Three Questions You Should Never Ask a Man

There are way more than three, actually.  But these three seem to be universal – at least in the Western world – transcending age, race, education level, and any other variable in the world of men. They can also make or break a relationship. The first question is actually a group of questions that are spearheaded by:

“Does this make me look fat?” Don’t do that to him. There is no right answer to that one, there is no way for him to win with this question. First of all, ain’t no man so dumb he’s going to say yes, so you’re not going to get any new information. If he says no without looking first, you say, “You didn’t even look!” But God help him if he does look. Then he’s saying there’s a possibility it could make you look fat.

There may be one safe way for him to answer this. It starts with him saying no without looking, but when you complain that he didn’t look, he can then say, “I don’t have to.” That one might work. But again, what have you gained? You still have no more information than you did before you asked, except that your guy is damned smart.

I say this is a question group because you really shouldn’t ask him anything about your clothes. The reason for this is that you’re not going to listen to what he says. I was telling my brother once that one of the great things about my new male roommate was that when I asked which shirt, dress, whatever looked better on me, he actually had an opinion. (He was always right, too.) My brother said men usually have an opinion, they just know better than to offer it, even when asked. In fact, especially then. He quoted a line from song from My Fair Lady, “Why Can’t A Woman Be More Like A Man?”:
“They ask for your advice
and then they listen very nice-
ly and go out and do precise-
ly as they please.”
So, they’ve learned not to say anything.

It is okay to ask him which one looks better on you or which one he wants you to wear as long as you then wear that one. Otherwise, don’t ask. It’s just going to create conflict where there isn’t any, it will make you late for whatever you’re getting dressed for, and, once again, you will have gained nothing. The same rules apply to earrings, necklaces, etc. I refer you to Jeff Foxworthy for more on this. He does a much better job of that than I could ever do.

The second question you should never ask a man is:

“What are you thinking?” He’s probably not thinking anything. But that is not the answer you want, so if he answers the question honestly, you’ll get upset with him. You want to hear that he’s thinking how wonderful it feels to be here with you or where he wants to take you tomorrow or something like that. He’s not. If he didn’t want to be there with you, he wouldn’t be. He’s not thinking about where he wants to take you tomorrow because it’s today.

Men are very direct and much more in the moment than we are. First dates are a good illustration of this. For a man, a first date is a date with a woman he hasn’t been out with. For a woman, it’s when she decides whether she’s going to marry the guy. You know this is true, ladies, you know it is. Of course, I don’t mean you literally decide this right then, but you start going down your checklist, looking for anything that might knock him out of the running right off. So, while he’s trying to get to know you and figure out what he wants to order, you’re looking at how he responds to kids at the next table. This is because you decided how the date was going to go as soon as you said yes to it. First dates would be so different if both of you went on them at the same time.

We think twenty steps ahead, they are totally in the moment. There is good and bad to both approaches, but neither works very well on its own. They aren’t ready for what comes next and we miss the moment. On our own, we’re too far ahead, they’re not even there yet. Together, we’re in the moment with an eye toward the future. This does not apply only to a mate. This is about interacting with co-workers, friends, people in general as we navigate our lives. This is one of the things tells me is that no one is meant to go through life alone.

So, when you ask him what he’s thinking while he’s watching the game, he’s thinking about the game. (Actually, you shouldn’t ask him anything while he’s watching the game.) If you ask him what he’s thinking when you’re cozied up by the fire, he’s thinking the flames look cool. So, don’t ask what he’s thinking. If he has something to say, he’ll say it. Look at what he’s doing. That will tell you what you want to know.

Also, this can be very confusing to the guy. We tell them we want them to be honest with us, but when they are, we get upset with them! Come on, ladies, give ‘em a break.

Question three is going to sound like it relates to question two, but it doesn’t. It’s completely separate and is asked under completely different circumstances. It is:

“Is that all you think about?” Don’t ask, you don’t want to know.

Look, here’s the thing with guys and sex: They always want it. Deal with it. It’s not going to change. Now, this does not mean he is always going to act on that desire. Admittedly, that could be a problem. But I’ve asked tons of guys if they want sex on the first date and the answer is always hell, they want it at the beginning of the first date. None of them are stupid enough to suggest it, though. In fact, many of them would not have sex on the first date, even if the woman offered. For some it is a moral issue, some have learned it doesn’t really work for building a relationship, some go by the unstated “third date” rule, and I’m sure there are other reasons. But they always want it.

Don’t make them wrong for that. It’s not like they can do anything about it. You can’t control what you feel. All you can control is what you do. So, again, look at what he’s doing. If that makes you happy, isn’t that enough? Don’t make him lie.

And don’t ask questions you don’t want the answer to!