Blowing Hot and Cold: The 3 Stages to Explain Why Someone Does This

Relationships are confusing. When your guy starts blowing hot and cold, what are you supposed to think? Turns out, there are three stages to this process.

blowing hot and cold

When your new lover starts blowing hot and cold it can be upsetting. First, you’re bound to start thinking ‘what am I doing wrong?,’ ‘is everything okay with them?,’ and worse still, ‘is there someone else?’

Most relationships go through the blowing hot and cold phase at some stage, but if it’s happening repeatedly, it’s time to stop what you’re doing and assess the situation.

Assessing the temperature

What do you need to know? Basically, this person is blowing hot and cold because they’re scared, and they’re trying to protect themselves. Perhaps they’ve been hurt before, or this is their first big relationship and that in itself terrifies them.

Whatever the reason, it’s a defense mechanism and doesn’t always have to reflect back on you. [Read: Why a man pulls away and what you can do about it]

Of course, it could also be that they’re just downright flaky, and they’re blowing hot and cold because they don’t know what they want, they’re toying with you, or they’re not sure if this relationship is what they want anymore. Can you see how confusing this situation can be?

The 3 stages of blowing hot and cold

To break it down, there are actually three stages to blowing hot and cold. It’s important to understand each one, so you can figure out which part of the process you’re at, and whether or not there is time or hope to salvage the situation.

#1 The first stage of blowing hot and cold. The first flourishes of any relationship are addictive. You get all that attention, everything is exciting, it’s all flirtatious, and you have constant butterflies. What could be better? The problem? It never lasts forever. [Read: How long before your honeymoon phase ends?]

The hope is that things just even out to a more comfortable level and the relationship continues, but what if it’s not like that? The alternative is that suddenly you notice dates are less frequent, texts take longer to reply to, or you don’t get a reply at all, and when he’s around it’s just a little… off?

It’s totally normal to wonder what is going on, and to probably think you’ve done something wrong. So as a result, you chase him. Big mistake ladies! Mark my words, I’ve done my fair share of chasing and it’s never worked out for me.

I always thought I’d said something he didn’t like, I’d accidentally insulted his mother without realizing it, or something else that I simply couldn’t put my finger on, but you know what? It was never me, and it’s not likely to be you either.

Your guy has suddenly gone cold. It might be tepid at this point, but the tipping point is whether he continues to go even more chilly, or warms up. [Read: All the reasons why chasing a guy never helps]

#2 The second stage of blowing hot and cold. If you go into the second stage, you’ve got a slight player on your hands. You’ll understand why when we get onto the third stage.

Stage two is a freezing of your budding relationship. He suddenly doesn’t text back at all, he starts cancelling dates, and there’s no ‘I can’t do tonight, but how about tomorrow.’ Tomorrow literally never comes.

By this point, you’re confused, completely and utterly flummoxed. What on earth did you do wrong? Whenever this has happened to me, I’ve turned myself into a jibbering wreck.

I’ve gone through every event in my mind with a fine tooth comb. Did my hair look a mess for a few days and he couldn’t stand it? Did I laugh at the wrong time? Is it because I didn’t wear makeup that one morning?

Seriously, I went through the smallest, most ridiculous details. You’re likely to chase even more at this point too. It’s not dignified, but we’ve all done it.

The bottom line is, if a guy has gone freezing on you because you had bed hair one morning, seriously, do you want him around?

By the end of this second stage, you give up hope. You realize that he’s a douchebag and it’s time to move on, so you do. You stop texting, calling, and you start going out with your friends more. [Read: How to ignore a guy that ignores you]

#3 The third *and most confusing* stage. Now this is where we see his true colors. He realizes that you’re not calling, and he’s probably been stalking your Facebook, noticing that you’ve been going out a little more. Then?

Your phone will ring, or a message will come in. He’ll want to meet up. It will be super-casual at first, ‘fancy meeting Friday night?.’ You’ll be so gobsmacked for a moment that you start doing that unattractive goldfish impression. You know the one.

What do you do? You might be keen to meet him to try and figure out what went wrong, to get some answers. Was it really you? Why did he stop calling? But, you need to think carefully here, ladies. There is a very good chance that this guy is a player, and these stages will keep repeating themselves on a loop until he literally drives you borderline crazy. Do you want that?

Okay, I’ll hold my hands up. I did meet the guy who did this to me, because I’m a curious cat, and I never know what’s good for me. The outcome? After a couple of weeks we were back at stage one, and then two, and by the time stage three came again I’d got wise to his games. [Read: How to handle the guys who ghost and come back]

Is there ever a positive outcome?

You might be reading this and shaking your head in dismay. Is this really what your new relationship is going to look like in a few weeks? While not 100% certain, the chances are high.

It’s probably not the news you wanted, I get it. But it’s best to know now, rather than wait until you’re a few months in, your heart is invested, and he suddenly drops colder than an eskimo in a cold snap.

You deserve to get what you want out of a relationship, e.g. warmth, companionship, passion, friendship, a feeling of being loved. Why would you settle for someone acting like a hairdryer with several heat settings? [Read: My relationship with a narcissist and what it means to love one]

Of course, there is always the possibility that something is going on in his life that he hasn’t told you about, like stress at work, and it causes him to act in this way. But if that’s the case, the cycle of stages won’t repeat. You’ll never find yourself back at stage one after the first time. It’s up to you to give a second chance, only you can make the right decision for yourself, but always be wary.

The bottom line really is this: a guy who is truly into you will not run the risk of losing you. If he does make a mess of the first time, he won’t risk it twice. [Read: Why you need to be slow and steady if you’re getting back together]

You’re hot then you’re cold …

Katy Perry’s song, “Hot n Cold” is something you must listen to, ladies! A guy blowing between temperatures is confusing and downright exhausting. Do you really have time to sit there and second guess whether he’s going to be all in that day or not? Of course not!

The best advice, in my opinion, is to focus on yourself and if Mr. Hot n Cold wants to figure himself out, he knows where you are. Whether you’re happy to put him on defrost is a choice only you can make.

[Read: Reasons why a guy might be playing hard to get]

It’s not worth turning the tables and trying it on him, because guys blowing hot and cold have less patience than us. He’s more likely to just let it go. 

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Nicky Curtis
Nicky Curtis
Having stumbled from one relationship drama to another throughout her 20s, Nicky is now somewhat of a guru in the crazy world of life and love. Telling it how i...
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