Everyone knows that communication between men and women is a very tricky thing —further complicated by the fact that as a general rule, men are not that great at communicating.
They hide their feelings deep under a thick shell and they don’t like prying back that shell to see what their feelings are up to. On top of that, when they do decide to talk to us, they do it very minimally and infrequently while employing deflective techniques such as saying one thing when they really mean something completely different.
We women often get a bad rap for that, but the truth is, guys do it too and more frequently than they will ever admit. This could be because they aren’t even aware that they are doing it. Men regularly say that women should come with an instruction manual. What men should come with is a translation booklet or maybe a pamphlet. That way we could look up all their little phrases and find out what they are really trying to say. This could clear up or start a lot of fights, but it would definitely eliminate a ton of second-guessing and wasting time wondering what is wrong with him. Since we don’t have that, there is this lovely list instead. Enjoy!
30 I Don’t Care, Babe
This is a handy response given by men to answer several different questions that range from, “What do you want for dinner?” to “Should I buy this pretty lacy thing?” Sometimes he really means it, and he just doesn’t care what color shirt we wear, but occasionally what he really means is,
“Please stop asking me and make up your own mind about this.”
Wall Street Insanity remarks, “We say certain things with our logic applied to them. Women interpret what we say using their logic. Chaos follows.”
For many of us, this usually signals that he is done talking and is entering sulk-mode. If this was the end-goal of the conversation, congrats! You won! If it wasn’t (and it usually isn’t), then essentially the conversation has struck a nerve, and it has been put on hold while he processes. Best get some ice cream out; this could take awhile. According to Bolde, “If they would just say what’s on their mind, things would be way easier and they might stop thinking we’re so crazy.”
28 I Don’t Do Relationships
There are several different versions of this, but they all boil down to the same thing: he doesn’t want a relationship with us personally, or he is very commitment-shy. Your Tango agrees,
“When a guy says this, it’s his way of letting you down gently.”
He might just be looking at you as a one-night stand type of girl. It is best to avoid this type of guy unless you just want him as a plaything with no attachments. He is definitely a heartbreaker.
27 I’m So Swamped with Work Right Now
This usually translates to, “I don’t have time for you,” or “I’m not interested in you enough to make time for you.” Of course, there is the rare circumstance where he really is swamped with work, but he might spend an hour telling us on the phone just how swamped he is so he can connect that way. According to Relationship Rules, “But you have to give each other patience and understanding during the earliest parts of your relationship just so you have a shot at getting to know each other more.”
26 That’s Cool
The easy translation for this is that he wasn’t listening. We just spent 20 minutes telling him about our day, and this is the only response he can come up with without looking up from his phone. Maybe a glass of wine and window shopping on Tinder will listen better to our woes. According to Wall Street Insanity, “These incredibly different approaches to thinking just might be the root of all those communication issues men and women face, don’t you think?”
25 Can We Talk About This Later?
This is a sneaky cop-out. He really doesn’t want to talk about it, now or later or ever. He is basically shelving the conversation and hoping that we forget all about it. This will backfire on him because he won’t forget and will most definitely bring it up again “later.” Relationship Rules says,
“When a man doesn’t want to talk about something, he will divert the conversation into something else.
And he will make it seem like he is open to talking about it some other time even when he isn’t.”
24 I’m Tired
Relationship Rules was not kidding when they said, “It can be pretty exhausting trying to figure out what your man is trying to tell you.” In this particular instance, when he says he’s tired he is either actually tired — in which case, he is probably half asleep already — or he just isn’t in the mood. This is so rare for guys that they feel like they can’t admit it, so they make up an excuse instead. Give him some rest and maybe a little incentive, and he will snap back into gear in no time at all.
23 We Need To Take A Break
As Wall Street Insanity translates for us,
“I’ve been trying to get you to dump me for three months now and this is as close as I can get to doing it myself.”
Another version of this is, “I need some space right now.” He might need some space, but the reality is that he is done with the relationship emotionally but doesn’t know how to break up with us, and might not want to hurt us either cause he still cares for us — just not romantically anymore.
