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How to interpret mixed messages?

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I am very confused about the behaviour and words of me ex and hope someone can help shed some light...


I told me ex to leave about 3 1/2 months ago, not expecting him to move out but instead want to fix things, but he left instead. We have known each other for 8 years and been together for 2, and moved to London from Australia last year so are each other's support so it's been a bit harder to disentangle ourselves, plus he moved 5 mins up the road. We have been on holidays together, celebrated birthdays, spent time together like a couple etc etc. I pulled back a lot 2 weeks ago because I could feel the change in my heart, this slow closing over when realising that while he liked me in his life as a 'friend' he had no intention of trying again - I have tried everything to get him back.


Since then I met a nice guy and went on a date and when my ex tried to see me again I said I couldn't because I needed to focus on myself and I was seeing someone and wanted to move on. He was so upset he got drunk and was crying and had a bottle of whisky that (I managed to get out of him) he had been planning to drink and kill himself. I immediately got very upset by this and wondered why he would be acting in this way if he had firmly in his mind there was no possibility of a relationship. So I backed off again and after 1 week of little contact he told me it still hurt but wanted to see me so we got together Friday night for a few drinks at my place and it was all very amicable and friendly, but when he left he wanted to cuddle and told me he loved me and tried to kiss me.


Since then, I have seen him almost every day, spending lots of time together and he stayed over on Tuesday night and cuddled me (we are not having sex) and was so so so affectionate. Last night we went to dinner and he came over but when I tried to kiss him like he had kissed me last week he pulled back and said something to embarrass me.


He called back an hour later and I told him I was upset because it wasn't fair that he was setting the rules for what constituted 'friendly' behaviour and what didn't, that when I wanted something he would shoot me down yet he seemed to think lying naked in a bed holding each other and being affectionate was OK and wouldn't cause any mixed messages. I was half expecting him to say he had changed his mind....


No, instead, like he always does on the phone, he was quite detached and clinical about the whole thing, saying we were just friends and I was someone he had cared for greatly and it's hard when you breakup and there are a lot of emotions still involved but doing what we had been doing was being 'friends' as far as he was concerned whereas kissing and sex was something else. Seriously. Also, that I obviously had more emotions about getting back together than he did but he has been clear he doesn't want to be with me like that.


I told him he was kidding himself, that he does have emotions and has he actually thought one day I won't be around or in his life? He said, there will be lots of people in your life right now who won't be there in a few years time. I am almost crying writing this.


He is one person with me, than another away from me. This is exactly how it was in the leadup to us being in a relationship - until one day he decided to admit to me and himself he was in love with me. But I can't handle this. How do people do this? how can you hold someone for hours and sleep with them etc but think this is just friends. Yet if i go to hold his hand or kiss him he recoils like I've done something wrong.


Usually i would text him about this but I think things have really changed for me now. I am not going to give him what he wants; a big part of me is massively devastated by what he said last night.


I am very confused and think I should NC. Not just for myself but let him see what it is like without me in his life.

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It seems he has been getting rather a lot of mixed signals too .. in the beginning anyway. You started pulling away from him (which he would have noticed), you told him to move out (even though it wasn't what you ultimately wanted at the time ... but would he have known that, especially when you had already been pulling away?). Then when you thought he just wanted you as a friend you tried to get him back. When that didn't happen you started dating someone else, telling him that getting back together wasn't really a priority to you. His hesitance or confusion at getting back with you may have been down to the mixed signals you had been sending him too.


At the moment neither of you seem to know what you want. When you feel the other pulling away you want to draw each other back but once you feel you are getting somewhere you both start pulling away again.


Do you know what YOU really want? If it is him then I think you need to lay all your cards on the table. Tell him in no uncertain terms that if getting back together isn't what he wants then you both need to leave each other alone because all you are doing is pulling, pushng, goading, confusing and hurting each other. The affection and behaviour shown so far is not just friends at all. Lying naked on the bed together? Friends? Really??? That just isn't fair on you and you need to make sure that doesn't happen again. I take it the other guy is out of the picture. If you, or neither of you are sure what you want, then you still need to give yourself space from each other so that you can both work out what it is you really want. It may be that he is having a hard time letting go ... if so, you might have to be the strong one and do it for him because, if you allow it, he will ontinue to confuse you.

