What to do when your boyfriend or girlfriend is driving you crazy with mixed signals

Blessing Special asks:

Once I told you about my boyfriend tracking my phone and seeing some chat he didn’t like and the ones he misunderstood.  Then, after like a week we weren’t on good terms after, we talked about everything and tried to resolve the issue.  But I noticed that ever since that period, my boyfriend always tries to find out what’s going on in my life without asking questions directly. Rather he would prefer using other means to get what he wants. I haven’t found it funny when he keeps using my pass to talk to me like I was nothing good. I told him once that I do not like him talking to me using my past to make it look like I was trash. I’d rather he should be plain to me and tell me if there’s something he would like to know, that he would like me to do or stop. But still he hasn’t stopped and when I tell him that I do not like these things he acts like he owes me no explanation or apology and he’s ready to stay without checking on for as long as I feel bad about it. It’s been 6 days he hasn’t even said a word to me. I try to call his attention to what he did that I didn’t like, but he tells me that I should see it anyway, that he’s not going to explain anything to me. I felt bad about what he said but then I knew he was talking out of anger or something disturbing him, but I still don’t understand why he can’t speak up openly and tell me things he either observes that he doesn’t like or what he expects me to, because I feel like the feeling isn’t mutual, because each time we have issues I always call first. That’s because I don’t stay upset for too long. And also there’s this conversation going on between us because of the lock down. I haven’t gone back to school, so I tried looking for something to do, but the places I went wanted someone stable, so I decided to try selling ladies’ handbags and slippers (I had no cash because my rent was about to expire). I discussed my plans with him, and he even asked for pictures which I sent him, and it’s been like 4 months now he hasn’t said a word about it. So I came up to him to tell him of a friend who was willing to lend me the money to start it up and pay him later, but he wasn’t okay with it, saying the guy might want something in return (me). So I let that go, but then he came up one morning and started beating around the bush, saying we need to talk, that all I do is wake up, chat nasty with him, and want to see his face again. Then he skipped that and went ahead saying some stuff that got me feeling so ashamed of myself, because it was embarrassing. Normally I and my boyfriend talk at length and exchange romantic words. Sometimes he asks for videos I send to him when he travels.  And we do video calls. But then he just came up and started making me feel like I was the only one talking dirty. I’m so confused right now. I want to know what to do and where this is going. I don’t want to jump into conclusions that I might regret or take any unwise decision.

Hi Blessing Special –

            Have you ever heard of the Ivan Pavlov?  He was a brilliant scientist who worked to understand human and animal behavior many years ago.  His most famous experiments involved dogs whom he’d train by giving a treat when they’d get a signal, or a punishment (a slight electrical) shock at others.  He found things like that we’d start to salivate at the sound of that good signal, proof that our bodies react to symbols.  And that he could train us to do certain things by these means.

            But one of the darker results of his experiments was what would happen if he mixed the signals too much.  When he gave the happy signal to dogs and then shocked them, they started to freak out, and literally go mad. 

            And this is what this guy is doing to you.  I don’t know if he’s doing it on purpose or not, but to have “naughty” chats and ask for videos of you, and then shame you for them – that’s crazy-making to anyone.  And his whole thing of avoiding telling you what’s actually on his mind, but making you feel you’ve done something wrong – that’s just mean.

            So again, maybe it’s just that this guy is bad at relationships.  Or he’s doing it on purpose to mess with you.  I don’t know.  But I know that I don’t like what’s happening at all, and I want it to end.

            I know you’ve talked with him about it before, but my suggestion is to make it tougher on him – to tell him that this stuff needs to change, and now.  If he refuses, or if he says okay but keeps acting the same way, I hate to say it but my suggestion would be to leave him.  I know you love him, but I don’t want you to end up like one of Pavlov’s dogs, getting put to sleep because you’re incapable of acting rationally.  And that’s just the way he’s sending you!

            All my very very best,


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