In the early days of a relationship, we’re all hormonal and on a cloud of happiness as we feel each other out. We’re slowly, carefully peeling back each other’s layers like some kind of sweet exotic onion and discovering new things about each other that we hadn’t known before. Each new discovery prompts us to dive deeper to learn more secrets, to search out the true person we’re dating rather than just the nice pretty surface layers that everyone knows.
In the early stages of a relationship, guys might still be very nervous about telling us that one little thing they’re insecure about and fear will ruin their chances of completely winning us over and turning this into their own happily ever after. It can take some guys a very long time to feel emotionally comfortable enough to open up and really let us in, despite all outward appearances of having already done so. Some of their secrets are innocent and some are more serious, with plenty in the middle. To help make things easier for us, here is a list of 15 things that he’s shy about telling us in the beginnings of a relationship.
15 He's Not Always This Cool, Calm, And Collected
For some reason, there’s always that one little thing we do (consciously or unconsciously) that we are convinced makes us out to be super weird and that if anyone knew about it, they’d laugh or leave us. Guys and girls both have these and both are nervous about revealing them to their significant others. What we aren’t always aware of is the number of odd little things we do that our sweeties have already noticed. They can range from getting dressed backward (socks first before anything else), to singing only Taylor Swift songs in the shower till we get shampoo in our eyes.
Guys adore the idiosyncrasies of their girls but are still incredibly shy about revealing their own quirks.
We women have already noticed about seven of them so just tell us already. According to Glamour, they’re going to come out anyway. “You know how when you're first dating someone, he's totally on his best behavior? Or, at least you're temporarily blind to all the weird stuff he does in private. And then, once you get to know him better, his little quirks start to come out? I assure you, it happens to the best of us.”
14 You Weren't The First, Okay?
Guys can fall into two categories when it comes to their exes: they either talk about them or they don’t. The reasons for why they do or don’t talk about their exes are varied and change from guy to guy. One guy might talk about his exes because he wants to get everything out in the open and have us know everything about him before we fully commit to him.
Other guys might not talk about their exes because they’re embarrassed by them. If our guy falls into the not talking about exes side of things, he likely won’t bring the subject up himself during the early stages of a relationship or even when things start getting serious.
According to Bustle, there’s always that one guy who has an ulterior motive for bringing up his ex. “A man who talks about his exes is a man who’s looking to get a reaction out of his woman. It’s merely another sign of his insecurity. By mentioning his ex, he’s looking to feed his bravado, so the best thing you can do for yourself is let him say what he has to say–and it won’t be much, I assure you.”
13 He’s Pretty Much As Pure As It Gets
This is something that the majority of guys will agree on as being a secret they’d rather keep close to themselves and share with no one. The accompanying secret is that we were the first they have ever gone all the way with, making us extra special in their eyes even long after the relationship is over and buried in the past.
Doctor Nerd Love reports, “The fear of being ‘outed’ as a virgin becomes a self-perpetuating cycle. They so fear rejection for being virgins that they can’t bring themselves to approach women. They can’t bring themselves to approach women, so they don’t have opportunities to lose their virginity. They continue to get older, becoming even more anxious. So, the cycle continues, leaving them feeling ashamed, lost, even bitter and resentful.”
Men feel pressured to present a certain image of themselves to the world, which is one typically described as 'macho' and is stereotypically gruff and manly.
Being a virgin doesn’t usually fit in very well with this image and guys will be very nervous about this subject till they’re fully committed and comfortable with us. Even then, they probably won’t make eye contact as they admit their deep dark secret. But they will feel better once they’ve told us.
12 His Nerd Side Will Start Showing Fairly Quickly
Nerds are gaining popularity in recent years but they can still feel shy about disclosing the exact level of nerd that they are. They suspect it will turn us off to learn that they own every single Star Wars action figure ever invented or that they attend Comic-Con every year in a handmade authentic costume. So, they content themselves with being closet nerds around us till our relationship is on firmer ground (like, when we’re married and stuck with them). Little do they know that many of us are closet nerds as well.
According to Elite Daily, nerdy guys are the next greatest catch. “But I'm not saying all this to prove I'm the next Bill Gates or anything. I'm saying it because, in today's appearance-obsessed day and age (which I admit falling prey to quite often), I think intelligence is a quality often overlooked when considering a significant other. Nerdy guys have a lot to bring to the table, and you might not want to be so quick to rule them out.” If we’re neat freaks, his hoard of Star Trek bobble heads might bother us but if he trusts us enough, he might let us tastefully organize them so they can be displayed prettily instead of hidden in boxes.
11 It'll Be A While Before He Tells You He Clears His Browser History
One big thing which guys are reluctant to tell us about in the wobbly early stages of the relationship is how much adult television they actually watch and if they have a serious dependency on it or not. The industry has taken quite a slap in the media lately but it hasn’t slowed down or gone away at all.
Guys can easily find something to watch on their phones or computers at any time of the day (usually when we aren’t around to disturb them or ask questions like, “What are you watching?”).
