Understanding male language can be tricky. It’s well known that the things men say don’t always exactly match what’s going on their heads, for better or worse.
In this article then, I want to translate some of the more common guy phrases into plain English. You’ll never have to sit wondering what he really means again!
1. “I love that you’re a nurse/architect/journalist…that’s so cool” = “Wow…I’m really glad you’re not just a pretty face.”
Let’s face it, meeting someone who turns you on physically and intellectually doesn’t happen every day. And since men start off as fairly visual creatures, when he realises he’s drawn to your personality as well it can often take him by surprise.
If he gets starry-eyed about your job, or becomes excited when he discovers you love the same books or movies, it means he’s genuinely excited about your personality and is already starting to wonder about you as a potential girlfriend.
Basically, any phrase he says on a date that involves him being impressed and fascinated by your interests means he’s getting excited about the thought of seeing you again.
2. “Where are you guys headed after this place?” = “I want to make sure I see you again…please can I have your number?”
You’ve been hitting it off at a party or a bar for the last 20 minutes, then suddenly it dawns on him that you could walk out soon and he’ll lose you from his life forever.
If he’s asking what venue your group of friends are going next, what he really means to say is “let’s make sure we catch up again after this”. Or he just wants an excuse to get your number before you leave. Any sign that shows he’s hoping to be in the same room as you later on is a clear indicator that you’re already in his head.
3. “That outfit looks amazing” = “I think you’re hot”
A guy isn’t just going to blurt out that his jaw just dropped when you said walked into view, nor the fact that he’s secretly picturing what you might look like under that dress. Instead he’ll compliment some more innocuous feature, whether it’s your outfit, your eyes, your smile, or he’ll just say, “You look great”.
These kinds of physical compliments are essentially the things men say to indicate they’re LOVING what they see.
4. “Are those your friends?” = “Is any of those guys your boyfriend?”
Because let’s face it, he’s not really that curious about your friends, especially if you’ve just met. What he is interested in is whether an angry boyfriend is about to walk up, put a possessive arm around you, and create a truly awkward moment for him.
He asks this because he wants to know the coast is clear before he spends another 10 minutes trying to flirt with you within the gaze of your social group.
If you’re enjoying his company, put him out of his misery and make sure to use the word “friends” when you describe your crowd (especially if there are guys in it) so he knows he can relax.
5. [Sent via text message] “We’ll have to catch up some time” = “I’m not sure I’m really into you, so I’m going to keep it vague”
If a guy is interested he’ll want to make sure he locks you down, or at the very least he’ll say something like, “Let’s get together up next weekend”.
If he’s keeping it super vague though, it’s because either (a) he hasn’t really made up his mind about how he feels yet, (b) he’s being flakey and waiting to see what other plans come along, or (c) he’s planning on gradually fading out and never really following up on a date. It may be that he’s putting you in the friend zone or he’s simply hoping he can keep things on ice in case he changes his mind at a later date.
Either way, save your energy for a guy who wants to make real plans.
6. “I’m really busy at the moment” = “I don’t want to prioritise you right now”
There can be many reasons a guy feels “busy” – he’s ambitious in his career, he’s juggling a busy social life with work, he’s feeling under pressure financially…it doesn’t matter. What he really means to say loud and clear that he doesn’t want to invest seriously in you (though he may still call to offer a “Netflix and Chill” if he’s being really cheeky).
It may be him, or it may that he’s not that into you…the point is, it’s not your job to wait around for his schedule to lighten up in a few weeks time. Frankly, you should be the one too busy for this kind of nonsense.
7. “I don’t want anything serious right now” = “I don’t want anything serious right now”
Listen up! This is one of those times men mean 100% what they say!
If a guy says anything vaguely in the realm of “I just want to have fun”, “I’m enjoying things as they are”, or “I don’t have time for anything too committed”, for the love of all things holy just take his word for it. All of these are essentially euphemisms or softer ways of saying I do not want this thing we have to turn into a relationship. Period.
He may say this phrase and still be loving, affectionate, and yes, grow to really really like you. But that doesn’t change anything. Often a guy will say this and STILL carry on wanting to date you – so it’s your responsibility to decide what YOU want and let him know you’re not ok with just “seeing how this goes” and enduring 6 months more of being just casual.
