It would be awesome if the boys that you dated would just be super honest and open about their thoughts and feelings all the time. Of course, that’s pretty much wishing for something that will never, ever happen, because that’s just not real life. It’s super frustrating to have to always read between the lines of what your boyfriend (or the guy you’re dating who you hope will someday soon become your boyfriend) is saying to you, but once you can figure out how to decode a few common statements, things will get much easier. Before you get too upset, though, remember this: he’s probably thinking the exact same thing about you, because you’re not always super clear about what you mean, either. So it totally goes both ways. You pretty much have to become a detective when it comes to some of these popular sayings. But you can do it. We believe in you. Here are 15 things that he says and what he really means.
15. “I’m Tired” = “I Don’t Want To Do That”
Ah, the old tired excuse. The funny thing is that guys use this one too, and they use it for the exact same reason that you do: to get out of doing something that they really and truly don’t want to do. The old joke is that women use this one when they don’t want to sleep with someone (and, of course, they also claim to have a giant headache). But guys don’t use this excuse in the same way. They tend to use this one when they don’t want to go out after a long, hard day at the office or when they don’t feel like going out to dinner with your entire family of 40 plus people. Hey, you can’t really blame him on the last one, right? It can seem a bit immature because you wish that your boyfriend would just say that he didn’t feel like going out and be more honest with you. But while honesty is the best policy, it’s not always possible to be 100 percent honest with the people that we love, so this is the best that it’s going to get.
14. “I Like You” = “I’m Not Sure”
This one might seem a bit harsh but hey, it’s much better to know than to wonder forever. When you’ve just started dating a guy — say it’s been a few weeks, or even two months — you’re in that super weird limbo phase. You’re not quite together… but you’re sure acting like you’re a couple. So you feel like you do have this ownership over him, even though things aren’t totally and completely official yet. You’re pretty much walking on eggshells at this point in time because you’re not sure what to do, what to say or how to act. You want him to be your boyfriend but you don’t want to move things up too quickly or freak him out. So you have a mini version of The Talk and he says “I like you.” You might think, cool, that’s great. But what he’s really saying is that he’s not really sure about you and he’s not totally convinced that he wants to keep seeing you.
13. “I Really Like You” = “I’m Falling For You”
So how come when a guy says “I like you” and when he says “I really like you” it’s totally different? Well, because guys are complicated and they don’t always say what they mean. And they like to make your life confusing. Okay, maybe not that last part, but it does feel like that a lot of the time. When a guy says “I really like you” he might as well be screaming at the top of his lungs that he’s falling totally in love with you and he can’t even believe how great it is. There’s something about adding the “really” that proves that he feels super strongly about you. Sure, you wish that he would just say that he loved you already, but the thing is that he needs to save that for when it’s been at least a little bit of time and when he’s pretty sure that you’re going to say it right back. So when you hear the “really” just be super glad and grateful because your three words won’t be too far behind.
12. “I Love You” = “You’re My Future Wife”
Yup, guys think about getting married too. You may not believe that because they try their very best to seem all cool and calm all the time. But the truth is that when a guy tells you that he loves you, it’s a big deal. Like a really, really big deal. He’s not just saying these three little words for the sake of saying them or because he feels pressured or because he figures enough time has passed and he has to say them. Nope, he’s saying them because he means them… but he’s saying so much more than just that he loves you. He’s basically saying that he thinks you’re it. You’re his soulmate. You’re the only one for him. You’re his future wife in his mind, whether or not you two have talked about possibly getting married in the future… or you’ve even discussed your collective future at all. Unless he’s a crazy commitment phobe and has already told you that, he wants to marry you someday. But he’s probably fine with commitment because, hey, he’s your official boyfriend and he said that he loves you. Commitment haters don’t do that.
