Let’s face it ladies, we have all been there. You’re in a heated debate with your man. Some might even call it an argument. He’s not hearing you, and he thinks you’re not hearing him. So you resort to a way to end the conversation. Which will give you time to go to another room and stew. I guess I can’t vouch for everyone, but I know that I’ve been in this situation before. Many times. And I suspect I will be there again. But this leads me to a bigger question. When we, as women, communicate, are we saying it like it is? Or is there so much hidden meaning behind our words, that it’s no wonder our partners don’t understand?
I’m not taking the side of men in this situation, but communication is key. And I mean extremely important in a relationship. Women often over analyze and read more into a situation than is necessarily there. So if a man says “ok”, he usually means “ok”. If a woman says “ok”, it doesn’t always mean that. And I personally hate getting lumped into a category that shouldn’t be applied to all women. In my last relationship, I learned that I had to say exactly what I meant in order for my partner to understand. I couldn’t let him get away with not hearing me, as it only made the situation worse. On top of that, I was in a situation where I was constantly being lied to, so honest and clear communication have become the backbone of my relationship now.
I grew up in a situation where I was unable to communicate my feelings properly. Which I’m still dealing with. My parents kind of treated me like I was a boy. And maybe that was ok, but when I started to have feelings and emotions, it made it difficult as I would suppress them instead of understanding what was going on. Over the years I got good at ending a conversation and just “dealing” with it. But I don’t know that it was the best for me, emotionally. So where am I going with this? Communication is an essential part of a having a long and sustainable relationship. Both (or all) sides need to do their part in being clear. Below I will examine some things we say, and what we really mean.
I Love You
If a woman says “I love you”, she means it. Maybe some women fall in love easier than others, but is that really such a bad thing? Some people are more loving than others. Some people are able to open their hearts easier and faster than other people. But guys, if you don’t mean it, or aren’t sure, don’t say it just to please your woman. It’s not helping anyone. Sure, it might be hard, but I think honesty is the best policy. Younger guys – don’t use this as a way to get women into bed. You’ll regret it when you get older.
How is your girlfriend?
I don’t think I’ve ever asked a guy this. I might say “how are things?” in a vague way. But what we are getting at is how rocky is your current relationship. Because we’re interested. Ladies – if you’re interested in a guy who is in a relationship, cool your heels. While I’m not assigning blame, you could end up making a mess of your relationship with this guy, and his relationship with his lady. Either way, it usually ends poorly. I know people who have been the “other woman”, and ended up as the wife. So who knows? But be careful. And guys, if you’re falling out of love with your current partner and are thinking about someone else – end it. Do everyone a favour and walk away. You can’t have your cake and eat it too. No matter how good the cake is.
If we say “it’s cool”. It’s not. Full stop.
While I can’t think of a situation in which I would ever say this to my man, I can see some feisty ladies using it on theirs. And simply translated it means – I can’t believe you just said that. Walk whatever you said back and apologize.
Of course I miss you.
I mean, this could mean many things. But I think the emphasis on “of course” is a tell. But not necessarily a bad thing. Maybe your man is out of town for work, and you are enjoying the free time of being able to hang out with the girls or binge watch Netflix. It doesn’t necessarily mean she doesn’t miss you. But it is a way to let your partner know that you miss them, and absolve yourself from the guilt of wanting to enjoy your own time. If your partner says “do you miss me?”, you aren’t likely to want to say “no”, even if you don’t. You care about them, but also need some alone time. I don’t think this one is as bad as some people think it is.
Never mind. Forget it.
I think for some women this means the opposite of what it should. For me, as I mentioned, this is a way for me to diffuse a situation. I hate those conversations where you’re just going back and forth with your partner. Each saying the same thing over and over again. Maybe this doesn’t resolve the situation, but regardless of who is right/wrong, this lets me end the conversation. For me “never mind, forget it”, means I’m done with this topic, can we please move on? But for some it gives them the opportunity to stew about it and bring it up later. They’re not necessarily over it. Which is why it’s so important to communicate what you mean. In both situations we are saying the same thing, but I’m legitimately trying to move away from it. Some women can’t. Say what you mean!
I didn’t hear my phone.
I mean.. this could mean a few different things. For me – I have used this in situations where I was trying to let a guy down gently. And I was on a date with someone else. “I didn’t hear my phone” is definitely not good, but sometimes she might not have. During my dating days, I would specifically turn my phone off at night because of the number of messages I would get. And I didn’t want those waking me up in the middle of the night. But if you’re in a relationship with someone and you’re constantly getting this response, something is up. And consider what time of day it is. Maybe she’s at work and can’t respond? Or maybe she’s sleeping? I don’t think this is a reason to freak out.
