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What He Says Vs. What He Means: Relationship Language Decoded

by John Santana

Most people say that men are uncomplicated, simple creatures. All they ever think about is sex, sleep, and food. But this is not always the case, at least not according to women.

We are trying to figure out what men are saying to us and what they actually mean more than half the time.

Men tend to hide how they feel, and they generally don’t like addressing their feelings. When they finally decide to communicate with us, they do so minimally and use deflective techniques, like saying one thing but meaning something completely different.

It’s almost as if you are speaking a different language to your guy. It would be a dream come true if these men came with a translation booklet so that we could decipher what their key phrases mean. This would help eliminate second-guessing and wasting time figuring out what is wrong with them.

While no such booklet exists in this world, we have compiled a handy list of what he says vs. what he really means.

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What he says on a first date

What he says

How are you not dating anyone?

This is a very common question that a guy asks on a first date. If your date is going smoothly, this question might pop up, but be aware that it does not mean what you may think it does.

What he means

This date is going smoothly, but are other guys interested in you, or is there something seriously wrong with you?

When he asks this question on a first date, it shows that he is feeling insecure. He is really into you and is probably wondering how you can be so intelligent, beautiful, and funny and still be single.

In his mind, he thinks there is a catch. He wonders whether you are hiding something from him that will send him running in the opposite direction.

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What he says

My ex-girlfriend was crazy.

Women have often heard guys talk about their exes as if she was the craziest person alive. If you are on a first date and the past comes up, he will probably say that his ex was crazy, and that’s why their relationship ended.

What he means

She was perfectly sane at the start, but I most likely drove her crazy by the end.

Maybe his ex did go a little crazy by the end of their relationship, but he most probably played a part in driving her to that level.

Their relationship ended on a sour note, but he would much rather put all the blame on her instead of admitting that he was at fault too.

What he says

I don’t ever watch porn.

No matter how modern a person is, porn is still a taboo topic. Guys are usually judged for watching too much porn, while women are judged for watching it at all. It’s a no-win situation when it comes to porn.

But this topic could surface at some point or another. When it does, he will outright deny that he watches porn.

What he means

I watch plenty of porn, but I don’t want you to criticize me.

The moment a guy says that he does not watch porn, just know that it’s a big, fat lie. He most likely watches porn more than once a day.

There is a possibility that his ex caught him watching porn in the past, and that experience taught him to never admit to watching it ever again. When he lies to you about this, he is just scared that you will judge him or freak out.

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What he says

I’m not interested in anything serious right now.

On the first date, you are bound to discuss your intentions and what you both want from the relationship. It is essential to set expectations for your relationship and make sure you are both on the same page.

But, when a guy mentions that he is not looking for anything serious right now, it seems a little cliché.

What he means

I’m genuinely not looking for a serious relationship right now.

If a guy says he is not looking for anything serious right now, then you know he means it. Do not assume that he is not sure or that he will change his mind one day because this will only lead to disappointment.

He is just trying to find someone he can have a casual fling and sex with before things become serious. Basically, he is not interested in relationship stuff. The good sign is that he is being honest.

What he says during a fight

What he says

I’m not angry.

When it comes to an argument, guys will often say that they are not angry at something when they are actually fighting about it. Women will immediately feel that they are lying just because they don’t want to admit it. But this is not always the case when it comes to guys.

What he means

I may be slightly angry, but I will get over it now.

He may be angry at the moment about what you are fighting about, but he won’t hold onto it as women do. He will get over whatever the fight was about in ten minutes. If you can let it go, he will be able to get over it much more quickly.

What he says

She’s just a friend.

You may feel insecure about your guy having female friends, but there is no need to feel this way in most cases.

It is rare for guys to have female friends, but they are usually just friends and nothing more when they do. Unless he is playing games with you and the other girl really is a threat.

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What he means

She’s genuinely just a friend.

Sometimes guys find it really cute when you feel threatened and jealous of another girl, but there is no reason to feel insecure about other girls. If your guy had sex with her, he most probably wouldn’t still be friends with her.

What he says

I didn’t mean it like that.

When you are fighting with your guy, and he says something that triggers you, you are going to get even madder.

When he sees this, he’ll start to panic and backtrack by saying that he didn’t mean what he said and that he was trying to say something else entirely.

What he means

You took that worse than I expected, so now I have to backtrack.

He honestly did not want to hurt you with what he said, so now he is trying to get out of what he said. He probably did mean whatever he said, but he just really wants you to calm down.

What he says

You are overreacting.

This is a guy’s go-to line during an argument with their girlfriend because they want to disregard their feelings and avoid being blamed entirely.

When you hear this, run in the opposite direction because this is entirely different from what he really means.

