The Hot and Cold Guy

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Posted by Jenn Clark on May 3, 2012 at 12:45 PM

I’m sure most of us have had the experience with a guy who comes on strong - super strong, in fact - only to lose interest or pull away quickly. If he does come back around, this often becomes a cycle throughout our entire “relationship” with him. One minute he’s hot, the next he’s cold. One day he seems interested, the next he doesn’t. Frustrating, right?

Faucets are supposed to have hot and cold taps. Men are not. Yet many of them have no trouble turning off the heat and going icy. And when it happens to us, we are left to wonder what’s going on and if we did something to put out his fire. The reality is that you probably didn’t. When a man runs hot and cold, it is usually because of his own issues. So let’s take a look at a few possible explanations:

He’s just not ready for a real relationship. Men who waiver between hot and cold don’t have the emotional equipment necessary for an adult relationship. They don’t have the ability (or interest) in doing the work to sustain things over time. Maybe they like the chase and once you show you’re into them, they lose interest. Maybe they don’t want to be in anything “serious” and so they back off. Whatever the reason, these guys are not men of quality. They aren’t able to be honest with you (nor with themselves) and instead they blow you off, stop paying much attention to you, or run away altogether.       

He’s just not that into you. When a man is truly crazy about a woman, he doesn’t want to pull away or avoid her for extended periods of time. I know this can be confusing because he was once all “hot” for you! We’ll think to ourselves, “He used to like me! What’s going on now??” Here’s the truth: When a hot/cold man is running “hot,” he’s trying to get what he wants from you – whether it’s sex, ego gratification, or whatever else. If he goes “cold” after he’s gotten it (or after you don’t give it to him), he’s showing you how he truly feels about you. Sure, he might like you enough to not want to let you go totally, but he’s not afraid to keep you on simmer while he explores other options.      He’s just an a-hole. Some guys are plain, old jerks. They get a thrill from playing with your emotions and causing you to be upset. When you reward his bad behavior by getting angry or acting needy, he feels like he’s “won.” In his mind, he is somehow “worthy” because he has a woman all bent out of shape over him. This man is a narcissist and unless you want to be at his mercy consistently (and therefore miserable), you should avoid him at all costs.   The hot and cold guy is major bad news. Why? Because he is so damn addicting. We know he was once “hot” and we think to ourselves that we’ll be able to get him boiling once again. And then we set out to change his feelings. We’ll chase after him, get angry or emotional, use sex…anything to reignite his flames. Chances are he will give just a little bit, but it will rarely be anything more than a lukewarm interest. We keep trying to get back that initial high – that fire – but it doesn’t come. And because we have invested so much, we have serious trouble letting go.   The hot and cold relationship is one of the most dysfunctional relationships a woman can have. Our basic need to feel cherished and protected isn’t being met. We get caught up in a cycle of rejection and hope. (“Is he coming around?? Maybe?? Yes??…. Aaaah, wait… Nope.”) We doubt his feelings for us and, as a result, we doubt ourselves. There’s very little joy that will result from hanging onto a man like this, but there is sure to be a lot of pain. Never forget that your mental and emotional health are the most important things. Don’t sacrifice them for a guy who isn’t certain about you.    There’s a quote I often say, but I think it’s worth repeating here: “Any relationship that causes you to feel insecure, unsettled, or filled with confusion is not a relationship worth having” – Jenn X   Read it again, sister. In fact, if you are dealing with a hot and cold guy, you should say it to yourself over and over until you believe it and are ready to totally shut off his water line. Wasting your time and energy on a man like this is a major eco-sin. He’ll drain your resources and leave you feeling depleted and used. Instead, hold out for the man who is crazy about you; the one who is certain and consistent with his feelings and demonstrates them with his actions. He might have an “off” day or two (nobody’s perfect), but he won’t move in and out of your life with little thought or regard for your feelings.     -------- Jenn Clark is a relationship advice expert and author of the book “How to Be a Goddess (A Step-by-Step Guide to Becoming the Woman Men Dream About…).” You can find it on her Facebook pageTwitter or on

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  • Posted by Anonymous on August 5, 2013 at 10:15 PM
I've been seeing this guy for about 8 months now and he can sometimes be hot/cold. I would honestly hate to think that "He's not that into me" or using me to get what he wants. He says "I love you", "Wants to spend the rest of his life with me", "Says I'm truly his angel", things like that. He also gets extremely jealous. If I'm at a party then he worries and shows a type of vulnerable side. After reading about the hot/cold guy, I'm starting to think that most of this is just for the chase. Can you please give me some advice?