears again, it would be so easy to be with the girl.

If you are able to relate with what I just said, then chances are you had fallen "victim" to such tricks.

To Get A Deliberate Outcome

In the pick-up artist scenario above, you can see that that it was also to get a deliberate outcome out of the girl. The deliberate outcome was probably to sleep with the girl or possibly get into a relationship with her.

In either case, it was meticulously engineered to achieve the desired outcome.

Another group of people that tend to use mixed signals to get deliberate outcome are scientists. They would often design experiments that utilize mixed signals to get their deliberate outcome - which is to learn more about something.

For example, in an experiment to see brain activity, scientists would reward monkeys with blackberry juice whenever they touch the lever upon seeing colored shapes appear on a computer monitor.

As the monkey got used to getting the blackberry juice in upon pulling the lever, it always expected that action of pulling the lever to associate with the reward of blackberry juice.

However, once the monkey got used to getting the blackberry juice, the scientist would then mix up the reward by sometime giving water and other times nothing to drink at all.

By utilizing mixed signals, scientists can learn more about monkey's behavior and the power of habits.

Unintentional And/Or Forgotten Actions

This is when the mixed signals given off was unintentional. A good example is when you tell a salesman that you are interested but you have no time to speak with him now.

So, you tell him that you will come back later once you settle some stuff. However, after settling your stuff or finishing running your errands, you forgot that you had promised the sales person that you would be back.

You have now given him a mixed signal, making him think you are interested and saying that you will get back to him but instead left him waiting and wondering why you said that you would return when you didn't.

Such mixed signals are very common and are purely unintentional.

Consequence Of Former Action Was Realized And Regretted

Often times, we make decisions without actually thinking of the consequences.

For example, you might be on a diet and you declare that you will not eat ice-cream for a year. But one day when you walked past an ice-cream parlor and it was selling a special ice-cream flavor that was only available that day.

Without thinking, you immediately went up to the cashier to order a big cup of ice-cream. However, upon ordering the ice-cream, the sudden realization hit you that you were supposed to be on a diet.

So, you quickly tell the person at the cashier that you would like to cancel the order. When this happens, you have given a mixed signal only because you realize the consequence of your actions.

Demystifying Your Ex's Mixed Signals

Right now, your ex is probably giving you lots of mixed signals and that's why you are reading this article right now.

So, how do you determine what the mixed signals mean?

The key is to put yourself in your ex's mind and use the elimination method with regards to the 4 possible reasons listed above.

Here's an example from one of my client's situation:

My client had broken up with her ex for nearly 6 months. The reason for the break up was because the ex had decided to go back with the ex but they remained good friends despite the breakup.

However, as time went by, he slowly stopped talking to her and the messages became lesser and lesser to the point where she had to initiate contact with the guy.

So, there are times where the ex would get excited over a message of hers but suddenly became distant and cold the next day.

She was so confused as to what he wanted. He then suddenly messaged her out of the blue, asking her to hang out together on the weekend.

So, she went out with him and they had a great time going to the carnival. Things were great and she mentioned that during the meetup, he seemed very interested in her almost as if they two were already back together.

The next day, she thought all was well and messaged him to thank him for the fun night out, but instead of the expected enthusiastic reply, he replied "Okay."

So, she asked him whether everything was okay and he just replied "Not really." After which, she asked if he wanted to talk it out and he just messaged "No".

She messaged him again to ask more about him but he stopped replying since then.

It was as if the earlier meetup never happened. He went from a warm and happy person the night before to a cold and distant one. It was a 180 degree change in attitude.

If it were you, what do you make of such a situation?

So, I told her to use the elimination method on identifying which is the most likely cause of his mixed signals.

Let's look at the 4 options again:

  1. It is meant to confuse someone
  2. It is meant to get a deliberate outcome out of someone
  3. It is unintentional and/or the former action was forgotten
  4. The consequence of the former action was realized and regretted

Did her ex do this to deliberately confuse her? Well, she was definitely confused but it didn't make sense for her ex to confuse her. Why? Because it wouldn't do him any good.

By confusing her,she would only harass him more and I don't think that's what he wanted. So, we can rule this option out.

