Look. We know you probably don’t mean anything by it. You probably don’t even think it’s such a big deal. But there are certain things that women often say to guys are absolutely crazy-making.
Here are 5 seemingly innocuous questions and statements that can drive a man to the brink of frustration and why they’re so tough to hear.
1. “What are you thinking?”
When you ask “What are you thinking?” the hidden message that guys hear is: “It’s not okay for you to have private thoughts.” Call it paranoia, but we tend suspect that you’re not “just curious.”
2. “I want you to sweep me off my feet!”
Well, I was going to, but now I don’t want to anymore. Because HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO SWEEP YOU OFF YOUR FEET IF YOU JUST TOLD ME TO? Isn’t like, 80 percent of being swept off your feet being surprised by it? You have effectively cut off my feet-sweeping capabilities by making it the expectation.
Maybe your guy’s not as romantic as you’d like him to be. That’s fair. But try doing something romantic for him and see if he reciprocates. Telling him how to do his job should be a last resort.
3. “Do you really love me?”
Guy: “Um… what do mean really? I mean, yeah of course I love you, but do I really love you? Maybe I don’t know what real love is…” And so on and so forth. This is an ultimately meaningless question that can make a man doubt his true feelings.
4. “He was a jerk. I don’t know why I stayed with him so long.”
We know why. It was the sex, wasn’t it? It had to have been. Why else would you stay with him? You had wild, crazy sex with some some douche who didn’t deserve you and who in some way, we’ll never compare to.
Rationally, of course, we know that there are a lot of complicated, painful reasons that people stay with people who mistreat them. But if you’re too vague, we might fill in the gaps with jealousy and insecurity.
5. “It’s like I don’t even know you anymore.”
If you’ve got specific issues with a guy’s behavior, you should bring them up. But when you sum it up like this, guys hear: “I’m uncomfortable with you growing and changing.” A lot of guys are already ambivalent about this whole commitment thing due to fear of stagnation. We want to know that whoever we do decide to share our lives with is going to give us room to keep developing.
Because, believe it or not, most guys want to be better men.