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I have always wanted him to come back, from the moment he left - before he left - and have told him this many times, so it hasn't been a sudden thing now he wants to be friends. He is a very strange man in some ways, how he can put up this wall and be like stone. He always told me before we got together that he imagined himself on his own for life and I think he took a big chance to be with me. When we were just being friendly before partners, he would say he was in love with me when he was drunk and then when he was sober act in a different way. I have seen this happen since we broke up, like last Friday night.


I think you're right though a-little-blue, it is not fair. I feel I have laid my cards on he table a few times and he has said he doesn't want to get back together. So I try to move on and he responds in a very distressing way. He does not know what he wants from life, so I am very surprised he is so sure he does not want a relationship or future with me. It is just very heartbreaking and sad when he acts on the phone in a completely different way from the person I last saw face-to-face.


We do get along well now and it's nice not fighting but I see it as a good fresh start to look at things and try again whereas he is totally against it. I really don't get it - he wants me in his life but not in a relationship - cake and eat it????


He will return to Australia in a few months I think, that should make things better

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If you have laid all your cards on the table and he says that it isn't what he wants then I think it is best that you make a complete break from each other. Theres no reason why you can't be honest with him and tell him the real reason why. If being with you isn't what he wants then he has no business responding in a distressed way when you try to move on. If you explain to him why you feel that making a complete break from each other is clearly the best thing to do then he may make a more concerted effort to stay away.


It may be a case of wanting his cake and eating it but it could just be that he is finding it hard to let go completely. You have known each other for some time and although he may not feel enough to continue on in a relationship with you, he might well miss your companionship. That doesn't help you, of course, which is why, in your situation, it is best you make a complete break from each other. I guess moving back to Australia will give you that. At the moment you are holding each other back. I know you said you are getting along fine now but I am sure that a situation will arise again where you will once again be left confused by his behaviour.

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We do get along well now and it's nice not fighting but I see it as a good fresh start to look at things and try again whereas he is totally against it. I really don't get it - he wants me in his life but not in a relationship - cake and eat it????


He wants to be friends. It's that simple. Nothing about cake or anything. You want more. You need to put your foot down and accept that he does not want you anymore and cut him off for good.

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So an update. I saw him Sunday night and he was the most depressed I have ever seen him, he hadn't left the house all weekend. He's been given an opportunity to go back to Australia to work but it's a bit sketchy and he's not sure if it is going to work. So he was up and down about that but he also said he was concerned and upset to be leaving me here in London. He wanted to know if I wanted to know when he left, I said of course. When he left he held me and kissed me.


I got a bit upset about that, the thought of him going and how messed up I would be if I kept seeing him, and asked him to come over the next night and told him I couldn't see him anymore, it was all hurting too much and asked (one last time) if he would reconsider us being together. He said no, that we had tried but it hadn't worked. He held me and kissed me again but was trying to be like stone - he does this when the emotions are too much. I broke down. I called him and we argued on the phone.


Next morning I rang him and asked him not to mention to his mum about something she wrote to me (which I had mentioned to him stupidly the night before) and was very calm and distant and asked him to drop my stuff over. He got angry at me and called me when he got to work, told me he had dropped the things over and that he was sorry he was mad but now just sad about everything. When I went to the door, he had also left a ring I bought him. I lost it again and rang him and was so upset and he was apologising saying it was a low thing to do and he was sorry and he wanted it back. I asked him what for? We weren't together why did he want it, he can have it but I don't want it back. He asked for it again and I said it was gone.


He rang later and apologised again, he asked if he could see me and please, he didn't want to be the kind of person who did things like that and he wanted it back. So I said OK, I'd give it to him and then leave. I got home and the first thing I see is he's replanted all my flowers at the front of my house - they needed doing and I asked him to buy some flowers from his work so I could do it this weekend and he did it all for me.


So I went to his place, the first time since he moved out 4 months ago, and we lay on the bed and held each other and had a few wines and he was very affectionate. Then talked about a holiday I am taking and he tried to give me advice about how to keep men out of my room because the girls I am going with is a bit friendly and this situation might happen (but he also said it was none of his business and I could do what I wanted). Then we went to mine, had dinner, watched a movie cuddling and he stayed over. This morning was bliss. I didn't think he would ring but he called me on the way to work, but in his conversation he referred to me as a 'single girl'.


