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Show ALL Forums  > Ask A Guy  > manspeak: when he says he doesn't know what he wants, this means...?      Home login  
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 AintMsBehaving
Joined: 2/21/2009
Msg: 1
manspeak: when he says he doesn't know what he wants, this means...?Page 1 of 1    
he's just not into you?

he is afraid of committment?

he's past the "honeymoon" stage and doesn't know how to attach?

come on boys, enlighten me, please!

if i back off and just give him space, will this help? he's still marking his territory when other men are around,we still get on like best mates just as we always did. we've had a very intense year with the loss of three pregnancies, and my health has suffered. i need breathing space myself, but i don't want to be clinging if he's moved on.
 bicoastal49
Joined: 8/2/2008
Msg: 2
manspeak: when he says he doesn't know what he wants, this means...?
Posted: 3/1/2009 9:26:00 PM
Without some history to work from, I can't begin to guess. ALL the possible reasons you list seem plausible.

Three unsuccessful pregnancies ("loss" implies involuntary termination)? Why not add processing of grief and loss to your list of explanations? Seriously. Both of you should attend to grieving. If that means creating some space, then so be it.

I am so sorry for your loss.
 j!!dub
Joined: 11/5/2008
Msg: 3
manspeak: when he says he doesn't know what he wants, this means...?
Posted: 3/1/2009 9:34:12 PM
It means he's found something else that he wants equally...or perhaps more than you...but he's not ready to cut ties with you at this time.

It's pretty straight stuff...page 231 of The Official Manspeak-to-PlaintitiveGirl Translations. I think it's coming out in Berlitz or Rosetta Stone.

 AintMsBehaving
Joined: 2/21/2009
Msg: 4
manspeak: when he says he doesn't know what he wants, this means...?
Posted: 3/1/2009 9:40:55 PM
thank you. i hadn't thought about the grieving, as he seemed to be indifferent. yes, the losses were involuntary. for me, i've been doing grief and loss work, but he's not working with me there, it seems that he doesn't handle it and feels pressured.

we still talk most days but i feel i'm making more effort than he is.

do men process grief/loss/other issues in silence? or by doing some other totally random thing, like playing World of Warcraft? i do love him and we've been thru so much, too much to just walk away from just like that. the break came about when i called him to task on one of his (destructive) behaviour patterns, and he couldn't cope with me being blunt to the point of cruelty. i was in emotional pain because of his behaviour myself, it had been going on since the last loss, and i wanted it stopped or him gone.

the fact that he's still coming over to help with renovations, when he could have refused, gives me hope but as i said, i don't want to cling if he's moving on. it leaves no dignity for either of us. he says he's trying to get his head straight, and he's doing a men's self help group.
 Learned Phoenix
Joined: 7/23/2008
Msg: 5
manspeak: when he says he doesn't know what he wants, this means...?
Posted: 3/1/2009 10:25:45 PM
Everyonegoes through grief differently...openly grieving is a sign of weakness to be avoided at all costs, in order to be "strong and manly." Maybe he cries when alone, but he'll never admit it. Maybe he just internalizes it, and releases through destructive behavior or all-nighters of WoW. Both. Neither. Combination...

Did he "not know what he wants" after you went off on him? If that's the case, "not knowing what he wants" is codespeak for working through his grief + emotional balance. The blunt/cruel words (not blaming you, things are said that are regrettable later), when he's trying to be a stoic pillar in a time of crisis, doing what he's SUPPOSED to be doing, makes perfect sense to cause this reaction. Or perhaps he's blaming himself for the loss...

Coming over to help is good; the relationship is not dead. Tell him how you feel and offer to give him space, if that's what he needs, and that you'll give him some time to work through it. Ask him what he needs to get through this and how he feels, without being judgmental. No timetables, no ultimatums, no "I think you should do X,Y and Z because that's what I'm doing." Then give it some time, without bringing it up a week or two later. If he still doesn't want to discuss anything, give him some time/space and continue to heal yourself. Be supportive (even though that's what you need as well, so very hard to do), don't cling.

