The One Thing Women Always Get Wrong About Men 

woman and man dancing
Brooke Cagle

I’m going to share a story because I find stories to be the best way to illustrate a point.

Years ago, I met a guy who I thought was absolutely perfect for me. Actually, I had heard about him before I even met him through mutual friends, and just a quick description of him was enough to let me know that he was the man for me!

Eventually, the stars aligned and we met in person, and he was exactly how I imagined he would be. Now how often does a fantasy match reality so perfectly?

Not only that, the chemistry was explosive. The conversation flowed, the body language signals all checked, and our faces were almost pained from smiling so wide. I’m a relationship expert, I write about men for a living, I know what a guy “in like” looks like and this was it!

After we parted from that magical first meeting, I floated home on a cloud. At last, the wait is over, dating is over, I found the guy for me! Never mind the fact that he didn’t ask for my number or mention getting in touch with me, I was sure that he liked me, and that something magical was brewing.

But it didn’t …

Hmm, that’s strange. Maybe he thought I didn’t like him? Or maybe it’s because I was getting shy and flustered and maybe I just wasn’t giving enough green light signals. Or maybe he’s afraid of being rejected; I know that’s a real fear for most men! And I mean, that would be so embarrassing for him because we have so many mutual friends … so maybe he’s just waiting until he knows for sure that I’m interested. Yes! That has to be it. The next time I see him, I will make sure my signals are clear and obvious.

About a month or two later, we crossed paths at a friend’s birthday party. Never mind the fact that every time I looked over at him he was heavily flirting with a different girl; I knew that I was different. I mean, I’m so good at reading situations, that’s what I do for a living! I can’t be wrong about this.

Eventually, he swam my way through the sea of people and again, explosive chemistry, flirty banter, outstretched smiles, this time he even gave me a high five that lingered way too long, so does that count as him holding my hand??

Yes, this was happening, it was, I feel it. But it didn’t.

OK, now I’m so confused. This doesn’t make any sense. Why isn’t he asking me out? It must be because he doesn’t want to make things weird, that he wants to be sure this will work out before he dives in. Oh! I know! Maybe he senses that I’m “the one” and that’s really scary for a guy … so he’s just processing what’s going on.

I spent many more months in the grips of intense confusions. How do I crack his code? How do I get a relationship to happen? This is all so confusing!

Now, whenever I would get stuck in an area concerning my love life it was doubly hard because I am a relationship expert by trade, it’s what I do and I’m good at it. But when faced with a problem I couldn’t solve, well then I really felt like an idiot and a fraud!

I knew what I would tell a reader this situation, but my own sound advice just didn’t seem to apply here. It just feels different.

OK, long story short, a little while later I brought a friend of mine to a party that he also attended. He took one look at her and that was it. They engaged in heavy flirting, he immediately got her information, and he called and asked her on a date soon after. I literally felt like I had been knocked sideways. The next day I couldn’t even walk straight, my whole world felt like it was tilted.

And this is what women always get wrong about men.

We think they’re so confusing. We think it doesn’t make any sense. We think they play games and send mixed messages. We don’t understand why.

But really, we do. The problem is we don’t want to admit the truth that’s staring us in the face. We don’t want to admit that a guy we like may not like us back, so we invent this whole narrative about how he really does like us, and about all these menacing obstacles are getting in the way of making true love bloom.

Men Aren’t Complicated

I know it sounds shocking, I know it doesn’t feel like this can possibly be true, but it is! And once you really internalize this fact, your dating life will dramatically change. You can relax and stop stressing and making yourself crazy.

When it comes to men, the most obvious explanation is usually the correct one. Feelings aren’t facts. Just because something feels a certain way doesn’t mean that’s the reality.

You can’t interpret situations when you have a bias toward a certain outcome. This is main reason why I was so good at breaking down other people’s relationship issues but always got tripped up when it came to my own love life. It’s the reason most of us can solve our friend’s relationship issues with no problem, but remain utterly befuddled when it comes to our own lives.

Here is the straight up truth: Men aren’t complicated, woman complicate them.

I’m not blaming the woman, but I will say we put ourselves through so much unnecessary grief just because we don’t want to accept that men are actually fairly simple and straightforward creatures.

But How Does He Feel About Me?

By far the most common questions I get are variations of figuring out how a guy feels …

“He texts me from time to time, but we never actually hang out…”

“He’s really flirty when we see each other, and said I’m the coolest girl he knows, so why isn’t he asking me out?”

“We’ve been seeing each other for months, but he won’t make it official….”

“He always watches my Instagram and Snapchat stories, and he likes my pictures! What does that mean????”

It means he is kind of interested in you, but doesn’t want a relationship with you.

Guys don’t play games, they don’t try to hide interest, they don’t speak in code, and they aren’t trying to confuse you. Why is it so confusing? Again, because we don’t want to accept the truth and we all want to think we’re the exception.

What women always get wrong about men is thinking they’re evil or complicated or commitment-phobes or players. But most of the time this just isn’t the case.

Men usually show you exactly who they are. They may not necessarily come right out and say the words, but you’ll always see the truth when you can honestly look for it. And if a man does ever come right out and tell you he doesn’t want to be in a relationship, believe him. Again, this isn’t him performing some voodoo trap on you and trying to get you to like him more or prove your worth by showing what an amazing girlfriend you would be.

If a guy isn’t making it obvious to you that he likes you, it’s because he doesn’t like you that much. If he isn’t committing to you, it’s because he doesn’t want to. If he’s treating you like a booty call, it’s because he doesn’t want a relationship that goes any deeper than that.

Don’t delude yourself or adopt a man-hating attitude. See a situation for what it is, and accept that men just aren’t that complicated.

And in case you’re wondering, it didn’t work out between that guy and my friend and she was utterly devastated (and ok fine, I was slightly smugly satisfied). He and I ended up becoming really close friends and through our friendship I realized that we would have made a terrible couple! These days he’s married, I’m married, and my friend is married, so all’s well that ends well! Thought Catalog Logo Mark

Sabrina Bendory is a writer and entrepreneur. She is the author of You’re Overthinking It, a definitive book on dating and self-love.

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