11. “Cool” = “I Don’t Know What To Say”
Sorry guys, we had to point this one out because this little exchange happens pretty frequently. Hey, it’s okay. There are tons of things that your boyfriend or the guy you’re dating tells you on a regular basis that you’re not sure how to respond to. So maybe you’re chatting about the plotline of a cheesy girly show that you’re loving right now or even talking about The Real Housewives. Well, he’s a guy and he’s going to get super bored and fast. He’s not going to want to listen to this chatter, but he’ll try to seem like he’s listening because he cares about you and he wants to be as polite as possible. He wins major points for that. You could also be talking about something dramatic that happened at work or even a fight that you’re unfortunately having with your best friend. He’s not sure what to say or how to respond so he says “cool.”
10. “I Don’t Know” = “I’m Changing The Subject”
Guys are sneaky in this way. When they don’t know how to respond, they may say a quick “cool” but when they do know how to respond but they don’t want to talk about this for a single second longer, they say “I don’t know.” That is a total and complete clue that they’re about to change the subject. So watch out and see what they start talking about next. It could be the most random, silliest thing ever and you could be super confused because you were talking about something pretty serious and heavy and now, suddenly, you’re chatting about something totally ridiculous. Well, there’s a method to their madness and they totally did this on purpose. But it’s all good. Once you figure this out, you can catch them and keep talking about the other topic and get them to open up to you. Yup, two can and will play this game.
9. “I’m Busy” = “I’m Not Into You”
Yup, another harsh statement to deal with, but hey, you need to know these things. It’s in your best interests to figure out what guys are saying to you and what they honestly and truly mean. When you’ve just started dating a guy — say it’s been a few weeks and it’s still at a pretty casual stage — you obviously want to see them as much as possible. That’s just human nature. You’ve finally met a cool guy and you don’t want to waste a single minute. But if he doesn’t feel the same way, he’s not going to make time for you. Plain and simple. When a guy tells you that he’s busy, that means that he’s not interested in hanging out with you anymore and that he’s really not into you. No, it doesn’t actually mean that he’s busy. Because no one is that busy. If you like someone, you want to see them and you make time for them. So remember this because this will probably happen again and at least now you’ll know what’s really going on.
8. “Work Is Crazy” = “I’m Dumping You”
Oh boys. They love to talk about how busy their work lives are as if you don’t even have a career to speak of. But the truth is that when a guy keeps going on and on about how busy his job is right now, that speaks volumes and you should be listening with all ears. What he’s really saying is that he’s dumping you. He might not be dumping you right in this instant but it’s coming super soon and you really owe it to yourself to be prepared. Or you can dump him first and beat him to the chase because who needs to wait around to be broken up with?! He’s actually totally and completely hoping that you’re going to catch on and dump him first because that’s a super smart (and horrible) strategy that lots of guys use. They treat you so badly that you have no other choice but to break up with them… which they wanted to do but just didn’t for some reason. Sigh.
7. “This Isn’t Working” = “I’m Over You”
Guys are just like any other human being — they want to find love and they want to work on a relationship. You might think that they put zero effort into the relationships that they’re already in because it’s become such a cliche and stereotype that boyfriends are generally pretty lazy. But that’s not true because that’s a pretty crazy generalization. So if your boyfriend tells you that things aren’t working, he’s telling you that he’s over you and he’s already totally and completely over the relationship. He doesn’t want you to believe that there’s even a slight change of the two of you getting back together. When he says that it’s not working, he’s saying that he’s over you and you should never expect things to work out in the future. So the best thing you can do is accept and move on because there are better guys ahead.
6. “You Look Different” = “I’m Not Sure I Like It”
Boyfriends can really cramp your style, right? One minute you’re feeling like a million bucks because you just bought the perfect red lipstick shade (finally!) or you finally got your hair dyed or cut in that super stylish lob (you know, the super cool long bob that you didn’t think you could pull off but now you see that you definitely can). Then you show your boyfriend and you can just tell from the unhappy and confused look that’s written all over his face that he’s really not a fan. He says something silly like “You look different” and sure, you can be totally mad because that seems kind of rude and unfair, but what he’s really saying is that he’s not totally sure that he likes it. The truth is that he doesn’t have to like it since hey, it’s your life and you can look however you want to look. You don’t always like the haircuts that he gets, do you? He doesn’t ask your permission. Exactly.
