Why Men Can’t Be Upfront & Honest While They’re Dating You

Man Hiding Not Upfront Honest Dating

"Hi Pete – So I’ve read through these posts and have one question. Why can’t men just be honest/direct on what they do or do not want? Feelings could potentially be hurt, but I would hope that even by telling the guy to be brutally honest with me vs keeping me hanging & wondering what is going on would be ideal as it would add some perspective if the relationship is going anywhere.

Just curious."

I've gone through many stages of my life and during one of them found myself asking the same question about women dating me. I wanted a REAL answer from them and not some lame excuse as to why they rejected me.

I Thought the same thing as you, I'd rather be hurt for a while with the truth than to be strung along or lied to, because I believed it would help me get over it all quicker.

I was wrong.

Your question about men being direct and honest about what they do or do not want is slightly different than mine, but the reasons behind it all are all too eerily similar. They are connected in such a way they may even be considered inseparable.

First - Not many people can be "brutally honest" because of the key word "brutal".

Being honest is one thing but telling another person how you REALLY feel can be brutal sometimes, especially if we imagine for even one second HOW it's going to make the other person feel.

White lies seems to have a place in life although I'm not entirely sold on them yet.

Not many good people wish harm on others and so twisting or bending the truth a little is their way of sparing emotional hurt.

Taken to the extreme - I've rejected many women in my life who were kind decent women but - and this is BRUTAL - The opposite of attractive is ugly.

Sure they're just words but telling a woman the reason why I'm not interested in her is because I'm not attracted to her - can be all too easily heard as, "I think you're ugly."

A little white lie then comes out as, "Sorry I'm not interested in dating anyone at this time."

Which spares the woman the hurt when the truth is how I feel and just because I don't find her attractive, doesn't mean another guy won't.

Who am I to say she's attractive or ugly just because I'm not feeling attracted towards her.

Sure I could tell her that I'm positive she's going to find a guy who does find her attractive, lots of guys do - but then I find myself uttering the very same words which has been said to me countless times; which didn't make it hurt less one bit.

Rejection, being rejected, being told by someone we're attracted to that they don't feel the same way HURTS and there's no way around it - except maybe with a little white lie.

Now I understand you're asking something different but it's still all connected.

Take a guy who is not sure what he wants from you exactly but he is enjoying himself anyways.

He's happy seeing you once in a while. He's enjoy the intimacy and sex but that's the extent of it.

He can not see any further ahead at that moment.

To him - he's just exploring his feelings. He's figuring it all out. He's thinking,

"Maybe - maybe I'll feel more soon. Maybe I won't. But in the meantime why rock the boat. We're enjoying each other."

Now imagine him being brutally honest and you'll get this,

"I'm not using you for sex but I'm not convinced you're the right woman for me. You're not making me feel like giving up on every other woman just yet.

What am I supposed to do?

I don't know how I'll feel tomorrow.

I don't know if I'll soon meet a woman who does make me feel more than you.

It's possible someday I'll feel it for you but right now I don't.

If I remove myself from you for a while - I could feel more or not.

I just don't know BUT I do know having you out of my life ultimately means I'll never get to explore these feelings any deeper...

Why would I tell you something which would make that happen AND something that's going to hurt you too?"

Asking him to be brutally honest in this case doesn't change anything at all.

You're still stuck waiting because he's not sure yet. You could walk away but that depends how you feel, doesn't it?

If you're madly in love with him, you'll wait longer, if you're not that invested or convinced yourself - you'll walk away without hesitation.

Point is:

 You're both still in the same place except now he's said things which can easily hurt you.

If a guy is not moving forward at a pace you like or feel is right by your timeline, it's not happening and no matter what he says doesn't change the situation.

If it's not happening, then it's not happening.

It's still up to YOU to continue with him or not.

Him telling you he's not sure and why only seems to hurt you unfairly.

The truth:


Very few men know exactly what they want when it comes to a woman.

The have an idea.

They believe one over another.


Until they start FEELING it - they will never be convinced.

AND they can not start feeling it until they've gone there and explored it with you.

Sure, a guy will tell you they're looking for a relationship, to settle down, have children, all the good stuff and then leave you hanging for a while, but that's because they're not sure YOU are the one they want to share it all with.

It's nothing against you.

BUT by merely telling you that only leads to hurt, pain, more uncertainty, drama, and an almost definite path to you erasing yourself from his world.

Just because he's not convinced fully how he feels and by sharing that (sort of) assures he won't be exploring those feelings with you anymore, doesn't it?

Something most good kind decent men will avoid at all costs.

You can not expect any man to know what he wants from every moment in the future and demanding any guy to share that with you is only asking for one thing:

For him to lie to you so he can continue exploring his feelings with you.

Most decent men are not scheming to mislead you or any woman.

