Singaporebrides | The Groom Room

January 2015

What Women Say And What They Really Mean

Do girls say what they mean, and mean what they say? Fu Jinming attempts to do what every man has tried and failed – read their minds.

You’ve probably been there. You notice her face turning dark. You ask if something’s bothering her. Nothing, she says, a little more curtly than usual. So you shrug and go about your business. Next thing you know, she storms out of the house, but not without first shooting you a look that says you’re in big trouble – and you’re not even sure why.

Welcome to the mystical arts of female linguistics. A world where “Yes” means “No.” “No” means “No.” And “Maybe,” is definitely a big, fat “No.”

It’s driving men nuts.

We prefer to communicate in a clear, concise manner. You have a problem, we try to solve it. You ask a question, we answer – either truthfully, or we lie. No subtle hints. No mixed messages. No shades of grey.

The female language, on the other hand, operates on a whole different stratosphere. They say something, but hint at a totally different meaning. They leave abstract clues to their real intent. And they omit just enough details for it to not be a lie, but not enough for it to be the complete truth.

Why do women do that? Why do they ask for honesty, when the truth seems to rub them the wrong way?

Well boys, my (very unscientific) hypothesis is this: she’s not trying to hide her feelings from you. She’s trying to hide them from herself.

You see, women are wired differently, and with better character traits, for the most part. They are generally more caring, nurturing, and sensitive. Particularly to what they say, and how it makes the other person feel. Plus they think. A lot.

In fact, she thinks and cares so much that she would attempt to censor her own emotions so as not to affect the other person’s.

Imagine telling your partner that you’d have to work late tonight and can’t make the movie. She says, “That’s fine. Go work.”

Let’s now warp-speed deep into her psyche. She’s obviously upset that you’ve cancelled out on her. But her mind is probably telling her that you’ve done nothing wrong. Of course you’re busy. She wouldn’t expect you to be anything less than a go-getter right?

And so her caring, nurturing, self-censoring mind tries to justify the right reasons so her emotions may follow suit. Think of it as a white lie, not to you, but to herself.

Unfortunately, the tone in her voice rarely lies. Which explains the slight hostility you detect when she says “It’s okay”. It’s passive-aggression of the well-intentioned—and bizarre—kind.

Whatever the reasons, it’s a hazardous zone for menfolk to wander into. To help you make sense of and navigate your way around her linguistic abyss, here are seven things women like to say, and what they really mean.

What Women Say And What They Really Mean

1. “I’m not upset.”

Oh yes, she is. When she says she’s okay, what she really means is that she’s too upset to talk about the issue right now. The tact to take with this is to let her stew on it a little, before asking if she’s ready to talk about it. You can also just come right out and tell her there’s obviously a problem, and you’d like to help resolve it. But you can’t if she doesn’t tell you what’s wrong. Then get ready for the avalanche.

2. “It’s up to you.”

It’s like asking for permission and getting tested in return. When she says she’s cool if you decide to either watch the game with your friends, or to spend the evening with her, you’d do well to tread carefully. What she really means is that she’d like you to spend time with her, like all committed boyfriends or husbands should. Yet at the same time, she doesn’t want to come across as the possessive, overbearing woman in your life. It’s also a test to see what’s more important to you – some stupid match from a country you’re not even in, or her. It’s a no-brainer really: you’d do well to take her.

3. “You don’t care.”

Ouch. That hurts, because you really do care. And she knows it, so what gives? When she accuses you of being an uncaring, insensitive jerk, she’s actually saying that you haven’t shown that you care. To make matters worse – and more confusing – she’s probably aware in that split-second that she’s throwing a bit of a hissy fit, and she loathes herself for it. What you need to do is take her into your arms, and give her a hug, a kiss and a reassurance that you love and cherish her, and that you’re sorry for neglecting her.

4. “Do you think I’m fat?”

Ah, the classic trip-wire line. Any answer you give can and will be held against you. And no answer will ever be the right one. Because what she’s really asking when she asks about her waistline, is if you still think she’s attractive. So when your woman next directs the fat question at you, tell her—without missing a heartbeat—that she looks the same as before, and as beautiful as ever. She may not buy it, but she will not be unhappy about it.

5. “Do you really think we should go there/do this?”

What she really means to say is: “I really do not want to go to that movie/restaurant/party.” But she thinks you might still want to, and she doesn’t want to seem stubborn by insisting that you change plans. The easiest solution? Just change your plans. Tell her that you’re okay with cancelling, then ask her what she’d like to do instead. Chances are, she won’t be able to decide there and then either – she just knows what she doesn’t want. So get ready to rattle off a list of possibilities.

6. “We’ll see.”

It’s non-committal and annoying. But it’s her way of letting you know she’s heard your opinion, and she still thinks she’s right. And if it’s an answer to a question you’ve just asked, she means “No.” All she’s doing is delaying the conversation—and you—just enough that you’ll forget about even bringing up the topic, or whatever it was that you wanted in the first place.

7. “I’m over it.”

Commonly used whenever a previous disagreement, altercation or unhappy event is brought up, it means that she’s not entirely over it. Whatever the upsetting event, chances are, it was left hanging, and she still harbours some resentment over it, or at the very least, she still remembers why it had upset her. It also means she still thinks you’re wrong.

Your best bet? Suck it up, or she’ll sulk it up for days to come. A little apology never hurt anybody. Not doing so will hurt both you and your relationship. And please, apologise it like you mean it, even if you no longer remember what it’s for. It’s a little sacrifice for the greater marital good.