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How do I (40M) respond to hot and cold behavior in (33W)?


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I’ve been really excited about a woman that I’ve been talking to for over 8 months. We have known each other for over 3 years… both really like eachother… but things have gone from 100 to zero all of a sudden… leading hot to our first actual date.

We had our very first date last Saturday. One week ago… It was great but something weird shifted in her leading up to the date…. And I can’t figure it out.

Our connection has grown steadily stronger over time. We seem perfect for eachother. But each time we set a date…. Inevitably… just before we meet… she gets scared and pulls back.

This has happened like 6 times… a couple times in the very beginning… winter 2021 and spring of 2022. It was never a good time for a date because she was too busy with work or other absolutely reasonable and real reasons.

I think we set up one coffee date and canceled last minute due to her plans shifting or something.

Then we decided we would wait until summer when my kids arrive. She loves them and wanted to visit them.

Then when the time came and went I asked her what was up and she said she thought she could visit but when the time came she just couldn’t face it because her ex lived in the very small town where I live. He’s around all the time. I bump into him often so her fear of bumping into him is legit.

Then we set up a date a week or two later but her escrow closed on her new house… and then she became all consumed with that for a while… weeks…

Then we set up another date… In a shotgun kind of way. I was being a bit pushy. And she agreed to see me. Then I didn’t bring it up the week of the date… for fear that she would back out.. and on the night before the date I asked where she might like to go. She acted taken by surprise and said she couldn’t make it on short notice. Then offered to meet up the following day. But then her mom scheduled lunch and dinner for the family.

All of her reasons were legitimate and I was completely understanding but it added up to a pattern of her not following through.

Fast forward…

About a month ago … in a playful way… I confronted her about not meeting me and how it felt and how I needed us to actually have a first date or move on. We played around with some ideas then agreed to book tickets to a show in December.

Then 2 weeks ago before I left town to visit my daughter for her birthday we agreed to a date sooner. Last week.

Our connection has been growing and growing. Stronger and stronger. Texting all day every day. Talking on the phone every other day.

Then she became a bit upset that I stayed in the same house as my ex fir my daughter’s birthday. We talked about it and maintained our connection.

And then when I returned she began pulling back. As the 1st in person date approached.

And then as I feared… at 2pm when we were scheduled to meet at 7pm she asked to postpone to the following weekend…. When she knew I’d be in CA. She said that she was overly tired (I believe her) and also said that she wasn’t ready and things were moving too fast…

We have been talking for about a year now… texting almost daily for 8 months…. Have expressed very deep connection and feelings for one another… and all of a sudden she pulls back… like we have seriously discussed marriage and having children and our future lives together.

So I tell her how devastated i felt and how I felt it coming. I felt her pulling back.

And I empathized and told her to put herself and her needs first and take a breath and give me a call sometime if and when she was ready to date.

She said she felt pressured but now that I was being understanding she would take a nap and if she felt up to it would see me at 7.

We did end up meeting and the date was truly wonderful. She told me that it hurt her feelings that I thought she didn’t want to date and said that she does.

But…

The connection isn’t there the way it was a week before our date.

To be honest I really really like her. But she seems so afraid that I am what she wants and she is afraid of being hurt. Or she just isn’t that into me but loves that we have all of the bond and connection of a long term relationship without any potential heartbreak because she won’t move forward.

I decided that once she started pulling back I would date other women again. To protect my heart from her yo yo ing.

But I’m not sure that’s right either.

TL:DR - I’m in love and i think she is too but she is acting hot and cold and i don’t know what to do. I don’t want to be overly sensitive and emotional and needy and chase her away but I don’t want to play games and match her hot and cold.

Advice please - thank you!

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13 minutes ago, IslandGuy411 said:

 We did end up meeting and the date was truly wonderful. 

Are either of you in another relationships? Is this a distance situation?

It's strange to talk about "loving your kids" or marriage and family before you ever met.

She seems to be hiding something or just interested in penpals or cyber-relationships.

Yes, date local available women who are interested in forming in person relationships with you.

Step far away from this woman. Something isn't adding up.

