When it comes to communication, men and women are on way different planets. Writer Lee Coan helps us decipher the less fair sex
What men say: ‘You look great’
What they mean: ‘We need to leave now’
Whether you’re trying on shoes in a shop or dresses in the bedroom before a night out, your man will always say you look utterly amazeballs, no matter what. It’s that or never leave. You could rub cat vomit into your hair and he’ll still gush: “Wow”, because he can’t bear to wait for you to redo it. Remember that meat dress of Lady Gaga’s? There’s a man out there responsible for telling her she looked great. Point proved.
What men say: ‘Go out with your friends and have fun, you deserve it’
What they mean: ‘Just. Get. Out’
Sometimes a man needs to be alone shooting evil zombie aliens on his Xbox in his pants, while drinking beer, eating a takeaway and breaking wind, all without someone (you) giving him a hard time. For most, it’s a once a month thing. Think a male menstrual cycle with crisps.
What men say: ‘I’m sorry’
What they mean: ‘I’m sorry I got caught’
Recent research by the journal Psychological Science suggests that men have a “higher threshold” for bad behaviour than women; they don’t see “wrong” in the same way. If your man does actually apologise for some misdeed (like telling you that you look great in that meat dress), chances are it’s not actual remorse but a quest for peace and forgiveness. Then a hug. And then, of course, sex.
What men say: ‘Alright’
What they mean: ‘I wasn’t listening’
The A word is a two-syllable way to a peaceful life. Put any question or statement our way and it can be answered with it. Men don’t even have to listen, which let’s face it they weren’t doing anyway. Say “alright” to your girlfriend, and six months later you’re on a plane to Morocco. You’ve no idea how or why. You haven’t listened to a word.
What men say: ‘We need a break’
What they mean: ‘I’d like to sleep with someone else, then sleep with you again’
You don’t have to be Ross Geller from Friends to know that if you’re not together, it’s not cheating. We! Were! On! A! Break! There are no official stats to back this up, but there is a correlation between “man requesting a break” and “new attractive woman starting at work”. It’s not that he doesn’t want to be with you, he’d just like to put you on pause while he has a pop at the hot new girl in accounts. OK?
What men say: ‘I’m hungry’
What they mean: ‘I’m hungry’
Put this in the same category as “I need to pee” and “This is not a fire drill, leave the building now or you are going to die.” There are certain moments when men mean exactly what they are saying. Most, if not all, of these involve their stomach. He’s saying he’s hungry because he’s hungry. Give him bacon, pies or, if there’s nothing else handy, suggest he go outside and throw that meat dress on the barbecue.