Relationship beginnings can be awkward. The initial part of any relationship is fraught with doubts. On top of that, men are notoriously private about their feelings and take a long time to be direct about what they want from you. So, no one can blame you if this leaves you utterly confused about a guy.
“I was recently confused about a guy liking me. He said he really liked me but I didn’t feel as strongly about him. I didn’t know how to approach this conversation with him. Should I wait to fall in love, or should I tell him how I feel so he knows where I stand?” Ray, a 24-year-old pianist from Long Island, writes to us.
Being confused about a guy is frustratingly common. There are days you feel like you’re on the same page as him, and on other days, it feels like you’re both standing in two distant corners of a library. It could be due to lack of communication from either side, or it could be a case of incompatibility, or your feelings don’t match … yet. When a man is confused about a relationship, or if you’re the one unsure about his place in your life, our first tip is to not be self-critical. Love is not a rat race, and you’re not a bad or a complicated person for needing time to figure things out.
How Do You Know He Is Confused About His Feelings?
Let’s tackle this first. Let’s say it’s not you, it’s him. When a man is confused about a relationship, inconsistency will be ever-present in his behavior. “I’ve been confused about a guy’s feelings for me. I don’t think he loves me, but he certainly acts like he can’t live without me. But whenever I ask for reasonable space in his life, I’m rebuffed. It’s maddening,” shares Scott, an Uber driver from California. It’s easy to tell when men are in love because they won’t send you any mixed signals.
Please remember, a confused man is a dangerous man. There’s plenty of scope here to be hurt and damaged, to keep waiting for ‘bitter nothings’, and for your self-esteem to take a regular hit. Steer clear if you’re feeling confused about a guy like this.
You might not be able to rely on him for anything. He keeps going back on his word, he doesn’t follow through with plans, and he drags you on until you exhaust yourself. Hey, you deserve better than to be constantly confused about a guy’s stance in the relationship.
Related Reading: 13 Encouraging Early Signs Of A Good Relationship
18 Tips To Help You If You Are Confused About A Guy
Shallan, a reader from Detroit, admits, “I’m confused about how I feel about a guy. In every way, he seemed like the perfect match and I still couldn’t commit to him. I kept thinking I needed to hurry up and tell him what my decision was. It put a lot of pressure on me and us, and this ultimately led to a breakup because he couldn’t wait anymore.”
We don’t recommend you to “hurry up” at all. If anything, this is an important decision and requires you to take the time it deserves. You’re choosing a partner, not an ice-cream flavor. If you’re thinking “I’m confused about a guy liking me” or you’re wondering how to know if you have a crush on someone, we’re here to help. Below are 18 tips to help you out:
1. Tell him to state his expectations from the relationship
This is especially true if you’re confused about a guy who is blowing hot and cold. Like we said, a confused man is a dangerous man. A confused man in love is even more so. One day he’s all present, ever-loving, most charming, and the other day he is distant and doesn’t wish to tell you why. You’re left wondering, “Is the love even real?”
You need to tell him how you feel when he suddenly leaves you hanging. When a man is confused about what he wants, he’ll always leave you wanting too. So, ask him to state his expectations from you. Does he want a serious, committed relationship? Because if he does, tell him that blowing hot and cold is the last thing he should do.
2. When a man is confused about what he wants, demand consistency
His signals are so mixed he can’t tell them apart either. Not to be confused with hot and cold, a mixed signals guy would probably say something like “I wish we could spend all day together” and then vanish. Some promise you the skies and then have a hard time returning a call.
Tell him you are consistent with your actions and words, and you expect the same from your date. When a man is confused about what he wants, tell him firmly that he needs to follow through with his words, or it leaves you confused as well.
Related Reading: 7 Things You Can Do When A Guy Acts Interested, Then Backs Off
3. Take it slow
You like him a lot, but you don’t love him. This is common and most people will tell you, “You just know when you know”. And though it’s true, we’ll add that some feelings take time to build up. When you’re feeling confused about a guy, it’s okay for you to not rush the process. Movies teach us to hurry up and fall in love, but that’s not how it works in real life.
4. What’s he like sexually?
You like him, but you’re not sexually attracted to him: this is a common scenario too. What about his sexual performance leaves you unsatisfied? Think about it. Are there certain needs that he’s not able to fulfill? Can you tell him what you like in bed, and the movements or positions that you find hot?
Conversations help, trust us! If you two still can’t figure out a way to help you reach your well-deserved sexual heights, then it’s time to evaluate if you still want to be together, or seek the assistance of a therapist to help you navigate these unchartered waters. Remember that for many couples, sexual fulfillment is secondary to romantic intimacy.
5. If you’re confused about a guy, notice his idiosyncrasies
Another situation for you: You love him, but his idiosyncrasies annoy you. You slid into love with him so easily that you never thought about whether you liked his personality. He might be a fast talker, or a noisy eater, or loses his cool real quick.
These traits can either stay annoying, or become deal-breakers. You’re the only one who can figure out if these little things are merely annoying, or do they reflect something bigger, like your wish to leave him? Do not dismiss the little things, they often become the reason for piled up irritation or resentment toward your partner.
Related Reading: 6 Things Men Do That Annoy Women
6. Find out his political beliefs
Do you love him, but your values don’t match? This one is a biggie. Political value systems, if matched, can ignite all kinds of sparks. If you’re a feminist and he merrily goes around degrading people of all gender identities, including feminine men, then the love might just start to fade away.
