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The Big Male Secret:

How He Really

Feels About You

by Theo McNee

            My friend Syl was miserable because he had been caught in a lie by his girlfriend about why he couldn’t make it to another one of her family gatherings.

            Like me, he couldn’t lie well.  And because of this, he always ended up giving a flimsy excuse in place of the truth.  As we sat watching the game, he began to pace back and forth and mumble out loud, “Why didn’t I tell her the truth?  Why didn’t I tell her that I was not ready to be looked over and examined like a new prized bull?  Why didn’t I tell her that, though we are a couple, I wasn’t ready for her mother or father to ask if we were serious or for her favorite aunt to tell me how great a wife she’d make.”

            I knew the answer, but I allowed him to continue to rave out his frustration.  The reason was simple.  He didn’t want to sound like a jerk.  He wasn’t prepared to say, “I like you, but I’m not sure if you’re the one I want to settle for, without seeing more of what’s out there.  Therefore, I’m not ready to be debuted to your family for inspection.”

            Unfortunately, the excuse he came up with left him sounding like a jerk anyway and had him feeling like one.  He had the same problem that I and most men do.  We hate to deal with the truth when it comes to our feelings.

            When I’m involved with a woman and she gets into one of those “we need to talk about us” moods, I usually become either non-communicative or tired.  I don’t want to get into this sort of discussion because I know whatever I say is going to make her angry.  If I say, “I really like you.”  She will ask, “What does that mean?”

            At that moment, a guy may want the relationship, but he’s not sure how he’s going to feel next week or next month.  He knows he’s not in love, so he can’t say that word.  He tries to change the subject, but it doesn’t work.  The conversation ends with her feeling frustrated and him feeling pressured.  Deep down, he knows he’s not playing fair, but he can’t do anything about it.

            There are times in a man’s life when he may be with a woman for reasons he can’t explain.  When this is the case, it puts her at an unfortunate disadvantage, because she may be at one place romantically, while he’s at another.  In these situations, attention given is often mistaken for romance and flirtatious remarks for earnest innuendo.  Men are good at speaking in the abstract and women spend a lot of time trying to decipher “what did he really mean when he said…?”  While most women often end up viewing us as deceptive, some see themselves as seductive.

            A psychologist friend views this behavior as callous and cruelly misleading and claims that women usually become callous after being a victim of callous treatment.  She also says that when women sit around and discuss men, they usually express a need to understand why guys tend to act aloof, or indifferent in relationships.

            The problem is that most women don’t understand that few guys are comfortable with deep probing conversations, where the mission is to elicit “proper” responses to emotional issues.  For most men, discussing their true feelings is far more intimate than sex.

            Most men are not intentionally aloof, they’re just easily intimidated by a woman’s emotional freedom.  We are quick to withdraw any semblance of emotion when a woman bares her soul and challenges us to do the same.  Some of us feel that when a woman expresses her feelings in a fluid fashion, it’s an emotional set up to encourage us to respond the same.  Men just respond to different stimuli.

            Example:  Most men are not good listeners.  If you know one who is, treasure him.  Sometimes we listen when our woman is talking and other times, our minds are distracted by what’s going to happen at work…what happened at work… the game that’s coming on later…or another woman.

            I once dated a woman who would share all her childhood fantasies and experiences in our conversations and would end up getting angry when she discovered I couldn’t remember what she had said.   She could ruin a lovely evening by moaning and complaining that she wasn’t important to me because I wasn’t listening to her.  We would usually end up having a fight and ending the evening on a bad note.  (Needless to say, her temperament disqualified her as a marriage contender.)

            In good conscience, I could not end this article without addressing the “I love you” issue.  Women should be aware that it’s difficult for a guy to say, “I love you”.  Most men want to be in love, but few have an easy time saying it, finding it, and understanding what it means.  We are also guilty of using the word, “love” in the wrong context.  And I must confess that I have been one to use it once too often when I felt particularly romantic and said it because it was the only word that seemed appropriate at that time. 

          The problem came when the word was not substantiated by my actions, which by the way, should be the true criteria for judging a guy’s sincerity in the first place.  Women also have some culpability in this because they are often too eager to cling to words that may or may not have meaning and will forego the need to see pertinent action that backs up what was said.

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