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What he means

I’m the real crazy one, but I want you to believe you are the mad one.

This is a manipulative phrase that guys use on women to make them believe that they are more psycho than they actually are. It is a type of gaslighting that manipulators use to overpower someone else.

This completely dismisses your feelings, even though they are on point.

What he says

It’s a guy thing.

Most guys will at some point bring up “it’s a guy thing” in a conversation. You may freak out wondering what he is talking about, or maybe he is hiding something from you, but there is really no need to worry in most cases.

What he means

If you don’t get it, I can’t explain it.

Basically, when guys say this, they mean that there is no need to worry, it’s not a big deal, and it’s probably pretty silly anyways.

But they could also mean that they would instead not explain it because we, as women, won’t like it. Or they don’t want to explain it for whatever reason.

What he says when he is flirting

What he says

We should hang out soon.

If you two have been flirting and it’s time to move on to getting to know each other better, he will mention meeting up with you. Setting up a date to meet for coffee or just hanging out is a no-brainer.

What he means

I don’t want to commit, but I want to show you that I am attracted to you.

It is an excellent first date option when a guy wants to hang out with you because no one is committing to a relationship. It is a perfect way to keep things casual.

He tells you that he is ready to meet up with you whenever he wants, but he is not giving you his total commitment.

What he says

Let’s Netflix and chill.

When a guy says, “lets Netflix and Chill,” you know that there’s more than that on his mind. Women are familiar with this line and have an idea of what men actually mean.

He may want to binge that new comedy show, but there is much more on his mind.

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What he means

Can you stay the night?

What he actually wants to do is have sex with you. The “Netflix and Chill” phrase is just a cliché excuse men use to make their sexual desires more subtle.

What he says

I miss you.

If you have a long-distance relationship or you guys have been dating for a while, he could genuinely be missing you. There is usually no hidden agenda unless your guy is doing things behind your back and just sweet-talking you so that you don’t suspect him.

What he means

I actually really miss you.

Guys usually mean it when they say that they miss you, but what exactly do they miss? He could miss you in the moment or be physically there with you if you are in different locations.

What he says when you are dating

What he says

You look beautiful in that dress.

This sounds like a perfect compliment, but does he actually mean it? There is probably some truth to it, but he also has an underlying meaning.

What he means

Can we please just leave now?

You’ve probably tried on several different outfits and asked him how you looked in each one of them. On top of that, you took another hour to put on your makeup and even some selfies. At this point, all he wants to do is leave the house.

What he says

You’re going for a girls’ night? I wish we could hang out, but we can do it another time.

Occasionally, you will have a fun girls’ night where you have some drinks and catch up on all the gossip. Your guy will say that he wants to hang out, but he understands that spending time with your girlfriends is also very important.

What he means

Yay! I can have a fun boys’ night out.

When you hang out with your girls, he feels free to hang out with the boys for the night without feeling guilty about it.

He can drink as much as he wants and behave like an idiot because he won’t embarrass himself in front of you.

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What he says

I don’t think you should wear that to go out.

He is most likely not saying that your outfit is terrible. He probably genuinely likes it. Guys usually don’t have an opinion on your clothes, but they will voice their opinion when you are heading out in something that is a bit too revealing.

What he means

You look really good, but you will attract other guys too.

He could really love what you are wearing, but he feels uncomfortable that other guys will like it too. This means he is just a little insecure about what you sometimes wear because he feels you could find someone better.

What he says during the breakup

What he says

I’ve been really busy with work lately.

This could be true but most likely isn’t. If a guy genuinely likes you and wants to see you, he’ll make time for you. If he uses this excuse on you, you should be aware that your relationship will end.

What he means

I’ve honestly lost interest in you.

If he talks about how busy he is and that work is taking up all his time, then he has probably lost interest in you and is willing to move on. This is a very harsh truth. If he doesn’t make the time for you and put in the effort, then he really doesn’t want a relationship with you.

What he says

We need to take a break/ I need space.

Yes, most couples do take a break from their relationship and get back together. But this doesn’t happen all the time, especially if a guy is asking for it.

This does not mean you guys will break up, but the chances of that happening are pretty high.

What he means

I want to break up with you, but I’m trying to figure out how.

Men regularly ask for space or a break when they are trying to find a way to break up with you without actually doing it.

He may have been trying, and you haven’t realized it yet, or he wants to force you into doing it for him. There is also a possibility that he is trying to put it off for as long as possible.

Final thoughts

Men are a mystery, and it can be tough trying to find out what they are actually saying. They could be saying one thing but hinting at something else.

We hope that our list of common phrases men say and what they actually mean has made it a little easier for you to figure out what they are saying.

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John Santana

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