Relationships

How to Tell if a Guy Is Confused About His Feelings for You

Explore ways on how to tell if a guy is still confused about his feelings for you, according to therapists and relationship experts.

Here are their insights:

Julia McCurley

Julia McCurley

Professional Matchmaker| Relationship Coach | CEO, Something More

When a guy who was once very attentive and affectionate suddenly backs off and creates distance between the two of you, it is only natural to wonder why. You’re not a mind-reader, but you’re also not blind.

Taking note of someone’s actions and words tells us everything we need to know about their interest.

If you’re worried that he is losing interest or is confused about his feelings for you – whether he’s your boyfriend, husband, partner, or maybe you guys only recently started dating – there are certain indicators that you can look out for.

Some of these signs might appear obvious, but many very intelligent people miss them.

If you’re ready to create a long-term relationship or find yourself stuck in one that’s not progressing the way you want it to, these warning signs can help you make a better prediction about your future with the other person and hopefully save you a ton of valuable time in the process.

Here are nine warning signs to look out for:

He will have sex with you but won’t hold your hand

If a guy wants you to be his girlfriend he won’t mind public displays of affection. He wants the world to know that you are his. For a guy, sex doesn’t mean commitment.

Stop sleeping with him If you notice that he treats you differently before sex than he does afterward. How he handles not getting what he wants will reveal his true intentions.

He doesn’t take you on real dates

A sign of a man being confused about his feelings for you is that he’s happy to hang out with you at your place and won’t take you out in public.. So, if you’re always chilling at home and you’ve never headed out together, it’s a concern.

He has a wandering eye

A man who is into you never checks out other women when you are out together as a couple. If we’re obviously looking around at other women, we’re looking to upgrade. Get out while you can!

He doesn’t talk about the future with you

When you are in a relationship, you plan your future together so that you can be with each other. If his future plans don’t include you, then it’s a warning sign he is not thinking about you seriously.

He never does anything nice for you

If you’ve known each other for more than three months, and he’s never gone out of his way for you, it should make you wonder what his intentions are. When you are in a committed relationship, actively trying to please your partner is a given.

A man who likes you is a man who makes an effort for you.

You’re in a situationship

You’ve gone out for more than several dates and he still hasn’t said anything about making your relationship official or being exclusive. Is he hemming and hawing about actually calling you his girlfriend?

Are you still engaged after three years? Has he been avoiding the topic of meeting his parents? If so, he might be mulling over whether or not he really wants to be with you.

Communication frequency fluctuates often

You guys used to text, call often and he wanted to always see you. But lately, there’s been a sudden slowdown in the communication between you.

Maybe there’s even been a couple of times when he said he’d call you the next day but then failed to do so. Maybe there’s even been times when he doesn’t reach out at all for days, and then suddenly wants to meet up.

If he’s avoiding calls and responding vaguely via texts, that’s an even bigger flag that something is up.

He acts ambivalent

Your partner does something that bothers you and you point it out to him. You have a conversation about why you don’t like it and what should happen instead.

Your partner responds, “OK, I promise I’ll fix it” or “I promise I’ll try harder.” Then the same problem resurfaces two weeks later. The same conversation is had once more, and one month later, there it is again.

If you can’t work through disagreements or discuss your relationship openly, it’s a sign he’s not ready for commitment. If all you get from him are vague or ambiguous answers, you have your answer.

His way or the highway

If the guy you’re dating isn’t really interested in you, he’ll make it clear by only making plans with you when it’s convenient for him.

He wants to have you around to text and chat to when he’s bored or lonely but then he wants his single man lifestyle if he wants, like spend Saturday nights drinking with his buddies, and not have to worry about things like commitment.

Don’t freak out

All the tears in the world and begging and pleading will not make him commit to you. The last thing he wants when he is already confused about the two of you is to have to calm you down!

When a man feels pressure to be in a relationship, he will always rebel against that pressure and fight for his freedom.

