Understanding Men: Why Men Say One Thing & Do Another

If you have trouble understanding men, you aren’t alone! It can be challenging, but here are a few important tips that make it so much easier.

understanding menWhy Didn’t He Follow Through?

“Dear Dating Coach Ronnie,

I need help with understanding men! I’ve known Mark since high school. We never dated, but stayed in touch. I ignored him or made excuses for the most part, but somehow we talked a couple of times a year.

This past December we talked by phone one night until the sun came up! Then he called me every day for a week, confessing he liked me since high school but didn’t think he had a chance. The problem was he moved out of state to study, so we agreed to take things slow.

Our first date went very well, but two days later I didn’t hear from him. I asked when I would see him again. He said it wasn’t a good idea because his feelings were coming back strong for me and he doesn’t want to get to know me long distance. His last relationship was long distance and it didn’t work out.

Feeling confused, I asked him if this means we will wait. He said he is willing to wait if I am. I said doesn’t that mean we can’t see other people? He said he doesn’t want this to be a burden on me. The next day, he apologized for saying it’s not a good idea and wanted to see me again.

We had another great date and he told me he’s serious about me. When he dropped me home, he walked me to my door and held my hand. We agreed to see each other when he comes back in March. Then nothing for 4 months!

I just don’t understand how something like that could happen, and then for him to vanish. Why would he say he doesn’t want a relationship, but then change his mind and take me out on another date and hold my hand? Even for him to chase me for so long, and then when he actually gets me, he runs away!

Hope you can help!”
High School Crush

Dear Crush,

I’m sorry you are hurting and I can see why you are confused by his behavior. I’m going to explain a bunch of things to help you with understanding men

1. What Men Say vs. Do
Talk is easy and cheap, but it’s not “the chase.” When it comes to men the only thing that matters is what they DO to win you over and start a relationship with you. The chase is about trying to get dates with you and into relationship. Mark talked a good game. But he didn’t have consistency or follow through. There really was no chase, just talk.

He only made time to see you twice. This is your clue about any man – if he says one thing but DOES another, just pay attention to the ACTION when it comes to understanding men.

2. Sweet Talk is Blah, Blah, Blah
Mark told you he liked you since high school and had strong feelings for you. I call this “blah, blah, blah” because I think he was sweet-talking you. Maybe he was getting back at you for ignoring him over the years. Maybe he was enjoying your attention and it felt like a conquest after so long. Maybe he was just boosting his ego at your expense. But it doesn’t mean he genuinely wants to be with you. That only gets demonstrated through his consistent pursuit over time. You were really a victim of his sweet talk.

3. Let’s Take Things Slowly
When a man says, let’s take things slowly, what he really means is “I don’t want anything serious so don’t have any expectations.” Slowly means he doesn’t have to follow up, be in touch or see you with any regularity. Yet, after two days of not hearing from him, even though you agreed to go slow, you were surprised he didn’t stay in touch. I know this is hard, but that’s not how things work. Slowly means when he gets good and ready. Talking every two days at first would be fast not slow. That’s how men think.

Understanding Men – Wait for the Proof

The next time a guy starts talking about how special you are, how strong his feelings are, how you should wait for him, or about the future, that’s your MASSIVE clue. These are red flags showing “too much too soon.” Hold off on falling in love if you’ve only had a date or two. Any time it feels like you are in a romantic whirlwind and things are too good to be true, they probably are.

As the old standard goes, “The proof is in the pudding” and the “pudding” with men is when he makes time to see you on a regular basis – at least once a week. It’s all about in-person contact, not texting and talking on the phone. Now that you know this about understanding men, you’ll be able to weed out time-wasting guys so you are free to meet the right man.

Want more savvy dating advice about understanding men? Get my free book 7 Dire Dating Mistakes Women Make that Keep You Single and my newsletter here

6 responses on “Understanding Men: Why Men Say One Thing & Do Another

  1. Ronnie Ann Ryan Post author

    Hi Mitzi, Sorry to say you can’t fix this. You didn’t say why you blew up his phone or ragged on him. But that’s a sign you weren’t happy. Seems he didn’t communicate well and doesn’t want the kind of relationship you do. No one can go backwards to recreate something – that never happens. You can only move forward. Your best next step is to do NOTHING. You’ve already reached out enough – more of the same will not help. If he wants you and you leave him completely alone– he will reach out. And if not, then it really is over. Talking to him about this will NOT work. And I’m not sure you ruined anything – seems to me that while the sex was amazing, he wasn’t giving you what you wanted. Realize that he can’t deliver and just let go.

  2. Mitzi

    RAR, I am 58 yrs old and gosh I wish I’d read this years ago. It totally makes sense. I guess I didn’t “Get It” because I was raised that I am my word. I took it literally. I met a guy 20 yrs ago but didn’t go there because I knew he was too much for me to not handle. 2 yrs ago we test drove each other – found a physical connection that I’ve never been so aroused and interested before. Now I’ve blown his cell up and ragged on him so much he has phased out of my life. Go figure and now I “Get Him.” He made subtle attempts I didn’t get. I regret but so very thankful you made this simple to understand. Is there anyway to redeem myself? He is so humble and kind I really hope I’ve not lost him. I know it will be a lot of hard work and patience to fix the damage I’ve unknowingly did. Will you please help me with what steps or what I should and should not do to get him interested in the chase again or have I lost the chance to build an emotional and mental connection to.

  3. Ronnie Ann Ryan Post author

    Hi Angle, Oh I’m sorry to say that to lie about drinking is no simple thing. That’s addiction talking and takes an enormous amount of will and desire to change, including getting help. On another note, a lot of people lie, not just men. People lie when they don’t want to get caught doing something or face nagging or anger as a result. And some people lie because even they don’t know the truth anymore. If you are with a liar – get out now. It won’t stop or get better.

  4. Angel

    My question is, why does my boyfriend tell me one thing like for example, he’ll say “I’m going to stop drinking for you, because I know it’s a big problem in our relationship” but then he goes and drinks beer behind my back and hides the bottles in the closet. Another thing is, why do guys lie about the simplest things?

  5. Ronnie Ann Ryan Post author

    Hey LND – I agree with you! His mixed signals let you know you can’t count on what he says. That doesn’t bode well for a lasting, healthy relationship. His word needs to be gold. Otherwise, you can’t know what you are dealing with and TRUST is everything. So now that you have come to this conclusion it’s up to you to make a choice…stay a suffer through or move on to find a man you can trust.

  6. LoveNeverDies

    I have been seeing a guy for the past 5 months. He says that he will do one thing and then does the complete opposite. We have had the “what are we talk” and he says he only wants to see me. It’s very confusing to me when he does the opposite of what he says. It is confusing and I think it shows a lack of integrity on his part.

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