24 Things Guys Say And What They Really Mean

24 Things Guys Say And What They Really Mean ©iStock/svetikd

Women always get a bad rap for saying one thing but meaning another, but we’re hardly the only ones who do that! Men are equally guilty, if not more so. They say things all the time that mean something completely different, making dating even more complicated than it already is. If they would just say what’s on their mind, things would be way easier and they might stop thinking we’re so nuts. Here are 13 things guys say and what they really mean just below the surface.

  1. “Netflix and chill.” We all know this one. Does it even need to be explained anymore? It’s the perfect example of guys saying one thing and meaning something totally different (even though the meaning is pretty heavily implied at this point). Netflix and chill doesn’t sound like “Come over, get naked, have sex.” That’s obviously what he wants though.
  2. “I’m staying in tonight.” If you ask a guy to meet you somewhere and he says he’s staying in, this is probably code for him sitting on the couch and playing video games all night but being too embarrassed to say it. However, there’s also a possibility that he’s actually a) having another woman over that he doesn’t want you to know about or b) he’s going out but doesn’t want it to be with you.
  3. “I’m not really looking for a girlfriend.” This either means that he already has one and just wants to have sex with you or that he’s a big baby and is terrified of a real relationship. In a way, he’s actually being honest and upfront. It’s not so much that this isn’t a true statement but that there’s a whole lot of context he’s just not sharing. However, if he’s saying this and still seems keen to “hang out,” that’s likely because he wants to do it in the bedroom.
  4. “It’s not you, it’s me.” If a guy says this, he might actually mean it… as in it’s not you, it’s him because he’s a huge douche who’s too chicken to actually tell you what he’s feeling. This is a major cop-out because it’s a half-assed effort at sparing your feelings but also absolving him of needing to actually share what his issue is/why he’s not interested.
  5. “I’m fine.” This is exactly the same as a woman saying it. He’s not fine, but he doesn’t want to talk about it and he isn’t going to tell you what is going on. It’s passive-aggressive and a bit immature but if he’s not a talker, calling him out on this probably won’t do much good.
  6. “Can we talk about this later?” He has no intention of talking about whatever “this” is later. He knows you’re going to keep yammering on about it, though, so he tries to shut you up by asking to postpone the conversation. If you’re hoping to have a discussion about whatever it is, don’t hold your breath.
  7. “You’re prettier without makeup.” He means this, but not because he’s being romantic. What he really means is that he doesn’t like lipstick because he tastes it, foundation gets on his shirt collar, mascara stains his shoulder when you cry, and eyeshadow smudges his sheets at the end of the night. Also, this one is a double-edged sword because while he may not particularly like women who wear layers of makeup and that look overly done-up, he probably does like a more natural makeup look and would prefer if you did that instead.
  8. “I’m sorry.” He doesn’t mean he’s actually regretting what he did. Usually, he’s regretting that it upset you enough to make it a big enough deal that he now has to apologize. There’s also the possibility that he’s saying it because he wants to smooth things over so you can hurry up and have make-up sex.
  9. “You look nice.” This happens in response to you asking him how you look. If he didn’t offer up the compliment by himself without any prompting, he probably doesn’t care about what you’re wearing. Not that you should care if he likes it or not anyway, but he probably just wants to leave.
  10. “I don’t care.” This is the biggest lie ever! Guys feel like they shouldn’t care so they say they don’t. On top of being really annoying, it isn’t true. What he means to say is that he wants you to think he doesn’t care so he can still be seen as a big strong man. Hopefully he grows out of this ASAP because it’s incredibly frustrating.
  11. “I miss you.” Depending on where you are in your relationship, he may very well miss you, but what is it that he misses? Usually what he means to be saying is that he misses your body in his bed. Generally speaking, guys only say this when they’re feeling horny or they’ve screwed up with you and are trying to win you back.
  12. “That’s cool.” Otherwise known as, “I don’t care about what you’re talking about at all.” He’s probably not even listening. This one is pretty common as he’s addicted to his phone and not even looking at you. Try and quiz him on what you’re talking about and he’ll have no idea.
  13. “I love you.” This is another phrase where timing matters. If he says it right before or during sex, he probably means he loves your body and having sex with you. He might not mean he actually loves you as a person. There are times this is genuine, of course, but it’s important to read the room to figure out if he’s legit.
  14. “You’re beautiful.” He means this one, but he actually means so much more. If he is using this word, then he really finds you beautiful and you’re so much more than a hot body. However, he could also be using this kind of compliment to stay super casual. If he truly got to know you and cared about you, he’d compliment you on something a bit deeper and more meaningful.
  15. “She’s just a friend.” This is one of the most hilarious things guys say because what they really mean is “I’ve slept with her” or “our relationship is dangerously close to inappropriate and I kinda like it.” No guy feels the need to clarify this unless there’s something to hide there.
  16. “I’ll call you.” He’s probably not going to call you. However, if he says he’s not going to call you or that he’ll just talk to you whenever, that would be kind of awkward. So, he promises to get in touch, knowing full well that he has no intention of doing so.
  17. “My ex was kinda crazy…” Red flag alert! Any guy who describes his ex as “crazy” is basically exposing himself as completely toxic. I guarantee you she wasn’t insane. In reality, she probably just called him on his crap a lot or wouldn’t put up with his bad behavior and kicked him to the curb because of it. Instead of accepting ownership, he puts the blame on her by trying to convince anyone who will listen that she’s “totally nuts.” Try again!
  18. “I was just kidding… don’t be so sensitive!” In other words, he was saying something serious and trying to pass it off as a joke. You saw through it and let him know about it and now he’s gaslighting you by making you think you’re in the wrong.  Having feelings doesn’t make you “too sensitive.” It makes you human, and he should be more considerate.
  19. “I just need a little space right now.” Things are getting too serious too fast and he’s freaking out, so he wants to back off. That, or he doesn’t want to go any further but doesn’t know how to tell you that.
  20. “I really like you.” This is the way guys clarify that while they like you okay, their feelings for you aren’t all that deep yet so they don’t want you to get the wrong idea. That’s not to say that they’ll never begin to love you or anything, just that they’re not there yet and they want to make that clear.
  21. “How do you know that guy?” You’ll get this line of questioning when you run into a male friend while you’re out somewhere together or a guy he doesn’t know comments on your Instagram picture or something. It’s his way of trying to figure out if you’ve slept with this guy or if he has to worry about any potential competition.
  22. “I really hate PDA.” He doesn’t want other people to know you’re together when you’re out in public, so he’d rather keep it more casual. That means no hand-holding and definitely no kissing. Of course, it is possible that he is just more reserved and means what he says, but either way, he doesn’t want you hanging all over him when you go out.
  23. “How many guys have you slept with?” Again, there’s always an ulterior motive for guys asking this question. They want to know if your number is higher than theirs so that they can feel superior if your number is low and they’re one of the few people you’ve had sex with or judge you if your number is higher because they’re threatened by women’s sexuality.
  24. “I’ve been super busy.” Read: I haven’t really wanted to talk to you or hang out with you but I don’t want to say it.
C. is an aspiring yogi and Ph.D student who loves her dogs, bright lipstick and to travel. Find her on IG @drparko121314