What Are Men Really Thinking? These 10 Things

Recently, one of my followers on Twitter requested an article on “What men are REALLY thinking” — or, as she put it, “men are all different but what opinions / hardwiring is alike.”

As a man for many years, and a man who’s facilitated groups of other men’s in deep discussions for some time now, I have a few things to say on this topic.

Here they are:

(Note: this list is not exhaustive, and not representative of all men.)

  1. He’s amazed at how good you look, but he doesn’t want to be seen as a ‘street harasser.’ He wants to meet you, but doesn’t want to hassle you. He doesn’t want to be slapped with a sexual harassment lawsuit. (Or slapped, period.) He doesn’t want you to call the cops on him. He doesn’t want to be shamed in public, or on the internet. He doesn’t know how to approach you in public a calm, confident way, and say exactly the right thing so that you don’t feel threatened. He’s profoundly stifled by social convention. He feels isolated in a bubble of his own social awkwardness. This isolation causes loneliness, anger, and in some cases, rage. He’s experiencing a lot of frustration at seeing you, but being unable to connect with you. One coping mechanism he might adopt is to simply stop “seeing you” in the street. You, in turn, might start to feel invisible to some men. This is just one of the many processes by which the isolation that exists in our culture increases.
  2. He wants to settle down with a family. Not all men do, and not all right away, but eventually most men do want a long-term, stable relationship…and yes, many men do want kids. So don’t get sucked into thinking “all men are dogs” and just want to sleep around as much as possible. (Yes, part of them wants that too — but luckily, that part of them doesn’t rule their minds…usually.)
  3. He’s thinking about how much he wants intimacy, not just sex. Although you won’t hear men bragging about this in all-male environments, their hearts are just as tender, deep and vulnerable as women. Sometimes he just wants to be held. Sometimes he just wants to hold you. Sometimes he just wants to sit on the beach with you and drink coffee in silence while listening to the timeless crash of the surf and the lonely gulls.
  4. He’s just thinking about how grateful he is to have you in his life. You might catch this look out of the corner of your eye sometimes.
  5. He’s thinking “How can I get some alone time?” And it has nothing to do with you. It’s not personal. Men just need to chill for a bit and have alone time. Actually, the more regularly your man gets out on his own in Nature (or with a few buddies) the better it will be for the both of you long-term.
  6. He’s thinking that he’d love to sleep with you one more time. No matter how many years it’s been since you were together. (He’s learned some tricks since then.)
  7. He’s thinking about having sex with your best friend(s), sister, mother, aunt, niece. Relax, it doesn’t mean anything. (If you’re honest with yourself, you’ll admit the same.) We’re all human, we think about getting freaky pretty regularly.
  8. He’s thinking about his mission or Purpose in life — because it’s more important than you, and if you’re honest with yourself, you prefer it this way. Would you rather your man be Elon Musk, or give up his potential to be Elon Musk because he wants to pander to you all day? On a superficial level, you might be attracted to the idea of a man waiting on you hand-and-foot…but that’s just a fantasy, and we all have fantasies we don’t really want to come true. What you might actually enjoy is a man who waits on you sometimes, but you’d never respect him as your primary Man if that was all he was about. 
  9. He’s thinking he doesn’t ever want to speak to you again. (And that’s why he’s not returning your calls or texts.) As harsh as that sounds, sometimes it’s just the truth. Men can get just as hurt as women, but rather than raging or screaming or crying, most men will take the wound inside and shut down outside. It may be a while before a man is able to heal himself enough to accept contact with you again. It may not happen in this life. Or, it may. No way to tell until it happens.
  10. He’s wondering why his motorcycle won’t start.  His mind is on other things. It’s not about you. He’s in his own Universe, ruminating on his own empire. Can you join him in there? Nope. It’s his Universe. Right now, he’s working. The best thing for you to do is go do something else that you enjoy. And don’t worry. He’ll come back to you. He always does.

By the way, if you’re an aspiring Fierce Lady and want to meet others, and you’re in the San Francisco Bay Area, register here to get an invitation to our in-person meetings, workshops and soirees.

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Also published on Medium.

10 Comments What Are Men Really Thinking? These 10 Things

  1. Alicia G.

    #3 is soooo hard to believe, but only because guys seem to be afraid to show that side of themselves even to their girlfriends and wives. Why is it seen as a weakness for a guy to express this, especially in those all-male environments?! It seems like all of those scenarios that you mentioned have the potential of ending up with sex, and even if they don’t, that’s what we think you were after the whole time… our brains see romance and think “he wants sex” … but if it were more socially acceptable for guys to be intimate and vulnerable, maybe that knee jerk reaction could be changed over time?

    Reply
    1. Drew

      Oh, believe it. I do think some guys are more open about this side of themselves (wanting intimacy) with their intimate partners, especially as trust grows over time. As for the rest of us, I’m leading the charge for men to be open and up-front about their need for intimacy.

      Reply
    2. A

      Nope, as a guy I can tell you that #3 is definitely true. The only thing I don’t do is #7. (some of us over the years stop the habbit of letting our minds drift to other women)

      Reply
    3. A

      I think a lot of books about romance (i’ve read a few that are tailored to a female audience) potray all men in a negative light, like “men want sex and women want love”, so even when we do want intimacy, I think women interpret it as “he just wants to get into my pants” and become distant. It takes a while for them to put us into the “trust” category. I guess I don’t blame women, many men are horndogs, so it’s hard to distinguish who’s what. As a guy, I almost always know when a guy is in “player” mode or when he really likes a girl, but girls don’t really have a clue. Of course I too want to get into her pants and f her brains out, it’s just that that is one of the things I want. I also want to hold hands and go for long walks, go on bike rides, have coffee and chill for a while, go to the beach. To be honest, if I love a woman, I’d be ok doing just the latter even if she wasn’t DTF.

      Reply
  2. Jillian Randal

    It’s really easy to forget that men “feel” and “think” at all. I don’t mean that to sound harsh or rude, only to acknowledge that we (women) frequently dismiss what might be going on inside our man’s head. It may be stereotypical, but we just assume you’re thinking of food, sex, sleep, or cars. Thanks for shining a light on some deeper thoughts that hide behind those eyes that we love so much.

    Reply
  3. Shandra O.

    Okay, so the list made me chuckle, but is also a pretty impressive peek into the wheels spinning in the male mind.

    My humble feedback on #4 is for you, fierce gentlemen of the world, to step outside of your comfort zone and SPEAK these words to your partner from time to time. We all secretly (and sometimes not so secretly) hope that you are feeling that way about us, but please don’t force us to rely on those stolen glances to feel your grateful appreciation. Don’t be fake, don’t overdo it, but don’t be afraid to voice your gratitude either.

    Reply
    1. Drew

      Agreed Shandra. Men need to speak and be verbally appreciative of their ladies! In fact, depending on which “love language” she likes, it may also be a gesture, act of service, gift or physical expression of affection. Thanks for commenting.

      Reply
  4. Vikranth

    Dear Andrew, I must say again, i appreciate all your great articles including this one.
    It really answered all my questions inside my head helped me feel satisfied to know at last, that i was’nt wrong at all when i was going through such situations. Thank you once again. I feel much lighter now.

    Reply
    1. Andrew

      Glad to hear it Vikranth! It’s easy to sometimes feel alone but the truth is, the more private our concerns, the more broadly-felt they usually are. Thanks for commenting.

      Reply

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