This reminds me of another logical principle: Occam’s Razor: “Of several acceptable explanations for a phenomenon, the simplest is preferable.” What’s more likely: that all three men coincidentally lied to you or that all three men told the truth?
Still, you’re contorting yourself looking for the hidden “why” when a) the most obvious answer is usually the correct one and b) you can never possibly know the correct answer, so who cares?
What I will say about men – something that you can take to the bank – is this: We usually mean what we say.
What I will say about men – something that you can take to the bank – is this:
We usually mean what we say.
This may not seem revelatory, but it is, since women are notorious for NOT saying what they mean. So when you expect men to be like you, you’re often surprised. For example:
When a man says, “I don’t want to talk about it,” he generally means “I don’t want to talk about it”.
When a woman says, “I don’t want to talk about it,” she generally means, “Show me you how much you care by asking me five times whether I want to talk about it, until I finally relent and decide to that I want to talk about it.”
This isn’t a character flaw. This is an observation.
Men are direct. Women are nuanced. Deborah Tannen has written extensively about this, and I recall a similar example from a college linguistics course:
If the window is open and the wind is blowing in and it’s uncomfortable in the room, a woman will likely say something like, “Do you think it’s cold in here?”, hoping that the person will agree and close the window.
Men will just say, “Close the window!”
Men are results oriented. Women are process and relationship oriented.
But there is one big exception to “men say what they mean”: when he’s using a woman for a casual relationship.
That’s when you have to learn to read between the lines. “I’m busy” doesn’t mean “I’m busy” but rather “I’m not willing to make the effort to see you”. “Let’s just see where this relationship goes” means “This relationship is going to stay exactly as it is today”. Thankfully, it’s pretty easy to see through. Why? Because his words don’t mean nearly as much as his ACTIONS. If he doesn’t make an effort to see you, commit to you, or treat you well, you have all the evidence you need to walk away with your head held high.
In this instance, HK, there’s nothing to interpret. The men’s actions and words are aligned. They said they met other women; they stopped dating you. Now all you have to do is find a guy who does want to stick around – and forget about the guys who don’t.
Why He Disappeared is the smart, strong, successful woman's guide to understanding men. If you want to learn how men think, and rediscover how to have meaningful relationships - all from a man's point of view - click here to learn Why He Disappeared.
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