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27 Responses to When a man says one thing but does another

  1. Erin says:

    This is wonderful, thank you so much Shana for posting this. I have been dealing with something similar and I really appreciate your insight. Men do indeed say what they really want, even if their actions don’t seem to agree from our feminine “book of definitions” :)
    I needed to draw some healthy boundaries out of respect for myself and my integrity, and have done so. Onward and upward!
    Hugs to you, Erin

  2. Marianne Edelman says:

    I have been dating a man for 6 weeks, not all that long, but I told him up front I was looking for a long-term serious relationship. He said he wanted the same thing. An big issue came up with his 16 year old daughter, and just yesterday, he e-mailed me and said that I was moving too fast and that he only wanted a casual relationship. First I was angry he didn’t even have the courtesy to call and second, I didn’t get an opportunity to decide if I could do the casual thing while he dealt with his daughter. I really care about this man, but am I selling myself short by being so upset by this. I don’t want casual but I understand his family problem and know he probably can’t even deal with a relationship right now. Do I move on or try to repair this relationship? I am so confused, and so are all my friends! No one gets this.

  3. Nadine Oliver says:

    Are you saying that believe what a man says even if his actions don’t seem to support what he says e.g. a man says that he wants a long term relationship but he doesn’t always act like that. Or are you saying only believe what he says if his actions support what he says? Geesh!

  4. Barb Webb says:

    I think it is safe and smart to hold back in the beginning and not jump in too much. A man’s actions will tell the whole story and you don’t have to do a thing. You are the diamond- you are the treasure. When you make him the star, it turns a man off. Let him work for you. Think how you would handle something like this and do the exact opposite. Don’t treat a man exactly how you want to be treated. They are wired differently. Make your time and energy valuable and he will treasure you. Most women act easy and similar to all other women. Be different.

  5. Suzanni says:

    Hi there,

    I found your advice right on Shana! A kiss is just a kiss!( and so forth.) No reading into actions. Saves a lot of time and BS.

    I am interested in your thoughts on Barb’s response post. I agree men and women are wired differently. The advice here feels a little disempowering- act like a treasure, don’t act easy. I think the man and the woman are both (potentially) treasures, and that approaching a relationship should not be an act at all.

    I am practicing letting my current relationship reveal itself in natural time. Just being communicative and being myself. Reaching out when I want to, not when I don’t. Answering the phone when I really want to talk, and not when I don’t. It’s not very dramatic, and only occasionally romantic– but it’s grounding and fun in a sobering way.

    Bon chance to us all. Love, Suzanne

  6. Barb Webb says:

    I like what Suzanne said- to let the relationship reveal itself in natural time. You can’t hurry love.

  7. cathy Sturry says:

    Hi Shanon I’m taliking to someone but i don’t think there is a relationship there because he said one thing then do the opposite. So now i don’t call or text him no more but he still call some times and he will text more than how he calls i am leaning back and watch what is going on. Now Sahnon do you think i shoul let go all together or what do you think this guy is doing, he have’nt said anything and when i ask him what is going on he doesn’t want to say so what kind of mixed signal is he sending.Anxiously await your response. Thank you Cathy

  8. Cathy says:

    Thanks Shanon,

    I also would like to know what to do with men who suddenly become interested again, when you start to move on!

  9. Donna says:

    I like what you said Shanna. I am not young, actually 65 next month. And I’ve been dating a guy for a year after 12 years of not dating after a prior 18 years of dating, and 2 marriages prior to that. What I discovered is that a man is either into you or he is not. And if he is not really into you, dating will be casual. I’ve noticed, too, that women will become more impressed with a man, and give him more of a chance, the more we know that man and respect him. Men rarely find the attraction growing on them, for it is usually right up front with the men I know. It could also be a timing issue, but you won’t help things by being the aggressor. Beware of the one who wants the women to pursue him. He will be easily pursued away from you sometime in the future by someone who might be just a little bit better than you. Keeper men want to be the aggressor and they want the connection on an emotional level.

  10. Shana says:

    Hi ladies,

    Thank you for all of your wisdom and questions. As always there is so much to respond to!

    There is no nice and neat answer to any of this because each man is an individual and we all (men and women) have our share of wounds that cause us to push each other away.

    Nadine, you made a great point. If a man says he wants long-term relationship but is not acting like it or choosing it, I would get curious with him about why his actions and words are not aligned.