22 I Don’t Do Public Displays Of Affection
Or possibly, “I don’t put relationship stuff on Facebook.” This one always smells fishy and for very good reason. According to Her Interest, it really means, “I don’t want other girls that I have as friends on Facebook to know I’m in a relationship so I can continue to be sketchy. It could also mean that he’s embarrassed or ashamed of the relationship.” We should obviously plaster his Facebook with selfies of us and then prepare to dump him. We can definitely do better.
21 I Need A Guys’ Night Out
He very well could be missing his friends since he spends all his time with us now. But there is also the possibility that he spends all his time with us now and wants a break. But not like a break break, just a break. Instead of overthinking it, let’s decide that we won and wore him out. Then reward ourselves with a glass of red. According to Her Interest, “Men take the most direct path possible when it comes to communication. Women tend to be a tad bit more complex.”
20 Let’s Do Some Netflix And Chill
Ooh, this is one of the guys’ favorite lines to use on us. Bolde says, “We all know this one. It’s the perfect example of guys saying one thing and meaning something totally different.” Admittedly it sounds a lot better than what he actually wants to say, which goes something along the lines of, “Can you stay the night?” He might want to binge that new sci-fi show, but he doesn’t want to do just that with us. He has other things on his mind in that department.
19 I Miss You
If the relationship is long distance or pretty established, he probably genuinely misses us. But, as Bolde points out, “Depending on where you are in your relationship, he may very well miss you, but what is it that he misses?” Translation: He misses us in one way in particular, simple as that. Of course, that could be something of a compliment but in general, we might want to be missed for more reasons than that. We should demand flowers and chocolate when we see him again.
18 You Look Fine
This often has two meanings behind it. One, as Her Interest says, is: “A simple, yet very quick response that is used to get you to stop asking how you look in that dress. Or shoes or whatever the clothing item may be that you’re asking for his opinion on.” The other one means “Can we please go now? We are already late.” He usually doesn’t look at us as he says it either, just grabs his keys and hands us our coat.
17 You Are Beautiful
Bolde says, “He means this one, but he actually means so much more. If he is using this word, then he really finds you beautiful.” This is especially true in established relationships. If we have just met, then he is definitely trying to butter us up and get some. But as a general rule, this is one of the few times where he means what he says, and it actually means something super nice and sweet. Such compliments deserve a rewarding kiss so we can continue to receive them.
16 This Steak Tastes Great
This could be true, but if the steak or whatever it is he is eating is burnt like a sacrificial offering or underdone, he is just saying it to make us feel better about our bad cooking skills. With these kinds of compliments, he wants us to know he appreciates our efforts even if the end result was awful. He knows we can get better if we keep trying. As Her Interest says, “Most guys like a lady who knows how to chow down with them.”
The easy answer to what this means is that he simply wasn’t listening to the question in the first place. In this instance, we can either ignore it and do whatever we want (which he might regret later but he should have been paying better attention), or we can get in his face and repeat the question when we have his attention. According to Her Interest, “All it takes is a little logic and you’ll be cracking the code to every phrase he says in no time.”
14 I’m Okay
This one is often interchanged with, “I’m fine.” According to Wall Street Insanity, the translation goes something like this, “Maybe I’m not really all that okay, but it’s something I’d prefer to deal with on my own. Please stop asking me if I’m okay, because the more times you ask that question, the less okay I actually feel.” And they think we are the ones who overthink everything. When he says this, we could press the issue and cause a fight or back off and give him some space to sort out his issues.
13 It’s Not You; It’s Me
We all know this line as the nice guy breakup line. Bolde says it translates like this:
“If a guy says this, he might actually mean it, as in it’s not you, it’s him who’s too chicken to actually tell you what he’s feeling.”
There is a good chance that we might have contributed something to the relationship which led to this, but when a guy uses this line, it’s not just us. It is also him.
12 I’m Sorry
There are a few times when he might actually be genuinely sorry for something, but a general rule for guys is that they aren’t sorry. As Your Tango says, “They're just sorry that the argument is happening or that they’re caught doing something they shouldn’t have done.
In other words, when guys apologize, they just want drama to cease.”
Guys don’t like drama. That being said, they sure like to put themselves into potentially dramatic situations on a regular basis, don’t they?
