Understanding Men: What He Really Means vs. What He Actually Says
kay, ladies. As often as men complain about not knowing the difference between what women say and what they really mean, they are no better. A female’s mind constantly reels over whether he really meant he was fine or what he wanted to discuss when he said, “We need to talk.” The truth is females have a hard time understanding men, and men have a hard time understanding women.
But for the most part, men are pretty straightforward — if they say it, they mean it. However, there are always a few little phrases that can get confusing. Does he really want space? Is he actually going to call?
If you’ve been sitting around with Ben and Jerry trying to figure out what he really meant when you spoke last night, this is just the article for you.
DISCLAIMER: Not ALL men are like this, but these explanations are based on responses from about 10 college-aged men.
Here are eight common phrases men say that women can easily misunderstand, and what the guys have to say about them:
1. I’m not looking for a relationship right now.
Proceed with caution. If he says it from the beginning, don’t expect to change his mind. Sometimes this is a way for guys to say, “I’m into you, but I don’t want you to be the only girl I’m with,” or “Can we just get be Ashton and Natalie in No Strings Attached?” He doesn’t want you to be his girlfriend, but he may not want you out of his life completely either. Don’t get your hopes up.
2. I need some space.
There are two possible translations to this: you’re either moving too fast, or he is backing out and can’t find the balls to end it the right way. A friend of mine said the only time he has ever said that was when he was with a girl but flirting with another. So try and figure out what he really means, but don’t probe him. In reality, he might just need some time to clear is head, and harassing him won’t get you anywhere. You’ll make yourself crazy.
3. We need to talk.
Most people, both male and female, automatically think: prepare to be dumped. But these four words don’t always mean something bad is about to happen. Maybe he has just been thinking about something for a while and wants to let you in on it. Or, it sucks, but maybe he actually does want to break it off. Think of it this way: You’re one step closer to finding a guy who actually cares about you.
4. I love you.
These are probably the three most complicated words anyone could hear, and they could mean many things. No. 1: He may actually mean it. Duh! No. 2: He may be trying to just shut you up and get to the business. No. 3: He wasn’t ready to say it. Or No. 4: He’s just being plain rude and stringing you along. These words are all about trust; therefore, you shouldn’t say them if you aren’t ready.
5. My ex is crazy.
Easy. He either messed up and she got pissed, he still has some feelings for her, or she’s really just crazy. You should be careful with both of them individually, but don’t let a comment like this one immediately push you away. He may just be trying to warn you, so don’t bring out the claws just yet. Keep in mind, a problem within itself might lie in the fact that he still brings her up in conversation at all. What happened to out of sight, out of mind?
6.I’ll call/text you.
For some reason, women tend to add words to this statement regardless of whether or not men say anything else. They think it automatically means the guy will call them tomorrow or within three days. Don’t over-think it. When a guy says this it means he may call or text you anywhere from three days to three months from now… or not at all. If he doesn’t make any contact, he’s probably not interested.
7. Can we talk about this later?
AKA: Can we never talk about this again? Either that or it just isn’t a good time to discuss it. Just remember that he is a person, too. If you ask him to talk about something later, you can’t expect him to not say the same thing. Think before you speak because it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it. My advice: drop it for now. Unless it’s a relationship make-it-or-break-it type of conversation, just let it go.
8.We should hang out sometime.
He means it! He wouldn’t be asking you to spend time with him if he didn’t want to, but it’s up to you to decode whether he wants to just hookup or actually go on a date. There is also a possibility that he is just saying it as statement because he’s afraid you’ll say no if he were to actually ask you out.
In the end, it’s a fact; men and women are different. But hopefully these eight commonly misunderstood phrases enlightened you on whether men really mean what they say or not.
Hailing originally from Long Island, NY, Cara is a second-year journalism major at the University of Florida also seeking minors in women's studies and leadership. She is a former Freshman 15 Representative for Seventeen magazine and contributes to the UF chapter of Her Campus weekly. Known as the loud girl with a big heart, Cara's passions include writing, having a good time, giving advice, living life to its fullest, keeping up with entertainment news and watching trashy reality-TV.Find out more about Cara at her website: carachiaramonte.wordpress.com