Translating Man-Speak (actually Man-Action)

Translating Man-Speak (actually Man-Action)

One of the great frustrations I hear from women in the dating world is that men lie and men cowardly disappear just as things are heating up.

As a woman, if a man says he will call and he doesn’t, he is a liar.  If, after things heat up, a man stops calling, texting and asking you out with no explanation he’s a coward. From a man’s perspective he is neither.

So who is right? The answer is easy – both.

We are all familiar with this illusion. Do you see an old hag or a young beautiful woman? If you see a young woman – her neck is the old lady’s nose and her ear is one of the old lady’s eyes. If you see the old lady, her mouth is the young woman’s necklace.

Dealing with language difference between men and women is no different than looking at the above picture. It’s all an illusion.

1.   I’ll Call You

A man says he will call and he doesn’t – women see a liar. And he is – he has no intention of calling; he has out and out lied to you. But to men it’s just a salutation – “See you, I’ll call you for a golf game sometime” is what they might say to another man they had just met. They may or may not call the other guy; the other guy may or may not care if he ever does. Also, to men it feels like the nice, polite thing to say; they don’t want to hurt your feelings by saying that “although I enjoyed your company in this very brief encounter, it is unlikely that I will ever have anything else to do with you because I just didn’t feel the sexual charge with you that would cause me to want to see you again”. That just feels mean to men and men are not really mean.

Now women are saying, “yea but, I could tell he was into me”. Yes, he was because he did find you attractive, he did enjoy your company, he did find you charming – you’re right, your instincts were right. BUT, he didn’t feel the sexual charge. By that I mean, if you offered up sex he may have taken you up on if he felt it was truly a “no strings attached” offer. But other than that, the charge wasn’t strong enough for him to get your number, call you, make a plan and risk rejection.  Fear of rejection is huge for men – they hate it. So when a man asks a woman out, understand that his attraction for her was greater than his fear of rejection.


 Women – Get over it and stop believing he will call simply because he said he would.

 Men– STOP IT; stop saying it; it really hurts women. When you say you’ll call and you don’t, women get completely thrown because they think their intuition is out of whack. She got all excited, expecting to hear from you and then nothing, no explanation – nothing.  It stings and it’s mean.  

2.   Disappearing without Explanation

Before sex women have all the power; after sex men have all the power.

He spots you from across the room, pursues you, texts, emails, calls, asks you out, makes great plans, is attentive, caring and seemingly adoring. You take it to the next level and become intimate. Soon after that he disappears without explanation.

She is left hurt, stinging, embarrassed and angry. She thinks he’s a weak minded coward who put his tail between his legs at the first sign of real intimacy. Again, he doesn’t view the situation quite the same way.

 Let’s rewind – he sees you across a crowded room, at office, at a conference, jogging along the path. He sees you somewhere and he thinks to himself “she’s attractive; I’d like to spend some time with her”. He has the sexual charge. He pursues you, texts, emails, calls, asks you out, make great plans, is attentive, caring and seemingly adoring because his mission is to be with you. He does enjoy your company, he finds you infinitely attractive, he finds you outrageously charming and he wants to have sex with you. Once you have sex, things shift. He senses that you’ve “changed”; he feels the pressure to commit and spend all of his waking moments with you. You start treating him like a boyfriend. “Wait a minute; I just wanted to have some fun with a fun girl. This is no longer fun – she’s getting way to serious for me”.  He bolts.

 Now if you are thinking like a woman, this is a horrible way to treat another human being – it’s mean, deceitful and cowardly. You are a player.

If you’re thinking like a man, it’s more like “I thought we were on the same page; this was just for fun”.

Again, neither is right nor wrong. It is what it is. So what triggers the difference in men between wanting to just have some fun and wanting a full blown relationship? Timing for a man is everything. He must feel everything listed above and be ready. He must be physically attracted to you, he has to find your charming, witty, fun, sensitive, etc and be ready. But with absolute certainty, If he’s not ready, no amount of charm will change his mind. Here in lies the conundrum; men don’t always know when they are ready. They may think they’re ready but continually push great, compatible women away; they may think they aren’t ready yet attach themselves to the very next women they date. The problem is men can’t really articulate when they are ready. So if they don’t really know, how is a woman to know? Trail and error. Lots of trial and error!

To throw more gas on the fire, a man may be ready but then discover you aren’t really the type he wants for a relationship but will still want to sleep with you; still spend time with you and still end up bolting.

The only absolute certainty in all of this is that if he’s not ready, no amount of charm will change his mind.


Women – This is tough because from a woman’s perspective the man who is pursuing her for sex and fun and the one who is pursuing her for a relationship “acts” the same. Only when he pulls the disappearing act will you know for certainty if he wasn’t really ready or you weren’t really a long term candidate. Ouch! I know, right? Try to understand is that it isn’t malicious on their part; they really don’t mean to hurt you. As a matter of fact, they hate hurting and disappointing you. But to expect them to really explain their feelings, motives, and rationales is like expecting you to totally understand this. You must accept that this is true.

This is also one of the reasons there is so much talk about waiting 3 months to have sex. The theory is that if men are still pursuing you after 3 months they must really want to be in a relationship. Men will tell you this is ridiculous; and even the best guy may not wait that long.

 The truth of the matter is that if a man is sexually attracted to you and is totally ready for a relationship the timing of sex is not that important.  The problem is he doesn’t know when he’s ready for a real, committed relationship. He may think he is only to find that he wasn’t. You can’t blame him for trying. He’s not lying to you; he doesn’t know.  

So bottom line – don’t put out too early and make your relationship all about sex. Remain calm, don’t over think things, enjoy his company, take the time to get to know him and see if he’s really your type and worth going to the next level with. Then spell out your expectations.  But don’t go overboard and talk about marriage and long-term commitment, children or mortgages! Keep it simple and in the moment. “In order for me to enjoy sex I have to be in an exclusive relationship; are you anywhere close to wanting to be exclusive with me?”  This is not monogamous, engaged, or steps away from the alter stuff. Let him know what that means to you – if you want honesty from you then you have to be brutally honest with him. Relax and enjoy your time together. Let’s face it ladies – two or three dates is not sufficient enough time with a person to start thinking about forever. Contrary to popular belief, men are intuitive and can pick up on this quite easily. If you are feeling that way after a couple dates, you need to examine what’s going on in your head and heart. It really isn’t healthy. Fun but not healthy.  

Men – You really need to understand that women think in terms of relationships. There may be certain times in their lives when they aren’t really ready for a relationship but if the right man comes along they are typically more than happy to switch gears. So never, ever assume a woman wants exactly what you want, especially if you are just looking for some fun and good times.  

If you have spent any time with a woman, you have to understand the effect you have on her when you vanish or stop returning phone calls. This is especially true if one moment you are telling her what she wants to hear and then next moment you’re gone. It really hurts, she is left really demoralized, and her self-esteem is shattered.  

If you really are having a hard time articulating what is going on with you right now then find a girlfriend or sister and try explaining it to her. Perhaps she can help you with the words you can use to try to make the woman understand why you can’t be with her anymore.  


We really do speak different languages and because of this there’s misunderstanding and hurt. So let’s all try to treat each other with respect and attempt to see the world from the other’s eyes.

 Be nice to each other.

 Wanda is a matchmaker and dating coach specializing in helping singles understand themselves so they can better understand and appreciate the other.
As always we appreciate all input and discussion on this topic.


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