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Decoding Mixed Signals in Relationships

mixed signals and getting ghosted in dating


Mixed signals in relationships can be perplexing and emotionally draining. Whether it’s an ambiguous text message or fluctuating levels of attention, trying to interpret what the other person really means can feel like navigating a labyrinth without a map. In this blog, Mercedes Terrell, a seasoned relationship coach, delves into the complexities of mixed signals, offering insights and tools to not only understand but also confidently navigate these challenging waters.

Understanding Mixed Signals

What are Mixed Signals?
Mixed signals refer to actions or communications from someone that seem contradictory or inconsistent. This might include a cycle of closeness followed by withdrawal, or engaging conversations that abruptly end in silence. At their core, mixed signals stem from the sender’s internal conflict or uncertainty about their feelings towards the recipient or the relationship.

Common Causes of Mixed Signals

  1. Fear of Commitment: For some, getting closer to another person triggers fear and leads to mixed signals as a defense mechanism to maintain distance.
  2. Emotional Guard: Past hurts may lead someone to protect themselves from getting too close too quickly, resulting in mixed messages.
  3. Unawareness: Sometimes, individuals are genuinely unaware of the confusing signals they are sending. Their behaviors may reflect their natural communication style influenced by their emotional state or external stressors.

The Impact of Mixed Signals

Dealing with mixed signals can lead to significant emotional turmoil, leading to confusion and frustration. Understanding the root causes of these signals is crucial for personal emotional well-being and for developing healthier communication patterns in relationships.

Strategies for Decoding Mixed Signals

1. Hot and Cold Behavior
This behavior often stems from internal conflicts, such as past relationship traumas or fear of intimacy. When addressing this, focus on expressing how this pattern affects you, emphasizing your feelings rather than their actions.

2. Late Night Texts
Late-night texts might indicate a reluctance to integrate you into the fuller spectrum of someone’s life. Addressing this involves communicating your desire for more integrated interactions.

3. Vague Plans
Vagueness can act as a shield against vulnerability. Encouraging transparency can help both parties understand each other’s expectations and build a more secure connection.

4. Social Media Paradox
The discrepancy between how someone interacts in public vs. private settings can indicate their comfort with surface-level interactions compared to deeper connections. Tackle this by discussing the need for more genuine private conversations.

5. Physical Affection vs. Emotional Distance
A contrast between physical closeness and emotional openness might indicate a discomfort with vulnerability. Advocating for emotional intimacy to match the level of physical closeness can foster a stronger bond.

Navigating Mixed Signals with Confidence

While understanding mixed signals is crucial, how you respond to them defines your personal boundaries and respect for yourself. Clear, consistent communication is foundational in any healthy relationship, whether platonic or romantic. Maintaining self-respect and setting clear boundaries is essential when navigating mixed signals.


Deciphering mixed signals in relationships isn’t just about understanding the other person; it’s about clarity for your peace of mind and emotional health. By employing the strategies discussed, you can approach mixed signals with greater insight and sensitivity, paving the way for more meaningful interactions and connections. Don’t forget to check out our free resource at the end of this video to further empower yourself in love and life.

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