Sure it happens but it's not the norm or average. Being played or misled is an aberration which is quite easy to see or spot if you know what to look for.

"Commitment is serious, and it’s impossible for a reasonable man with any integrity or life experience to definitively tell you that he’ll love you forever.

That’s why he’s dating you – to figure out over the next few years whether you’re “the one” before he proposes. Asking – or expecting – your man to make a promise that he can’t keep is essentially asking him to do one of two things:

Lie to you – “Yes, I love you and will never even think of another woman!”

Leave – Because the pressure is too great and it’s not worth his time to put up with someone who makes such unreasonable demands.

You can’t protect yourself from ever being hurt by asking for answers too early.

Do You Want to Learn the Secret to Keeping a Man Interested in You?


This is NOT a male problem. This is a HUMAN thing.

No one could ever convince me that a vast majority of people walking around this planet are fully in touch with their feelings or needs even some of the time.

And if you're not in touch with your feelings or needs, how could you possible communicate them to another and do it in such a way it creates attraction over destroying it; while at the same time risk hurting the other person.

So if he's not in touch with himself, HOW could you expect him to convey or communicate to you in a way which brings you closer, especially when he's not yet convinced he wants you closer.

See the problem?

Men struggle expressing their feelings. 

Matters get worse when those "expressions" can hurt you, push you away, leave him alone, or even make him feel like less of a man for saying or doing what he feels is only coming from his heart.

In conclusion...

Why can’t men just be honest/direct on what they do or do not want?

Guy Secret Not Upfront Dating

Honest and direct is something I try to adhere to myself and often advise others to take the same path, when it's appropriate.

Men are mostly honest with what they want and sometimes even what they're looking for out of life and women.

If you spend enough time with a man you'll get it.

You really will - I promise BUT...

They can not predict their feelings.

Asking a guy to look so far into the future on those terms is no different than asking yourself how you will feel tomorrow or at any time out of the now.

Honesty is one thing but "brutally" honest is another thing entirely.

If any man were to act or speak this way - you won't like the answers and he definitely wont like telling you the whole truth... ever.

Asking a man to tell you these brutal truths in many cases will only make it worse on both of you.

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I'm not saying to put up with the lies - I'm not advocating that men must lie to you...

I'm merely stating a FACT about FEELINGS and ACTIONS.

He FEELS in the moment. He goes from one to the next.

He'll act or take ACTION based on those feelings AFTER he thinks things through a little more; this will happen continually until he's convinced YOU are the right woman for him.

He IS being honest with you when he tells you what he THINKS he wants, but until he experiences the FEELINGS first - the thinking part is not connected to you.

No matter what he says - if he's not moving forward there's many reasons for it:

He's not ready, capable, or convinced it's the right thing to do for him and for you.

He's not feeling it entirely with you - just yet - or maybe ever - but he's not sure how he'll feel tomorrow AND he's not ready to cut it off completely.

He's incapable based on his own hang-ups or past experiences with women and dating and relationships.

He doesn't know HOW to move forward. He's confused. He's worried he'll do it too early or too late. He's unsure what the next step is and he's waiting for you to help him out.

He doesn't really know or understand what he wants. He has the basic stuff down like find a great woman, settle down, start a family - but that's the extent of it all. Wanting it all specifically with you changes everything.

He's doesn't feel financial ready for a real commitment. He hasn't experienced a sense of real freedom, success, or stability in his life and he's waiting for it to happen.


You're not communicating to him in a way which allows it to happen naturally and y continually asking, wondering, or mentioning it - you'll only push him away and not bring him closer.

Making it all so clear how and why a guy can leave you hanging all the time.

It's no secret.

Most decent men are not scheming or plotting against you.

I understand you just don't want to get hurt.

You don't want to waste your time.

You don't want to invest in a future with a guy just to have him bail out on you at the last minute.

And I get that you certainly don't want to be forever stuck dating a guy who is not moving forward.

BUT this NEED to know at every point WHERE it's going or WHERE it's at will almost ALWAYS get in the way of it happening.

It WILL push men away.

They will make you wait longer or leave.

IF a guy is keeping you guessing and not moving forward I can practically guarantee it's because of one of those reasons listed above.

Keep the list close by and refer to as necessary.

ALL the signs will be there.

You won't have to guess anymore because you'll have all you need to make the right decision for you about whether to walk away, stay, change your communication habits with him and helping him see that you truly do get and understand him.

"Make your PRESENT so amazing that he WANTS to have a FUTURE with you.

It’s not about finding out in week 1 whether he wants to live in the city or the country, or hoping he says “I love you” by week 4. Those are things you’ll deal with later."

The Secret to Keeping a Man: Forget the Future, Enjoy the Present

This topic is FAR from closed because it's just too big to put to rest. You can read my earlier post here:

A Few Reasons Why Guys Are Not Always Upfront & Honest In Dating

Thanks for stopping by.

