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December 07, 2015

Mixed Signals: Are We Dating or Just Friends?

There's this guy—let's call him Chad—who texts you all the time. He seems like a nice guy, but you're not really sure where you stand with him. Chad often asks you to come over and "hang out," and you talk a lot. You know you're developing a friendship, but it's kind of fuzzy if it's something more.

Is this relationship going anywhere? Is this even a real "relationship"?

It all gets even more uncertain when Chad wants to snuggle next to you—or more—when you're watching a movie together at his place. And the next day he is totally oblivious to anything that happened between you two. Or, you don't hear from him for days or weeks.

It's all so puzzling.

When a guy sends mixed signals—like treating you like a girlfriend one minute and then treating you like you're "just friends" the next (or ignoring you completely)—it's like a driver who flashes his left turn signal, and then suddenly turns his car to the right. It's confusing—and it can be dangerous.

I call this "The Unknown Zone", the peculiar place between friendship and dating where you don't really know what your relationship is.

It hasn't been defined.

You keep thinking that this thing—whatever it is—will turn into something real and lasting. But it never does. And you feel stuck between "Should I say something to him?" and "Should I just go along with this and see what happens?" You think he likes you, but you’re not sure. You say nothing. He says nothing.  

How do you know where you stand when he doesn't communicate or he's sending you mixed signals?

Michelle McKinney Hammond gets to the heart of the matter in The Unspoken Rules of Love:

"If he does not ask you to have an exclusive relationship with him, assume that you are not in one."

Don't let anyone toy with your emotions and your time. The guy needs to be initiating, taking action and pursuing you. If not, you are free to enjoy your other options.

"Don't behave as if you are in a committed relationship when you are not. Doing so will only entangle your heart and set you up for disappointment and heartbreak. If he doesn't tell you he wants to be in a committed relationship, consider yourself officially 'just a friend,'" McKinney says.  

Bottom line: For whatever reason, if a guys is not pursuing you, then you need to let it go. And when you do, you free yourself up for the real thing—real and lasting love, not an emotional entanglement.

A pastor I know once said, "The proof of desire is in the pursuit." If a man wants to get to know you, you will know his intentions. You won't have to guess.

Tell yourself this: "I am worth being loved well." And then march forward, trusting God with your love life—and with your whole life.

When the right guy for you comes along, you'll know—-because he will show you and he will tell you.

And that, my friend, is well worth waiting for.

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