Up until I had my epiphany seven years ago, about unavailable relationships and in particular my own unavailability, I was convinced that I had a special skill that made available men unavailable. In my mind, I would get involved with someone, incidentally who I probably didn’t even like that much, and they would be blowing seriously hot and then ‘something about me’ would make them become unavailable and start blowing lukewarm or cold. I believed that they were great guys offering great relationships and that if it weren’t for my flaws, they’d still be the same guys I’d assumed they were and offering the same relationships that I’d assumed or been led to believe that they were offering.
If you’ve ever been in an unavailable relationship, you’re likely as familiar with blowing hot and cold as you are with your own reflection. It’s gone from intense and gradually or very sharply cooled down.
- They’re not as eager and in pursuit as they were before.
- In fact, you’re the one doing the chasing now.
- Suddenly you’re hearing excuses including about how busy they are.
- Whereas you used to hear from the all the time, now there are increasing gaps.
- They seem less attentive.
- You feel like a pest when you get in touch.
- They’ve disappeared with some lame-o excuse and come back in a rather feeble capacity that you’re now trying to breathe life into.
- They get snippy with you when you remind them of things that they’ve said and even promised you.
- It feels like you’re on your own with your feelings.
- You can feel them pulling away, possibly because the feeling is familiar.
- You’ve actually got used to breezing in for an intense ‘set’ and then them breezing out again for a while, often without hearing from them and suspecting or even knowing that there involved with others, but being OK with being their ‘appointment’.
- This might be a well honed routine. When they pull away and you stop chasing them, they chase you back and then when you respond, they pull away. And lathe, rinse, repeat.
Blowing hot and cold is never a good sign and it is in fact a code red alert because you can never trust in this person enough to know what to expect from them. Your relationship will not be able to have balance, it can’t progress because they keep undermining it, they’re inconsistent (and if you stay around too long they become consistent at being inconsistent and train you to expect less from them), and as a result of all of these things, you cannot expect intimacy or commitment.
There’s no point in being with someone who blows hot and cold because it’s not a mutual relationship, it’s all on their terms, and you can never really know where you stand because they persist in undermining you and the relationship.This is unhealthy and demeaning.
The person who blows hot and cold thrives on control and equates feeling out of control with desire. They value what they don’t have and ‘newness’, so you’re on borrowed time.
When you won’t give them the time of day or they don’t know if you’re interested or they don’t know if you’re ‘buying’ what they’re ‘selling’ (read: a relationship and a person that’s not actually available), the lack of control makes you very desirable. They get curious.
You will know this feeling well if you’re the type of person that only thinks that love is valuable when it comes from a reluctant or defunct source. If you got their interest and commitment, you’d lose interest.
This lack of control causes them to overestimate their interest and their capacity for a relationship and they do this by Future Faking and Fast Forwarding you through the early stages of the relationship. The promises, the thinly veiled hints about things they see you both doing in the future and the intensity, blinds you to paying attention to red flags and sweeps you off your feet. When you come back to earth, whether it’s gradually or sharply, it hurts. Particularly when it’s gradual, it can make you feel very insecure because you wonder what you ‘did’ to ‘change’ them when in fact, they haven’t changed; they’ve unfolded. In turn, if you blame it on you instead of seeing their shady behaviour for what it is, you’ll start campaigning for ‘reinstatement’ and for the ‘win’.
If you don’t register the inconsistency and you hang around, the blowing hot and cold will disrupt and confuse you, and actually, you’ll become desensitised to getting crumbs and may actually think you’re getting a loaf when you’re actually on a crumb diet.
If it’s sharp, it can feel like you’ve been sucker-punched and you’ll wonder what you did to cost yourself their adulation. Am I not beautiful / sexy / good enough / interesting anymore? You may wonder why they disappeared and chase them or hope for their return, when in actual fact, they’ve made a sharp cowardly exit before you see that there’s an emperor’s new clothes situation.
As I explained in my book Mr Unavailable and the Fallback Girl, it’s like when someone runs the hot tap and then you get cold, then lukewarm, and then hot, then cold, then hot and so forth – often it feels much hotter than what it actually is because you’ve been put through the lower temperatures.
Blowing lukewarm or cold should be a wake-up call if not the exit bell ringing. At the very least, it is a sign that you need to step back, stop, look, listen and evaluate what the hell is going on. It’s question asking time (if the situation calls for it), but it’s highly likely to signal an exit.
The moment that you allow someone to be inconsistent, you are allowing your expectations to be managed down.
It can be very tempting to play in the Hot & Cold Casino and keep betting on potential but it’s a false economy that will eat away at your soul. Once you end up playing this game and realising that cutting them off, threatening to end it, mentioning that you’re seeing others etc makes them step up, albeit only for a short time until they realise that you’re back under their control, you’re trying to mess with supply and demand. What are you going to do? Keep doing these things in order to get attention from them? It’s only a matter of time until they recognise the pattern and then they will even become half-hearted in chasing after you. They realise you’re not really that serious.
Blowing hot and cold is ambivalent, ambiguous, inconsistent, contradictory, unreliable, unstable and yes, at times, assclownary. Not one of these things are remotely attractive or ‘exciting’ – they’re eject button worthy.
It takes a thoughtless and/or rather self-involved individual to actually think that not only can they do this, but that they can essentially pull the same con on you numerous times without being noticed. They may even deny it if they’re that deluded.
You cannot forge a mutually fulfilling relationship with someone who blows hot and cold, so why waste your time? It’s not because you’re not good enough and it’s certainly not because they need to retreat from the relationship to renew their desire; it’s because they’re unavailable, inconsistent, controlling, and not worth pursuing a relationship with. To make it about you, is to suggest that people treat others poorly and ‘change’ their characters because they’re ‘provoked’ by the inadequacies of others.
They’re either in or they’re out. They’re either on or they’re off, but what they shouldn’t have license to do is to keep changing it with you, so don’t give it to them.