We'll talk again real soon and don't forget to watch the attached promotional video below.

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This article was posted in Dating – Interpretations Of What Went Wrong & How To Make It Right, Read His Mind – What Men Are Really Thinking & How To See His Thoughts, What Guys Want From Women – Their Likes & What They Look For In You

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3 comments… add one
  • Tiffany

    There is a big difference between “I’m not attracted to you” and “you’re not attractive”. The former is speaking to my own attraction and perception of your beauty, the latter is giving a statement of how others would/should perceive your beauty. If I ask a guy what’s going on, I would never interpret “I’m not attracted to you” as “you’re ugly”, nor would I perceive myself as so just because a guy isn’t attracted to me. There are plenty of guys I am not attracted to but who other women would be (as you stated). If a guy got offended by me saying “I’m not attracted to you” because he hears “you’re ugly”, I am not responsible for his perceptions. I am only responsible for the words that leave my mouth. I actually do value honesty with tact. That does not necessarily translate to “a little white lie”.

    • Good points Tiffany and you shouldn’t feel entirely responsible for how others (especially guys who take things way too personal when they’re rejected) perceive what you say. Unless you’re trying to communicate a value or belief you hold. Which in this case is not very relevant.

      The root of the problem (based on my observations of these cases and more) is the “definition” of the words “attractive” and “attraction”. Funny (or sad) how two very similar but different words can vary so much in their meaning from person to person, culture to culture, man to woman. And so how they’re taken or interpreted can also vary so much.

      It’s great to hear you wouldn’t take it so personal or believe you’re ugly just because a man might not be attraction to you BUT that’s just not the case for so many others, is it?

      Now… lots of guys don’t get offended by saying it but from my personal experience – when a woman was not attracted to me and said, “Lots of other women would find you attractive.” – that tended to hurt worst. Maybe it’s a guy thing and we can get deeper into that at some other point. Rejection and how others take it is such an interesting topic. So you know, I’ve covered it extensively for guys in my nice guy tips – feel free to leave your opinion there if you like: Handling Rejection – Never Feel Sorry for Yourself Because You Were Rejected.

      Thanks for sharing – I appreciate it,

  • Antonia

    Hello Pete!! Always appreciating your insights… and this piece really gets me wondering about my situation. I’ve known a guy for 8 months and we are long distance. We have common friends and they know him for many years, they recommend him 100%. It was huge attraction at first sight for both of us. He is very, very dedicated, affectionate, passionate, attentive when I am next to him. But not when I’m away. On our 3rd date he already told me he wants a family with ME and that we should hurry because we are already in our 30s. He makes love to me super passionately and at the end of it tells, “I hope my passion tells you how I feel about you”. He also said, “I want you to fall in love with me”, to which I replied nothing… because in my mind I was thinking “You fool, I fell in love with you madly, months ago!”. Can’t he see it? I’m making so much effort.

    I mostly travel with my job and it’s only me going to his city. I told him he can come visit me as well, but he mentioned his financial problems, which I know he has. He said a few times how he’s having debts and he’s not where he’d like to be financially.

    Now, there are some other things that bother me. He rarely communicates online. I told him that it is one of my basic needs. He said it’s not his style (our friends somehow confirmed it) but then he started surprising me every now and then by initiating chats. He even mentioned “See? I did it, I did that for you”. I told him I was almost certain I should leave him until he did that and he was very upset. He couldn’t believe I wanted to give up on him. He called me ‘evil’ (jokingly).

    Recently he checked on me again and asked when I’m coming over again, as he misses me. I told him I’ll be there soon with my job. It was a very brief business trip but I told him I have some free hours and we can meet – even if it’s just for a drink. He obviously wanted more, he hoped I’d stop by his place. I’d do anything to just see him for 10 minutes if that is all. He said he’d figure out a plan. I trusted he’d do that because he always kept his promises. But then… NOTHING… the days passed and he did not even apologise. He was online, watching my posts, seeing me in his city, but staying silent…

    I am too hurt and too angry. My best friend advised me to remain silent until he contacts me again. I am soo confused… Why would he be so passionate, make himself so vulnerable, take me to meet his mother, talk about a family with me (HE even picked names for our children!), show me to his friends, kiss me in front of everyone, but not give a damn when I sacrifice my time to meet him in his city?

    My birthday is soon and I’m wondering if he’ll ever say anything. He’s a very lazy guy and said so himself. But to me, attraction should eliminate laziness. I’m very lazy yet when I feel it for someone I can go to the moon and back. Am I asking for too much? I’ll be again in his city as I’m going to see my favourite band. I don’t know if he remembers that. Sometimes he remembers all details unbelievably, other times he forgets.

    I am super confused and hurt… No idea what I should do! What is going on with him?

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