Differences in political views can also look like this: If you’ve been doing the work of recognizing your caste, class, race, and religious privilege, and he seems to think #AllLivesMatter, then yeah, it’s time for a serious conversation. You can either meet half-way or part ways completely.
7. Move on if he’s monogamous and committed
Are you attracted to him, but he’s committed? This is a non-issue if he’s in an open or a polyamorous relationship. But this situation, of you being attracted to a committed guy, brings in a host of ethical and practical issues if he’s in a monogamous relationship.
Best to vent this one out with your friends over a few drinks or tea, and wait for the attraction to get out of your system. Painful, yes. But we don’t have any tips for you in this scenario. If you’re feeling confused about a guy who’s in a monogamous relationship, you’ll just have to move on.
8. Are you attracted to your friend? This is for you
Ooof. This is tricky. The guy thinks he’s found a great friend in you, and trusts the relationship to stay platonic. But you’ve been harboring romantic or sexual feelings for him. And it takes every bit of your self-control to not blurt it out.
Two things. You either fess up and give him the choice to stay friends or transition the relationship to something else, or you silently suffer through the ordeal and move on for the sake of the friendship.
9. Tell him you only want sex
This is for you if you’re confused about a guy who wants romance, but you only want sex from him. The importance of sex cannot be undervalued. “I’m confused about a guy’s feelings for me,” said Anna, a friend of mine just a couple of weeks ago. “We have a great time together. Our deal was that it’ll stay strictly sexual. But one day, he drops the L word on me. What am I supposed to do with that? I don’t mean to sound horrible, but I’m scared of losing this guy as my fuck buddy now.”
This mismatch is common. People meet for hookups but one of them inevitably falls for the other. It’s best to state your boundaries, and to not drag on a confused man in love. If you think he’ll be hurt the more you two meet, you should decide to stop hanging out for a while or altogether. Stay gentle but firm. If you’re clear about what you want, stick to that. Remember we hate mixed signals, okay?
Related Reading: Should I Break Up With My Boyfriend? 11 Signs It Is Probably Time
10. Ask him if he wishes to take the relationship forward
This is for you if your guy only wants sex, but you want romance too. If you’re thinking “I’m confused about how I feel about a guy I’m sleeping with” and you’ve started to fall for him, then you have our sympathies. Take some hugs too.
Ask him if he wants to take your sexual relationship further. Listen to him if he says no. Take it seriously. Don’t wait for him to change his mind. Either stick to a sexual dynamic, or if it’s too painful, tell him you can’t meet him anymore and protect yourself from further damage. Remember that the most important relationship is with yourself.
11. It might be you, not him
You’re pretty unsure about a guy even though he’s great. He checks all the boxes but you’re still in the dark. It could be your own unresolved issues that are surfacing. Maybe the guy is alright, but you’re not ready for a relationship?
Maybe what you’re waiting for is not a guy, but for you to get started on some inner work. Or maybe this is the phase of your life where you can clearly see the benefits of being single. However, if you’re still confused about a guy and don’t know how to go about gaining some clarity, we’re here to guide you. Now that we’ve covered some of the most common scenarios, let’s go through a quick check-list:
12. Notice the patterns of your mental health around him
Do your mental health issues get worse around him, or does he take care of your triggers, boundaries, and feelings? You should feel validated, heard, acknowledged, safe, equal, and free around him.
13. If you’re confused about a guy, gauge the effortlessness of conversations
See if you can talk to him about anything under the sun like you would with a friend. Do you feel comfortable with him to the extent that you can discuss any topic, ranging from fun to sensitive?
14. Do a friend-check
What do your closest friends think about him? Do they notice any red flags that you couldn’t? Also, is he respectful toward your friends and understands their importance in your life?
15. Prioritize your romantic and sexual well-being
Does he fulfill your romantic needs? Different people express romance differently. See if his love language is compatible with yours. Does this guy fulfill you sexually and prioritize your sexual needs in bed? Does he ask you what you need in bed, and listen to feedback carefully?
16. Notice the way he treats others
If he treats others around him well, it’ll extend to you consistently too. If he doesn’t, it won’t take much time for his bias or bigotry to trickle down to you in some way.
17. Does he give you space?
If you feel suffocated around him, or flinch whenever he sends his tenth message in an hour, he may not be the one for you. You shouldn’t feel guilty about taking the space you need to function well.
Related Reading: Here’s How Being Clingy In A Relationship Can Sabotage It
18. Through sickness and career support
Does he check in, does he care, does he provide support when you are not feeling well, mentally or physically? Is he encouraging when it comes to your dreams and passions? This is a good check that tells you if a guy is interested in you or is just being friendly.
Well, that was the quick check-list. We hope this article helped you understand why people feel unsure about a guy or any potential partner in a relationship, how such confusions are normal and valid, and how to tackle them from now on. We wish you luck and clarity.
It means not knowing the way forward in a romantic/sexual/platonic relationship. The confusion lies in whether you want to stay with this person as a partner (romantic, sexual, or both), or do you part ways, or do you stay friends?
Yes. It’s normal. Our feelings fluctuate so much and on top of that, your partner may not be consistent with their feelings or actions too. Being confused about a guy or anyone you’re dating, is a common experience. Take your time to decide things, it’s alright.
When a man is confused about what he wants, ask him what issues he’s experiencing in the relationship. If you can resolve them, do that. If you can’t, then it’s best to let him go and part ways before someone gets hurt. You deserve someone who’s absolutely sure about you.