Advice For Young Men – Translating Womanspeak

In this latest installment of my continuing relationship advice series I thought we’d examine some of the mysteries of female verbal communication for the benefit of the hordes of clueless men out there.

For newer readers you can check out some of my previous advice columns here, here and here.

You see fellas, understanding the subtleties of womanspeak and picking-up on what she means vs. what she actually says are essential skills for any man hoping to maintain a relationship with a lady while managing to stay sane and alive.

It won’t take long after the start of your first serious relationship to discover that women are much more complex beings than we men.

A visual representation of the difference between men and women

Eventually if you make it far enough together she’ll either get fed up of you being clueless or realize on her own that you’re human and can’t read minds.

If you make it to that point you can turn off your spidey senses and breath a sigh of relief. She’ll simply tell you exactly what’s on her mind and you can react accordingly; or at least you will if you know what’s good for you 😉

In the meantime here are 6 of the most commonly used confusing non-literal female statements, along with an explanation of what they actually mean:

“You don’t need to get me anything”

Whether it’s in response to, “What do you want for your birthday?” or “I’m picking up food on the way home, can I pick you up something too?” – remember that the key word in this phrase is NEED.

No you don’t NEED to, but you bloody-well better, or else.

Seriously, probe a little deeper until she gives you a concrete answer or a definite no. If it’s for food, even if she says “no”, you know damn well that she’s going to eat half of yours when you get home and she suddenly realizes from the delicious smells that she’s hungry too. Conclusion? Just get extra.

Note: for birthday gifts “No” is never an option. If she doesn’t offer suggestions, that means she wants you to work for it.

In this case pay attention to the subtle (or not-so-subtle) hints she drops for about 90 days beforehand. If all else fails ask her sister, her Mom, or one of her close friends.

“I’ll be ready in five minutes”


Take a deep breath and just accept it: you’re going to be late.

Image courtesy of stockimages at

The trick to getting out the door on time is to take into account the extra time a women needs to get ready. Figure this one out my friend and you are a relationship Jedi Master.

For everyone else, I suggest telling her you need to leave 30-45 minutes earlier than you actually do and then adjust accordingly for future outings based on the results.

In fairness though, a woman’s “I’ll be ready in 5 minutes” is about the same as a man’s “I’ll be home in 5 minutes.”

Calculating how long it will actually be is similar to converting from Celsius to Fahrenheit. Basically whatever the amount of time given, just add 15 and then double it 😉

“Is THAT what you’re wearing?”

Usually heard when heading out on a date or to some social event together.

Note: This is not an actual question. It is her way of indirectly telling you she won’t be caught dead out in public with you if you’re going to leave the house dressed like a rodeo clown.

And just think, all those years before her, when you actually thought you could dress yourself…tsk…tsk.

On this one you should give her the benefit of the doubt because let’s face it, women generally have a much better sense of fashion than most guys.

I know this for a fact because I have seen otherwise sane and reasonable male friends show up to church ceremonies like baptisms and christenings wearing cargo shorts and a hoodie.

Also, it’s a good idea to let her think she’s winning once in a while 😉

“Go ahead, do whatever you want”

This is not permission, this is a test, or perhaps even a dare.

Proceed with EXTREME caution.

“Correct me if I’m wrong”

Watch out: IT’S A TRAP!!!!!

You do remember the first rule of relationships, right?

  1. She is NEVER wrong!

Try to correct her? Oh man don’t go there!

Put it this way, you may as well try telling her to “Just calm down” the next time she’s upset too 😀

In either case it may be the closest you ever get to witnessing thermonuclear in person.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

“Nothing’s the matter”

Even men with limited relationship experience know that this means the exact opposite.

And we guys know that a quiet man is a content man.

But a quiet women? Well, she’s probably plotting her revenge.

So if she stays silent it is safe to assume that you are in deep doo-doo.

The same goes for “Fine”, “Whatever”, and “Wow”. You hear any of these? Just know that you are in serious peril and should consider temporarily relocating ASAP.

That’s all for this time – you’re welcome gentlemen 😉

For my next installment I’ll be giving the ladies a voice by turning the tables and exposing some of the not-so-logical things we men say and do.

And ladies, if you’ve got any suggestions…now’s the time.

