“It is necessary, and even vital, to set standards for your life and the people you allow in it.”
~ Mandy Hale
If you have made yourself clear that you are attracted to a man, and he tells you he just wants to be friends but keeps flirting with you, be wary. This is never where you want to be with a man if you value yourself. In the end, he will devalue you as a potential romantic option for accepting such hot and cold behavior.
However, here are four potential reasons a man may present with such inconsistent behavior.
- He likes the attention that you give to him, but he is not committed to giving that attention back to you. He may not be ready for any relationship at the moment or just may not see you as a serious option.
- This guy is just a flirty guy in nature. Flirty men will seem like they are bouncing back between the friend zone and keeping you on the side as an option. That may be, but if you really pay attention, he is probably flirting with other women as well. Flirting makes some men feel good about themselves and it can be an ego boost but does not mean that he wants a relationship with you.
- He is very interested in keeping you on the side for sex. He doesn’t want the relationship, but he’ll be open for sex if you are down for it. The flirting may be an indication that he may want a physical connection but nothing deeper.
- Perhaps he does like you, but he has some conflict about his feelings. For men, feeling love or emotional attraction for someone is not enough in itself. Perhaps he doesn’t see that you will be compatible or maybe he does not think he can give you what he thinks you need from him. All of these different factors play a big part in men’s decisions to pursue a relationship beyond liking or even loving a woman. If he feels that you are not right for him for any kind of reason, a guy may still flirt but will not commit to you. That will end in a lot of heartbreak.
In the end, remember one very clear rule about men.
If a man really likes you and wants to invest in a relationship with you, he will not put himself in the position to lose you.
If he’s keeping you as a side option, you don’t want that either because he will never be the guy that honors in the way he should for a relationship to work. A guy telling you he is not interested in you in a romantic way, no matter what the reason, is a clear indication that you should move on.
Kat Peoples, Ph.D., LMHC, LPC – www.facebook.com/drkatpeoples
We’ve all had that friend who seems to love spending his time sending you mixed signals.
Maybe he invites you for drinks, just the two of you, or he tosses flirtatious looks and comments at you but he never calls it a date, or calls you more than a friend.
This can be crazy-making, especially if you like him.
You become obsessed with his texts and reread them trying to figure out what he really means. You question yourself, did you miss something? Is it your fault?
There are many reasons why this friend might be sending you mixed signals.
Maybe he really likes you but feels insecure about himself. He’s afraid to take a risk with the friendship and try dating you. What if you reject him? He could lose you completely, so this limbo of flirty friendship feels safer.
Or he might be unsure what he wants. He could be confused himself about whether he wants friendship, benefits, or a real relationship.
Finally, he might be unaware of what he’s doing—or what it’s doing to you.
Tune into yourself.
Understand how you feel about your friend and his flirting. Do you want more than friendship?
If you like him and you’re attracted to him, you may want to take a risk and talk to him about what you want—him.
If this feels scary, take small steps. At first, talk about how confused you feel with his mixed signals. And if you feel safe enough, move on to sharing how you really feel about him.
This is a big step, you are going out on a limb and you can’t be sure how he’ll respond. By taking small steps with the conversation, chunking it into bits and feeling out his response and your emotions, you’re chipping away at uncertainty and may even bring clarity to your relationship with him.
If you don’t have feelings for your friend and you want to keep your friendship, it might feel even harder to broach the topic with him.
In this case, speak from your heart about how you value his friendship and that you don’t have romantic feelings for him.
If you’re not sure how to approach your friend about his mixed signals, individual therapy can help you become clear about how you feel. It can also help you learn to say what you need to say in a way your friend can hear.
Irena Milentijevic, PsyD – www.drirena.com
If he says he wants to just be friends, but keeps flirting with you, you may feel quite confused.
Double messages can be very hard to decipher, and it is hard to know the truth when actions and words don’t match. This can create a state of cognitive dissonance, where what you think and what you feel are not in harmony.
If it is the beginning of your relationship, saying that he just wants to be friends might be a way of getting in. If he continues to say this overtime, then I would believe him. When someone repeatedly says the same thing, it is advisable to believe their words.
The flirting might be a symptom of a chronic habit that gives him a rush or a sense of power.
It might also feed his ego and give him the feeling of being wanted without actually wanting something real. In either case, this is either an infancy relationship or one that is never going to be a real relationship at all.
If he is playing with you, you can play right back with him if you enjoy it.
Otherwise, if you find that this is causing you difficulty, it might make more sense to invest your time in someone who is more clear and straightforward.
Anita Gadhia-Smith, PsyD, LCSW-C, LICSW – www.drgadhiasmith.com
It’s great to be friends with a guy, but are you confused?
Why does he keep flirting and what does it mean?
It may be time for you to make some changes and the first is to reset your boundaries.
Limit the amount of time you see him. Stop having those intimate talks or sharing your personal life with him. Avoid doing things for him so he doesn’t depend on you.
In other words, you need to change the dynamic of the relationship and break off the enmeshed bond you’ve established, devising new guidelines – rules that would benefit your needs, wants and desires.
Think about yourself.
Do you want MORE than a friend relationship with this guy? Is he boyfriend material? Does he have what it takes to be your PERSON? Or is he flirting because he wants to become more physically intimate?
You need to decide how you want this situation to progress.
You’ve become intimate with your friend by sharing secret experiences. You’ve become intimate by being thoughtful and caring.
You’ve become intimate by allowing the flirtation to continue. So, now you decide where you want this to go.
There is nothing more unnerving than being unsure about what the relationship means.
You know you have a lot to offer and you need to recognize if you are willing to change what you have for something different.
These are hard things to consider but may be necessary to avoid awkward, embarrassing or misunderstood signals from your friend who’s also confused about what he wants.
Amy Sherman, M.A., LMHC – www.yourbabyboomersnetwork.com
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