20 Subtle Mixed Signals Men Give When They Are Not 'Relationship Material' Type Of Guys

You don't have time for games.

Last updated on Dec 18, 2023

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Perhaps the worst part of dating is how flighty everyone is. Relationships aren't seen as sacred anymore — too many people are on the lookout for something better instead of stopping to appreciate and nurture what they have.

Getting mixed signals is frustrating. When you're ready to be with someone and give them your whole heart, you don't want to spend the time trying to decipher what someone means when they seem to say one thing but do another.


Unfortunately, chances are if he's sending any of these confusing mixed signals, he's really not ready for a relationship.

Here are 20 mixed signals men give when they're not relationship material.

1. He won’t let you move on but doesn’t want to be with you himself.

When he constantly reminds you, either nonverbally or with his words, that he doesn't see himself in a relationship with you, it's only normal that you'd want to move on. But for him, just the thought of you seeing another man may make him jealous, even though he has no intention of dating you!



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2. He texts you instantly after you post on social media.

It may be because you popped up in his feed, or because he looks at your social media profiles constantly. Either way, when you make a post or add a story to your Instagram, his name immediately shows up on your phone with a “Hey, stranger” text.

3. He finally texts you back after three days of no response.

While life does tend to get in the way and perhaps he forgot to respond to you, when a man is interested, he will make the effort. But for the man who is giving you mixed signals, after days of not hearing from him, he hits you with the “I’m sorry I’ve been really busy” excuse.

4. He only pays attention to his phone.

When you're with him, 99% of the time he’s engulfed in his phone, scrolling his social feeds, watching sports, or doing anything else except pay attention to you. But he will take his sweet time replying to your text messages when you're not around.

5. He texts you late at night.

You'll be sound asleep only to be awoken by a text ping. He will send the “what’s up” text late at night, yet doesn’t answer when you respond in the morning. It's like he wants your attention but, at the same time, doesn't.


mixed signals men give when they aren't relationship materialPhoto: George Pak / Pexels

6. He makes plans and then cancels them.

Did he buy tickets to a concert, or make a plan to go on a date with you at a local bar? No matter what the plan is, he throws a wrench in it. He makes plans with you on a regular basis, only to cancel them shortly after.

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7. He’s brutally inconsistent.

His inconsistency means he will pop up at the most random times possible. It’s almost as if he has a sixth sense when you’re doing fine without him, and that’s when he crawls right back.

8. He’s active on dating apps.

Tinder, Bumble, Hinge — you name it, and he has a profile on it. However, he acts as if he wants no part in such nonsense. Because, in his mind, he doesn’t need a silly dating app to get the girl, right?

9. He only communicates with you on social media.

You'd be lucky to get a text, let alone a phone call! But rather than him reaching out to your phone number, he instead contacts you solely through social media apps.

10. He acts too busy for you.

He will tell you how much he misses you and boasts about how badly he wants to get together soon, but he's always way too busy to follow through. And sometimes, when he says he's busy, he often posts stories on Instagram with him out with friends or doing something else without you.


mixed signals men give when they aren't relationship materialPhoto: Ron Lach / Pexels

11. He refuses to let you be happy with anyone else.

While he acts like he isn’t interested in a relationship, he won’t let you be happy in one with anyone else. When you even mention or make a subtle hint to you wanting to spread your wings and fly, he makes a big deal out of it. He may even tell you he's interested in you just to keep you around.

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12. He suddenly cares about you when he sees you getting attention elsewhere.

Did a guy offer to buy you a drink, or did you receive a text from someone you matched with on an app? If he finds out, he suddenly acts like you're the apple of his eye, showering you with attention you haven't received. He doesn't want to date you, but he doesn't want you dating anyone else, either.

13. He claims he’s not ready for a relationship but will act as if you're in one.

Over and over, he will tell you he's not looking for anything serious, but then he gives mixed signals at the same time. He acts as if you’re his girlfriend, but won’t claim the title of your boyfriend.

14. He won't let you meet his friends.

If you've asked him to bring you around his friends, he acts cagey, giving you excuse after excuse as to why it won't work. When you offer to bring him around your friends, it's the same story. It's like he's hiding you from everyone he knows, and it's sending mixed signals.



15. He won’t talk to you for days, even weeks at a time.

Your phone and social media apps haven't pinged with notifications from him in some time. But then, suddenly, he resurfaces and plays his absence off cool as if were no big deal. He hits you with the “How have you been?” text to get back in your good graces.


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16. He's constantly talking about his ex.

It's normal to want to discuss your ex when you first start seeing someone, but he brings up his ex for a whole other reason. It's all in hopes of sparking a jealous reaction from you.

17. He won't define the relationship.

Even if you haven’t initiated the “what are we?” conversation yet, he claims that you’re way too eager to make things official. But despite him thinking you're too eager, he's still the one acting like you're together and that he wants a relationship.


18. He doesn't respect your boundaries.

Even if he's already seen your body in person, he continues to ask you for revealing, private photos. When you decline, he continues to pressure you. It just shows that he doesn't respect your boundaries or your feelings.

mixed signals men give when they aren't relationship materialPhoto: Keira Burton / Pexels

19. He has an excuse for just about anything.

It’s almost as if he has these little excuses stored in a file in the back of his brain, waiting to be used again. Whether it's that his car broke down, or he didn't hear his phone ring, or he helped deliver a baby on the side of the road so he couldn't call you back, he will think of everything to get you off his case.


20. He claims he isn't looking for anything serious.

He tells you he isn’t looking for anything serious one minute, but then the next, he says just enough to keep a glimpse of hope lingering above your head. He continues to give you mixed signals, making you wonder what he truly wants.

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Andrea Davis is a freelance writer, photographer, and social media influencer who covers lifestyle, health, fitness, and relationship topics.