Need advice about your relationships, real or imaginary? Then reach out with your questions to The Advice Guy via email at:

adviceguy2016 at gmail dot com

All inquiries will be kept anonymous, unless of course they have the potential to be really embarrassing, in which case all bets are off.

About Norm 3.0

World’s youngest grumpy old man & heart failure wonder boy. Interests: writing, woodworking, photography, travel, tennis, wine, and I know a bit about power tools.
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51 Responses to Advice For Young Men – Translating Womanspeak

  1. Amy says:

    This is so hilarious! And quite accurate! 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  2. joey says:

    Hahaha! definitely for young men. Oh if we knew then what we know now, eh?
    I’m always waiting on my husband to leave the house. Like, I’m in the car because I couldn’t stand tapping my feet at the door anymore! Hehe!
    We don’t buy gifts for birthdays, holidays, but we do just buy something whenever for one another and he’s terrible at it and he’s learned that flowers, beverages, and ice cream are the safe bets.
    But this — “Fine”, “Whatever”, and “Wow” — oh yeah, that’s me. Absolutely. Just thinking about times I said that, I can visualize his snarl. LOL

    Liked by 2 people

    • Norm 2.0 says:

      Thanks Joey. We don’t do gifts for the holidays either but birthdays and anniversaries always get celebrated.
      I probably use fine or whatever more than my wife. Usually not because I’m upset as much as I get to a point where the subject being discussed doesn’t matter to me and it’s time to move on. It means whatever she decides is fine, I just want us to stop talking about it 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Irene says:

    Oh, my! You are one very brave and intelligent man, Norm. Thanks for the laugh. 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  4. spanishwoods says:

    Very funny 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Loved it all, Norm, although there is another one my brother told me about which is “Does this outfit make me look big?” I’ve no idea how he answered that one, but the fact he couldn’t go to the football game the following Saturday may have answered the question.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Norm 2.0 says:

      Yes indeed Hugh what you describe is the old ‘I’m going to ask your opinion but I only want the truth if you’re sure I’m gonna like it’.
      That one happens often in MANY households 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Maggie says:

    Great and accurate list, although my husband is much slower getting ready. Our worst is always the conversation resulting from deciding on menus or restaurants. My parents had it right. Cook and serve — no questions asked. Have a great day!

    Liked by 3 people

  7. lindasschaub says:

    This was funny Norm and I’m going to return and read your other posts you referenced another time. A woman with a sense of humor can chuckle at these comments and not get her feathers ruffled. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Aimer Boyz says:

    If anyone (male or female) tells me to, “Just calm down”, I have to take a deep breath… because I want to punch them 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Hihih, you did a fine job with these, Norm. I have just read them aloud to amore and I saw it in his eyes how much he agreed with most of them. However: In Italy “Is that what you are wearing” loses meaning because Italian men actually know how to dress. 😉 “Do whatever you want” and “Calm down” are amore’s favourite things to say to me. No comment… As for “Wow”, I heard it from your Honey’s mouth myself several times and it’s not how you describe it. 😉 It was the sign of enthusiasm and wonder!

    As for what men say… Ohhh. There is an entire ocean. However, I don’t wish or know how to repeat any of it. Hhaha! It’s mostly technical. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Norm 2.0 says:

      Fashion and Italy go hand in hand so I’ll give you that one. The wows you heard from my wife were all in their proper non-sarcastic form. Luckily for me, enthusiasm and wonder are emotions that she continues to hang on to. This is one of the many reasons I love her so much.
      In fairness to the ladies I’ll have a few things to say about us men in the next installment. No, it won’t be pretty but hopefully it will be funny 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Funny stuff. Like several women have commented, I’m not the one making us late. In fact, both of us are pretty good about getting ready on time… it’s the half hour we then spend trying to find keys, sunglasses, etc. that makes us late. And, “don’t buy me a gift” means just that.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Dan Hen says:

    The ” Is that what you’re wearing ?” has morphed years ago into just a subtle look . Nothing needs to be said. I have to ask , then , what needs to be changed and I almost always go change . One must choose one’s battles .

    Liked by 2 people

  12. julieallyn says:

    “You don’t need to get me anything” – um, yeah. Spot on.

    “I’ll be ready in five minutes” – have to differ with you on this one, Norm. Husband has not a CLUE what it means to hustle….

