I Don’t Understand Boys

Why are boys so confusing? I mean, how complicated can a penis be? Really. Just look at them! They’re like a hanging piece of dopey flesh. Penises have an IQ of 60. They went to community college and work retail. Meanwhile, my vagina graduated Magna Cum Laude from Sarah Lawrence. It majored in “I’m Complicated.” My vagina is so smart, it even confuses me sometimes! I’m like, “Are you okay? Do we need to talk? WHAT IN THE HELL IS GOING ON DOWN THERE?”

Boys often say that girls are just as confusing, if not more so than boys. And to that, I say “Cry me an overflowing river of dicks.” I roll my eyes every time a guy friend complains to me about girls acting sooooo crazy. “It’s like they want to hang out with me and they’re not afraid to vocalize it. It’s terrifying!” Uh huh, that’s a bonafide horror movie: someone being honest about wanting to hang out with you. My heart is really bleeding for ya, hon!

Besides, everyone knows — everyone meaning gay guys and straight girls — that guys are the crazy ones. I’ve been seeing this dude for about a month now, let’s call him Teal, and he is so hard to read. First of all, he texts me in hieroglyphics. For example: “wut doin gurl?” and “mdef,” which I took to mean as “most definitely” because it was in response to a text I had sent him the first night we met saying “it was nice meeting you. let’s hang soon.” I don’t know if he blindfolds himself every time he uses his phone as some sort of survival exercise, but homeboy texts like my mom. He makes no sense.

Person to person isn’t much better. When Teal shows up for our dates (read: me clutching a bottle of wine in my apartment while he updates me on his art), he fluctuates between acting so interested in me and making intense eye contact to zoning out completely and behaving as if he’s bored. These mood changes can happen in the span of five minutes. One moment, he’s present and being flirty with me and the next he’s like, “I’m going. SEE YA!” No warning either. Just going, going, gone. After every time we hang out, I’m convinced he doesn’t like me so I don’t bother texting him again. But a few days go by and he’s the one texting me to hang out again. I don’t get it. I thought it was mutually understood that we weren’t connecting and he was bored, so why is he making the effort to see me again? What does he want from me? And don’t say “my vagina” because this dude looks like Ryan Gosling frenching James Franco in Ancient Greece. He’s a babe who could sleep with anyone he wants so it can’t just be the potential sex that’s keeping him around.

The funniest thing about all of this is that I don’t even really like him. He’s sort of a dud, personality-wise, and doesn’t seem to have a sense of humor at all. But because I’m bored, horny, and have no other prospects, I’ve become obsessed with the mixed messages he sends me. We’ve hung out a grand total of five times, only one of which ended in casual second base, and every time he leaves, I’m like “He’s so lame! Now I must text him immediately to tell him what a great time I had!” This is what happens when your love life is pathetic though. You latch on to any male attention, regardless of whether or not it’s fulfilling.

I was complaining about Teal to my friend the other day and she was like, “What’s the issue here? Do you want to date this guy? Do you see yourself hanging out with him on rainy days and bringing him soup when he’s sick? The answer to this is, of course, no. But I still can’t help being intrigued by his erratic behavior. I’ve been dating for eight years and some of the men I’ve encountered have truly blown my mind. Not because they were so amazing but because they were such freaks. Hot and cold, emotionally closed off, genuine weirdos. Men pride themselves on not playing games but that hasn’t been the case with me. I’ve had to deal with a ton of emotional yo-yoing and contradictory behavior. At the end of the day, we’re all insane but I guess I just expected boys to be easier to understand, especially since they like to spend most of their time discussing how hard it is for them to understand US. I guess this is just how life works though. We’re always going to be confused by the people we like to see naked. TC Mark

image – Mr. Grau_2010


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  • Meghan

    agreed 100%

  • http://twitter.com/iamtheboyking Trey (@iamtheboyking)

    Dear January Nelson,

    I’m in love with:

    “Cry me an overflowing river of dicks.”

    I hope you really talk like this.

