Why Do Men Say Things They Don’t Mean?

Name: Joanna
State: MA
Age: 37
Comment: I met a great guy at speeddating in August.  We went out once shortly after we met, and our date was awkward.  I didn’t think much about him until recently, and on a whim, I reached out to him to see if he’d be interested in a second date.  He was interested and told me I was “intelligent, fun, and gorgeous.”  We went out again and this time, we hit it off.  We talked about going out again the following week and spoke about some concrete dates.  We texted a bit over the following week, and when I mentioned going out again, he gave me some excuses about being called away on a business trip, and not knowing what his plans would be towards the end of the week, but he’d let me know.  Well, it’s the end of the week and we have no plans.  Since I’m a “intelligent, fun and gorgeous” person, I made other plans.  I’m not going to sit around and wait for him.  But I’m hurt.  It’s hard to find a connection with someone and I feel let down.  He doesn’t owe me anything – we only went out twice – but he told me that he hasn’t been attracted to someone “like this” before and he also told me he liked my personality.

I could think it is me, but it sounds more like it’s him.  I could say “He’s just not that into me” which could be true, but I also think the timing may be off.  Should I just write him off?


Yes, you should just write him off. You could contact him, but you would be one of a few that he dates, and he probably would never give you what you want.

He was interested and told me I was “intelligent, fun, and gorgeous.”

This is a personal pet peeve of mine. Most men that offer such glowing compliments like this to a woman they barely know is either really socially awkward and trying too hard or completely disingenuous. They’re either telling us what they think we want to hear because they don’t know what we actually want to hear or they’re just trying to sweet talk us. Either way, it’s a red flag for me. The only women who respond to such compliments are insecure/inexperienced ones or women who are self-important.

This guy only said yes to the second date because he thought he’d get laid. You followed up with him after he blew you off, making yourself look too eager. He thought, “Jackpot!” When he didn’t get laid after that date, he moved on. Easy squeezy lemon peasy. We could do the “Oh girl, you dodged a bullet!” thing that the ladeez like to do. But that is only said so the woman can feel better about potentially having bad taste in men, dating far out of her league or chasing a guy who wasn’t interested in her in the first place. We really need to stop enabling each other’s delusional behavior. It’s not helping anybody.

He doesn’t owe me anything – we only went out twice – but he told me that he hasn’t been attracted to someone “like this” before and he also told me he liked my personality.

That would be a lie. He lied. He was trying to make you feel “different” and “special.” He probably uses that line on the majority of women he dates. Even the ones he doesn’t find attractive. Most of the time when a man says things like this so soon he’s tapping in to a woman’s competitiveness with other women. He’s trying to exploit that for his benefit.

I could say “He’s just not that into me” which could be true, but I also think the timing may be off.

Oh no. He’s just not that in to you. It’s been four months or so since you first met. His schedule isn’t that bad. He’s just not that interested. Don’t make the mistake many women make and try to rationalize this. It’s been several months. It’s over.

It’s hard to find a connection with someone and I feel let down

But…where was the connection? You may have felt it. But he clearly didn’t. He needs to be connected, too, in order for things to work properly. Just because he said all the right things and the conversation “flowed” and things maybe got a little touchy feely doesn’t mean the connection was mutual. This is where you’re going wrong. You thought the feelings was mutual. It wasn’t. He probably has the same date with multiple women every week, and he probably dodges texts and emails and has last minute trips all the time.  This is what he does.

The only thing you did wrong in this scenario was go back for more. But it’s done, and now you should pursue other options.


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26 Responses to “Why Do Men Say Things They Don’t Mean?”

  1. jaclyn Says:

    You went out on date with this guy. He didn’t call you afterwards. There was a blogger who described this phenomenon as the “he must have gotten hit by a bus” situation. You need to think of the men you went out with on first dates and never hear from again as being hit by a bus since you should move on and not spend any time worrying about them. You can’t worry about the myriad of reasons why first dates don’t work out because many of those reasons are completely out of your control. I had an online date in which the first question I was asked was if I’d ever been a blonde. He said he thought my online picture was blonde (I later realized he was confused by a black and white picture of me). I told him it wasn’t possible since I’d always been a brunette. I knew even before I sat down that this guy would never call me for a second date. And he didn’t. And it didn’t matter at all. You only need to worry about first dates not calling if all of them are rejecting you. Otherwise, you just move on and don’t chase after guys who aren’t interested in you.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 0

    • Howard Says:

      Maybe we should think of this dating thing more like looking for a job. If you interview at a corporation and you don’t hear back from them, except the standard post-interview thank you for coming, what do you do? You don’t assume the corporation is bad and start bad mouthing them. All you assume is that you didn’t measure up, and quietly move on.