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1 hour ago, HeyHeyLovinlife said:

She told me that it hurt her feelings that I thought she didn’t want to date and said that she does.

Aw, poor soul. Did she felt hurt by the consequences of her own actions?

You are not obligated to stay around somebody who wont even meet you in a timely manner. You had every right to get mad about somebody who makes up excuses after excuses about not seeing you. Instead you are staying for some fantasy that promises you marriage and family. And wont even meet you for a date. 

Get rid of her completely and find somebody who would actually want to see you and be with you. Because this is not it.

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I wouldn't have kept communicating with this person after the first -at tops second -flaky behavior.  You risked this happening and I don't think you're in love -I think you like the thrill of the chase/the challenge of her.  Not her.  She was never hot.  She was always uninterested in dating you.  At most lukewarm -she finally agreed because why not -was convenient for her after all that time. Watch the feet -what the person does-not the lips -what the person says -she said sweet words about connection and commitment and she chose not to commit to meeting you in person and then reluctantly did.  That's all you need to know. 

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She's not that into you. She's not even close to being into you. She's hot and cold and thus not partner material.

Why you want someone who clearly has no interest in seeing you is beyond me.

You deserve better. Now please, anything less than a YES is no. Block and delete her out of your life. Time to move on to better matches.

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1 hour ago, DarkCh0c0 said:

She's not that into you. She's not even close to being into you. She's hot and cold and thus not partner material.

Why you want someone who clearly has no interest in seeing you is beyond me.

You deserve better. Now please, anything less than a YES is no. Block and delete her out of your life. Time to move on to better matches.

I never saw in anything he wrote that she was generally hot for him or interested in any genuine way.

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12 minutes ago, DarkCh0c0 said:

I apologize. Correct. Yes. She's just not interested in him more than a chat buddy.

No apologies!  I just saw it differently. To me hot is when a person makes a plan to meet the person in person and cancels only if an emergency and then shows up for the plan to meet. That shows potential interest in going on a date if the first meet goes well. I’ve had this sort of flakiness from online people who want to get to know me platonically. We connect through LinkedIn or a Facebook group and there is a lot of enthusiasm to meet - until I suggest a potential time and place. Then there’s either no follow up or there’s a chatty follow up weeks later with no reference to the plan. So that enthusiastic person is not interested in meeting me in person for a potential friendship - then the words are irrelevant. 

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Honestly, hot/cold people should be avoided at all costs. She only felt secure/ego boosted through the texting. Once it came to meeting up, insecurity/anxiety sets in. This can only be fixed with years of therapy. There are no magic words or actions that you could have done to make this happen. You shouldn't have left this going on for 8 months. That's total BS. Move on and date other women.

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In the future, if someone can't meet you within 2 to 3 weeks, move on.

You put yourself on ice for a ridiculously long time, and built yourself a cyber fantasy world. Even if you knew of this woman as an acquaintance years ago, doesn't mean you at all knew what she'd be like as a romantic partner. The fact you spoke of building a life together when you hadn't even had one date is bonkers. Most people who are thinking clearly will get way beyond the honeymoon period of initial dating, well into a year and better two, so they can see how a person handles stress, if they have the capability to be faithful, and they share your ethical beliefs and relationship boundaries, amongst other must-haves.

You need to read a Dating 101 manual, because you're severely lacking in dating skills. 

Whatever her psychological reasoning is, stop trying to puzzle it out. You won't. Don't spend a second more of your brain power on this Nowhere Lady.

Go no contact so you can have closure. If you stay in contact because you have a hard time going cold turkey or are holding out for her to finally see the light, you will sabotage any new relationship. A new lady will run far and fast if she knows you are in contact with someone you wanted more with. It's a good thing your kids didn't meet her. Don't let children meet anyone until a relationship is well into serious territory. It's not healthy for a child to get attached a person who might then quickly exit.

Take a break from dating to mourn what you see as a loss, and then perhaps you will be ready to locally date at the beginning of the new year. Take care.