18 Replies to “7 Things He Says And What He Really Means”
I have a guy friend that I have feelings for and I had the “we’ve been hanging out for a while now are we just friends or …. ” talk and he said although he is starting to feel something he had gotten out of a bad relationship with the ex (which is true, I haven’t met her but they have a young child together) and he wanted to be in a better place in his life before he made a move on anyone. His friends like me and he let it slip that they were telling him to make a move on me. Cut to a few months later, he’s had issues trying to see his daughter and so was MIA dealing with that and now it’s back on track we started hanging out with me again, telling me my dress looked great when we recently went out for drinks for my birthday only to then word vomit and say how he never compliments women on their clothes cause you know you look good. We hang out a lot, fall asleep in top of each other on the couch and were even in bed together (without doing anything) laughing and drinking wine recently. He texts me first when he’s excited about things but I am unsure if this is ever gonna go anywhere or if he just sees me as a friend.
He is bored. And you’re easily available for whatever pseudo-crap you have going on here.
Move and Move on fast.
In fact, Run!!!
These are awesome, Matt, but what about when a guy says “women have never been a priority for me” followed seconds later by talking about getting kids together for days out, meeting family, etc once we’ve established a relationship.
Often guys aren’t that hard to decode, unless they give immediate statements that seem to completely oppose each other. That’s when I get confused.
Have you done an article or video on that, that I missed?
Thank you, Matthew! Excellent piece
Hi Stephen and Matt,
I always read your blog posts with utmost interest – you really ARE great at advice!
I would love to see a video or blog post on what to do when someone you’ve dated for 3-5 months pulls away for seemingly no reason. Not entirely to constitute a break-up, but far enough to sense it. Does he need space? What do I do to give him this space but also not waste my time on someone who’s moving in the opposite direction. Thank you!
what about if he is flirting and sending like pics and he says things like we should organise something, but he doesn’t directly ask you out. nb he jus had a break up a few months ago from a serious relationship. how do u figure out if its jus flirting or how do u get him to like ask you out??
Ladies and Gentlemen, do not come down from your throne, take off your crown to play with a porch monkey. Keep your jewels in your purse/wallet and close it tightly. Don’t allow anyone to play with your mind, temple (your body), spirit, soul or money. Trix are for kids. TIME is the most valuable thing anyone will ever have; do not waste it. Learn to love yourself, invest in you, be your own best friend. You are enough as you are. All anyone wants is a pure genuine individual, without pretense.
Really LOVE your videos, Matthew!! Could you do a video about how to win him back after we break up?
I was in a relationship with this guy who claimed to like me but didn’t prioritize me at all(flaking on me often and not taking me out enough). I could not stand the way he treated me and I broke up with him. That night, he texted me saying “I am glad we gave it a try. You have obviously figured out that I am not really ready for a girlfriend right not. I do really like you though. Hope you will find what you are looking for and I am happy we can still be friends.”
I like him too and I want him back with a new attitude to me. How can I do that?
So I just watched a few more videos here – the 4 things guys like most .. Playful? I fail epically at being playful. Expressing sexuality/being sexy in subtle ways? Nope. Terrified. Of all aspects of this one. Busy/entertained/content/happily living life? No no no no no!!! Sharing my life is what truly brings happiness to me, all else is idle and painfully tediously forced activities forced upon myself to distract me from the one aspect of life I am terribly afraid is out of the question for me for all of my life, I will very likely not be confident, feel or act truly sexy or subtly sexy, or be so happy within my owninterests. So far I’m fairly certain if I read this and my previous comment out loud to a group of .. say 50 men – that every one of them would essentially say “yeah man, she’s fucked .. she should just live her live to be happy until she dies, suicide or not” .. Like, I am 99.999999% sure that would be the majority response ..
I’ve been studying Matt’s advice for quite some time – I’ve read 2 of his books and watched practically every video on his Youtube – so I hope that what I have deduced from his amazing wisdom is actually in agreance with it and will help you.