      Within the same vein, if we look at resumes, we don’t see demands and statements of non-negotiables. We see people selling themselves. The same can be said for interviews. It’s considered bad form to make demands, bad mouth former employers, overly-inquisition the interviewer, and of course, not clearly communicate what you bring to the table.

      Not women bashing, but men come closer to the job interview model than women, hence the less stressing on blogs like this. Maybe women imagine they are the corp and men are the interviewees.

      And that’s why you’re single!

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 0

      • Angeline Says:

        It’s actually a lot like the modern job interview process already. You have a night position open. The potential employees you meet have 3 kids in 3 different households, or aging parents they provide care for, or serious health/mental issues, in addition to financial struggles, and you have to discern this by reading between the lines and internet sleuthing. Or by administering psychological tests and asking tricky questions. Because as convinced as all the candidates think they are right for the job, you’d rather have someone who really wants a 3rd shift position, not someone who’s going to get the job, and start bitching to change it.

        I’d say ‘not measure up’ still carries some value judgment. Just call it ‘not a good fit’.

        Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

        • Howard Says:

          Funny stuff, but why are you assuming that you are the employer now! That’s the problem. In some ways you are the employer and the employee. The same goes with the guy. It’s the old line.

          When you think you’re testing them, they already got you all figured out.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

          • Angeline Says:

            Wha? I was just using the analogy you gave, and the candidates could be either gender. It isn’t *me* the employer or employee, it’s making a good fit between the two, rather than trying to shoehorn the wrong person into an open position.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  2. fuzzilla Says:

    I went on a date once and the guy wrote me back that I was “gorgeous and sensual and erotic.” I snort-laughed. Layin’ it on a little thick, dude. (Wow, that dude was a real freak, too, but that’s a side subject).

    Yeah, I say move on. This is when you should be juggling lots of dates ’til someone clearly rises to the top (maybe you were and didn’t mention it, but I’m thinking if you were, you wouldn’t be dwelling and would have an easier time moving on).

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

    • Howard Says:

      That’s what people do because people like hearing flattery. Trust me, I have played the role of messenger of uncomfortable truths. The results can be extremely varied at times. So people avoid doing that. It’s up to you to decide what to do when you hear bullshit. I can see you are pretty good at reading it.

      Hearing a guy tell you sweet nothings and then not following thru is not that bad. Try getting numerous letters from employers telling you that you are over-qualified and not giving you a job.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  3. Christina Says:

    I kind of wonder why you’d want to see him again after an awkward first date. Considering that even “good” first dates often don’t turn into second dates, the odds of a bad one succeeding on the second try are even smaller.

    As for all of the flattery, when it’s coming from a guy who doesn’t know you very well, it’s just bs. I guess it all comes back to the old “actions speak louder than words.” All of his pretty words don’t mean anything if they’re not backed up by phone calls and further dates. If he really felt this amazing connection with you, there’d be no excuse that could keep him from seeing you again soon.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 1

  4. Kurt Says:

    This also happens to men all of the time. Maybe he simply changed his mind after the date even if he was genuinely interested in seeing her again during the date. This is part of dating.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  5. Selena Says:

    Why do you want to believe “the timing was off”? This is sounds like an excuse for not accepting the truth that he didn’t feel as connected as you did. In this case actions speak louder than the words he threw at you: he didn’t call you after the first date; he’s not getting back with you about setting up a third date. If he felt connected you would be hearing from him with concrete plans. Timing has nothing to do with it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  6. Roxy Says:

    I don’t know why women do this themselves… and as a woman, I’m sure I’ve done it too.

    The original poster made it very clear that she knew he wasn’t for her, and yet she STILL thinks that MAYBE, just MAYBE something could work out.

