Why Men Reveal Things On a Need To Know Basis

Here’s a great article I found via @LadySnarksAlot:

I am officially, unofficially implementing a new rule for coupled people everywhere. Please, please, please if you are spoken for, you must mention it within five minutes of having a flirty conversation with me.

That’s the opening line of this post over at The Frisky.

There are two problems here. First, in many cases, the person isn’t actually flirting with us. They’re just being friendly. This is an area where sexism really rears it’s ugly head. The premise here is that any man who dare speaks to a woman MUST be flirting with her. Because he’s a man. And that’s all men do. Flirt and think about sex. Of course, sometimes they are flirting with the woman. In which case the author has a valid point. Don’t dangle that carrot in front of our faces only to yank it away when we decide to take a bite. First of all, it’s embarrassing. The woman ends up feeling really foolish for batting her eyes and dreaming of what you and she will do for Labor Day Weekend. (Oh stop. You know you’ve done that.) It’s not a good feeling to sit there and have a great conversation with a guy and feel, even if it’s only in your head, that there’s a connection only to have him drop the “g” word. “My girlfriend and I…”  I will never forget the time, about 15 years ago, I was on the bus going to work. An attractive man sat down next to me and began to read the paper. I tried to chat him up. He was polite. Then he took off his left glove. Just the left one. For no reason. Gotcha. You’re married. I’ll stop flirting with you now.


Then again, it could be that men do things like this to avoid getting themselves into trouble.  They could be hoping that the woman will get the hint and back away before his fly unzips and his penis falls into her mouth.

The second problem about requiring the man to reveal his relationship status, at least for me, is the way it puts all the responsibility on the man to disclose his relationship status before the woman gets too invested. Here’s a thought. If you find yourself intrigued by someone…ask them if they have a girlfriend or if they’re married.

This goes back to the whole conversation we have over and over again about honesty and diplomacy.

“Why can’t he just tell me he’s not interested instead of pretending he is?”

Why? Because then he won’t get attention. Or laid. They’re only going to tell you what they believe you need to know. Not what you believe you need to know. It’s on you to ask the pertinent questions. There’s a chance he wasn’t pretending. It could be that he decided after the date or conversation that he wasn’t interested after all. It happens. Not everything is some scheme. Or there’s a chance he was just being polite and nice and making the best of a situation. Or he just wanted a casual hook up from the start.

A conversation with someone outside of your relationship is not considered cheating and it certainly doesn’t hurt anyone; however, there is an assumption that if you are getting into a long, intense, flirtatious conversation with someone of the opposite sex, you are assessing them as potential dating material.

I guess this is true if you assume that anybody with a penis or vagina that strings a few sentences together or is friendly to you must want to date you. If that’s the case then why are there so many tweets and dating blog posts and articles about “mixed signals.” Maybe the signals weren’t mixed? Maybe you just didn’t interpret them correctly? What we really need to do is to not invest so much so soon. There is a certain amount of detachment required to date successfully. You have to go into each scenario expecting very little other than a fun conversation and enjoyable evening out. That’s it.

It’s like all those dates people have where they say there’s this amazing connection and chemistry only to wait by their phone for a text or email. Maybe there really wasn’t that incredible connection? Maybe you were just projecting your hopes and dreams on some random person. Is that possible?

All I’m asking is for you to be above board and tell me about your fianceé before we start making eyes at each other. This ensures that I will be nothing but appropriate and I’ll expect the same in return from you. We can even be friends.

Why would you want to be friends with a guy who already has a significant other who was flirting with you? That one statement pretty much negates everything else the author said. Why the need to be friends with any guy that tells you – either overtly or otherwise – that he doesn’t want you or care about your feelings?

I guess what I disagree with most is how some women seem to prefer to take a passive role in their own love lives. If you want to know something, ask! Men are happy to oblige as long as the question is asked at the appropriate time and without judgment. O f course, this doesn’t mean they’ll tell you the truth. But at least you were proactive. That way, if he does turn out to be a liar, you won’t kick yourself or feel as stupid.Listen, some people are really good liars. Especially if they’re primary form of communication is email or texts. Don’t leave it up to the guy to protect your feelings. You need to do that.

