Interpreting Love’s Mixed Signals

image of woman flirting with another man behind her partner's back
Humans are born with a natural desire to be loved and a primal need to seek attention and affection from romantic partners. But love is a powerful, overwhelming emotion that drives people to act, speak and even think differently, causing them to misread signals and misjudge interest.

When you’re blinded by love’s keen bliss, it’s easy to interpret words and behaviours differently than you usually would. What would easily be a red flag in your normal state of mind can slip by unnoticed when you’re in love.

Here are a few signals you may be misreading and what they actually mean:


Many people mistake envy and possessiveness as passion. If your partner gets jealous easily and tries to control you, you may convince yourself that their feelings for you are causing them to act that way. Realistically, they’re likely struggling with personal issues and are projecting their insecurities onto you. Don’t confuse controlling tendencies with a caring nature.

ŸA hectic schedule

Does your lover frequently cancel plans or forget to call you back, using their busy schedule as an excuse? This is a huge red flag and should not be dismissed as normal behavior. Everyone has the same amount of time in a day, and we’re forced to make time for what’s important. If your partner isn’t devoting enough time to you, it’s not because they’re too busy; it’s because they don’t want to.

ŸPet names

Baby, honey and sweetie are nice to hear, and it’s certainly exciting when your significant other starts to incorporate them into your conversations. However, you should avoid putting too much emphasis on these words because that’s all they are: words. Pet names are an easy way to show affection and are often used without a second thought, so exercise caution when interpreting them as a sign of interest.

Unwanted motivation

It’s nice when you can count on your partner to motivate and inspire you, but there’s a fine line between pushing someone to be their best and trying to change who they are. If someone is continuously urging you to change the way you look, re-evaluate your religious beliefs or stop doing the things you love, it’s quite possible that they’re trying to mould you into a different person, instead of encouraging you to be a better version of yourself.

It can be extremely challenging to decipher mixed signals when you’re pursuing a relationship with someone new. If you’re trying to determine if someone cares for you as much as you care for them, step back and evaluate the situation objectively. Examine the signals they’re sending and determine what their behaviours, not words, are telling you.

You should always let your intuition guide you. If you feel like your partner may not be as invested in the relationship as you are, you’re probably right. The sooner you realise that someone’s feelings aren’t genuine, the sooner you can move on to someone more worthy of your time.

Author: Rose Smith