According to the Huffington Post, “A 2007 study published in the American Journal of Medicine found that the [intimate] lives of 18 million men over age 20 were negatively affected due to excessive [adult film] viewing. One explanation for this phenomenon is known as the 'Coolidge Effect'. This theory states that males are infused by nature with the copulatory imperative, a mission, from an evolutionary point of view, to [reproduce with] as many females as possible and so perpetuate our race.” If they just watch it occasionally, many claim it should be fine. When they have a noticeable habit, that’s when we need to seriously consider the situation, right? According to the research, even minimal viewing may be a problem for some men.
10 He's Not Too Keen On Keeping Track Of How Many Women Came Before You
At some point in the early stages of a relationship the subject of how many people we’ve been with will inevitably pop up, usually around the same time as the exes question. The popular theory is that guys roundup and girls round down so there is never really a clear number (unless it’s one). The majority of guys won’t bring this subject up themselves likely because they either don't want to admit that we were their first or because they are afraid of what our number will be. Guys want to have the higher number for whatever guy reasons that they come up with, so if they find a woman who has been with more people than they have, it tends to freak them out a bit.
As the New York Post put it, “Different men will no doubt have different views on the subject, but it would be hard to imagine a better example of how gender is not a social construct. More than a half-century of feminist indoctrination has resulted in women believing that honesty is the best policy, but it hasn’t changed men’s instinctive reactions much.” All men are fixer-uppers essentially. We just have to decide if the project is worth it.
9 The Truth Is, He Doesn't Want Kids
A lot of men will know that one of the magic phrases to get a woman to like them is to say something along the lines of, “I want children someday,” or “Aren’t kids just great?” With the current dating trends, women on the market already have at least one kid or they are approaching their biological cut-off period and are looking for a partner to settle down with and have kids together. They don’t want a man who will say one thing and then delay till it’s too late because he really honestly meant the complete opposite.
Many, many women want babies, so those men with whom they are intimate need to get on board with that idea or state right off the bat if they don’t want kids.
This is one of those things that guys just don’t want to come clean about in the early stages of a relationship because they know it is often a deal breaker for the women they are dating.
As Huffington Post puts it, “Gentlemen, when a woman is over the age of 30 and wants to get married and have children and you don’t… Do Not Age the Egg! I repeat, do not age the egg!”
8 He’s Completely Vanilla…. Right?
In the early stages of a relationship and often further into a committed one, guys will still be very reluctant to admit to just how adventurous they are and what their true interests are when it comes to being intimate. They clam up about this topic with us because they are afraid of our reaction, likely based on past reactions or friends’ past reactions when they told their girlfriends their preferences.
As Rebel Circus puts it, “Being adventurous isn’t something that men like to admit right off the bat — at least, not to girls that they really want to impress. They worry that they’ll be shunned, made fun of, or otherwise stigmatized. So, in many cases, they’ll lie to their girlfriends and claim that they’re vanilla in bed just to make sure they don’t ‘make waves.’”
There are ways we can coax this information out of him but we can also sit back and wait to see how long he lasts before he tries to drop a subtle hint or suggestion of something that could maybe be fun to try someday if we’re willing to try and all. It would save us and them a lot of time just to straight up tell us but they likely won’t.
7 His Inner Demons Are Psychological
The majority of men feel a lot of societal pressure to appear as tough or macho figures; these individuals portray themselves with no vulnerabilities and nothing to hold them back or keep them down except the limits of the earth. The sky's the limit as they say. This picture is nice but flawed as it prevents men from getting the help they need but won’t admit to needing or ask for till it’s too late.
It also throws a bit of a wrench into promising relationships when a guy doesn’t admit to having any mental illness which we women will likely want to know about sooner or later (especially if we’re shopping for a baby daddy).
We can also help more if we know what the problem is rather than just guessing and worrying about him.
According to The Telegraph, “As [critical self-harm] is usually a symptom of depression, this suggests men are not getting the help they need. As [these] rates are very elastic, varying massively between eras and countries, it should be a [place] of massive concern that we are allowing so many men needlessly [pass] every year. We should, at the very least, be encouraging men to talk about their problems.”
6 He's Already A Proud Poppa
In the early stages of a relationship, we’re still feeling each other out but we know the basics like favorite color, favorite food, allergies and how many kids we have. At least, we should know how many kids we have at this point in the relationship.
Sadly, a lot of guys will lie about whether not they have kids and how many they have (along with whether they want kids in the first place or if they are open to having more kids in the future). Their reasoning behind lying about having kids seems to be that if they already have more than one then they aren’t as good a catch as the single available guys out there and thus will miss out on some really nice lady.
According to Daily Mail, “Conducted by WhatsYourPrice.com, an unconventional dating site, the survey of 2,500 male members found that lying online about age or income are the more well-known fibs. Fifty-one percent of fathers under age 30 admitted to lying about having children, while 12 percent of fathers age 50 and above lied.” Sure, having kids complicates things a little but it’s always better to admit to the truth rather than lie.
