Mixed messages that people can give each other are frustrating and can really hurt a relationship. Your partner may be telling you they don’t deserve you, while still having a relationship with you, or may be sending you mixed signals in some other way. How do you read passed the mixed messages to find the truth at the heart of the matter?
Dear Dan and Jennifer,
My girlfriend of two months keeps telling me that I can do better than her, that she doesn’t deserve me, etc. She has a two year old daughter and is going through a nasty divorce… I decided to pursue a relationship with her in spite of her current situation. But now I concerned. Deep down, does she really want to break up with me – and just wants me to do the dirty work? What’s up with all the mixed signals? Why does she keep saying these things?
–David, Rhode Island
Does She Want To Break Up?
Your partner may be sending you mixed messages because they want to break up with you, but it is more likely that your partner is sending you mixed signals because they themselves aren’t sure if they want to break up with you or not. This is actually a very common thing that women do – they often project what they can’t figure out on their own to others. Your partner may also be testing the waters. Is she saying that she doesn’t deserve you or you can do better than her? She might just want to see how you react to those words and whether you agree with her or not. These types of mixed messages are indeed frustrating, but there’s always something at the root of the problem.
Does She Have Some Past Emotional Problems?
In this particular case, a woman that says to her partner that they can “do better” or similar things, might be suffering from some deep down emotional issues that need to be talked out with a therapist. Is this type of self-destructive talk something that has been ingrained in her since childhood, or has she had a recent traumatic break up or divorce, or even perhaps a job loss? These types of situations can seriously wreak havoc on a woman’s emotional self esteem and she may really be feeling that she doesn’t deserve you or that you can, in fact, do better. If you feel that this might truly be the root of the problem, talk to your partner (gently) about possibly getting some counseling.
Is She Stringing You Along?
Your partner may also be stringing you along, goading you until you do the dirty work and break up with her instead of her having to do it herself. This is dirty – you definitely don’t want to be a part of that! Confront your partner in a non-judgmental way and ask them what’s going on that makes them think and feel this way about you. Open communication is the best way to figure out what is really going on. If she’s stringing you along, let her do the breaking up, especially if it’s obvious that that’s what she wants. Don’t forget though, if this is a situation that you don’t feel is healthy for you or you are uncomfortable with, you have the power to walk away.
Although mixed messages can really do some damage to your relationship, with open communication you can either work through them or realize that this wasn’t the right relationship for you – or your partner. Don’t be afraid to be honest without arguing or being critical of your partner. Just talk it out and see where it goes.