Hot And Cold Women, Why Do They Act This Way?

My Questions and Answers | | Expert Author , Mental Health & Relationship Counselor
Updated On: March 20, 2024
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Dealing with hot-and-cold women is something you must have come across at least once in your life as a man. It’s frustrating to navigate, leaves you with nothing but questions and can be quite bothersome as you try to figure her out. One day, she’s madly in love with you and wants to take you to Machu Picchu. The other day, she doesn’t even thank you for covering up her share of the chores. It must drive you crazy, we get it. But instead of blaming it on their mood swings and their biology, consider that there is something much more complex going on here.

To really take a deep dive into hot-and-cold women and what makes them that way, let’s look into a relevant question raised by one of our readers today. Addressing the question, counseling psychologist and certified life-skills trainer Deepak Kashyap (Masters in Psychology of Education), who specializes in a range of mental health issues, including LGBTQ and closeted counseling, helps us decode the typical hot-and-cold behavior.

Want to finally understand what goes on in your crush’s head when that girl suddenly acts cold? Or is it high time you get the answer to why your wife shows confusing behaviors to you? With real-life insights, let’s break it down.

Dealing With Hot-And-Cold Women

Q: My girlfriend has these phases when she is very romantic to me and others when she is totally into other things like her job, friends, etc. During the other phase, it’s like I don’t even exist. She swings to extremes, and at that point, I’m left wondering, why is she being distant and avoiding me? Did I do something wrong? Sometimes she is very talkative and at others very silent. These silent phases worry me a lot and make me wonder why is she hot and cold in her behavior. They make me wonder what she has been thinking. How do I decipher these phases?

From the expert:

Ans: You have a person at your hand, who through no fault of her own, is complicated as most hot-and-cold women are. At the cost of sounding sarcastic (in my head I am only being funny), guess what? We are all super complicated. None of us come with a user manual attached to us. A lot of us are trying to search and write that manual for most of our adult lives. In the absence of such, very desired but woefully absent manuals, one has to rely on two major skills that most people have or can develop — acceptance and good communication.

Accept that there are all kinds of people on this planet and say to yourself, “My partner doesn’t have to have everything that I want.” Having said that, I understand the hurt and confusion one may feel in the face of one’s lover going hot and cold, however unintentionally. Her behavior could be because of several reasons, which I don’t want to speculate on, without having met her, and complicate matters for you by priming you to believe things that might be the furthest from the truth. My efforts here are more focused on assisting you to develop skills to deal with confusing and sometimes contradictory behavior.

Related Reading: What Women Want In A Modern Relationship

When a girl suddenly acts cold, use this advice

Instead of constantly asking, “Why is she being distant or avoiding me?”, consider this: sometimes people are not aware of the effect their behavior has on others or they have become very hardened and defensive because they have been attacked a lot for who they are and how they behave. Very few people have been shown patience and kindness to help them understand the complicated and sometimes socially dysfunctional side of their personalities.

why is she hot and cold
Tired of asking, ‘Why is she being distant and avoiding me?’

Love has to be complemented with a lot of patience in a relationship and kindness. Maybe you can show that in your communication style, without the patronizing attitude that they might have run away from in the past. Stick to the language of ‘I’ and describe how you feel, given your lack of skills to deal with their human complexity and not how they make you feel. Relationships are hard but they are worth it, remember that. All the very best!

Reasons Why Your Girl Is Acting Hot And Cold

Hot-and-cold women act in this way because something big is stirring inside them. They’ve either got something serious going on in their life, are feeling neglected in a relationship or have something else on their mind. It’s never just nothing. But as a guy, it can be tough to figure that out all on your own. With a little help from us at Bonobology today, you might be able to get better at solving this puzzle after all. Why is she hot and cold to you? Here are just a few explanations:

1. She is feeling insecure

Often when you are dealing with an insecure woman, this problem of her acting hot and cold will creep into your relationship. Since there is a dilemma, an emotional inconsistency and a roller-coaster of self-doubt inside of her, she will not be able to help but project the same in her interactions.