5 His Radar Swings Both Ways
In this thriving new day and age, lots of people of different or minority identities are finally getting their turn in the spotlight. This also makes these rather hot-button topics. Some males will be very reluctant to open up and admit if they are attracted to other men simply because of the media backlash and people’s varying reactions to news like that.
Other times they are scared to admit it to themselves and sometimes they simply don’t know how to tell us something like that. After all, don’t women only want straight guys? No fuss no muss?
They don’t count on being received warmly and understandingly by us in general when it comes to admitting being attracted to both men and women.
As The Telegraph puts it, “Many [men's] first reaction to this is denial and a need to reassert their straightness. However, the truth is that findings like these shouldn’t be seen as an attack on men. Understanding that there are different types of men that need support in different areas is what is important.” If our man does admit to being attracted to men and women, it’s important that we react in a way that shows our support and acceptance, but subtly so as not to overwhelm him. We don’t want to hurt him after he told us something so personal.
4 He Gets Self-Conscious Too But Will Never Admit It
Another thing men are reluctant to talk about is any deformities they might have that aren’t immediately visible (such as an extra or unusually long toe, or two toes that joined together where they should usually separate, etc.). In addition, the subject of whether or not they are normal can also be an uncomfortable conversation for a guy. The deformities can be hard for men to open about because they believe it will affect how they are perceived by the people around them, especially the one person they especially want to like them (usually us, of course). This is completely understandable so if he does tell us about something he considers a deformity, it is important to treat it and him gently and respectfully.
As for whether or not he can have kids, this can be a deal breaker for women who want children. Men know this and keep it to themselves if they are aware of the issue from a previous relationship. According to Bustle, “Lying happens for a whole variety of reasons. We lie to protect ourselves, to protect others, to avoid punishment, to preserve a relationship, to trigger separation or elicit attention, to get someone back, to make them understand how it feels, or just out of boredom or forgetfulness.”
3 He's Already Picturing You As His Anastasia Steele
If straight up asked, guys will do one of two things when confronted with the question of whether or not they have fantasies: they will either deny it and change the subject, or they will admit it and tentatively ask if we want to hear any of their fantasies — at least, the mild ones anyways. Of course, most of their fantasies will involve bedroom activities that might weird us out, but we’re not actually obligated to try to make the fantasy become reality. All we really wanted to know was if they had fantasies, right?
But sometimes we ask because we have some we’d like to share and maybe try someday with our guy but aren’t sure how he’ll take it.
Either way, now that we’ve brought the subject up, we should probably talk about it. Right sweetie?
According to Psychology Today, “Sharing fantasies offers two advantages: First, if you really want the fantasy to come true, how can that happen if you don’t declare it?” and “the other advantage of fantasy sharing is honesty: Many people believe that couples in committed relationships should be totally honest with each other. If you embrace this value, then it follows that couples should honestly reveal their fantasies.”
2 His Past Is Filled With Hurdles He's Not Proud Of
Many men are reluctant to admit to past unhealthy relationships or to struggles with substances when in the early stages of a nice new healthy happy relationship. There are many reasons for it but the majority tend to be that men want to be perceived as strong and macho without any flaws or weaknesses. The media portrays victims of substance dependency as weak which isn’t how men want us to view them. Similar thinking is often applied to substance dependencies, even when the victim had the strength to pull through and fight against his or her dependence.
As The Journal puts it, “This double standard regarding male and female agency is a large part of why men are extraordinarily reluctant to come forward to report any kind of [misconduct]. To quote Irish statistics, the National Crime Council report of 2005 showed that only one man in twenty who is a victim of serious intimate partner [mistreatment] will report this to the authorities, compared to almost one in three women.” We can’t change the past but we can change how we react to survivors and how we treat them, especially after they have told us their horror stories and how they overcame the obstacles in front of them to get where they are now.
1 He'll Hold Out On Those Three Little Words
Finally, one of the biggest things men are reluctant to admit to or even talk about in the early stages of building a relationship with us is the same thing we are secretly and deeply longing to hear. Three simple little words that carry so much impact and power in them. “I love you.” There are plenty of reasons why guys are shy about admitting they love us. But sometimes they have legitimate reasons for waiting to verbally commit.
One of those reasons might be that they simply don’t know the important these words have for us.
Other times it could be because they are waiting for the right moment or they really want to make triple sure that we are the one before they fully commit. Plus, they have all those other secrets roaming around in their heads that they should probably tell us about first.
According to Your Tango, “In truth, your man is clearly showing commitment when he dates you exclusively, shares himself intimately and even consults you while planning his schedule. Yet, there’s a tendency to judge the validity of a relationship, as well as a man’s intention by his willingness to say those three words.”
References: Glamour, Bustle, Nerd Love, Elite Daily, New York Post, Huffington Post, Huffington Post, Rebel Circus, Telegraph, Daily Mail, Psychology Today, Telegraph, Bustle, The Journal, Your Tango, National Crime Council, Elite Daily, Glamour, Glamour