The Meaning Behind What Men Say to Women


“Men are simple creatures!”

I hear this dismissive statement ALL the time. So much so, that now even men are speaking it. It pisses me off! Me and my brothers…are NOT simple. We are unbelievably complex, mysterious and beyond beautiful in very unique ways.

All things being fair, men have created this worldview of ourselves and it’s not women’s fault this statement is now articulated with a condescending giggle and eye roll to follow. (insert the sound of clinking apple-tini glasses here.)

You girls have given up on us, or at least dumbed us down to a form of low expectations so your disappointments in us are tolerable. We get it!  And, if you haven’t listened to my 8 min short film called, “The Apology Project”, please do that now and then continue reading.

Women need a guide. Not a manipulation manual of how to get a guy to do what you want. Not another book from an excited feminist over-eager to convince women they don’t need us guys which is really a disguise for not dealing with her own wounds from men.  A guide. You know what…that’s not the right word either.

You need a Man Interpreter!!

There! In the hundreds of women I speak to, it’s all the same question…“what did he mean by that?”

Hello, I’m the women’s ambassador here, ready, capable and qualified to translate and build bridges between the sexes. You lovely ladies have been saying the EXACT same things: how do you get a good man? How do you keep it magical?

What you do NOT know is guys, well we're asking the same question!

So let's jump in the deep end. This is a controversial subject which usually lands me in kinds of boiling (and frigid) water with you girls but in the end, you warm up, cool down and join me in the middle ground of dry land where we can all look at each other and say, “Hey, I kinda dig you.”

While men normally mean much more than they convey, it’s usually not what you think.

Below is a list of what we say, what we mean, and the many translations in between. Bare with me, this is gonna get a bit ugly, but we'll muddle through it together.

I love you = Among the scariest words a man will say, what he means is…“this is me and I hope you see me too. You have ignited so many feelings in me that these three little words are all I can muster.”

You’re Beautiful = “I only have these two words to tell you how exquisite I think you are and so I’ll default to this one that will safely get me closer to you.”

I’m Tired = “Please don’t think of me as weak, I don’t know how else to tell you that I’m up against trials and don’t know how to ask for help.”

He says nothing = “lead me into something of importance, a space where I can tell you how I really feel.”

You’re being emotional (if said with anger or an elevated tone) = “I’m not comfortable with or don’t know my own emotions and you sharing yours are showing me this inadequacy in myself.”

You're being emotional (if said with no emotion) = “I need help understanding how you feel in terms of what you think, so I can think like that too and maybe, if it' safe, I'll understand how you feel too.”

Did you cum? = “I want to please you sexually and I’m scared I may not be performing right. Please show me how to drive you wild in a way you’ll brag to your friends that you’re dating/married to a sexual love god!”

Are you wearing that? = “I want to compliment you and curious to know if THIS outfit is your final selection so I can dress accordingly. Or…are you going to try on five more outfits and if so, I’ll just hang here on the couch a little longer and watch sports/news/Simpsons re-runs until you get really fired up at me.”

(Call/Text) What are you doing? = “I’m really curious about you right now and was just thinking about you so I’m calling/texting to help me get a visual of what it would be like to be with you in this moment.”

(In person) What are you doing? = “As a doer, I need help translating the actions I see into your intended meaning.”

What are you wearing? = (this is a rare question. I wouldn't worry about this unless you're actually dating a fashionable man (which is like 1 percent of 1 percent of all men…ever)

What do you want to do? = “I've already thought of a few ideas, actually may even have a full evening planned, but I'm nervous you may not approve and so I'm checking in with you for a pre-approval. Sorry for my lack of confidence.”

Can we stay in tonight? = “I feel quiet and want to spend time with just you. Please let this one night of laziness be okay.”

I don't like your friend(s)/family =  (either #1 or #2 and sometimes both)
“I feel your friends don't treat you as as good as you deserve and it makes me defensive/protective of you.”


“I feel your friends may not like me and are talking you out of seeing (being with) me.”

There it is. The simple things men say and yes, drives women bat-shit crazy! Complex creatures saying simple things, not sharing their feelings and hiding behind heady questions of nothingness causing the women to become interpreters, mind readers and investigators with ninja-like cross examination of verbal judo. It's exhausting!

Men aren't the bad asses that society (movies, expectations, business, ect) portray them to be. They're creatures of primal programming desiring all the same needs as women and simply go about it differently, both in language and thought patterns. We bleed, often profusely, exhausted with the concealment for thinking of us as weak if we just…feel.

Get a man to feel, and you'll experience the strength of powerful masculinity you never thought possible. What an adventure we are.

Gasp!  I know, I know…we don't mean to come off as Neanderthal knuckle-draggers, but hey, we love and adore you so be patient and if it gets ugly, just contact me, I'll walk you through it.

We men … we're not so bad.


Published on The Good Men Project


2 comments on “The Meaning Behind What Men Say to Women”

  1. So, where is the balance and boundaries when you’re with someone who deals with depression and anxiety? I can hold that space for others: no judgement, no need to fix…just be there, offering support, love and encouragement. But with someone you’re dating… for how long to I wait? I’ve not seen him; barely spoke to him in 2 months. He’s dealing with his shit, he says. His depression makes life feels painfully hard everyday. I hear that my support is important; he appreciates that I seem to understand him, he cares about me; grateful for me; thanking me for my patience…it all seems very genuine. And….he’s been almost completely MIA for a long time. How do I turn my back on someone hurting and struggling? And yet, after so much time gone by, it feels personal. Maybe not all of it, but some of it. His struggle sounds real, and yet I wonder if this was just the veil to hide behind getting out of not dating me anymore. He said he was the upfront guy who didn’t play games; an honest guy who deals with things directly. ?? Ugh.

    1. Hi KJ, thanks for reaching out!

      As someone that struggled with the devastation with depression for 25 years, let me first say…thank you for your support. I would never have made it through without the support of good friends so I love your heart here.

      Now let’s talk about you. KJ….you need to hear the difficult truth.

      Lifeguards teach something very powerful in their training. “The only difference between you and the victim is the mindset in which you enter the water.” Think about that for a minute. What that means is that if YOU, as the healthy one (however you define that), sacrifices your life, you both die.

      You have agreed to travel down into a pit with him when the healthiest (and most loving) thing you could do was to stand on solid ground, take care of you and offer to support him with clear boundaries to your abilities. What’s that old Chinese proverb, “if a blind man helps another blind man, they both fall into a pit.”

      Now you’re both in this state of depression, agreeing to support this “thing” inside him but you’re both having totally different experiences.

      I’m assuming there is no plan. There is no set time that this state of things will continue and end. There is no seeking of outside help…your life is just on hold since he’s placed you on the relational book shelf where you’ll be safe and will pull you out to read from when he’s ready and feeling better.

      No matter how well intentioned he may be, that doesn’t work for and your needs. (as you’re currently experiencing)

      KJ. Darling. Hear me: People treat you the way YOU let them treat you.

      The best thing you could ever do for him, yourself and this awful disease called depression, is model what it’s like to live an amazing life and invite others to share it with you.

      I promise there is nothing sexier to a man, nothing more motivating and inspiring than a woman on mission. Good men look at their women and say, “you make me want to be a better man.”

      You, KJ, have that ability. That is SO powerful. Now implement your boundaries. Recover from your own emotions and send love (with a safe distance) to this man, offering prayer, kindness, compassion and a referral to a safe place where he can do his own work, and work his own recovery.

      For a list of resources, message me.

      Sending love, KJ. I honor your courage.

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