  • corz

    this is demeaning to community college and retail. =|

    • bee

      really thats what you got out of this? cry me an overflowing river of dicks

      • http://gravatar.com/athoughtbank whateva


    • http://twitter.com/SodiumSepia Rick (@SodiumSepia)

      If anything, it’s demeaning to Sarah Lawrence grads to be associated with such a vapid piece, and I say that as a former CC student.

  • Bree

    When I am not dating I find my life to be so much more drama-free! I once “dated” (if you can call it that. We went out twice for dinner and drinks, and watched a movie at his house) who threw a temper-tantrum when I was busy one night and was not going to come over and watch a movie….

    • Anon

      Haha I had a very similar experience. Only replace “not coming over and watch a movie” with “not being able to hang out because I was going home for my grandma’s birthday” and we basically have the same story. Hilarious.

  • Heather

    “We’ve hung out a grand total of five times, only one of which ended in casual second base, and every time he leaves, I’m like “He’s so lame! Now I must text him immediately to tell him what a great time I had!” This is what happens when your love life is pathetic though. You latch on to any male attention, regardless of whether or not it’s fulfilling.”

    Story. Of. My. Life.

    I’ve been looking for a way to put what I’ve been feeling into words or at least a definition of it so thank you for doing it for me. <3

    • Shomarri!

      Haha. A guy I was dating actually showed me this website. We started off as good friends, and he is CUTE as a button, but his argumentative attitude showed me that he was controlling and manipulative. He had to be matter of fact about everything and didn’t believe in spirituality whatsoever. He grouped everything into one category of “religious” even talking about another guy i used to date that he knows claiming that he only talks about “philosophical sh*t” yet he claimed to only believe in science. He was in opposition to almost everything that I was open to exploring and it sucked.

      I could not be myself. And all the arguing just to be “friends”? No.

      Problem is, After he showed me his insecuruites after sex I went from thinking of him as a great guy friend to just an insecure asshole. And things only got progressively worse. Run while you can..

      Im still in LIMBO with that but i honestly think I can and anyone else who wants to can avoid all of this by just being patient, figuring urself out and taking your time to assess what you need rather than observing their insecurites. Why waste your time centering your emotions around guys when you could be centering them around so much more?

      If that guy ever understands this…and im not even holding my breath. I will eventually find one who will.

      The way I see it is if it aint broken don’t fix it. He always found things to complain about and i just wanted to be happy and live life. I could get way deep into this, maybe i’ll post something. But i know that lessons must be learned after we walk away from the situation. Or else you’re not learning anything. AND I AM DEFINITELY LEARNING MINE that we were never going to learn anything from each other, other than him showing me some awesome ass websites.

  • Lt. Right

    This is awesome, I love your writing.

    I think the reason you like Teal is because you’re flattered by his attention, but you’re confused because you don’t think you deserve it. Well, DUH you don’t deserve it! No one deserves anything like that. You have to WANT it — and I think you’re confused about whether you should. Remember: there is only want or not want — there is no “should.”

    I only say this because I am in the same boat half the time. (The other half I’m completely out at sea.)

    • you're an idiot

      I’ll never have these eight and half seconds of my life back

      • -

        hahahahaha ^ @you’re an idiot

  • Mike

    your whole point was kind of lost when you explained A. his text game (kind of a sign…) and B. the fact that you don’t actually like him…

  • Stephanie


  • jupie

    the second to last paragraph is why girls are the obvious crazy ones. who is stupid enough to put themselves through that/think that way and then WRITE ABOUT IT AND POST IT?!??!?!?!!?

  • http://girlscantbefunny.wordpress.com/2012/06/19/poetry/ poetry. « girlscantbefunny

    […] the best fucking thing you’ll ever read about boys and girls. ever. Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. […]

  • http://gravatar.com/darkheadlights darkheadlights

    My vagina graduated from Sarah Lawrence too! (As did the rest of me.) High five.

  • mason

    if this is what the average guy is based on your experiences, then i get how you feel. but based on my experiences, the average girl is someone who tells you how much they like you for roughly two months until they decide that you’re not what they’re looking for, either as a person or as the situation you present (a stable relationship). if that’s not emotional yo-yoing and contradictory behavior i don’t know what is

    • Virginia

      At least she told you. Guys pull the whole “I like you so much” and then just disappear. Lunatics.

