22 Things Men Say When You First Start Dating Them (And What They Really Mean)




What They Say: I’ve got a lot going on right now so I’m not really looking for anything serious.

What They Mean: I’ve got profiles on Tinder and OKCupid and a million other sites so if you’re looking for someone to settle down with, you’re looking in the wrong place. I want to have the option to date you if I want, but I also want to have the option to date 30 other people too.



What They Say: Work’s been pretty crazy lately so I don’t have a ton of free time right now.

What They Mean: I’m not exactly sure yet if I’m into you, so I’m telling you in advance that I’m pretty busy, in case this doesn’t work out.



What They Say: I’m really close with my family. I spend a lot of time with my parents. Especially my mom.

What They Mean: I like you, so I’m trying to tell you the most flattering things about myself that I think make me sound sensitive and caring.



What They Say: I’m pretty tired tonight, so I think I’m just gonna chill here and take it easy.

What They Mean: Honestly, if I really liked you or if I wanted to see you, I would be making an effort right now. I would go out and I would make it happen. The fact that I’m telling you I’m staying in is either a lie because I don’t want to meet up with you, or it’s the truth and I don’t like you enough to take a shower and get off the couch.



What They Say: Nothing, for three days at a time.

What They Mean: I’m not really into this, but you’ll call me an asshole if I outright tell you I’m not interested, so I’m going to try and let us drift and hope that can be the end of it.



What They Say: We should hang out sometime.

What They Mean: I’m slightly curious and maybe a little interested in you. But I don’t want to come right out and say that. I’m not sure I like you enough to straight-up ask you on a date. So let’s just tentatively say we’ll hang out at some point so we can keep our options open.



What They Say: You and Mark seem pretty close.

What They Mean: I’m kind of jealous,but I don’t want to admit it and then look needy. I am trying to figure out if I need to be wary of this dude or not, so tell me exactly what you think about him.



What They Say: She’s a cool girl.

What They Mean: She’s literally a cool girl. I think she’s fun to hang out with and not annoying and that’s pretty much all I need to know about her. You do not need to get jealous or drive yourself crazy. No I do not have feelings for her and no I do not want to dump you for her.



What They Say: Today was kinda shitty.

What They Mean: I had a really rough day and I need to talk to someone about it. But I don’t like looking weak or seeming as if I need anyone’s help. So I’m going to act like today was just annoying and inconvenient, but I want you to press me a little about it and get me to vent, because then I’ll feel better.



What They Say: I don’t care, you look great in whatever you put on.

What They Mean: I’ve watched you try on 16 different outfits, and if I have to wait any longer I’m going to snap. I know I can’t yell at you to hurry up because then we’ll just get in a fight and they we’ll really never get out of here. You honestly looked great in the first 16 outfits and at this point I do not even care what you put on, as long as we can get the hell out of here.



What They Say: No, you don’t look fat.

What They Mean: No, you don’t look fat. And even if you did, I wouldn’t tell you. Because that would make me an idiot.



What They Say: You’re beautiful.

What They Mean: Please just take the compliment and don’t question me about it. I wouldn’t say it if I didn’t mean it. But when you have to disagree with me and list all the reasons why you’re not beautiful, it just ruins the moment and makes me not want to bring it up again.



What They Say: Yeah, that is really annoying that your roommate did that.

What They Mean: I don’t really care at all about this story. Honestly, it doesn’t seem like that big of a deal to me that your roommate was one day late on paying you back for utilities. But I’m going to pretend I agree with you on this because if I don’t, we’ll get in a fight about something I don’t give a shit about.



What They Say: Sorry, I’m just now seeing your text.

What They Mean: I saw your text 4 hours ago but I didn’t really feel like responding. I’m responding now though because I feel bad for ignoring you, but I’m going to make my responses short and polite, because I don’t know how else to tell you that I’m not really feeling this anymore.



What They Say: No, I totally liked your friend Lisa. She seems nice.

What They Mean: I kind of think Lisa comes off as a crazy bitch, but I don’t want you to get mad at me so I’m just going to keep those thoughts to myself and avoid Lisa as much as I possibly can. I’m slightly concerned over the fact that you’re friends with her, but I’m going to ignore it for now.



What They Say: I’m not drunk.

What They Mean: I am completely drunk. I’m probably going to behave like an idiot for the rest of the night. But I feel a strange desire to convince you that I’m not drunk because I don’t want you to get annoyed with me. So instead I’m going to spend the rest of the night taking shots and telling you that I barely feel anything.



What They Say: No, don’t leave! Let’s go get pizza or something?

What They Mean: No, don’t leave the bar with your friend who’s giving me the stink eye! Come with me to get some late-night food so I have more time to convince you that what you really want to do is come home with me tonight. This is also our chance to see each other in brighter lighting and decide if we actually want to do this.



What They Say: Oh your friend Katie? Yeah, she’s alright I guess. I hadn’t really thought about it.

What They Mean: Your friend Katie is a smokeshow. She’s pretty much the hottest girl I’ve ever seen in my life. My jaw dropped open the minute I saw her. But telling you what I honestly think of your hot friend is pretty much the dumbest thing I can do. I’m not interested in breaking up with you to pursue her. I just think she’s hot and I want to admire her from afar. So what’s the point of getting you upset over nothing? It’s better just to lie and pretend like I don’t think she looks like a Victoria’s Secret model.



What They Say: Oh you’re going out for a girls’ night? I’m bummed we can’t hang out but I’m sure I can find something to do.

What They Mean: Yes! A night on the town with the guys! And I don’t have to explain myself or feel guilty about it or apologize to you about the fact that I made plans. I can get stupid-level drunk and act like the biggest idiot in the world without worrying that I’m embarrassing myself in front of you or that you’ll be pissed. You go ahead and have fun at girls’ night, and I will find plenty of ways to entertain myself.



What They Say: It’s up to you.

What They Mean: Whatever decision we are trying to make right now, I would rather just have you make it because I honestly don’t care that much. Just pick the restaurant we’re going to eat at or the food we’re going to make or the movie we’re going to see. I just want to DO something.



What They Say: My friends and I are going to a bar tonight. Do you want to come?

What They Mean: It’s a big deal for me to introduce you to my friends and I like you enough to do that. So just say yes and don’t stress out too much about it.



What They Say: I like you.

What They Mean: I like you.Thought Catalog Logo Mark

I’m a staff writer for Thought Catalog. I like comedy and improv. I live in Chicago. My Uber rating is just okay.

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