Things guys say vs what they really mean? 9 times out of 10, they’re probably polar opposites: ‘I just put my phone down’ means ‘I played 10 games of FIFA’, ‘the first dress looks fine’ means ‘I can’t take this fashion show anymore’ and as for ‘it’s not you, it’s me’… the less said about that, the better.
But the one line almost all of my female friends have heard in the last couple of years? ‘I just don’t know what I want’. Sorry, what?! I totally understand you not knowing what you want to order in Pizza Express, but not knowing whether you want be with someone? I’m calling BS.
As much as you might try and convince yourself that he really has a lot going on and just needs some time (…no), I am a firm believer that when a guy pulls out the confused card, he’s just not that into you. You know you’d say the same to your BFF, so why not apply your white-wine fuelled advice to yourself?!
In a completely unofficial survey, I decided to go straight to the source and ask some real-life heterosexual men what the dreaded phrase really means. The response? ‘Acting like you don’t know what you want is an easy way to break up with someone without fully admitting that you don’t want them. It also protects someone else’s ego’.
Umm, I wasn’t standing for that last part and told him it protects no egos (and just starts an in-depth group chat analysis of the texts). ‘Ok, it's pure cowardice but that's how it's rationalised and helps us sleep better at night’. Honest. Other responses included ‘I always know what I want. But sometimes it isn’t the same as what they want’.
I also asked some heterosexual girls if they’d even turned the tables and ditched a boyfriend with the ‘don’t know what I want’ line, and the answer was yes. Turns out we’re no better, because we 100% knew what we wanted; ‘it was code for I want to see other people’, or ‘I want to be single but you haven’t done anything wrong for me to use as a reason’. Letting the side down, ladies…
I also asked a small sample of lesbians, one of whom told me ‘I use it all the time, but sometimes I actually don’t know whether I just don’t want a girlfriend at all or just that specific girl’.
So, what can we take from this thorough investigation of Shitty Boyfriend Behaviour? When he says he doesn’t know what he wants, walk away. As one survey subject said, ‘A message from all males - men are insecure scumbags (yes, I mean all of them)’.
Forget ghosting, has your lover done a Dating 180?!