Things Guys Say... And What They Really Mean

Consider this your translation guide.

man looking at woman Adriaticfoto / Shutterstock

Guys often accuse women of talking in code, but the truth is that they are just as guilty of nuanced sayings as women are.

Whether we like it or not, most people have moments where they may need a translator to understand communication differences between men and women. It’s totally okay.

We all have these moments where we wish we understood what someone really means.

Below is a list of 15 of the most common things guys say to women that tend to trip us up the most and what they really mean when they them.


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15 things guys say and what they really mean

1. “I’m going through some stuff right now...”

Any time that you hear this, you can expect it to be a cop-out for something. This is what guys say when they un-ghost, what they say when they don’t want to commit, and what they say when they’re trying to explain cheating.


If you hear this, don’t believe it for a second. He’s just a jerk.

2. “I don’t want a relationship right now.”

When a guy says this, it’s his way of letting you down gently or just straight up telling you that he’s only viewing you as a “quick lay” type.

When he says this, he’s saying, “I don’t want a relationship with you.”

3. “I could be into you ... if you lost 10 to 20 lbs.”

Guys who say this have often been wounded by rejection and want to take their anger out.

A good translation of this would be, “I’m grossly insecure and womenfolk said no to me, and now I feel entitled to hurt you because my feely feelings were hurt. If I were to get into a relationship, I would probably be abusive no matter who I dated. You are totally right to reject me, and I should probably seek psychological help before I even consider getting a girlfriend.”


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4. “I’m the man.”

When a guy has to say that he’s “the man,” he’s basically trying to boost up his self-esteem or status. This is especially true if he’s dealing with a woman who intimidates him in one way or another.

At times, this may also be used as his explanation for terrible behavior, but really means he may hate women or he has weird double standards.

5. “Friendzoned again!”

This is a line that’s said by guys who are just really unaware of how women think, and this may be a ploy to guilt you into a date.

Don’t fall for it.

6. “We don’t have to have sex. Let’s just watch some Netflix.”

Yeah, no. Men who are saying this are hoping you’re going to still come over and that they’ll figure out a way to talk you into taking your clothes off.


There’s a reason why “Netflix and chill” became synonymous with hooking up.

7. “You’re going to make someone very happy someday.”

This is the male equivalent of a girl saying, “Let’s just be friends.” In fact, they may actually say that they’d rather be friends before they tell you this.

Sadly, it’s probably the nicest rejection you could have from a guy.

Things guys say and what they really mean


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8. “I’m unhappily married and I'm just waiting for the right time to ask for a divorce.”

Though there are rare instances where this isn’t the case, men who regularly bring up how unhappy their marriages typically do so because they want a side piece.

More often than not, they’re not unhappy with their wives nor are they even just “staying for the kids.” They just want to have cake and eat it, too. Don’t fall for the pity ploy.

9. “Not all men are the same. I don’t do that awful stuff.”

The big difference between guys and girls is that guys will take a girl’s complaints about bad dates and bad experiences as a personal affront to them. Meanwhile, girls understand there’s an implicit “not all people” label there.


What a guy means when he says this is, “I feel villainized because I don’t understand that it’s not about men as a whole, and I don’t want to feel punished for some other guy’s wrongdoings.”

10. “You’re prettier without makeup.”

When guys say this, they don’t typically understand what goes into a makeup look that appears to be “natural.” However, this doesn’t mean that they don’t mean this.

What they’re trying to say is that they don’t like makeup that looks unnatural (like bright lipsticks) or makeup that smears on their shirts (like that cheap foundation you love to hate).

They’re also saying they think you’re pretty. It’s a compliment.


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11. “I miss you.”

What this means all depends on where you are in your relationship with him. If you’re just starting to go out or are still happily in love, it means that he legit just misses your company.

If you broke up with him, it most likely means that he only misses the perks of what your relationship brought to him.

12. “I’m sorry.”

Ninety percent of the time, when guys apologize, they really aren’t actually sorry. They just are sorry that the argument is happening or that they’re caught doing something they shouldn’t have done.

In other words, when guys apologize, a lot of the time they just want the drama to cease.


13. “Did you finish?”

When a man says this to you, he’s basically asking for validation and a compliment. He’s insecure and might use a little pep talk.

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14. “I don’t care.”

This is one which tends to have a remarkably different meaning when said by men vs. women.

When women say this, they usually really do care but they’re usually hoping you’ll know what to do or don’t want to raise the issue with you out of fear of being called melodramatic.

(The exception to this rule, of course, is menial stuff like restaurant choice.) When guys say this, they truly don’t care.


15. “I need a break.”

This one is plain English: he’s saying that he’s dumping you.

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Ossiana Tepfenhart is a writer who focuses on dating, relationships, love, and lifestyle.