Two-way communication + time = healing. Or the relationship comes to an end but it's not another shock...one crisis at a time.
 Landra
Joined: 9/10/2007
Msg: 6
manspeak: when he says he doesn't know what he wants, this means...?
Posted: 3/1/2009 10:30:17 PM
when a man says he doesn't know what he wants, he means he doesn't want YOU but since he doesn't have anyone else at the moment, you're better than nothing until he finds what he's looking for.
If you've gotten pregnant 3 times, I think it's time to use birth control until you both figure out what you're doing with your lives.
 mackeyjones1968
Joined: 2/21/2009
Msg: 7
manspeak: when he says he doesn't know what he wants, this means...?
Posted: 3/1/2009 10:35:14 PM
Grief and guys.....I have to say that after being in that situation myself, its extremely hard to even begin to express how you feel most of the time because as a guy you are suppossed to be the one who has the shoulder to cry on, and yes he probably does feel pressured people come to terms or not with grief in their own ways and in their own time.

He is basically self - destructing it sounds in his own grief, but there really isnt much you can do except be suportive if he asks for it, but give him the space he needs to get over it. He is feeling sorry for himself as well, the self help group if he takes it seriously will help, but in the end he has to stop feeling sorry for himself. Dont try and force him to confront it yourself, if possible, because you will just end up in the firing line and if you are ever going to have a relationship again with him that will not make it any easier either.

All I can say is no matter how much he might want to be able to talk to you about it, he most likely wont until he has dealt with his own feelings.
 mackeyjones1968
Joined: 2/21/2009
Msg: 8
manspeak: when he says he doesn't know what he wants, this means...?
Posted: 3/1/2009 10:39:30 PM
IDK the only way to really tell is if there was a change of the way he acted around that time, if not and he was always like that...I guess you will find your answer there
 GMCAcadia
Joined: 5/6/2004
Msg: 9
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manspeak: when he says he doesn't know what he wants, this means...?
Posted: 3/1/2009 11:15:33 PM
He doesn't know what he wants, means he isn't interested in anything too serious and just wants you to keep having sex with him and stop asking what he wants...
 theRagex
Joined: 4/22/2008
Msg: 10
manspeak: when he says he doesn't know what he wants, this means...?
Posted: 3/2/2009 12:18:16 AM
Guys aren't always as 'genius' as women are. Sometimes what they say.... is actually what they mean.

But all jokes aside, I agree with the first reply. Without a history to read into, all of your guesses are as good as ours.
 Strokke
Joined: 3/13/2008
Msg: 11
manspeak: when he says he doesn't know what he wants, this means...?
Posted: 3/2/2009 12:33:58 AM
I would say in general it means that he has a tough decision to make and he would rather wait and hope something makes the decision easier (either a more awesome girl comes into his life, an ex wants to get back together, or something along those lines)

Or it could just mean that he knows what he wants but he has the unfortunate need to make things as difficult as possible. And that is my own personal experience ;)
 AintMsBehaving
Joined: 2/21/2009
Msg: 12
manspeak: when he says he doesn't know what he wants, this means...?
Posted: 3/2/2009 1:35:41 AM
well his ex is in England and we're in OZ.

it's been a highly-emotionally charged year, trying for a baby and losing three. i wondered if he feels his manhood is in question, or just that it's been so intense that he needs man-time, you know cave space. i guess the best thing for me to do is not ask where he's at, avoid situations where we could fall into bed, and get on with my study and work. i'm already off doing my singing again, so between all that and my grown kids, i'm a busy girl again.

i'll keep the communication channels open, i've already been firm about i agree the wedding is off, and no more babymaking. there's no question of him moving back in here with me, and we both agree unless he's got his head sorted it'd be stupid to do so. he says he wants to have dinner once a week and spend a weekend day with me. for me, sex is out of the question unless we're exclusive, so i'll wait till he brings the subject up.

and i will NOT ask if he's seeing someone else.

deep breath and stand on your dignity, girl!

thanks guys, for your replies. much appreciated.
 mynamesnotjesus
Joined: 2/26/2009
Msg: 13
manspeak: when he says he doesn't know what he wants, this means...?
Posted: 3/2/2009 1:45:18 AM

manspeak: when he says he doesn't know what he wants, this means...?