How hard is it? I feel stuck because he is leaving and I won't see him again and I want to see him as much as possible while he is here. He told me he acts emotionless and like a stone but inside does not feel that way, it is just his way of coping, that he does think of me and loves me and cares about me. He is going through a crisis of sorts in his life, it affected our time together very deeply as I was always stressed about the future - not always, just since we arrived in London. Am I stupid to live in hope? To give him some time? He said we both need to work on making ourselves happy, he doesn't know what will happen in the future. We have such a strong connection. Is it not right just now? Or ever?

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How hard is it? I feel stuck because he is leaving and I won't see him again and I want to see him as much as possible while he is here. He told me he acts emotionless and like a stone but inside does not feel that way, it is just his way of coping, that he does think of me and loves me and cares about me. He is going through a crisis of sorts in his life, it affected our time together very deeply as I was always stressed about the future - not always, just since we arrived in London. Am I stupid to live in hope? To give him some time? He said we both need to work on making ourselves happy, he doesn't know what will happen in the future. We have such a strong connection. Is it not right just now? Or ever?


Well, the best thing he could do right now is to stop calling you and to leave you be but it seems he is either unable to or he is just being plain selfish. If he doesn't want to give the relationship another chance he really shouldn't be coming over, cuddling up to you and then staying over. He has made a choice and, for your sake, he should follow through with his choice. Whether all this stops here and now or when he eventually leaves to go back to Australia it is still going to hurt you but all this lingering about is just prolonging the pain. It is something you are still going to have to face. On top of which all this contact is undoubtedly building up your hopes and then leaving you hurt and confused. You are going round in a painful circle here. Isn't it better to stop now?


No-one can know whether the strong connection you still have is actually strong enough to bring you back together again ... all you can do is focus on what is happening NOW and what you know NOW ... and what you know NOW is that he doesn't want to be in a relationship with you. Worry about the future in the future. If it is meant to be it will be. If not, then you will fare better by assuming as such and trying to move on from this relationship instead of hanging on in the hope that maybe there is a chance for you in the future. Otherwise you could be hanging on for a long time.

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so much truth A Little Blue. He just left - I start a new job tomorrow and wasn't expecting to see him at all then he just turned up at my flat and we made dinner and cuddled again and I didn't ask him to stay. I didn't read your post until just now. He still sees me as his best friend so it could be for selfish reasons and the way he is acting is because he sees this as friendship and he does still care deeply for me. god, he knows how hard I am finding all of this, he said Monday night he didn't realise how hard I was taking it. And he said last week he wouldn't stay over again because I told him I found it unfair.


He sounds like a ***hole from what I write but it is hard to get accross that he is a sweet man and maybe I'm painting him to be something other. But you are very right, and I do fret a bit about the other girls he is talking to online. I never ever thought I would be in this position when we got together.


I think by seeing him I am basically saying it's ok what you are doing, having me here as a 'best friend' and someone to be affectionate towards. I have said a few times that I don't want to be taken advantage of, but it's so hard - act sad and down and i am pathetic, be happy and he thinks I'm OK with everything. I read that men always want what they can't have, and by seeing him I guess I am saying I'm OK with this the way it is.


you're right. it's better to stop now.

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Silvermoon, I actually don't think he is a selfish person but I think he is behaving so NOW and although I'm sure he isn't an a**hole he sure is behaving like one, even if unintentionally.


I really think this about him having a hard time of letting go. You obviously have a strong bond and connection and he is still feeling that but unfortunately it just isn't enough to want to be in a relationship with you. I am sure he does see you as a special person in his life but his actions are nevertheless not fair on you and, you are right, by allowing it to happen you are basically telling him to carry on. If he is talking to girls online there is every chance that someone will come into his life who may well knock his socks off ... and then where will that leave you? He will probably find it a whole lot easier to let go then. You are being there for him, and despite the connection and the bond and what a sweet person he really is, it is only all the while he wants you to be.


You are entitled to feel sad and down when a relationship comes to an end so you mustn't feel you are being pathetic and, at this stage, you mustn't worry as to how you come accross to him. I know it is going to be very very hard but you need to muster up all the strength you have and to tell him that you no longer wish to be used like this ... because that is what he really is doing. Whether he realises it or not.

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Perhaps if I let him go he will have time to think about what he wants?


He doesn't want to be with anyone else, and although he enjoys female attention and 'company' he has always found relationships very difficult and said a few times when we were together it's just too hard as he's always wanting the happy good times and when there are a few bumps can't handle it and just wants out.


Part of me doubts he will ever be with anyone or have a family and this is sad. The other sad thing is he has made a decision and I think he struggles with it - when he's with me he feels one way, when he has his thoughts and distance he feels another. But it is doing me no favours.


