Ask Drew: What He Says vs. What He Means
Women don’t understand how easy they have it. In relationships, I mean. The rest of life dealt them a terrible hand with pregnancy, periods, and not being able to be president. Relax, I’m kidding. Pregnancy is beautiful. But as far as relationships are concerned, it’s a piece of cake (that you’ll complain about not being able to eat because it’s bikini season). Keeping a guy around is extremely simple, but for whatever reason, women like to draw conclusions that weren’t there in the first place. They’re like Dustin Hoffman’s character in Rainman: they can deconstruct and analyze something from a dozen different angles, but they fail to realize men are no more complicated than a first-grade math problem. “Less talking + playoff tickets = happy boyfriend.”
Most of the time, when men say something they mean it. If a guy tells you everything’s fine when you ask him, it’s because everything is fine. If a woman says everything is fine, men will spend the next few hours cowering in fear like a shelter puppy with an abusive owner until she inevitably brings up whatever’s bothering her, plus every argument you’ve had (and resolved) since you met. This is why I quit asking such silly questions a long time ago. Nothing good can come from that.
Still, every now and then men don’t have the stones to say exactly what’s on our minds.
"I just don't want a relationship right now."
This is a perfect example of why you should take men at face value. I've said this numerous times, and it's a 50/50 split on how women take it. Half the time, the immediate answer is, "Oh, my goodness! Neither do I! I thought we were just having fun!" I quickly learned that's complete nonsense, and that's basically her agreeing to three more weeks of a trial period before she inevitably drops another emotional bombshell like some love terrorist and forces me to address "where we are." The other half of the time, there are lots of tears followed by her buttoning the conversation with, "So I guess we shouldn't talk anymore?" *smacks forehead* What did I just say? I said I don't want a relationship right now. No, I don't feel like taking you to Terranea for the weekend, but you're more than welcome to drunk text me after last call. Ultimately though, you're right. You're back in the dating pool because he's not ready to trade in a life of no commitments, other women, and time with friends for a life of tons of commitments, one woman, and time with his friends as long as he makes you aware of it. What's wrong with men?
“Do you want me to call you a cab?”
Direct Translation: “It’s 8:30 am and I have things to do, namely call my friends up and tell them about the hilarious sexual experience we had last night. As much as I’m enjoying watching you scroll through my DVR and comment negatively on how unnecessary it is to keep all these episodes of Sports Center, I’d like to be gassy and alone in my bed right now. I’ll even pay for the cab if you’ll just please begin the perverted Easter egg hunt of finding all your articles of clothing that I errantly tossed away like Shaq at the line last night.”
“Of course I don’t think you’re fat.”
This is a tricky one. It’s not about what he says, it’s about how he says it. There are three different ways he can say this, and each one has different meaning.
1) Overwhelmingly supportive – the verdict here is that he doesn’t think you’re fat. And even if he does think you are a little bit on the caloric side, that’s not important to him. You’ve got a winner, girlfriend!
2) Frustrated/dismissive – again, you’re probably not fat and we’re tired of hearing about it. At this point, it’s simply a validation issue that requires therapy. And unless your therapist looks like a frustrated boyfriend trying to watch The Masters, please keep it to yourself. Furthermore, if it’s on your mind that much, maybe don’t order that dessert and then complain the entire time about how you “really shouldn’t be having this, but it’s sooo gooood!”
3) Hesitant – you’re probably not a water buffalo, but you’re also not Rachel Bilson. Which probably scores you right around “normal” in a society that has an obesity epidemic. So take that for what it’s worth.
Either way, I can guarantee you’re probably fine and asking this question repeatedly while hoping for the same answer is just rude and annoying. Every guy under eight inches is always wondering how he stacks up against your previous boyfriends, but you’ll never see us walk into a room wearing nothing but a pair of tight-fitting briefs and ask, “Does this make my c*ck look big?”
“That’s fine. I wasn’t planning on sleeping with you tonight either!”
Let’s say you and Mr. Friday Night are curled up in bed after a fun evening of getting to know each other. You’re necking like he’s going off to war the following morning until you interrupt: “You know we’re not having sex tonight, right?” And then he follows with said response. Any guy who says this knows exactly what he’s doing, or he stumbled upon a cheat code accidentally. Younger guys or guys who don’t know what they’re doing will give the expected response: begging and pleading, usually until you’re completely turned off. By you telling him you’re not interested in sex that night is just another move in a chess match to guys. Of course a part of you is interested, otherwise you wouldn’t have brought it up. By him telling you he’s not interested is a sure-fire sign he’s ready to pop. (Hint: we always are.) Next he’ll play things safe, and wind down the foreplay for the evening. He’ll completely and abruptly cut off all physical contact, which of course will leave you frustrated. At which point, you’ll roll back over and initiate Grope Fest Round 2. And so on and so forth.
“I love you too.”
Notice the “too” at the end of that. Maybe it’s my insecurity or that I’m dead inside, but unless I’m curled up in a bottle of vodka and/or one of my teams just clinched a playoff berth, it’s nearly impossible for me to utter those words. And the same is true for most guys. Dropping the L-word doesn’t come easy. Start keeping a tally of how many times you initiate the “I love you” as opposed to him. More often than not, his side of the ledger is gonna be blank whereas yours will look like a game of darts. “I love you too” could be genuine, but more often than not it’s just us going through the motions, as well as assuaging your feelings so you won’t be compelled to wander off one night and find another guy to say it to you.
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Drew is a single guy living in Los Angeles. When he's not bar-hopping with a friend's golden retriever to convince women he has a soft side, he's taking them on short-lived dates. His fickle dating habits and "perspective" almost guarantee he'll die alone. All opinions are his own. Got a question for Drew? Ask away: firstname.lastname@example.org