Don’t threaten him

By giving him ultimatums like saying you will break up with him if he doesn’t commit as manipulative You can’t control how he thinks, feels, or what he decides. What you can do is be patient, and present. Because if he is saying that he’s confused, the next step will be “I need space away from you.” And the next step is disappearing completely.

Don’t take it personally

Sadly, most women see his lack of commitment as a reflection of them, they make it their problem. They think if only they did more for him, if only they were prettier, if only they could help him learn to trust again, if only they were a little more of this and a little less of that… everything would be different. It wouldn’t.

Here is what to do when your partner is giving you mixed messages:

Talk to him about how you’re feeling.

Be open and honest about what you’re looking for and give him the opportunity to do the same. If your intentions don’t align, it might be best to reevaluate what the relationship means to you. If his erratic behavior continues, it may be time to walk away.

You deserve someone who wants to be with you, not someone who punishes you for his indecision.

Keep yourself busy

While he’s trying to figure out his feelings for you, make sure to keep yourself busy and pay attention to your needs. Focus on your friends, family, self-improvement, career, and hobbies. Take up new activities whenever you can regardless of him.

Don’t forget about self-care. Stop hoping he will change and simply work on improving yourself for you and no one else.

Have a clear boundary

The bottom line is you eventually need to figure out if he wants to move forward with you. There comes a time when enough is enough, and it’s better to know the truth sooner than later where the heart is concerned.

Most importantly: be radically honest with yourself, don’t make up excuses to justify behaviors you don’t agree with.

So whether he’s hiding his feelings or simply not interested, a man who’s causing any confusion and making you wonder whether or not he likes you might not be worth your time. After all, a man who’s truly worth your time will put as much effort in with you as you do with him, clearly showing you his level of interest.

If he is having second thoughts concerning his feelings and the relationship in general, his attachment to you probably keeps him from making a decision. He may fear the possibility of regretting his choices, and not being able to get you back later on.

In conclusion, you should never be with a guy who has to think about whether or not he wants to be with you—he should automatically know that he does.

And if you’re meant to be and if he’s the right one for you, he will come to his senses and he will get rid of all the confusion that’s preventing him from taking things to another level!

Letting go of a confused man within the first few months of dating is much easier than being left by a confused man after a few years of dating.

Amber Artis

Amber Artis photo

Relationship Expert & Luxury Matchmaker | CEO, Select Date Society

He will avoid any conversation that involves “where do you see things going with us?”

A man may desire to spend time with you but avoid having conversations about subjects like commitment and your relationship’s status if he is still confused about what he wants.

He will avoid any conversation that involves “where do you see things going with us?”

He is afraid to let his guard down and be vulnerable with you

Men often fear being vulnerable, especially if they are still unsure about what they’re feeling and what they desire. He will be afraid to let his guard down and be vulnerable with you until he is certain about his feelings for you.

He won’t make future plans

You may talk about plans to travel a few months down the road, but he won’t commit to plans more than a week or two in the future. If he has a hard time seeing a future with you, it’s because he’s still trying to figure out if the two of you are the right fit for each other.

He hasn’t introduced you to his friends or family

If the two of you have been spending time together, but he hasn’t introduced you to anyone important in his life, he’s still unsure about his feelings for you.

When a guy likes a girl, he will introduce her to his friends to get their opinion and see if she fits in.

He’s hot then he’s cold

One day he seems to be head over heels for you, and the next day he blows you off. His actions are inconsistent. You are left confused because he is still confused about what he wants.

He has not committed to exploring an exclusive relationship with you

He is still dating other people, and he hasn’t committed to exploring an exclusive relationship with you. He may have strong feelings for you, but he’s still seeing what else is out there as a way of confirming that you’re the right one.

He tells you that he is still confused

He may be the type who is very direct and honest. He tells you that he is confused about what he’s feeling for you and needs time to sort it all out.

It’s a beautiful thing when men have self-awareness and are willing to communicate their uncertainty!

Not all relationships start out with absolute certainty from both parties. In fact, many relationships start out with one partner having doubts and being uncertain about their feelings, and then it blossoms into a wonderful, long-term relationship.