11 You Are Prettier Without Makeup
This is a touchy subject for a lot of us. Many guys really mean it and they think they are giving us a confidence boost by saying this. But mostly, they are the type of guys that Wall Street Insanity mentions. To them, it translates like this,
“I don’t know what I’m talking about. Just don’t paint yourself up like a clown.
It takes forever, it smells weird and if I touch you or kiss you, it gets all over me.”
10 I Love You
In general, he most likely truly means this, but if the timing is off, then he could just mean that loves our body instead of us. And if the timing is really off, then the explanation is that there is no blood left in his head and he is loopy. Wall Street Insanity translates it humorously as,
“Wow, I did it. I’m crazy about you and don’t want to see anyone else.
You’re someone I could see spending the rest of my life with.”
9 When He Says Nothing At All
This is usually said in answer to a probing question such as, “What do you want for dinner?” “Are you okay?” “What is wrong with you?!” It typically signals that he doesn’t want to talk about it or is still in sulk mode. Or maybe he just doesn’t want dinner or nothing is wrong. According to Her Interest,
“It’s no secret that men and women speak almost entirely different languages.
But the thing is, men speak a much, much simpler language than women.”
8 I’ll Call You
We women are on to this one so the guys will need to think up a new line. We all know this means, “I won’t call you.” Even Wall Street Insanity knows this one: “I’m not going to call you. Well, I might. Probably not, though.” He says this most likely because he doesn’t want to hurt our feelings by being direct and telling us it won’t work out. Instead, he would much rather give us false hope and waste our time waiting for his call.
7 She’s Just A Friend
And she most likely is. It is very rare for guys to have female friends but when they do, they are literally just friends unless he is one of those slimy guys who tries to sleep with his friends. According to Relationship Rules, “What he really means is that he finds it incredibly cute and adorable that you would feel threatened and jealous by another girl —but there’s no reason for it.” If he did sleep with her, he likely wouldn’t still be friends with her.
6 I Was Just Kidding
This is usually said with a note of panic in his voice and eyes as he watches us get all worked up. He probably said something stupid and thought it was funny but then noticed our response or lack thereof and is backtracking fast. Her Interest confirms this:
“Meaning he wasn’t technically joking, but he realized that he hurt your feelings and now he’s trying to cover it up by saying it was just a joke.”
Let him grovel a bit and then move on. He’ll probably do it again soon anyway.
5 We Should Hang Out Soon
According to Her Interest, this means.
“He’s telling you that he wants to keep you around and open to meeting up whenever he wants, but he isn’t giving you his full commitment to it.
He would set a plan in stone if he really liked you a lot.” We should challenge on him and set up a date for the next day to see him squirm and panic as he tries to figure out how to get out of it.
4 I’m Staying In Tonight
This is usually given as a reason for not meeting up for a fun, spontaneous date night. Bolde says it means
“If you ask a guy to meet you somewhere and he says he’s staying in, this is probably code for him staying in and playing video games all night but being too embarrassed to say it.”
If he’s a different type of guy, the video games could substitute for some not-so-PG films, or maybe he is reading a book.
3 I Didn’t Mean It Like That
Sadly, he really did, and now he is panicking. This is similar to the joke bit he pulled earlier but it likely wasn’t a joke, and now he is on the defensive. According to Her Interest,
“So, he definitely meant it like that, but ended up backtracking on his statement due to the fact you got so upset. He doesn’t feel up to the fight, so he’s going to take it back before everything blows up in his face.”
Depending on what he said, letting him stew for a bit could solve the problem.
2 It’s A Guy Thing
According to Wall Street Insanity, this translates to something along the lines of “If you don’t get it, I can’t explain it. Don’t worry about it, it’s not a big deal, and it’s probably stupid anyway. Can we drop it?” It could also mean he just doesn’t want to explain it because he knows we won’t like it. Or he just doesn’t want to explain it for guy reasons. We could Google it or we could ignore it and save it for later.
1 I’ll Give You A Massage
And finally, this is a classic. He tries to say it all sweet and give the impression of truly pampering us (especially after a long day when he knows a massage would do wonders) but what ultimately happens is this, according to Her Interest, he probably is interested in a rub-down, it's just that his sights are likely set on it leading to a mutual one of another kind. He’s not that great at massages anyway which is why we use his money to buy a really good one.