I started a new job today and he text me twice and rang me - so I agree with you, I am special to him otherwise he wouldn't care. But I want to know how I go from being 'special' to back where I was, his partner and future.

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Well there is every chance that having proper time apart might help him to realise if being apart is truly what he wants. As things stand he hasn't had any proper time apart from you. Whenever he has felt sad, down or whatever, he knows he can call you up and see you. To know what it feels like to not have you in his life he has to feel a sense of loss and he won't ever feel that sense of loss all the while you are there for him. You are, in effect, helping him to come to terms with his decision whilst he gets to avoid all the emotion.


However there are no guarantees as to how he will feel so you need to keep an open mind. You should still focus on moving on otherwise that is just something else holding you back. As someone once said to me "there is no harm in moving on whilst still having a little bit of hope".

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Why is he sending mixed signals? --------> He's confused.


It's such normal thing to happen in this situation. You need to learn how to communicate with him more effectively if you want things to change for the better. Here's a great website to start off with: link removed


Read through it and apply it.

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He told me this morning that he was possible leaving Monday to go home but this has not happened but it will be soon. I got upset and told him I think he doesn't realise now how much this wall all hit him when he goes back because I am always available to see him and we haven't spent any real time apart. The most we have spent without seeing each other is a week and then he was all 'when am I going to see you?'. He said very firmly 'we are not together' and that of course there are emotions because we have broken up.


It hurt. It also made me realise that I need to really accept this. I have booked in to see a counsellor to help me through this.


I know it will hurt him when he leaves. I know there aren't just emotions because it is a breakup. Why else would he behave in the ways he has.

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I'm sorry SilverMoon, I know it hurts. It seems at every possible turn he will make a point of telling you that you aren't together. Well what a shame he couldn't have acted as such. He is hanging on because he is scared of completely letting go, yet letting go is what he wants to do. I think it will do you some good to speak to someone ... but don't be so hard on yourself because he hasn't exactly made it easy for you to accept when he has been sending you so many mixed messages has he?

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I think letting go is what he thinks he wants to do, but I know once he is out of here and back working in australia, remotely out in the middle of nowhere, he will regret this. he is a massive thinker, in fact that has been one of the biggest problems between us. he spends all day thinking and thinking and if there was a problem he would think and think about it instead of talking to me but act like the issue had been resolved because he's thought so much about it and come to a decision or overthought it on his own.


We were supposed to go to a music festival today and i sent him a message last night saying i couldn't (after being up and down about it all day and scared of going but more scared of not going). i realised i keep trying to create special moments with him but all the good times we ever had we've already had. that this just prolongs the pain. what's the point. i was on another forum in ena, things people were writing to their exes instead of contacting them and i cannot believe how many of us are caught in this painful, sad, awful place. some were mirrors of my feelings and it kind of shocked me into thinking, i don't want to be this way any more. i can't be like some of these people a year from now feeling and doing and being the same - i am so stuck. i can't even remember the past 4 months but i have neglected myself, haven't opened any mail and am now scared of what i might find (do you think the debt collection agency will take 'heartbreak' as a valid reason for non-payment?), my flat is a mess, i have no pride or dignity and cry every day.


this has to stop. i felt so good last night, didn't think about him, slept soundly. but this morning. BAM. the ache came back. it is always the mornings, when i first wake up, that it all hits me again. i called him and sent a text telling him certain lines were down if he was still going because he is working and doesn't have access to a computer.


so stupid! he hasn't contacted me back. i hope he won't. i hope i won't. i don't want to see him again. i am so busy the next 2 weeks or so - visit from the parents and a week in rhodes. i look like crap, haven't lost any weight i wanted to (am so so so overweight from all of the stress and not caring about myself and now embarassed!!!), not really sure about the person i am going with. but i don't want to meet anyone. i just want to lie on a beach and read and tan and eat well and slee a lot and relax.


this will be the first holiday without him in 2 years.


but it's what i need. i want to run away so much. i am 35 now. and so scared of being alone and not having children. but shhhh don't tell anyone, i'm always the tough one.

