Why You Need To Stop Chasing That Hot-And-Cold Guy (And Get Him To Chase You, Instead)

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Should You Give Up On A Man Who Acts Hot And Cold?
Love, Heartbreak

How to handle that mixed-singles man.

A reader wonders if she should contact a hot and cold man who has dropped off the face of the planet.

"We’ve been close for about 8 months. And yes, of course, he used to act hot and cold in those periods, but I was cool, that's not a big deal for me. 'Til, when he starts [getting] busy [at] work, he hangs me in a text and answer it after two days (which is it's me who sends another text, saying "Are you okay?"). And he replied, saying he is fine, just so busy at work. BUT, there is no word "sorry" as he usually does. And I didn't put a reply after.

Now, 3 weeks [have passed] and we didn't contact each other. I don’t know why but I hope he would text me again.

Should I just hold myself, and never text him first?"

I’m sorry you’re going through this. You didn't say if you had an established, continuous relationship with this man, so I’ll assume that you didn't because, normally, there would be a breakup conversation or something after an 8-month relationship ends.

Here’s the thing: He is NOT pursuing you. You said that he’ll let your texts hang for 2 days before YOU reach out and ask if he’s "okay", which is simple chasing behavior on your part.

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This is not the behavior of anyone who really likes you and deeply wants to talk to you.

To answer your question directly — yes, continue not to contact him. Perhaps forever. Let him do his thing and get out there and meet some new men.

By chasing him in the past, you have effectively taught him that you will make sure he doesn't go anywhere if he chooses not to respond to you.

And now, he’s been gone for 3 weeks.

Three weeks is actually early days in the world of male disappearances. But, you have to decide if you want to deal with trying to draw him closer to you by requiring him to actually date and court you...or if you want to set him loose, move on and find another guy who will be more attentive to you.

I understand why you have allowed him to act like this so far. But, at this point, it sounds like you’ve fallen prey to the dreaded "fantasy relationship" where one person wants more and is encouraged when the guy gets in touch or even tosses out a vague "hey" — but he’s largely killing time or responding out of guilt.

If he seemed into you at some point, these crumbs are even worse because it’s supported by research that we’re more attracted to people whose feelings for us are unclear.

And, this man does seem like he was vaguely interested in you at some point. The problem is that "some point" has moved to a distant spot in the past. This often happens when women over-contact a man, in hopes that he’ll ask them out more, which always backfires since trying to "win a man over" requires a lot of masculine conquering energy.

Feminine energy receives — so when you chase him, he isn't able to give you his attention, time, and affection.

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To fall in love, men need to think about you and decide whether they want to see you. Men fall in love when they give. By being the one to regularly initiate contact with him and try to see him, you put yourself into the masculine role in your interactions— which appears to have turned him off.

Given that he has usually found the time to text you eventually, he probably will again…sometime. But given his actions so far, he’s largely ambivalent toward you. He doesn't care too much about what happens with you one way or another.

Ambivalence is the kiss of death for romance.

The mystery has gone from the flirtation you shared because he knows he can count on you to be there waiting around like a doormat.

You said that the last time he popped up, he didn't say "sorry" like he usually does. This tells me that he’s tossed you vague excuses about why he didn't respond to you before — but now it’s only gotten worse since now he’s quit bothering to give you even a lukewarm "sorry" for falling off the face of the Earth.

You don’t have to give up completely on him, but since he has been rude in the past by not responding to you at all, you can learn how to make him chase you, instead. Let him make all the forward motion towards you if you want anything more than a casual text flirtation.

This means let him initiate all conversation, dates, and contact.

If he wants to talk to you, he will. If not, losing an ambivalent man is not a big loss.

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Elizabeth Stone is a coach, author, and founder of Attract The One. If you keep dealing with men who ghost, pull away and act hot and cold, get to the bottom of it with your free copy of her book, Why Men Lose Interest and free daily email series.

This article was originally published at Attract The One. Reprinted with permission from the author.