From my experience it means he either knows what he wants, or idealizes what he wants, knows you will judge him for what he really wants and are incapable of giving it to him.

So he skips explaining it to you so you don't yell at him or feel hurt, but in the meantime (since you accepted this statement as important without questioning him too deeply) you're okay to keep around...until you start yelling at him or feeling bad because of something he said or did and (to him) you aren't worth arguing with and he doesn't want to console any 'drama.'

Basically he doesn't want to take responsibility for what he wants and still wants to present to you how he wants you to see him...while getting whatever emotional, mental, and/or physical validation from you he can.

Kind of like a 4 year old that doesn't want to tell mommy what he's REALLY upset about because he's afraid she won't love him anymore, so tells her what he thinks she wants to hear, can handle, and will accept.

Manipulation and games, man, manipulation and games...
 Aurora772
Joined: 12/1/2007
Msg: 14
manspeak: when he says he doesn't know what he wants, this means...?
Posted: 3/2/2009 3:42:36 AM
OP, "I don't know what I want" at the core means one thing -- he's not smitten with you. Dump him and move on.
 Jim978
Joined: 7/15/2008
Msg: 15
manspeak: when he says he doesn't know what he wants, this means...?
Posted: 3/2/2009 3:50:32 AM

if i back off and just give him space, will this help? he's still marking his territory when other men are around,we still get on like best mates just as we always did. we've had a very intense year with the loss of three pregnancies, and my health has suffered. i need breathing space myself, but i don't want to be clinging if he's moved on.


Maybe what he means is "Gee, since she went and set herself up with a profile on a dating saite and says she is looking for someone else I should reevaluate my relationship with her!"

Nah! That couldn't be it...
 theRagex
Joined: 4/22/2008
Msg: 16
manspeak: when he says he doesn't know what he wants, this means...?
Posted: 3/2/2009 3:58:49 AM

Maybe what he means is "Gee, since she went and set herself up with a profile on a dating saite and says she is looking for someone else I should reevaluate my relationship with her!"

Nah! That couldn't be it...


Wow totally BUSTED and AGREED.

wtf are you thinking?!
 KISS MY A$$
Joined: 9/6/2008
Msg: 17
manspeak: when he says he doesn't know what he wants, this means...?
Posted: 3/2/2009 4:11:07 AM
I'm sorry to here of your losses. I had a still born and 2 miscarraiges .
It has an emotional price tag that stays with you for years.
The physical aspects take time and energy to heal as well.
I think perhaps is not a good time to ask the questions that get the answers " i don't know what I want."
Your bf has experienced the losses too.
Maybe he needs some space for emotional healing.
You say you need breathing space and I think you are exactly right. It may be time to get selfish and not confused about what your boy friend wants or doesn't want. You have to pay attention to you. Mend the broken heart and grieve your losses. Get yourself healthy and physically fit.
There is plenty of time to figure out what he wants and what YOU want, which is just as important.
 jakeya99
Joined: 5/9/2008
Msg: 18
manspeak: when he says he doesn't know what he wants, this means...?
Posted: 3/2/2009 5:42:40 AM
Trust me... what that means is he is not into you so much so that it makes him lose interest in other women. He may "like" you just fine, but his eye is wandering.

Men are not that confusing. If he wants you nothing will stand in his way. If he disappears, or has odd excuses (I'm scared, I need space, I don't know what I want, it's not you - it's me) it means they are not ready to commit to you. He wants (and may never get, but wants to try none the less) to see if the grass is greener elsewhere. Men like too to keep you around in the background while they look. It's a fall back plan. Recognize it an move on.
 GeriatricKnight
Joined: 9/5/2008
Msg: 19
manspeak: when he says he doesn't know what he wants, this means...?
Posted: 3/2/2009 6:48:30 AM
Some women will do the same thing though.
 ~Scoundrel~
Joined: 10/1/2006
Msg: 20
manspeak: when he says he doesn't know what he wants, this means...?
Posted: 3/2/2009 7:14:08 AM
"I don't know what I want" means "I don't know what I want, but I know I don't want you."
Show ALL Forums  > Ask A Guy  > manspeak: when he says he doesn't know what he wants, this means...?