But note closely that this insecurity has everything to do with her relationship with you. Perhaps she’s upset that you two haven’t used the relationship tag yet or she’s unhappy that you haven’t expressed enough love to her yet. In this case, she can’t help but question herself and feel frustrated with you.

2. Right person, wrong time situation

Hot-and-cold women sometimes act the way that they do when they’re completely into you but are afraid that the timing of your relationship isn’t right. She has feelings for you, don’t get us wrong! In fact, her feelings may be so overwhelming that she has to pull herself away from you at times and that’s why she acts cold with you.

The answer to, “My crush is hot and cold to me and I don’t understand why”, may just be this. They flirt with you, make all sorts of advances and then pull back when they feel like they’ve gone too far. They do this because they like you but are afraid of dipping in both feet, and that could have many, many reasons.

Related Reading: 9 Signs You Are In A “Right Person Wrong Time” Situation

3. She enjoys your company, but doesn’t want to get too serious with you

A lot of times when a girl suddenly acts cold, it’s because she’s afraid she might be leading you on. Perhaps you two have been on a few dates, and in your head, it’s going really well. She laughs at your jokes, pays on the date and even invites you in for a nightcap after. Sounds like she’s definitely into you, right?

But a few days later, you notice she’s not picking up your calls, is always rescheduling dates and gives you the classic “I’m just so swamped with work” excuse. Clearly, this woman thinks you’re fun and has a good time with you but it ends there. She does not want to pursue anything further and is convinced that you probably do. So to let you down easy, she acts cold with you.

4. She has a fear of commitment

Why is she hot and cold to you when you do everything to make her happy? Probably because she likes you a lot but the idea of committing to you scares her. A commitment-phobe’s second nature is to be hot and cold in relationships. Maybe her past relationships have left her scarred or she’s just not ready for a real relationship for other reasons.

What to do when she acts cold because she doesn’t think she should be with you? Walk away. If you’ve spotted in her the signs of a commitment-phobe, it is best that you flee from the situation before you get too hurt. Don’t try to change her mind or turn her. If she’s truly ready to be with you, she knows where to find you.

5. Women sometimes act this way to punish men

So you’ve had a hot-and-cold relationship for a while now but can’t figure out what’s wrong. She’s stopped responding to your texts, rarely ever picks up calls and hasn’t shown up at your place for ramen in over two weeks. No, don’t jump the gun and think it’s because she’s found someone else or is cheating on you. If she’s still keeping in touch with you but pulls away to prove a point, she is doing so to punish you.

When hot-and-cold women act the way that they do and try to make it extremely obvious, they’re doing it with an agenda in mind. It could be anything. Maybe you’ve been mentioning the new female coworker at your office too much or because you forgot to show up to dinner with your girlfriend and her mother. Whatever it may be, she’s waiting for an apology.

Now as a man, the next question you’re probably scratching your head all over is, “What to do when she acts cold?” The thing is, it all comes down to the reason. If she’s doing it to punish you, you should definitely talk to her more and figure out what’s upsetting her. If she’s ignoring you because she’s unsure of her feelings for you, maybe you should back away and give her some space to think. We hope you now have a better idea of what exactly is going on in your relationship.


1. What does it mean when a woman goes hot and cold?

There are many reasons for a woman to go hot and cold. She could be reassessing the relationship, has a fear of commitment or could be trying to punish you for something that you did.

2. How to handle a hot-and-cold girl?

So she’s showing a lot of affection one day but completely pulling away the next? To handle a hot-and-cold girl, you have to either confront her and ask her why she’s being so inconsistent in her feelings or pull away and see how that unfolds. It all depends on what is the real reason behind her behavior.

3. How do you deal with a hot-and-cold relationship?

There is no doubt about it that being in a hot-and-cold relationship is hard. If it’s been going on for a long time with your girlfriend, it is best that you approach her kindly about it and ask her what is going wrong.

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