Firstly, you say that sharing your life with someone is what makes you happy. But in order to do that, you have to have something, like stories or passions, that you can share. When Matt says that a busy, “in demand” woman is attractive, he’s not saying that you have to regularly climb Mt. Everest, or go do charity in Africa, or go to parties every Saturday night. If sharing your life with someone exites you, then spend time with your friends – just invite them over, have coffee or tee, go for a walk, or do whatever makes you happy. But the fact is, we all want the person we’re dating to bring something into our life, and not some one who we will be the ENTIRE life of us, because 1. At the beginning of a relationship that’s just scary and 2. it will get draining and boring after some years.
Btw even watching Netflix can be sth that can show your personality to someone if you find the interesting things about a show (like how you admire a character’s strength/kindness/etc. and that you’re working on how to be that way too, because you appreciate it so much in the character, or because you think the show has this great message, but don’t atl about the obvious things that don’t set you apart, like X is just so funny)
You also said you can’t be playful. This is just not true. I know that, when you’re around your friends, you joke around with them and have fun. In other words, you make each other feel good when you laugh together, and everyone likes people who make them feel good. But it needs a certain amount of confidence to be as free with other people as we are with our closest friends. This is not something you will be able to do from one day to the next, but it’s something you can work on. Start by complementing random people, or joking to them in an unhurtful manner, like telling them you really liked the color of their shirt on them, and that you wish more people would wear it. Chances are, you’re never gonna see them again, so who cares, even if they don’t react well? But it will get you more comfortable with getting “close” with someone early on.
As for the sexuality, I have to admit I’m still working on that myself. But what turned out to be the best thing for me to start with, and it may be the other way around for you, is to throw in a light touch here and there, nothing sensual, but just a touch of his hand, almost accidental. You can also tell them that a trait that you’ve noticed about them is attractive for you, even with out mentioning that he has it (like “I think beards/glasses/a cute smile is sooo attractive on guys”), that way you’ve planted the idea that you might be interested, without directly telling him “You’re so hot”.
Hope I could help!
Lots of love
I just talked to your DAD Matthew! He blew my mind. What a privilage
I’ve been talking to this guy for about a month, most days he texts me at least once, sometimes he goes a few days without texting, but 99% of the time he texts and says hi and our conversation just flows, we have a ton in common, and we get along extremely well. We live in two different states and he travels a ton, so our conversation is nearly exclusively text. All the sudden I haven’t heard from him in a week. Nothing. He said he’s crappy at communication, which I believed at first but after having not spoken to him in so long and reading your book and texts and information, I’m thinking he’s not bad with communication he’s bad with prioritization.
My plan is to respond per Matthew’s texting instructions should I ever hear from him again, and we work for partner companies so I know I’ll see him again… and just play it cool, if he choose to prioritize the relationship, great, if not I can be the bigger person.
My question is, am I correct in my thought process or did I miss something huge?
Hi Matt my question is? How do I get rid of the fear of trust! On and off While Married for 22 years my ex had a cheating and high anger problems and would constantly put me down.
I recently met a wonderful guy we been seeing each other for a little over 2 months
We go places, we laugh and have so much fun. We have been very intimate. We cook for each other. But I feel like I’m holding back almost like I’m afraid to make a mistake. I like this guy how do I let go of the past.
What if he says “I want something casual but I do eventually want something serious” and then later still talking about loving his ex-girlfriend, but then later saying stufff about how he wanted to hold you and he was pretending to only want sex, and he’s not actually ready for sex, and then you never hear from him again?
Sigh. I always choose these kind of guys, and I don’t know why.
That #7v tricky little buzzard. He actually means just that. Don’t waste any more time. Matthew you’re awesome!
What if he says “things are complicated because he doesn’t know what he wants right now” and “you are awesome and I had fun but we are better being friends for right now”? Is that a line that should be taken at face value? Or is he really meaning something else? I am fine with only being friends for now but also do not want to waste time trying to be friends if the message is truly saying that he isn’t interested in pursuing any type of relationship.
If you’re not sure if you’re really into that woman then why the mother fcuk you find the need to say “we will catch up some time” ??? It’s as simple as interested or not interested. If you’re not then don’t say it.
I’m sorry I sound like I’m using this column as punching bag but I’m just going through this situation
Hi there colleagues, pleasant post and nice urging commented here, I am really enjoying by these.
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