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You’re the same age as me. I can honestly tell you at our age, and from my learning experience, I don’t accept hot and cold behavior. It flat out won’t fly with me anymore. You’re either into me or not, and it’s easy enough to discern a woman’s interest level. Playing this game of push and pull, I don’t have time for that in my life. Neither do you. Move on. I’m sorry this has gone on as long as it did, but you don’t respond to this by continuing to allow it in your life. I believe you have some attachment issues that need to be worked on and letting this drag out any longer prolongs the work you need to do on yourself. Know what you want, believe you deserve it and do not accept anything less than that. Life is too damn short. 

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I don't view typing words onto a tiny screen as "hot" behavior.  I'm typing this on my desktop right now and I can assure you I don't feel "hot" about it.  I also don't get how you can be "in love" with someone who only types to you and you've only had one date with.

She has no intention of making anything out of this.

Unless you're trying to avoid real life interaction I'd stop with the meaningless typing and start dating real live women in person.

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22 hours ago, HeyHeyLovinlife said:

I’ve been really excited about a woman that I’ve been talking to for over 8 months. We have known each other for over 3 years… both really like eachother… but things have gone from 100 to zero all of a sudden… leading hot to our first actual date.

We had our very first date last Saturday. One week ago… It was great but something weird shifted in her leading up to the date…. And I can’t figure it out.

Our connection has grown steadily stronger over time. We seem perfect for eachother. But each time we set a date…. Inevitably… just before we meet… she gets scared and pulls back.

This has happened like 6 times… a couple times in the very beginning… winter 2021 and spring of 2022. It was never a good time for a date because she was too busy with work or other absolutely reasonable and real reasons.

I think we set up one coffee date and canceled last minute due to her plans shifting or something.

Then we decided we would wait until summer when my kids arrive. She loves them and wanted to visit them.

Then when the time came and went I asked her what was up and she said she thought she could visit but when the time came she just couldn’t face it because her ex lived in the very small town where I live. He’s around all the time. I bump into him often so her fear of bumping into him is legit.

Then we set up a date a week or two later but her escrow closed on her new house… and then she became all consumed with that for a while… weeks…

Then we set up another date… In a shotgun kind of way. I was being a bit pushy. And she agreed to see me. Then I didn’t bring it up the week of the date… for fear that she would back out.. and on the night before the date I asked where she might like to go. She acted taken by surprise and said she couldn’t make it on short notice. Then offered to meet up the following day. But then her mom scheduled lunch and dinner for the family.

All of her reasons were legitimate and I was completely understanding but it added up to a pattern of her not following through.

Fast forward…

About a month ago … in a playful way… I confronted her about not meeting me and how it felt and how I needed us to actually have a first date or move on. We played around with some ideas then agreed to book tickets to a show in December.

Then 2 weeks ago before I left town to visit my daughter for her birthday we agreed to a date sooner. Last week.

Our connection has been growing and growing. Stronger and stronger. Texting all day every day. Talking on the phone every other day.

Then she became a bit upset that I stayed in the same house as my ex fir my daughter’s birthday. We talked about it and maintained our connection.

And then when I returned she began pulling back. As the 1st in person date approached.

And then as I feared… at 2pm when we were scheduled to meet at 7pm she asked to postpone to the following weekend…. When she knew I’d be in CA. She said that she was overly tired (I believe her) and also said that she wasn’t ready and things were moving too fast…

We have been talking for about a year now… texting almost daily for 8 months…. Have expressed very deep connection and feelings for one another… and all of a sudden she pulls back… like we have seriously discussed marriage and having children and our future lives together.

So I tell her how devastated i felt and how I felt it coming. I felt her pulling back.

And I empathized and told her to put herself and her needs first and take a breath and give me a call sometime if and when she was ready to date.

She said she felt pressured but now that I was being understanding she would take a nap and if she felt up to it would see me at 7.

We did end up meeting and the date was truly wonderful. She told me that it hurt her feelings that I thought she didn’t want to date and said that she does.

But…

The connection isn’t there the way it was a week before our date.

To be honest I really really like her. But she seems so afraid that I am what she wants and she is afraid of being hurt. Or she just isn’t that into me but loves that we have all of the bond and connection of a long term relationship without any potential heartbreak because she won’t move forward.