Maybe some of this has to do with how readily available information is to us nowadays and how easy it is to get it. We’ve been conditioned to expect an answer to specific questions without making much effort. When those answers aren’t served up to us on a silver platter, our brains short circuit. They’re hiding something, they’re lying, they’re leading us on. We have to formulate an answer in our heads or else we’ll go crazy. We need that information before we can make another move. It’s as if we’ve forgotten how to wait and see.

Part of the reason why so many women get duped and dumped out of the blue is because they didn’t ask the right questions. The fact is that many men will absolutely tell you what you want to hear in order to get what they want. Don’t be afraid to challenge something a man tells you, especially if you pick up on an inconsistency.I’d bet in at least half of the cases where a woman asks a man a direct questions, he either trips himself up or reveals more than he should. By asking the question, you increase your chances of getting the answers you need to make an informed decision about him.

This man that you barely know is not likely to care what is best for you. He’s looking out for himself.

And so should you.



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6 Responses to “Why Men Reveal Things On a Need To Know Basis”

  1. Ashley Says:

    In the words of Samantha Jones, “I hate that: ‘I have a girlfriend.’ Calm down, I was just asking if this seat was taken.”

  2. trouble Says:

    I’m kind of stunned by the assumptions in the article. I travel a lot for work and at some point, I get tired lf eating room service alone in my room, and seek out good food somewhere. If the restaurant has a bar, I will sit at the bar and eat. I have had a lot of good conversations with strangers in cities aroind the U.S. Apparently, talking is flirting. And married people are violating some kind of single person rule by talking. Because it is our job to keep other people’s rich fantasy lives under control so they don’t become emotionally attached from a conversation.

    LOLWUT? Do these people have nannies to help them cross the street and wipe their noses, too?

    Words fail.

    • Howard Says:

      Well most of the guys who have the things that women find attractive, have a woman in the wings somewhere. She may be someone he dated twice or a few times, a casual flame, a friends with benefits, a girlfriend, a fiance, or even a wife. And most women know that. They are somehow hoping that this woman is not significant to him, just a plaything he is whiling his time away with until he meets the one. After all, they may be doing the very same. There are hoping he is really looking to trade up to them, because they are the bomb.

      Now every woman has a different standard. With some it’s ok if it’s someone he dated a couple of times; some they go as far as fiance because he still aint married yet. Some throw all caution to the wind, if the guy has really high social value (looks, wealth, fame, etc). I suppose men do the same on many levels too with regards to desirable women. The significant difference is that men are more realistic with themselves about it.

      Unfortunately too many women play a little mind game with themselves. When they are successful, and they are successful enough to continue to do this, they lose not a moment’s thought for the other woman. And when they are unsuccessful, of course the man is a villian. It doesn’t matter that they may have been dating others, upon meeting, and/or while dating that man.

  3. Christina Says:

    I’m definitely not one of those women who construes any conversation with a man as flirting. If it seems like a guy is getting flirtatious and I’m taken, I’ll just say so. It can usually be done in a playful, inoffensive way. I really hate to think I can’t have a meaningful conversation with a man who isn’t my husband without it having all sorts of implications.

    If you’re interested in someone, one of the first things to ascertain is if he is single. If he doesn’t say fairly early on, I would think any reasonable person would make sure before agreeing to a date, at the very least.

  4. Selena Says:

    I’ve found most men who are interested will ask 10 -15 min. into conversation, “So, do you have a husband? Boyfriend?” They want to know what my status is before proceeding. Guys who aren’t interested, who are just making conversation, don’t bother because they aren’t thinking about possibly asking me out.

    I agree the author of the article may have trouble distinguishing the difference between flirtatious and friendly. If she has had sooo many conversations with men that end with mention of their girlfriend, one would think SHE would have learned to ask the status question early on and avoid feeling awkward. It’s unrealistic to expect someone who’s ‘taken’ to tell you that within 5 min. It isn’t going to occur to people who believe they are just having a friendly conversation it’s even necessary.

    I liked the train story Moxie. Removing one glove so you could see his wedding ring. Subtle. :)

  5. Joey Giraud Says:

    The idea popped into my thick, male skull recently that it might just be possible that on those occasions when I’m talking with a woman and she brings up a boyfriend or husband in a somewhat forced way that she might just like me.

    I can be a bit slow sometimes.

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