5. “You Look Beautiful” = “I’m Super Lucky”
When your boyfriend tells you that you look beautiful, this is not only a super sweet, charming and romantic moment — you can pretty much hear a bunch of imaginary “Awwwwws” — but it’s proof that he believes he’s super lucky to be with you. He can’t believe his good fortune and he never wants to let you go. He’s super happy that he’s your boyfriend and he wants the good vibes to keep on going. So be really glad when you hear him say something like this because it proves that your relationship is in a really good, solid place and that not much could break you up at this point. This is the relationship dream and exactly what you were hoping for when you were single and dreaming of finding love someday. So when you hear him say this, remember what he’s really saying, and don’t let him go.
4. “I’m Going Out With The Guys” = “I Feel I Should Ask Permission”
Okay, so when your boyfriend tells you that he’s heading out to a bar with his good friends, you’re totally fine with it. Why wouldn’t you be? Unless you just had a massive fight or something and he seems to be totally fleeing the scene of the crime so to speak, there’s no reason for you to give him a hard time about this. You want to see your own friends, of course, and you don’t expect him to be upset about it. When he says he’s going out with his friends, what he really means is that he feels obligated to tell you because he thinks he should ask you permission. This isn’t a bad thing and it’s just proving that he respects you and your opinions and the relationship. He’s just saying that hey, he loves you and he doesn’t want you to be upset with anything that he’s doing. The best way that you can respond is with a happy “Have fun!” And maybe give him a hug or kiss for good measure so he can tell that you really are happy for him and this is no big deal.
3. “Let’s Go Away Together” = “This Is Serious”
Serious couples don’t go on vacation together. They don’t even go on short weekend getaways or day trips. Nope, that’s just not happening. Traveling together is a big fat sign that you guys are really and truly heading in a serious direction. So if your boyfriend says that you should go way together, you can pretty much be overjoyed because it means that your relationship is serious now. More than that, though, what he’s really saying is that he himself thinks it’s serious… and he loves it. He’s more than okay with it. He’s not freaking out about commitment or anything lame like that because he wants things to move forward in a natural, positive direction and he wants to share his life with you. This is a really and truly exciting time for you, so be sure to enjoy the moment and don’t freak out about anything yourself because that will pretty much just ruin the good vibes.
2. “I Love Your Family” = “I’m In This For Good”
When a guy says that he loves your family, he could totally be telling the truth. It’s kind of subjective because it really does depend on what kind of family you have. If you know that they’re kind of crazy sometimes and a bit hard for newcomers to adjust to, then you can be sure that he’s really saying that he truly loves you because hey, your family is a lot to deal with. But if your family is super cool and chill, he’s still saying the exact same thing. When your boyfriends makes a point of saying that he loves your family, he’s saying that he’s in this thing with you for good. He wants to be with you forever and he believes that you’re the only one for him. This is honestly as close to a marriage proposal as you’re going to get at this point in time and at this stage in your relationship, and you should be thrilled because this is pretty awesome.
1. “I’m Staying Over” = “We’re Moving In Together Soon”
There’s this funny thing that happens in most relationships where you stay over at your boyfriend’s place a ton… but he might not sleep over at yours too often. We’re not sure why or how this happens. It just seems to be a fact of modern love. But if your boyfriend says that he’s staying over, that is really and truly a big deal. He’s basically saying that before either of you know it, you’re going to be moving in together and taking that next big step in building your relationship. That’s super cool and exciting. But don’t let on that you know that this is totally what he’s saying because it’s too early to discuss shacking up together. Just smile and nod and bask in the glory of your amazing boyfriend. Because you have a really good one and while he may not be super honest about everything all the time, you’re smart and you can read in between the lines. And what he really means is always something pretty awesome.
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