    Ladies, there really are plenty of fish in the sea. We struggle with patience when trying to catch the right one. But i encourage you to exercise patience, because trying to make the wrong guy seem right takes way more energy and effort than he deserves.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 0

  7. Chester Says:

    It looks like Joanna asked the guy out three times:
    1. “I ….reached out to see if he would be interested in a second date
    2. On the second date, “We talked about going out again” I suspect Joanna did much of this.
    3. “I mentioned going out again”

    Welcome to my world. When a man asks a woman out, he rarely gets a straight “no”. Usually she will dance around the issue and say she is busy with friends or going out of town, or busy brushing her teeth (I actually had a guy tell me a girl said this). How Ironic that this woman asking the guy out can’t understand why he would dance around the response… when she has done this dancing her whole life!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

    • Andthatswhyyouresingle Says:

      Is it possible you’re just not that interesting or come across negative and that’s why you don’t get the responses you want?

      I listen to some of the comments on this site from men and most of you sound so whiny. Maybe that’s the core of the problem for you?

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 8 Thumb down 6

      • Chester Says:

        Thanks. I used to be really shy and probably boring but I do ok now…and I get a good share of yeses. I just remember during my early years of dating, I would believe what she said. I would then ask her out again and she would say she was busy and then again. I wasted so much time but really just believed what they said. I really thought it was unfortunate for them (and me) that I was asking them out on days they already had plans. :-). I can almost laugh about it…but when you have a crush on a girl, it is easy to believe what they said….and why would I think they would lie to me?
        So when I hear this girl ask why guys can’t be direct, or when a girl says why can’t a guy get the hint that I don’t want to go out with him, I just smile and think of my past.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

      • NoOneYouKnow Says:

        That wasn’t Chester’s point, Moxie–he wasn’t saying he’s not getting yeses–he’s saying that a lot of the women he’s dealt with haven’t given him a straight no.
        I think the larger problem is that a lot of people have trouble being direct, whether from fear of provoking an unpleasant response to a desire to passive-aggressively hurt someone. It’s endemic, and I try to ignore it from people I don’t want to be around, work to not accept it from the people in my life, and try not to do it to others. It’s more work, but it keeps my side of the street clean.
        Also, you just said that most of the men on your site sound “so whiny.” Really?

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

        • Andthatswhyyouresingle Says:

          Yes. Really. His comment was so much feed back as it was, “Well..let me tell you how hard I have it.” It’s one upping, and I’m tired of it.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 5

        • Chester Says:

          Thanks NoOneYouKnow! You are absolutely right. I wasn’t trying to put me personally into the picture or complain at all. And Moxie, I really like you and, btw, you did a great job in seeing through this girls letter, but I am not one upping or whining. It was actually my attempt to comfort her in that this is what men deal with everyday. It is usually the guy asking the girl out getting these vague responses. I have learned to accept this a long time ago.

          I see now why you asked if I were boring or negative. You were making it look like you wanted to counsel me but really wanted to insult me. That is unfortunate. But I still admire you anyway.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  8. Crotch Rocket Says:

    “where was the connection? You may have felt it. But he clearly didn’t.” More to the point, what she “connected” with was the fake persona he was projecting in order to get laid. Lots of women fall into that trap–and that’s why men use it: it works most of the time.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

    • Vana Says:

      Met this gorgeous guy. He sweet talked me in my backyard and wanted to go upstairs to my apartment. My response. “As much as I would like to take you upstairs, I don’t think it’s a good idea.” He broke up with me a week later saying he was only gonna use me for sex anyway. BULLET DODGED. What man is this honest?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  9. sarah Says:

    I cant believe all of this is coming from a 37yo! come on……the timing? Puhlease. Like Moxie said, no one is that busy. Had he been that interested he would have picked up the phone and not just to text you. Had he been interested, he would have contacted you after the first date to quickly arrange a second date. why are you so hurt by someone you went out with twice anyway??

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  10. Ken Says:

    This guy is wasting your time. While he very well may have meant everything he said he is not willing to set aside the distractions & focus on what he has in front of him. Clue #1 is his expressed interest in a future date but no follow through. Granted things do come up. When this happens one will bend over backwards so that the other person knows this is genuine. Doing things like making a date prior to departure if they have the time or nailing down a date as soon as they return. This guy is playing you buying time with you, exercising his options whatever her name may be. Be cautious if you decide to ride this one out.

    It can be very flattering for a guy, and I suppose a woman too, to have what amounts to perfect strangers interested in getting to know us. Here’s the thing: Of all the people we meet, how many do we end up moving past a 2nd or 3rd date, sticking around with the person & forming a relationship with them? Unless one is the type of person who has a need to be “in a relationship” for whatever reason, very few. This guy is liking the attention or anticipated future attention he is/will be getting from his options. What those options are who knows: match.com, numerous free dating sites, a new gym membership, women in the office, etc, etc… Until this guy comes around and realizes that perhaps the old hunters cliche` “A bird in the hand is worth 2 in the bush, (no pun intended), your most likely wasting your time.