    Any time there is a difference between words and actions, if you want to be in a committed relationship with that person, it is important to have an honest conversation about what you both really want. (There is an art to this so a man does not feel blamed or shamed, so that he feels safe to tell you his truth.)

    I do agree with you Barbara that men and women are different and like to be treated differently. And beyond that each of us has individual preferences. I think the seed of truth in that “women are a treasure” is that we as women know how amazing we are, and know that we are not coming from a place of hoping we are chosen, but actually considering whether a man is a right fit for you.

    More later!

    With love,

  11. Charissa Stober says:

    Hi Shana,

    I live in Colorado but have signed up for your emails a long time ago because of a podcast I had signed up for years ago you had been a guest on. I find these videos and blogs truly refreshing and wise. Thank you!

    I’m going through this with a man who has a weird place in my life. We have dated off an on and are now just friends. He has said it and has made it clear that he does not feel that we belong together. In other words, he always breaks up with me in one way or another, but then will appear back in my life again and again. I try to move on – but he continues to contact me randomly and still wants to see me when he visits (he lives in New Mexico)

    I already know the answer to this (he has said what he wants even though his actions contractict) But as a woman, it’s really tough to let go of someone you love and like and care about! This is something I’m working on – trying to set boundaries and hold out for a man who will be authentic and true. But in the mean time, its really really tough and discouraging.
    Thanks for all your advice.



  12. shara ogin says:

    That Was AWESOME.

    I’m in the same boat. I’ll never find a man who will make me important enough. I though I found the man I wanted to marry. He did say he was not able to fulfill my relationship needs. and after getting the email yesterday that he cant find it in his schedule to see me more than 1x/ wk, hard as it is, youre right. Move on. But move onto what?????

    I’ve been here so many times!

  13. Shana says:

    Hi Charissa,

    I totally understand how hard it is to let go of someone you love and care about. Setting boundaries is hard when you don’t know when a man who really is a match will appear.

    Know that letting him go actually creates the space for the right man to show up. And lean on your sisters as you feel through the loss.

    With love,

  14. Shana says:

    Shara –

    Move on to what??? To who??? Who do you want? What is important to you in a man?

    Cathy –

    If a man isn’t willing to talk about the relationship then he won’t be willing to commit and give you his full attention either. I don’t like telling people what to do. I think you have to make the decision on your own. But I’d love to see you with a man who is meeting you. He doesn’t like he is the one!

    Suzanni –

    Losing the drama is powerful and mature! Though I do think you can have romance ;). I am curious what would make it feel more romantic for you. What do you want?

    With love,

  15. Liz says:

    Hello guys,

    I feel that I’ve lived in this life my whole adult life with one man. I saved myself for marriage and at 18 thought I found the only man I would grow old with. I was wrong. I was a traditional girl. He grew up in Australia although we shared similar culture. He promised me the world. Marriage, house, travel ect. but we have in the 25 years now we’ve known each other never been married out of traditional promises, never been romantically alone in another country or even state,and he put out house in his mother’s name which legally means she owns it but he lives in it. We got divorced in 2005 after I directly asked him to marry me and he refused. I have since dated but only sexually got involved with two of them. I was also unfaithful 3 years into our relationship when I found out that I was a rebound to his heartbreak with whom he kept tracing her whereabouts up to only recently. Since the divorce I have been the whore that he has made me out to be and constantly criticizes me. Meanwhile, he says that he no longer loves me in the same way and will never love me the same way again, also tells me that we may have a chance to rectify us if he still has sexual feelings for me and no one else (I don’t believe that for one second. He says that the way to his heart is through sex and I should not destroy that too. I have ended sex at the end of 2010 although he still wants to when he feels the need. I felt used each time after sex and explained myself to him but he doesn’t seem to want to understand.

    I can’t be with a man without integrity or honesty who won’t commit to me emotionally and permanently.

    He wanted to know who I slept with and everything sexual about it but is not willing to divulge the same information when I ask him the same questions.

    My honesty is the reason he still loves me, he says.

    I have since stopped that nonsense but still share a cup of coffee with him when he calls. Nothing more! I’m not involved with anyone else currently and have no desire to but somewhere there is a hope of him saying “Ok, we love each other, let’s commit and start again.” I am aware that that may never be. But what I’m willing to commit to is a man who directly propositions me and opens up his entire past to me ‘good and bad’. I believe that I have the right to weigh up a man’s integrity before I make the same mistakes this time around as I now have children to protect that are females.

    Please give me your opinion or insight into what I’m doing or saying is wrong with the way he perceives me.