Did he do this to get a deliberate outcome out of her? Possibly, but what sort of outcome did he want? Was it to get back with her? If it was, then he could have easily have her because he knows that she still has feelings for him.

So, why suddenly become cold and distant? And if the outcome was to get him out of her mind, he shouldn't have asked her out in the first place.

Did he do this unintentionally or was it that the former action was forgotten? Definitely not unless he has Alzheimer's. And having a fun night out like that is simply not going to be forgotten by him for a long time.

After all he was so happy and even acted like they two were back in a relationship together.

So, the only logical explanation left would be that her ex had realized the consequences of his actions and regretted it.

Chances are that he is right now very confused himself. He has a girlfriend currently and yet he went out at night to have a great time with his ex - which is her.

It's possible that the moment he went home, his girlfriend found out and gave him hell for it, which explains the sudden distance and coldness by him.

In his heart, he probably still has feelings for her, but was brought back to reality when his girlfriend confronted him about it. Then his sudden change in attitude would make sense.

Harmful Reason For Mixed Signals - Sex

More often than not, this only happens for girls because men would do anything to satisfy their sexual needs.

Knowing that you are still in love with them, they would feign interest in you or mislead you to get you to sleep with them.

This is the most harmful reason for mixed signals and I strongly caution you to be alert about this.

If your ex suddenly messages you out of the blue to meet up with them at their place, there is a chance that they just want to sleep with you.

One thing to take note is not to mistake wanting sex with you to be the same as wanting you back.

Wanting sex is just to satisfy their sexual urge and has nothing to do with wanting you back and many women fall prey to this.

When you do this, it will only make your ex think that you can be "friends with benefit". If you want your ex back, you cannot give him sex at this point unless he fully commits to you and is back with you in a relationship.

I've had many clients who tell me that their ex had sex with them only to disappear afterwards. So I hope you do not land yourself in the same situation.

How To Handle Mixed Signals

The way to handle mixed signals is to go with the flow. For example, in the situation I described earlier where my client's ex became cold and distant suddenly, I told her to stop messaging him and leave him alone.

When the time is right, he will reach out to her again. And while waiting for him to get back to you, I got her to use a few psychological tactics to get his ex to see what he was missing out on.

Soon after, her ex did contact her after a few weeks and asked her out again. Fast forward to four months after that incident, they are now back together again and their relationship is stronger than ever.

You see, when your ex suddenly withdraws, you have to respect their withdrawal and not hunt them down asking them tons of questions and harassing them. That way, you are only pushing them further away. So, what you should do is be mature with it and let your ex see a different side of you.

People make decisions based on two things:

  1. To move away from pain
  2. To move towards pleasure

Once your ex realizes that you are pleasure, your ex will slowly but surely be attracted to you again.

The only other time where you do not want to go with the flow is when your ex wants sex from you.

For example, if your ex is constantly nudging you to have sex with him when you are at his place, I want you to say this to him:

"I understand how you feel but right now I'm confused. I think it's better we don't sleep with each other until we have decided where we stand. I respect you and I'm sure you respect me too, right?"

After that, you smile and you give him a big hug and then make an excuse to leave.

This will put him in an awkward position and he has to either re-affirm that he wants to be with you or he will start realizing that he has to be with you in order to sleep with you.

By doing this, you will make him desire you more and chase you.

In general, if you are faced with a mixed signal and don't know what to do, the first thing is to identify his intention by using the elimination process I taught you earlier.

Next, once you have identified the most possible reason, go with the flow of what your ex is doing. If your ex is distancing himself/herself, let them do it. And you patiently wait and be supportive of them doing so.

If they suddenly blame you or get mad with you for some reason, resist the urge to argue with them and instead agree with them and apologize. When that happens, your ex's anger suddenly got doused out and they may even say that they themselves are at fault too.

So, what kind of mixed signals have you dealt with? I'd love to hear your experiences. So please do leave a comment below.

And if you'd like to know more advanced psychological tactics and techniques to get your ex one step closer to you, click the picture below......

Demystifying Your Ex’s Mixed Signals And How To Handle It
Demystifying Your Ex’s Mixed Signals And How To Handle It

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