This also could mean a few different things. But mostly that she’s done. Maybe with the situation.. but maybe with the relationship. I said this many times to my ex during the last few months of our relationship. I was done. Because I tend to say what I mean, I’m done literally means I’m done. For some, it could mean that they’re done with whatever it is you’ve done and you need to apologize.
I don’t want to be in a relationship right now.
So some ladies will say this as a way to play it cool. I say this when I legitimately don’t want to be in a relationship. Which, I actually think this made me more attractive to some guys. I wasn’t intending it to be that way. For me this means, don’t call or text me 100 times a day because I’m not interested in anything outside of a casual relationship. Some guys are nicer than others and will just message to say what’s up, but for the most part I think everyone understood this.
For some ladies, though, I think this is a way to show guys that they’re not desperate. If you are looking for a relationship, be up front. Trust me on this, you will attract a nicer class of men. Saying you don’t want a relationship will bring those guys forward who are just looking for a hook up. And that’s ok if that’s all you’re interested in. But if you want to find a nice guy, don’t use this as a way to shield yourself from heart break or rejection. It’s a part of the dating cycle. It happens to all of us.
I’ll be ready in a few.
I have literally never been late for anything. Wait, that’s a lie. I was late for work once. Once. It doesn’t usually take me that long to get ready. If I know I have something to go out tonight, I will start getting ready extra early. Why? Because I’m anxious, nervous or excited. Either way, I have never used this. My sister-in-law, however, is always running behind. Even if we’re just going to the grocery store. It takes her forever to get ready. So I can see how this happens. “I’ll be ready in a few” could mean that it will actually only take a few minutes, and for others it could mean that they will be another hour or two. Coin toss.
I’m a free spirit.
When I hear this, I think hippie. Or someone who doesn’t have their life together. Or know what direction their life is going. None of these things are necessarily negative. Some think that this means you’re sleeping around. And maybe it does. In my opinion “I like to have fun” translates to having several sexual partners more so than “I’m a free spirit”. I guess this might be a situation where you don’t want to be clear with what this means. Do you want to convey that you’re sleeping around? Again, if you’re just looking for random hook-ups than maybe.
Who is she?
I have asked this question many times in my day. And the answer is never what I want it to be. It literally means – who is this other person and she better not be prettier or better than me in any way. And guys, do not talk about your female friends or ex-girlfriends in a way that implies that she was some how better. Maybe you don’t mean to, but if I’ve got brown hair, and your ex is blonde and you’re “normally” into blondes… don’t tell me. That makes me think that you wish you were still together. We women are constantly comparing ourselves to other women. No matter how beautiful we are, or successful, we will always feel like we aren’t good enough. Unfortunately, our men don’t help this when they tell us about their female friends.
There is also a good chance that we have already looked her up. Or that we will look her up. We do this to torture ourselves. There is literally no other reason. As women, we need to realize our value. Getting jealous or upset about another woman being present in your man’s life isn’t helpful. I am not saying that it’s easy, but dwelling on how someone else styles their hair isn’t going to change your relationship. Or at least it shouldn’t. And don’t use this as a way to make your man jealous either. It’s a vicious cycle, but someone has to put an end to it.
This means that someone isn’t ready to commit. Maybe it’s just a casual relationship. But it’s more likely that one party wants it to be a serious committed relationship, and the other person isn’t ready. I found myself in this type of relationship last year. I didn’t necessarily want a commitment, but I didn’t want to put time and effort into something that wasn’t going anywhere. It was complicated, but not because I was making it that way. My advice, if you’re in this situation – cut ties fast. If it’s meant to be, it will happen. But this guy (or girl) isn’t worth your time.
What are we doing tonight?
For me, I like to know what’s going on. I like time to process things. To prepare. If we’re going somewhere fancy, I like to be able to get dressed up and have enough time. If we’re doing a casual dinner and a movie, that’s fine too. I just like to know. This drives my man crazy, I think. He’s never actually said it that way, but I can tell. As I said earlier, I’ve never been late, so I have a phobia of not being ready. Or being caught off guard. I like to carefully plan out what time I need to start the transformation from couch potato to seductress. But for some, this is a way to assess what kind of plan her man has for her. Honestly, I’m pretty easy going in that regard and as long as we’re together, and I’m getting some attention, I’m happy.
But ladies, if you want to go somewhere specific – tell him. Don’t let him guess. Spell it out. No offense, but guys can be kind of dense. As much as they don’t want to admit it, sometimes they need a road map for these kinds of things. Not all guys. I hate to stereotype, but some just don’t get it.
I have used this one in my day. Usually through gritted teeth and not in a good way. Fine is never fine. No matter what is going on, she’s not fine. Guys, figure out what’s going on and work through it.
