Here’s a secret that’s not really a secret: men tend to reveal their actual intentions and feelings through their actions, rather than their words!
Now, you might think that that is an obvious statement, and something that is true for both genders – but you’d be wrong, and I will explain why.
It is true that actions speak louder than words, but men and women use words – as a communication tool – differently. Women often take words more literally and more seriously than men do. They also tend to analyse a man’s words, especially at the start of an attraction or relationship… sometimes putting two and two together and coming up with five. Under ‘normal’, everyday circumstances, it is incredibly easy for human beings to miscommunicate and misunderstand one another; add the intensity of emotional, romantic interest/investment, and the potential for confusion races up the scale!
A real bulls*****r!
Let me give you an example from my own past. I had been single for around six months, before venturing into the world of online ‘dating’. I began talking to a guy whose picture showed him to be attractive and fun, extremely tall and well-built. He took to texting and calling me a lot, especially early in the morning whilst at work, and he always had plenty to say for himself, talking about meeting up and the things we would do together. Twice we organised a date, time and meeting place, and I showed up with my biking gear, ready to go off somewhere on his bike – and twice he failed to appear. He came up with elaborate stories to explain his absence, which I did my best to convince myself were feasible. And then, on one boring Sunday afternoon, I decided to grab the bull by the horns and head off down the motorway to visit him. I called him and asked for his address – and although he did his best to hide it, the panic in his voice was palpable. He stuttered and stumbled over his words, before coming up with a ‘reason’ that he couldn’t see me that day. It was at that moment that I finally acknowledged that this guy’s words meant Jack S**t… whilst his actions revealed his true intentions and feelings. I can’t remember whether I ever spoke to him again, but I think probably not. Looking back, I doubt that the guy in the picture on his profile was even him; it is also likely that he had a partner, and maybe even children… who knows? I am sure that he would have continued with the telephone conversation, banter, and flirting without ever meeting up, if I had been a willing participant.
This scenario is one I have heard tell of a zillion times, and almost always from women – and I remind them, when in doubt, to measure a man’s actions against his words: if they match, fantastic, even if it means that things are not the way we believed them to be; better to know where we stand than to waste time on a fantasy! If, however, his words and his actions are mismatched, or if he consistently makes promises that he doesn’t keep, or if he says one thing and then does another – pay attention to his actions (or lack of them), rather than his words! This is not man-bashing, by the way. I have no interest in that, and I have absolutely no issues with the male gender in general. It is just a conclusion I arrived at, over a period of years, based on my own experiences and observations, as well as those of friends and customers.
Defending our dubious behaviour to the death!
Of course, if you are in an established relationship with joint responsibilities and financial interests, and your partner is consistently playing fast and loose, always ready with an answer, an excuse, or a rebuttal, then it is much harder to resolve than if you are at the love interest or new relationship stage – because it is much easier to disentangle yourself when you aren’t yet too invested. People will sometimes defend their own habits and behaviour almost to the death; if you find yourself regularly struggling with a partner whose actions are consistently at odds with what they swear is true, I feel for you: been there and done that, with two different relationships in particular… and in both cases, I ended up leaving.
No-one is perfect, and we women have our own peculiar little ways which often baffle and annoy men. We can even be guilty of saying something with our mouth that is not backed up by our actions; however, in my experience, when men do it, they do it really well!
So, if you are getting to know another person romantically, don’t immediately go jumping in with both feet. If, over an acceptable period of time, you recognise that there is a lot of talk without much actual action, then the alarm bells should be ringing. You could try being forthright and direct (without nastiness), gauge the response, and then act accordingly; you won’t be in so deep that you can’t jump ship without too much hassle or heartache! What you are willing to accept is down to you, and will be tied up with your sense of self-worth. I am not suggesting that every single word uttered by a POI should be scrutinised and tested; that would be unreasonable. What I am saying is that, within reasonable time limits, there should be some degree of putting the-money-where-the-mouth-is… if the person in question is above-board and sincere.
It isn’t all one-way traffic!
In defence of men, however, especially in established relationships, their actions can sometimes be undervalued, unappreciated, or even ignored by their partner. I remember the woman who had become so angry with men in general that she wasn’t willing to cut a partner any slack at all. The last time I spoke with her, some years ago, she was peed off yet again, this time with a new guy – over a sandwich (yes, a humble butty!). The story went, he was going out to buy a sandwich for himself, and asked her if she wanted one too. She said no, she didn’t want one. He returned home with two sandwiches – one for him, and one for her… to ‘put in the fridge for later’, in case she became hungry. She hit the roof, saying things which hurt his feelings, and he went off in a huff. I asked her why she was so angry about this, and why the situation had been allowed to become so much bigger than it needed to be? She retorted that he was behaving childishly, going off in a mood just because she’d had a go at him… and anyway, why couldn’t he just LISTEN? I understand that it can be annoying when we feel that someone isn’t hearing us, but does that excuse us from not hearing them? I asked what the outcome might have been, had she put her frustration to one side, instead thanking him, saying that yes, she probably would be hungry later? She glared at me, before snapping, “I had a headache, and I couldn’t be bothered!” Hmm – so, maybe, recognising that she wasn’t feeling well, he was trying to care for her in his own way. In this case, the words and the actions matched, and both were saying, “I do care for you, and I do want to do something loving for you.” It probably won’t come as any surprise to hear that that particular lady didn’t book in with me again…