If you think that your guy is confused about his feelings for you, give him the time and space to figure things out.

The worst thing you can do is put pressure on him or give him an ultimatum to force him to commit. If you feel like he’s “the one,” but he is still confused, that’s ok. Keep enjoying your time together, and let him figure out what he’s feeling in his own time.

Susan Trombetti

Susan Trombetti

Matchmaker and CEO, Exclusive Matchmaking

If a guy is confused about his feelings for you, while it may feel awful, there isn’t really much you can do about it to convince him. Proceeding to talk him through it isn’t the type of thing that works and can backfire.

It’s more your actions that will or won’t convince him of his feelings, and remaining calm isn’t easy depending on how long you both are together and why he is confused.

His texts can be sporadic

You have to face the facts. His feelings are ambivalent about you, so he just isn’t going to have normal contact and conversation with you.

Your time together is more about when he needs to see you and not when you need him

It’s hard to go with the program in this situation because you have to keep investing in the relationship you think to convince him, but I wouldn’t. Don’t get upset. Just calmly state this isn’t for you.

He wants to talk when he is back on

When his feelings swing back to, he wants you; all seems fine. This seems normal until his next moment of confusion. It’s a vicious cycle.

When someone is bad-mouthing you in the background he can have confusion about you

When a friend or his Mom is in his ear trash-talking you constantly, he can have confusion about you. We have all seen the Mom that no one can please, so you know that drill. Maybe the friend is just jealous, too.

Either way, you know when someone is bad-mouthing you in the background, and you don’t want to constantly compete with that when someone is stirring the pot.

He is a wishy-washy person to begin with

Not much you can do here because your guy is who he is for now, and depending on his age, he might move past this or not, but you can’t wait. You need someone that knows what they want.

He tells you he wants to see other people

Maybe he tells you he is actually confused and says he wants to see other people. It’s best to know now. You should find someone who is sure and walk away.

He doesn’t spend his holidays with you

He should be trying to bring you into the family fold and special occasions, and if he isn’t, you know. Maybe he even talks about when you will do these fun family things but then just appears to blow it off.

Nancy Kalina Gomez Edelstein

Clinical Psychologist, CouchIssues

Look at your feelings

Are you going back and forth about how you feel? While this is perfectly normal at the beginning or during a relationship, it’s important to recognize how you feel about the guy.

You could be projecting (thinking or accusing someone else about feelings that you have) your confusion onto him. Solution? Make a list.

On one side, list what you like about him, and on the other side, list what you don’t like. Are any of these deal breakers? Are you not “feeling it”? Take action accordingly.

Ask and communicate

Ask. Don’t accuse him as if he owes you. He doesn’t. Nor do you owe him for that matter. Whatever your expectations are for him, drop them. A relationship is something that you build together.

You could say, “Jeff, you know, it feels like sometimes you’re into this with us and sometimes you’re not. Does this make sense?”

Look at his actions

Guys communicate through actions. Usually, it’s what you see is what you get. If a guy is interested, you will have NO reason to question his call frequency, his wanting to see you.

Nothing will get in the way of him calling or wanting to see you. He will show you, and you will feel paid attention to, liked/really liked, and you won’t have to do anything.

There aren’t any techniques or secrets. Men are built for logical, concrete thinking. If he is inconsistent with his actions, go about your business and continue to date around. I know you like him and think he might be the one, but it takes two to tango.

He is inconsistent

He either does not share the level of feelings that you have and continues to date others as a result, or he is confused about his feelings and is dating others as a result.

Do you need to ask yourself why you feel the need to “figure out” his feelings? That’s not your job. Your job is to continue going to work, seeing friends, continuing with your interests, and participating in “get to know you” type dating.

The idea is that you are holding auditions. See how each candidate gets along with you. How does he make you feel about you? How does he play the role of a guy interested?

YOU are the focus of you, not him.

If he does a good job of taking your attention away from your life by contributing to it, making you better, supporting your growth and development, then he gets a callback.

