Mixed messages dating

Hopeful Girl is the singles/dating columnist for Woman Alive magazine.

Receiving mixed signals from men - for it is mostly men who are the culprits, though some women are guilty of it too - is easily one of the most frustrating experiences early on in a relationship when you've just started dating. There are many different reasons a person could start sending mixed signals.

If someone is interested in you and is capable of a healthy relationship, they won’t be sending you mixed messages.

When a budding romance becomes a source of stress instead of joy, I believe it’s time to draw a line under it.

You might want to tell the other person that you care about them but enough is enough – you wish them well but you’re ending contact for your own protection.

Or perhaps make it clear that friendship is now the only option on the table – and mean it.

By all means be patient for a while, if they’re honestly trying to work out their feelings.

And if you’re the person who blows hot and cold, never sure of what you want and sabotaging your own happiness… But I would suggest that some counselling might be in order to discover why you act that way.

They may, in short, be unable to make genuine, healthy attachments, so when they get close to someone, they shy away.

Another possibility is that they just aren’t that interested in you and are hedging their bets in case someone better comes along, holding you as Plan B (hot tip: never be someone’s Plan B).

’ Ah yes, I think we’ve all encountered someone like this.

It may be too soon after a break-up or bereavement from which they haven’t fully recovered.

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