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I'm sorry you are going through this. He needs to quit prolonging your pain and keeping you guessing, not making up his mind and torturing you. Whether he realizes it or not he's not being fair to you at all by acting as if he wants to be with you yet he says the opposite. I think he's confused along with not sure if he will regret actually, truly letting you go and is scared of if he lets go completely and you move on and he's left behind he will regret it the rest of his life. So he's constantly seeking you out but turns around and says he doesn't really want you. That in and of itself is very selfish and hurtful towards you and he needs to realize he cannot torture somebody like this especially when you care for him as much as you do. He needs to either make the decision to be with you or leave you alone and get on with his life so that you can heal and focus on you and not distract you from what you need to do. If you can muster the courage and ability to do so, tell him that if he wants to seek you out for this companionship and all these actions showing he wants to be with you then he needs to be with you as your boyfriend, and if he doesn't want to be with you and cannot make up his mind he needs to delete your number and leave your life because this isn't healthy for either of you and is detrimental to your healing process and is also being selfish. He can't be just your friend or less and behave like this, it's all or nothing, as hard as it might be.


I hope you enjoy your holiday, keep yourself happy in this trip, focus on YOU, and only you, leave your cell phone or any form of contact at home and just enjoy your vacation, by being happy. You shouldn't have to deal with all this unhappy emotional stuff on a holiday meant to be about you.

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Yes there are a lot of people in the same situation as you are now and what I have been in too ... and it seems the common denominator in a lot of these circumstances is the dumper ex who won't just bog off and leave the person THEY dumped to move on and heal.


Maybe he will realise that he has made a mistake but it seems (if that is the case) that it is a mistake he is going to have to make before he realises what he once had and has now lost but, if I were you, I wouldn't pin too much hope on that. Keep looking forwards. Its the best thing for you.


I really hope you enjoy your holiday too. Relax, de-stress and try not to let thoughts of your ex hold you back from making the most of this trip.

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Crazy mind, crazy day. This is all affecting me horribly, my parents are visiting and all I have on my mind is him. I have a headache from it all.


I don't know what to say -on and on it goes. He is leaving the country in 5 weeks and it devastated me when he told me. He took me to dinner and spoke about his new plans and I couldn't hold the emotion back. He came back to mine and held my hands and hugged me; he knows I am still in love with him. So I withdrew and told him I had to go in and he grabbed me and kissed me. Confused!!! He text me the next day and I didn't respond until that evening with something brief about some stuff he needed to get from mine, and he asked if he could come and get it, so he turns up with a bottle of wine and I was very non-chalant with him. He kept touching me and wouldn't leave until late and was writing my plans in his diary so he could schedule time to see me before he goes. when I walked him out he pushes me against the wall and kisses me passionately.


The next day he rang me and worked out a weekend we could spend together before he goes and says what about a mini-break to Amsterdam of Dublin? I was like OK. But I have changed my mind.


I'm not seeing him again, this has to end. Besides the kisses and organising to go away and spending time with me, he has also mentioned a few things that obviously bother him but which he tries not to let on about, like me seeing other people. Also that what's happening and planning to see each other could be seen by other people as a bit stupid, or words to that effect.


That made me feel good.


He's away tonight and the way he was being evasive and knowing him like I do, I know he's with someone else.


I know what I have to do. Put myself first. I've been so scared of losing him and have not accepted really that it is over and this is the person who was totally in love with me and wanted to marry me and have children.


Let him have what he wants. He will regret this. I don't care anymore. I need to find the strength to not care and move on.

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It's this horrible situation that he is leaving and says he loves me and cares about me and wants to spend his last weekend with me - he wants to go to Amsterdam with me for 3 days, and then he would leave the next day. I told him no, I couldn't do that - he doesn't get how much this hurts me but when he said 'so if you don't get it the way you want then not at all?' I think he finally did - well, kind of. He said it will hurt him too when he leaves, but I don't get that.


Men - anyone who has been the one to make the decision about ending the relationship - is there any hope when someone comes over 4 months later, says they love you, holds you and is affectionate, says you are just friends, but wants to see you and spend time with you...but isn't in a good place to be in a relationship? Should I just leave him to go away and think about things? I don't get it. I have never been through anything like this before. Normally it ends, you part ways, that's life.


He said, in a nutshell, we came, we tried it, it didn't work out the way we wanted it to. but it is so much more complex than that, like all relationships are. I want him to see it is the situation not us that did this, that we weren't prepared or in the right place to build a life together. It is such an awful awful waste of love.

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If I hadn't have come up with this stupid idea of moving overseas before we got to know each other better I would think it wasn't meant to be. I know in my heart it is meant to be. I just don't think things through before making a decision, always impulsive and optimistic and blinkered to the realities.

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