Question for the fellas: Why can’t men say what they mean and mean what they say?

Continuing our questions for the fellas week, I received quite a few questions about men's communication style (or lack thereof). I can boil those questions down into one: Why won't men say what they really mean? A snippet of a song that breaks it down: Jill Scott's Talk To Me.

Two BougieTales about communication:

He said it but I didn't get it - Out of college, I had a huge crush on a gentleman that I'll call Vince. Ladies, Vince was Dat Dude. He was older than me by a number years. DJ in a club by night, sold cars by day. (read: charismatic) 6'2", chocolate, could wear leather pants like they were meant to be worn. Bald before everybody else was. And sexy. Just oozed the sizzle. My roommate was dating his best friend so I saw him all the time. I wanted a double scoop of Vince and you could keep the whipped cream. To me, it seemed as though Vince dated EVERY woman in Austin, Texas BUT me. One late night I finally asked him why.

He said, "Michele I like you. Okay?" I shrugged, clueless as to what that meant. He repeated, "No, I LIKE you. Are you hearing me? Like you in a way that you could be Mrs. Vince. But I'm no good for you and we both know that. Now we could have a little fun together when you get older but not now when you'll take it the wrong way and get hurt. I'm doing this for you." I didn't know what the heck he meant. I was extremely hurt and ticked off at the time. For years, I didn't even understand what he meant. But you know what? Time has proven him correct. He is not a one-woman man and has a bit of a Peter Pan complex. Had I forced the issue, no telling how poorly that would have turned out. He's on wife #3. She's 23 (He's in his late 40s!) and he just bought her new boobs for her birthday. He and I remain good (platonic) friends. This was a case where he said what he meant and I just didn't know enough to appreciate it at the time.

He said one thing but meant another - About eighteen months ago I met a gentleman, we'll call him Ken. Ken and I met and clicked. We had a commonality of background and values. We liked similar and complimentary things. Chemistry was snap, crackle, pop. Conversation was banter, banter, and more banter. First date good, second date better. We had lined up the third date when out of the blue he called and said it was not a good time for him to get into anything serious. In fact, he had some things he needed to work out with God. And until he straightened himself out, he was going to take a pass on me.

Well ouch. But what can you say but "Okay and good luck with that." Yet of course it rattled around my mind a little and I wondered what the real story was. Was there someone else? Was he not attracted? Did I miss a sign? Finally I chalked it up to "one of those things that men do" and moved on. But it rankled.

Lo and behold I got an email three days ago from Ken. I had really been on his mind and would I mind calling him? I didn't answer. Another email: here's my number in case you lost it. Please call. I replied back that I was curious… what was different now? How had his "Come to Jesus" reflective time worked out? His answer – he might have over-exaggerated what his situation was. It was really more of a case of him trying to juggle too many things and not having time for me. But now he's ready. Laser beam side-eye. Why not just say, "I'm seeing other people." Why even start anything up at all? Because now you look shady and I've translated your situation to mean that you were juggling multiple women and you couldn't figure out how to add me to the rotation. Now that it's two years later and none of that worked out for you, you're circling back around… That's not flattering. At. All. I haven't called Ken and don't really plan on it. I prefer a man that just shoots straight the first time out.

Out of the 26 questions ladies submitted on this topic, I've consolidated into five for the fellas:

  1. When a man is no longer interested in a woman, why can't he be responsible enough to let that woman know he is no longer feeling her rather than pulling "disappearing acts" (i.e. stop the calling, texting, emailing) and hoping she figures it out on her own?
  2. What does a man mean when he says "He's not ready for a relationship right now" or "I'm not ready to be serious"?
  3. Why do men lie about stupid stuff? Why is everything a fact-finding expedition? Why do I have to dig it out of them like I'm mining for gold?
  4. Why won't a man just tell you what their thoughts are feelings are about your relationship?
  5. Why even start a sentence with "Baby, just let me explain…"

And ladies a question for you… Would you rather have a man just be brutally honest with you (about rejection, infidelity, etc) or have him let you down easy?

The floor is yours…

UPDATED: Response from Mr. Inkognegro on his blog