I decided that once she started pulling back I would date other women again. To protect my heart from her yo yo ing.

But I’m not sure that’s right either.

TL:DR - I’m in love and i think she is too but she is acting hot and cold and i don’t know what to do. I don’t want to be overly sensitive and emotional and needy and chase her away but I don’t want to play games and match her hot and cold.

Advice please - thank you!

So .. clearly there’s an issue here.

I’ve dated some toxic women after my ex wife and I divorced a few years ago.

The current woman is everything I’ve ever wished for in a partner. And everything I deserve. But. She clearly deserves some personal development work and therapy. She has been rocked by past hurts and each time we are about to move forward she pulls back.

And I’m aware that this behavior is jot something I want or deserve.  But she is so so close To perfect in so many ways. And yet not.

So I’ve kinda kept it light and cool and dated other women while I’ve waited for her to actually date me. I Stopped when she and I started ramping up in August /Sept. then recently the breaks were put on when I stayed with my ex for my daughters birthday. So.. to protect my heart from her instability… I started searching on apps and lining up other dates.

I’m right on the edge of saying goodbye to her. But. I want to give it everything it deserves in a reasonable and healthy way.

If it continues too cool off or she pulls back more. Goodbye.

If things warm up leading up to December and evolve on that date and beyond … I’ll keep myself in it. But I’m ultra cautious now that the most recent attempt to bail happened.

It’s like easy to say it’s not worth it or unhealthy or to block her…. But.. this person is so very close. Maybe she is the next Mrs HeyHeyLovinlife…  Maybe not. I’ll know soon

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38 minutes ago, HeyHeyLovinlife said:

The current woman is everything I’ve ever wished for in a partner.

Well, no. 

You need to get real with yourself: this woman is either not that into you anymore, or has a boatload of issues that render dating her impossible. She won't even go on a date with you anymore. I can't see how the partner you wish for comes with these qualities. 

Whatever the reasons behind it, she is not going to become the great love of your life. It would be wise to avoid learning that the hard way. 

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1 hour ago, HeyHeyLovinlife said:

  to protect my heart from her instability… 

To protect your heart from "her instability" would be to delete and block her.

You seem neither here nor there. You're not dating, met only once, have a quite love/hate attitude toward her and yet, call her the next Mrs @HeyHeyLovinlife ?

Rethink all this. Don't date others as a distraction from the fact that you two only met once and have this strange cyberpals relationship.

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What a situation like this deserves is for you to walk away after - tops - two chances at flaking. You deserve it to reinforce your self worth and not miss out on opportunities because you’re pining away after a fantasy and she deserves to see you give her twice the space she seems to need to do her own adulting.

If she needs therapy she’ll get it. If she wants to work on herself she will.


She doesn’t need you “waiting “ in the wings based on your assumptions about who this person is much less that she’d click with you on a date she’s not interested in at this time. If she’s interested in the future she’ll let you know.  It’s also a real turn off if she keeps hearing from you after she wasn’t enthusiastic about going on a date with you so it’s sabotaging too. 

If someone is perfect for you that will include that person being enthusiastic about dating  you and showing it by either asking or enthusiastically agreeing to a plan you suggest and doing her utmost to make a plan work to see each other. if that is missing that person is not a match for you. It’s common sense.  

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I think she was your rebound after your divorce. She was a crutch in that time. However you conflated companionship and your need to be humanized post divorce with interest in a romance. 
 

She has never really been more than a flirt at best. Probably felt expectations she was incapable of fulfilling. And you were looking to not be treated poorly by a woman.

Time to let her go and continue to progress past your ex. 
 

I also have a 3 times rule, if you ask someone on a date and they cancel 3 times it’s done. Once is life, twice is things are complicated, third is they are keeping you on the hook for amusement.

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Why not just say, "I really like you, so I'm walking away while we still think highly of one another. You get to work out your stuff, and if you ever decide that you're in the right frame of mind to make and keep a date with me in person, you can let me know. If I'm still available, maybe we can meet to catch up. Otherwise, I wish you the best."

Then stop responding to her.

She can't ever fall in love with you if she doesn't respect you for acting like a hovering doormat.

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