    Having been around the block I am of the opinion that there is always, “someone better”. That saw however does cuts both ways: Better than you & better than me too. Find someone who seems to fit into the 80/20 rule*, willing to set aside “the distractions” & get to know that person. All may be pleasantly surprised.

    *80/20 Rule is something I happened across as part of my post divorce education/journey into the dating world, it may have been learned here. When you meet a person who has 80% of what you seek in a mate accept the other 20% as that is about as good as it gets.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

    • Andthatswhyyouresingle Says:

      Clue #1 is his expressed interest in a future date but no follow through.

      This is similar to what I said in a post a couple months ago. The whole “next time” thing is a red flag for me. I realize that many men say this and, in the moment, mean it. But a lot of men say things like this and allude to future dates so the woman will feel more comfortable having sex that night. The guy hopes the woman will assume that he really likes her and therefore isn’t just using her, so she falls for the line and sleeps with him because she believes she’ll see the guy again and it won’t be a one night stand.

      To be honest, it’s really a pretty bad ploy. I think the only men who use it do so because they’re not smooth enough to seduce the woman without it.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

      • Ken Says:

        So they are basically amateurs when it comes to Sweet Talking -101? Perhaps, however there is no mention of him trying to have sex with her. I agree that he was just not into her. Sometimes the truth is in what people don’t say: He never said, ‘I want to see you again’. Honesty is a tough thing. I have told & been told, “sorry no connection or attraction on my part”. Some accept it & move on, others ask why, & others on one or 2 occasions have handed me my ass, (& no there was no sex involved to provoke that reaction). Sometimes I share the why, sometimes not. That all depends on the reason & I refuse to be ‘brutally honest” if it will wreck one’s self esteem. When it happens to me I just shrug my shoulders & tell them “…I am off to amputee dating.com as I am tired of women running away from me”, (always good to leave’em smiling!).

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  11. Chester Says:

    Another insight to add….as i touched on above. It is usually the Guy’s job to ask the girl out. You can say all you want about equality roles in dating but it aint happening. A woman can sometimes play the guy role and ask the guy out but she did it three times. That’s way too agressive. If the guy is not asking the girl out, there is a reason. And she is pushing too hard for something that is not there.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  12. Crotch Rocket Says:

    “Why Do Men Say Things They Don’t Mean?” Because they believe (correctly or not) that it will help them get laid. I thought this was obvious.

    “I’m not going to sit around and wait for him.” Good; there are plenty of folks out there to date, and you shouldn’t wait around or wonder too much about what’s going through the heads of the ones who haven’t earned that through their actions. Ignore mere words; see above.

    “It’s hard to find a connection with someone and I feel let down.” You were let down, in that he didn’t follow through with another date, but unfortunately that is par for the course in dating. People change their minds, get occupied with other things, etc. All you need to know is that he wasn’t interested in another date, and that’s why you need to keep seeing new people until things progress with one of the old ones: so you don’t get hung up on the majority that won’t go anywhere. And don’t overstate this “connection”; it was one awkward date and one good date, and obviously it wasn’t that much of a connection if he wasn’t interested in a third date.

    “he told me that he hasn’t been attracted to someone ‘like this’ before” He probably tells every date that. Again, ignore mere words; see above.

    “and he also told me he liked my personality.” He probably did, but keep in mind that’s what people say when they have nothing else (eg. looks) to compliment. It lets them feel good about being honest and complimentary despite, in reality, being misleading and insulting. (Ditto for when a woman tells a man he’s a “nice guy”.)

    “I could say ‘He’s just not that into me’ which could be true, but I also think the timing may be off.” Regardless of the “timing”, if he were that into you, he would have arranged a third date. This isn’t rocket surgery. Don’t make excuses for him.

    “Should I just write him off?” Do unto others as they do unto you.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  13. Lipstick and Playdates Says:

    Oh, the things men have said to me on first dates. I’ve been told I’m everything from “cute,” “darling” and “just the type of girl they’re looking for.” I’ve also had tons of guys invite me to their whip out pictures of their summer and weekend homes and invite me, yet never followed up. For me, it all comes down to one word: actions.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

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