Tell him how you feel about him and then ask how he feels about you

If you want to know how he feels about you, the solution is not to use tricks or mind games, or secret phrases in order to flesh out what’s in his head. The solution is to be honest.

Tell him how you feel about him, and then ask how he feels about you. It’s really that simple.

He’s probably just as confused about how you feel about him as you are about how he feels about you. So if you don’t know what he’s thinking, it may be because he’s playing it cool with you the same way you are with him.

The solution is not to keep playing it cool yourself. The solution is to embrace vulnerability, to embrace the awkwardness. Tell him exactly how you feel about him and then wait for a reply.

You’ll get a more authentic response when you put it all out there and tell him something along the lines of: “I’ve been looking for a long time for the right person, and I love the way I feel when I’m with you.”

Men like women who like them. If he’s truly the one, he’ll respond exactly the way you want him to.

If not? The good news is you’ve figured out early that he wasn’t the right guy for you — and you won’t waste another year on the wrong guy.

Katie Ziskind

Katie Ziskind

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Wisdom Within Counseling

He is inconsistent and unreliable

If a guy is confused about his feelings for you, he will be inconsistent and not as reliable as someone who is into you fully. Any inconsistencies in texting are a sign he is confused and may not be ready for commitment.

One day, he texts you all day, and the next day, he is leaving you unread.

This is a sign he is not yet sure he wants to date you or move forward in a serious, committed relationship. Someone who is sure they want to date you will consistently text and call you.

He is forgetful and not committed

If a guy is confused about his feelings for you, he may forget your name, ask you to do something reckless or illegal, miss prior scheduled plans you have made together, act really different than the person you thought you were dating, and maybe even date around.

If he is hanging out with other people on social media, posting sexy photos, or going clubbing, he is confused. It might be best to wait it out for someone who is more respectful, committed, and connected to your needs.

He is not willing to talk

As well, if you want to talk or have a conversation about this, someone who is confused will avoid the conversation at all costs. On the other hand, someone who is not confused will be prompt, focused on you, and will to hear your feelings, even if it is hard.

Talking is what allows for growth in romantic relationships, so if someone you have feelings for is ignoring you, take back your personal power, and find someone else who is more of a good friend.

Treva Brandon Scharf

Treva Brandon Scharf

Life Coach | Dating Expert | Fitness Pro

I dated too many guys who were confused about their feelings, so I know first-hand what to look out for.

Here are ways to tell if a guy is confused about their feelings:

  • They don’t take the initiative. They can’t make plans, offer ideas for dates, or take the lead in the relationship. More often than not, a guy who is confused about his feelings makes you take the lead, which at first may be flattering, but don’t kid yourself. It’s not because he’s making you a priority. It’s because he knows full well he doesn’t want to lead you on.
  • They give you their full attention in the bedroom but lack drive everywhere else, especially when it comes to incorporating you into their life.
  • They don’t do the little romantic things—sending cards, texts, flowers, gifts, etc., but they will feed you and f**ck you (sorry for the language!). If it pleases/benefits them, they do it; if it requires too much work, forget it. They throw just enough bait in the water to keep you swimming.
  • They’re reluctant to introduce you to their kids and are hesitant to meet your friends/family or introduce you to theirs.
  • They drag their feet in regards to expressing their love, moving in together, or discussing a plan for the future.
  • They talk way too much about their ex.
  • They don’t make you a priority!

Natalie Maximets

Natalie Maximets

Certified Life Transformation Coach, OnlineDivorce

They’re caring when you’re together yet they tend to be cold when in public

All people are different, so everyone has an individual reaction to their emotions. When the feeling is just beginning, some people find it difficult to understand; they may even behave strangely.

While others know that they have developed feelings, they are trying to hide them because they do not fully understand what is happening to them; they can behave in a dual way. For example, they’re caring when you’re together, yet they tend to be cold when in public.