      • Francesca


  • http://www.facebook.com/oliveramiller Oliver Miller


  • Christina

    funny! enjoyed your article.

  • http://karyninny.wordpress.com karyninny

    1. Hi, Jupie, this is a site where people write about things that happened to them and their thoughts about those things. Get with it or get off it.
    2. Hi, January, thanks for the piece. I admire your frankness. I want to write like this, but my parents would kill themselves. Here’s to not caring what your parents think, or to hiding this piece from them, or however it is you’re doing this and having parents. Congrats.

    • jupie

      i’m aware of how the site works, thanks. i was commenting on the public admission of her idiocy. since this ‘article’ was just so lacking in content, i wondering why one would just go ahead and shame themselves, but thanks for not getting how context works.

      • ..

        hahahahaahah shut up

  • c-dawg

    This describes my “relationship” status pretty much ALL THE TIME. I want him, but I don’t because he’s so not right… but he wants me, or does he? I think this is what happens when you’re in your 20’s. Friends in their 30’s tell me that in true relationships, there is no reading into mixed messages. When you know, you know. I’m just waiting for that to happen.

  • EL

    uh… if you don’t actually like him and you are confused as to why you keep hanging out with him maybe that comes across to him as YOU being crazy?

    Surely you see the irony here.

  • http://compto35.wordpress.com compto35

    Vocabulary choices like ‘weirdos’ are a good indicator as to why you don’t understand: you’re too lazy to figure out what you don’t know.

    And jesus don’t even get me started on the fallacy of beginning a rant talking about how you simply can’t understand men, then make the analogy that penises (men) are aloof because they’re dumb, and vaginas (women) are hard-to-understand because they’re so smart there’s no way they can’t be complicated.

    This post is bad from concept to content, and with a mission statement like the one here, I can’t believe they let this through their ‘editing’ process

    • http://twitter.com/Gibrann Gibránn Piña (@Gibrann)

      Exactly. We are all constantly seduced by sense of humor(funny things), which is completely fine, but you are right, this text is just funny in wrong way and that’s it, I don’t think it has some real content.

  • http://www.itmakesmestronger.com/2012/06/i-don%e2%80%99t-understand-boys/ Only L<3Ve @ ItMakesMeStronger.com

    […] Thought Catalog » Love & Sex Add a comment […]

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=10025811 Alexandra Glorioso

    killer last line!

  • http://ladaysandnights.wordpress.com ladaysandnights

    in the immortal words of Samantha Jones (YES i just made a SITC ref), “men aren’t that complicated honey, they’re kind of like plants.”

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=5740314 Farhan Ch

      I’m a raspberry bush.

    • Sex and the City

      it’s SATC, not SITC

      • http://ladaysandnights.wordpress.com ladaysandnights

        you’re right! thanks for correcting me. im sure everyone knew what i was talking about however, since i name checked a character.

  • Sara

    I’ve been in similar situations, but ultimately, what has confused me the most about dalliances with “confusing” men is why I even bother sticking around. There is unpredictable and occasionally hard-to-read, and then there are men (and women, too) who are intentionally ambiguous game-players. It seems to me that there’s nothing confusing about that sort of behavior–these types of people just flat out aren’t worth the time/energy/rumination/emotional involvement. Unfortunately, staying away is easier said than done…

  • Sarah

    This started off as an article about how confusing guys were, and ended with you complaining about your love life. If you need to dedicate an entire article complaining about one guy, you should probably ditch him. You’re obviously thinking about him way more than he’s thinking about you.

    • http://geminiunleashed.wordpress.com geminiunleashed

      Yea I agree with Sarah while the article is entertaining, you’re generally saying that your desperate an you are blaming men lol. Men are about as complicated as cooking fried chicken.

  • valvi

    I think I wrote this…..or you somehow think and talk exactly like me!

  • jdaelectric

    I feel like i read an article written by Justin Bieber complaining about dating himself.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=5740314 Farhan Ch

      I don’t know you…but I love you. LOL!

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