10 Possible Explanations For A Guy’s Hot & Cold Behavior

You finally found a great guy you like and best of all, he likes you too! Well, maybe. Possibly. If the dude you’re seeing seems super into you one day and totally disinterested the next, there could be a few explanations for his behavior.

  1. He’s indecisive. He likes you, he likes you not. Some days, a guy might be over the moon about you and other days, he may wake up and feel like he’s not ready for a relationship yet. His actions with you can reflect that indecisiveness, which may explain why he goes from blowing up your inbox to seeming completely disinterested from one day to the next.
  2. He’s trying the “catch and release.” Yes, this can be an actual tactic used to try to reel you in. By giving you lots of attention and then pulling back, this dude might be trying to get you to chase after him a bit. Essentially, he’s trying to pull a psychological trick to make you more attached to him. If you get the vibe that his hot and cold treatment is intentional, pay attention to see if he seems to be employing other techniques to mess with your head—and run for the hills if he is.
  3. He’s a commitmentphobe. No matter how much a commitmentphobe likes you, his fear of settling down might forever prevent him from getting too close to you. When he lets his guard down, he’ll be as affectionate and enthusiastic as anyone would when entering a potential relationship with someone they like. But then, when he starts to realize that what he has with you could become serious, he’ll pull away again… only to be drawn in once more when he remembers how much he likes you. It’s an exhausting emotional dance, and no one would blame you for moving on instead of putting up with it.
  4. He wants to keep you close but not too close. This back-and-forth could be his way of keeping you (and himself) in check, especially if he isn’t sure what he wants yet. He knows that by pushing you away too much, you’ll lose interest and potentially fall for someone else. By drawing you closer and closer, he knows that he’ll be setting himself up on the fast track to a serious relationship. This teeter-tottering may be his attempt at balance, even if the results come off a bit clumsy.
  5. He has someone else in mind too. If you aren’t exclusive with this guy yet, be open to the idea that his hot and cold behavior might be because there’s another woman (or multiple other women) in the picture. As things get more intense with someone else, you may get the vibe that he’s ignoring or losing interest in you. As things fizzle out with someone else he’s talking to, he may start asking you out more or texting you nonstop. There’s no need to get jealous just yet, but it’s certainly a possibility.
  6. He’s scared of getting hurt. It’s hard to blame the guy for appearing a bit indecisive if he’s been burned in the past. He may be crazy about you, but his fear of being rejected or ghosted or cheated on might be prompting him to withdraw a bit every time he feels like he’s getting too close to you. If he’s opened up to you about painful past relationships, try to be a little patient with him as he learns to trust you.
  7. He doesn’t want to come on too strong. When you’re really into someone, it can be hard to keep your affection and attention towards them dialed down to a reasonable level. His attempts to do so might come off as his “cold” moments to you as he tries to rein in his own enthusiasm for your budding relationship. Despite his poor execution, his intentions might be completely pure.
  8. He’s worried about appearing weak. Some dudes feel emasculated by basically everything, including showing emotions. As he starts to show how into you he really is, he might then pull back to try to appear like he’s “chill” about everything. The result is a confusing emotional back-and-forth, all because this guy equates feelings with weakness. Be on the lookout for other “macho” behaviors from him — if he has super traditional ideas about masculinity, his hot-and-cold actions may be a mere symptom of a larger issue.
  9. Something is holding him back. His periods of seeming aloof might be a reflection of something in his life giving him pause when it comes to pursuing a relationship with you. Maybe it’s another woman, but it could also be a host of other factors such as an impending move to a different city or simply a bit of uncertainty about your compatibility. His idea of logic might be what’s stopping him from going all-in all the time.
  10. He’s trying to take things slow. You know how it is when you meet someone you’re crazy about. You want to be with them all the time, planning out your futures together, imagining yourself with their last name… well, you get the idea. This head-over-heels enthusiasm is fun and thrilling at first, but it can also lead to your potential relationship crashing to the ground if you rush things. It might be that this guy is worried about his own excitement ruining what could be something great. If everything else is going fine, consider that he may see this as having the potential for a serious long-term relationship and is just trying to take a step back when he feels himself rushing into things.
Diana is a writer and waitress living in Tennessee with her "fur family" (two cats and a ferret). When she's not working, you can find her hiking, cooking, or taking really long naps.