Here are a few more factors by which we can say that he is confused about his feelings:

  • He tries to help you anytime, anywhere. This is because of male instincts. He wants you to see that he is stronger than other men.
  • He texts you too much and suddenly disappears. This is because he has a struggle inside him, and he does not know what to do next.
  • He likes to look at you, to make compliments. But if there is someone else with you, he behaves like a friend. This suggests that he is afraid that an outsider will find out about his feelings.
  • He is jealous; he does not like that you communicate with other guys, although he tries to mask these feelings.
  • Sometimes he may be angry or annoyed with you. Again, this is because of an internal misunderstanding of what is happening to him.
  • He will hint that he is not dating anyone.
  • He likes all the posts on your social networks.
  • He prefers to spend more time with you privately than in public. Although sometimes he can hide from you.
  • He makes pleasant surprises for you while pretending that nothing special happened.
  • He is always glad for your call or meeting.
  • Sometimes he does unthinkable things to impress you.

There can be much more signs that he likes you, just as much depends on the person’s character and behavior. If from the entire list you have matched only one factor, it most likely means nothing.

But if you have three or more, then this may be a sign that he is afraid to confess his feelings.

Stephania Cruz

Stephania Cruz

Relationship Expert and Author, Datingpilot.com

He is not taking the relationship to the next level

Guys who have confusing feelings for someone will differ in their reasons, as they are not all the same. Some of the reasons for feeling conflicted could be due to:

  • Fear of commitment
  • Not ready for a serious relationship
  • Still trying to get over their ex
  • Doesn’t feel truly compatible, etc.

Whatever the reason, they all still tend to share similar signs that they are conflicted with their feelings.

A major sign of this conflict is inconsistency.

Their inconsistency will show in different areas. For example, some days, they will show great interest by calling, messaging, and spending time with you, while other days may feel like they have disappeared or have no interest in you at all.

You might also notice the affection and attention they give you is inconsistent as well.

The attention may be more flirtatious and even affectionate some days, while other days they may greet you from afar and do not really care to have a conversation with you.

Not taking the relationship to the next level can also be another sign of confused feelings.

The relationship has stayed where it is for a while now. The inconsistency of showing interest and not showing interest has gone on for some time, and the relationship is at a halt, with things not going forward and at times going backward.

The mentioning of the relationship going to the next level is not something they bring up and may try to avoid. These are some of the signs that guys who are conflicted may demonstrate.

Dr. Lurve

Dr Lurve

International Love & Relationship Expert | The Man Magnet Course

He is not taking time to appreciate what you bring to the relationship

Not feeling appreciated in your relationship— It may be that your partner is losing interest.

Do you constantly feel like you’re not doing enough or doing something well enough with your partner? It could be because your partner isn’t taking time to appreciate what you bring to the relationship, which could mean he is confused about the relationship.

If you drop everything for them without question, but when you need something in return, you feel like a burden, it’s time to find someone who will see your efforts.

While they might be a great person and would never harm you, you’ll constantly feel like you’re not living up to their unachievable expectations. Small gestures like a simple “thank you” or “I appreciate you” can go a long way, but not feeling appreciated is a slippery slope to the end of a relationship.

Sometimes when we take off the rose-colored glasses, things aren’t at all what they seem.

It’s normal to expect there will be times in a relationship when each person has more to give than the other. But if you constantly find yourself in the role of “giver,” things may have tipped, and in an unfavorable direction.

Greg Flemming

Founder and Author, MintDate

His behavior towards you is inconsistent

I think there are a lot of signs that could indicate that a guy is confused about their feelings for you. It could be a sense of protectiveness towards your jealousy and passive-aggressiveness towards your other male friends.

However, one thing that always stands out is inconsistency in their actions towards you.

A guy who is confused about his feelings for you will blow hot and cold. On some days he will be extremely friendly, on some days make you feel like you are the most important thing in the world. On some days, he will be aloof and distant.

This could be because he is still not processed or made sense of his feelings for you and is scared of leading you on. Until he can make sense of his feelings for you, he’ll want to keep his distance from you.

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