Seriously, what's the big fuss with "mixed signals"?
I’m an expert on mixed signals. Well, actually, no, but I’m quite proficient in misunderstanding things as signals. When I was still in high school, I had a big crush on one of my friends. We were very close and would spend a lot of time together, and I thought this was a clear sign that he was into me as well. He used to invite me over just to watch movies, or he would go to my place to hang out, but now thinking about it in retrospect, there were never any signs of romantic interest. I know I’m about to embarrass myself so badly, but I’m going to share a really awkward experience I had. So, we organized a trip to the beach with all our friends. One night, while we were chilling around the bonfire, I noticed him staring at me. It wasn’t a random stare. I mean, for minutes we were just looking at each other from one side of the bonfire to the other. To me, this was a clear sign of how he felt
Years passed and nothing happened, and one day the subject came up in conversation. Even though nothing really happened between us, ever, and the crush eventually faded away, I kept being a fervent believer of romantic signs fed by all the movies I still avidly watch. So it turned out that during the trip he was just casually staring at me, and when he noticed I was also staring, he played along. I know, it’s a huge facepalm. Many of the fantasies I built during those years were a misunderstanding but when everything finally came to light it was a great lesson for me. So, there's no such thing as receiving or giving "mixed signals" and here's why.
This is a classic one. Let’s say you’ve been seeing someone and you’ve been texting more than often. Naturally, you think something must be going on and out of the blue they stop answering or they text the next day as if nothing happened. What do you do? You obviously construct a whole list of possible scenarios. The thing with texting is that you're reading into things that are not there, you're looking at a screen, not a person. Sometimes words and tones can be misinterpreted through texts. You cannot get into someone's head through an emoji, the person maybe didn't answer because they're busy or perhaps they didn't have something to say. So, rather than wading into deeper waters and wasting time deconstructing their text, peel yourself away from your phone and have a face to face conversation.
I may have rolled my eyes when thinking about this one but give me a second to explain. I think we've all dated someone who isn't as affectionate as we are, someone who never takes the first step. But what does that really mean? In a moment of insecurity you might think they're "just not that into you," but let's face it, some people aren’t comfortable with PDA. So before jumping to conclusions, take a step back and evaluate the situation with a cool head. You never know, maybe those subtle touches and "flirty eyes" were in fact accidental, kind of like my own bonfire experience. A sad scenario, but a possible one.
The first kiss
Movies and TV shows have talked about this, so it's somehow ingrained in our minds: if there isn't a kiss on the first date, it's because things didn't work out. So, more than a social convention, it’s become, in my opinion, a pressure that doesn’t mean anything. So, maybe you didn't kiss on the first date, so what? This doesn’t mean there’s no chemistry. So don't put unnecessary pressure on things that are supposed to be fun and exciting.
Social Media Alter Egos
Social media has many perks but one of its greatest flaws is that we have access to too much information on people's lives. Do yourself a favor, don’t stalk or assume things based on their profiles. If you’re seeing someone, base your perception on what you’ve experienced with them and not on what he posted a year ago on Facebook. We all have some sort of alter ego on SM, and most of the times how we socialize on it is quite different from our actual personality.
Now, I want to make something perfectly clear. I'm not saying you’re crazy and the person you’re dating and receiving these “mixed signals” from are saints. If a person wants to be with you and is interested, you’ll know it. There’s no such thing as mixed signals, because they either want something with you or they don’t. All this BS about signals is boring, and it’s something we create ourselves to give us hope when we like someone who is clearly not that into us. So, don’t waste your time trying to figure out what’s going on inside that person’s mind. If you still have doubts go ask them and settle things, don't torment yourself or waste your time with candy floss stories.
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Images by @kladivovakaterina