    “Is THAT what you’re wearing?” – LOL. Love the last line in this one. Otherwise, pretty darn close!

    “Go ahead, do whatever you want” – yup.

    “Correct me if I’m wrong” – Hubs and I are constantly circling each other on this one. 🙂

    “Nothing’s the matter” – nailed it. Case in Point: Fine.

    Fun read!

    Liked by 2 people

  13. LOL! This was a fun read Norm.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Oh my, you are treading on thin ice, my friend… 😊

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Thanks for the wry smiles, Norm. I’m guilty as charged. 🤣

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Almost Iowa says:

    In fairness though, a woman’s “I’ll be ready in 5 minutes” is about the same as a man’s “I’ll be home in 5 minutes.”

    And both equate to “Yeah, yeah, I’ll get to it later.”

    Well done, Norm.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Norm 2.0 says:

      Thanks. And isn’t that the point of good communications? When a man says he’ll get to it, ladies don’t need to keep asking him about for six months 😉


  17. Lynn says:

    Thanks for the morning chuckle this morning Norm😂. Although I admit it takes me longer than my husband to get ready after a shower, it is never me who causes us to be late. I am usually waiting in the car while my dear husband is checking to make sure the stove is off for the 10th time & the doors are locked (oh wait, did I check that one). Once out the door, a final check on the garage door & the additional car in the driveway (insert eye roll & sarcasm)!

    Liked by 4 people

    • Norm 2.0 says:

      OMG Lynn I think you just described my Dad! It was so bad that at one point that any time he asked if we’d remembered to lock/close a door we’d automatically say “No, I left it wide open so strangers can come and steal all your stuff while we’re gone!”
      Of course this would just make him go back in and check it again 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Sheree says:

    Norm, this did make me laugh. However, I should add that my husband is exempted from buying me any presents as it’s so not one of his (few) competencies. I’m always ready in five minutes or less. I hate to be late for anything, on the other hand my husband’s five minutes is always much longer. He also takes much more luggage on holiday than I do. Otherwise……….

    Liked by 1 person

    • Norm 2.0 says:

      Thanks Sheree. Yes I here that some fellow just never get the hang of choosing good gifts; that’s too bad 😦
      The luggage on holiday is one that both my wife and I are getting great at. Our last big trip was 16 days overseas and we managed with 2 carry-on bags each.


  19. What an enjoyable way to start my day, Norm! Or is it? Am I really angry at this post? Who knows? I do know however that in this family, I’m the one ready early. But what my husband does is after I get everything ready for us to go (while he does other things or sits around), he’ll then pop up, grab his jacket (if it’s cold), and say “Are you ready?” as if I were the one who’d been malingering! 🙂

    As for birthdays, there’s really very little I want OR need these days, which is a true blessing. Last Friday on my birthday, we toured the Frank Lloyd Wright house and studio and went out with friends for dinner. Perfect.


    Liked by 2 people

  20. Dan Antion says:

    The difference between wives and mothers in the absence of a question: “You are NOT wearing that!” becomes “is that what you’re wearing?” You’d think by now I’d know how to dress myself.

    Great advice, Norm.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Norm 2.0 says:

      Thanks Dan. Though I will still ask her opinion I rarely get anything but the thumbs up sign. I figure that by now if it don’t know how to dress myself I’m pretty much a lost cause.

      Liked by 2 people

  21. Ally Bean says:

    Insightful. Of course except for the ‘5 minutes’ one I deny ever saying any of the above. After reading this I kind of think I need to up my miscommunication game. Why speak clearly when I can speak in code? 🙄

    Liked by 2 people

  22. Who knew there was a ‘Norm Landers’ lurking behind our Thursday Doors Leader. 🙂 The one I’m never guilty of is the ‘…be ready in 5 minutes’ because I’m usually early. But, the one that I am guilty of quite often is ‘…that what you’re wearing.’ I’ll try to do better, but don’t count on it because I didn’t actually get a gift on my last birthday, and everything that always goes wrong is my fault. So, I’m still holding a grudge. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Norm 2.0 says:

      I think we all get better as we get older, except perhaps for guys who don’t know how to dress for the occasion. We will always need your gentle reminders and guidance on that one 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  23. scooj says:

    Ha, you are a brave man to publish this! I woudn’t dare.

    Liked by 4 people

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