If this is used to answer the question “what’s wrong?”, then it means something is wrong. Again, figure out what’s going on. We just want to know that we’re being heard.. and sometimes you guys can’t hear us. Or maybe you can hear us, and are choosing to ignore us. Either way “nothing” is typically not nothing.
I understand wanting to check in with your partner to make sure they have no objections to you spending time with your friends. But are there many circumstances where this wouldn’t be “allowed”? I don’t think, in most instances, you should have to ask permission to go out with friends. I say most instances, because I’m sure there are exceptions to this. So if you think that your partner hasn’t been spending enough time with you, instead of being passive aggressive and saying “go ahead” when asked to go out, tell them. Saying they can go, and not meaning it is asking for problems. Go ahead, doesn’t actually mean go ahead. But why don’t you want your partner to go out? Think about that. And then communicate it that way. Or… check yourself.
He’s just a friend.
Is he though? Consider how you would define a friend. And then consider how you interact with this friend. Do you flirt with him? If you answer yes. Then think about whether or not you flirt with your female friends. As an adult, I find it increasingly hard to have friends of the opposite sex. There always seems to be some kind of expectation on one person for the relationship to go somewhere. I had a “friend” in university. He was male. We used to lay in my bed and watch movies. Cuddle even. Nothing ever happened with us, but it was more than a friendship, in my opinion. But it wasn’t a relationship. It was a grey area. I was single, so it wasn’t necessarily an issue. But you might want to consider your friendships.
If you’re wanting to have a relationship with your man, you might want to consider your relationship with your “friend”. Guys need to feel secure too. It’s not just women. Just like you with his female friends, he will find a way to make a big deal out of this possible situation. Which will lead to jealousy. And when guys are jealous they seem to do crazy things. Watch yourself. If the friendship means more to you than your relationship, then you need to re-assess your current situation. Who are you wanting to hold onto?
When are we hanging out?
Means sex. Or at least for me it does. As I mentioned, I don’t like to beat around the bush. Especially when it comes to relationship expectations. But some women like to actually hang out and get to know someone before sleeping with them. Which is ok too. If a woman asks “when are we hanging out”, most guys assume it’s about sex. I would just like to warn you that it’s not always the case. When you get together, be prepared for some action, but don’t expect it.
I don’t have Facebook.
This means she doesn’t want people to know that she knows you. But not everyone has Facebook. Facebook, to me, is a way to showcase your relationship to the world. I don’t necessarily agree with this but I think this is a case where you should read between the lines. She’s trying to let you down gently. She doesn’t want to continue on this path, or have you in her life in that kind of way. Maybe she wants to be friends with you, but don’t post on her wall about the great date you went on.
I hope that this has cleared up some things for you. I don’t necessarily think like a typical woman. Yes, I can be a stereotypical woman, but I don’t know that I am in this case. I personally like clear objectives in life. This goes for my personal relationships also. If I don’t want to go on a date with you, I will tell you. If I only want to have sex with you, I will tell you. I probably need to work on my delivery as I can come across harsh at times, but I certainly don’t mean it that way. I think it’s better to be clear than to live in that grey area. Wondering “what if”?
As I’ve been writing this, one thing is certainly clear – we need to be better communicators. Women get a bad wrap for not being able to communicate well, and from a generalization perspective, I can’t disagree. I do think that it’s easy to be more straightforward and open. But the challenge is dealing with the fall out. What if I say that I really don’t miss him this weekend? Will he leave me because I’m not invested enough in this relationship? Will he see me not getting jealous and assume that I don’t care about him? All questions which I don’t have the answer to. If you don’t get jealous and he gets upset, maybe it’s better that the relationship ends prematurely.
I’ve mentioned this before, but I will say it again for argument’s sake. I got out of a bad relationship in late 2015. It wasn’t always bad, but it certainly wasn’t good towards the end. That relationship taught me to be direct. To cut through the bullshit and say what I wanted to say. Post-break up, I learned a lot about myself. I didn’t want to dive back into another relationship. I needed to breathe. Maybe I used “I don’t want a relationship” as an excuse, but I didn’t. I was being honest.
So for me, when I say some of these things, its because I’m being honest. Nothing is wrong. Or… I’m saying to myself – you’re about to over-react. So by saying “nothing is wrong”, I’m giving myself the opportunity to work through it. If something is wrong, I almost always tell my partner so we can figure it out. I don’t like to stereotype and assume that all women will react this way. Because they won’t. We all have different thoughts, feelings and emotions. Some are caused by past events. And the trauma stays with us for a long time.
Communicating is never easy. It can often lead to mis-communication. But it’s easier than living in the shadow of wonder and regret.