Ladies: If there's ever been anything about men you've wanted to know but were afraid to ask, or wanted a male viewpoint on a certain relationship niggle you're going through, drop an email to us at todger dot talk at googlemail dot com. Every week, we shall pick one out and answer it to the best of our capabilities.
Gentlemen: We would very much appreciate your input, so the comments section of each Something For The Ladies post will be yours and yours alone for 24 hours. In other words, all female comments will be deleted. Sorry ladies, but in this case we'd be very grateful if you'd hush those sweet keystrokes and let the chaps have their say. Just for today, though.
This week's question...
K from Estonia writes: I have a question for you. I met this guy – we did a project together at the uni - and we clicked really well and started talking about other things than homework. One day he asked me out. And then again. And when we were on our second date at a fancy restaurant, I was carried away by the moment and I told him that I feel like I can tell him anything. Surprisingly, he closed up immediately and could only manage a few grunts, so I suggested let’s get the bill. That was the end of the budding relationship. From then on, he distanced himself. Was it really that clingy of me to say that I feel like I can tell you anything? Was it me and do all men run for the hills, if something like that is said on the second date? Or was it just that this particular guy has issues? I’m at a loss. So please enlighten me.
Sam says: Oh dear. The first thing is that men really don’t want to hear ‘I feel like I can tell you anything’ on a date. What we really want to hear (though won’t readily admit it) is you to whisper in our ear ‘you are so hot, I can’t wait for dessert - let’s just go straight home now’.
Generally men are not really thinking about emotional connection on the second date. They are thinking about sex. To most men, your words translate as ‘I I feel like I can tell you anything, which means you are going to be a great friend - which means no sex, or I think you’re gay, or, even worse, you're going to spend lots of time listening to my stories about shagging other men and how heartbroken I am’.
If he was really smart, he might have realised that when women connect to someone emotionally, that’s what actually turns them on. I personally suspect that if he had just bitten his tongue you might have been pretty keen to go home with him that night.
For future reference, bear in mind men that connect emotionally through sex, so you telling him this after a session is going to go down a lot better. Advice for the future – shag a man first before you tell him you feel like you can tell him anything. The whole friend-trap issue is over and he’ll probably be thinking ‘ace, that means even more sex!’.
'Mr Sex' says: OK, first off, you've done nothing wrong; 'I feel I could tell you anything' is a lovely thing to say, and, to a man of the world such as I, is a complete green-light to move things to the next level. When you're as callow and unexperienced as this chap here, however, such a comment is absolutely loaded with badness; when you're as green as he, you're wondering what that 'anything' could be. You're in an al-Qaeda cell? You're a pre-op transexual? You've already been had by everyone else over the SU pool table and you're wondering who the father of your unborn child is?
Even worse, when a woman says 'I could tell you anything', it absolutely screams 'COMMITMENT!' in 50-foot lettering, and implies that he should be telling her anything as well. And when - like virtually all Uni lads - you've spent practically all your time reinventing yourself and building up an impenetrable front of coolness and sophistication in order to disguise the fact that your Mam was still doing your tea and picking your pants off the floor not so long ago, an invitation to drop the guard and be yourself again is a scary one.
Next time the situation arises, take the following advice; instead of saying 'I could tell you anything', why not, I dunno...tell him anything? That way, you subtly open him to new levels of mental intimacy without throwing down a massive gauntlet.
Gentlemen of TT: comment!