    Thank you

  16. Sydney says:

    Thank you. This is amazing. All of your work has been insightful and truly amazing!

  17. Mabel says:


    Letting go and making room for the right one to move into your life does not work. I did that and ended up completely alone FOR NINE YEARS. It wasn’t for lack of trying. There is no one here, I can’t leave because of the economy, and I have nowhere to go anyway. What am I supposed to do, then?

  18. Greta says:


  19. Greta says:

    I have been seeing this guy off and on casually for 5 years. We have an amazing connection. We are best friends and the sexual connection is there. He says he is stupid for messing it up in the past and he regrets doing so because what we has is so hard to find yet he does nothing to even attempt an actual relationship. He is a few years younger and I like to think at maturity. I've told him how I feel. I've asked him to give it a real shot. He agrees then no action is taken. But I am in love with him and he is he only one that appeals to me. Then I'm several weeks well hangout and talk and when we are together it is as if we are dating . Am I delusional? I refuse to give up hope! No one has ever made me feel the way he does and I have had my fair share of experiences. Help! 

  20. Brandy says:

    Ladies thank you for your truths. Liz if I may; I think devulging information of experiences whether past or present outside of your relationship mainly with yourself can have traumatic effects on the wants and changes that we as men and women need. Growing is like the seasons. We may know what there like but sometimes just waiting makes it perfect.

  21. brandy says:

    Help me deal with this. I had a nine year relationship for 9 years. After the first 5 years we split( he cheated,and dealt with the guilt of that by ending us). 8 months later he came clean about the whole thing and we got back together. We got engaged, and started life over. After the good and many bad times he told me he wasn’t in love with me anymore and my daughter and I moved out. He had been a part of my daughters life for 9 years. We had a specific conversation about how he wanted to stay in her life….I hit every point about it and told him if he was going yo make that commitment he needed to stick with it. Well a month later he has not text her back but once. I found out yesterday he has been seeing someone else since our split and will assume with past history this is the reason for him not sticking to his word of not hurting my kid. How do I handle this? I am so angry. I don’t want to rock the boat because we are still settling a ownership of vehicle issue, but we don’t communicate at all unless via text its about some papers. I’m pissed he didn’t follow through on his word that we had a very lengthy conversation about. I will get over my heartbreak but to see him act as if my daughter doesn’t matter after he considered her his daughter for nine years disgust me. How do I handle this anger gracefully before I do something stupid and make a fool of myself?

  22. Laura says:

    Aggh, I’m dealing with a guy that tells me he has no feelings for me, that I’m just a friend. For him to call me and want to hang out and finally admitted that he does have feelings for me but he’s moving to Mexico in a few wks and didn’t want all these emotions. he even finally told me he loved me. The frustrating part is when I tell him how he wants me only when it’s good for him, he turns the tables and tells me I’m the one that pursued him and brought him to my house, etc. grrrr. Why can’t he take responsibility for his actions, it’s always my fault. I have been told by his friends that he’ll be back for me he just has to go on this adventure. So I’m trying to let him go but it’s hard when I have limited time left to spend with him. Should I take his phone calls and texts or cut it off and let him go to mexico with out a goodbye. He told me he had a surprise for me before he left so that’s killing me!!

  23. Angela says:

    Hello, I’ve added a link from my site to yours as I like what you had to say! Genie

  24. Shellfish says:

    I recently had an experience with a separated man. He told me things like I was his goal, his future. But his actions appear to indicate he is not in a hurry to finalise his divorce. He has children from that relationship and therefore has to keep in contact with his ex.

    Then some other woman showed up at his doorstep claiming to have had his child. I was immediately pushed to the side so to speak.

    It pretty much told me just how insignificant I was in his life.

    I know we clicked and got along very easily but I just can’t rely on him.

    That was 2 months ago and I recently got an email saying he wanted to catch up with me “even if we can’t be together” he just wants to see me again.

    This is difficult for me because I did come to love him deeply.

    I understand that circumstances can change things but the quick response I got really made me feel so low and basically relegated me to the dog house in his family unit.

  25. Share says:

    I’m dealing with a man that texts I loves you’s and I miss you but when he makes plans he breaks them I almost never see him

  26. Jay says:

    I’ve been dating this guy for a month, and yes, we rushed things, but both decided to do so. Everything was great. I got the good morning and good night texts and phone calls when he got out of work and during his lunch break. Well, not sure what happened, but they’ve slowed down a lot. We don’t text through out the day like we were, he doesn’t call me when he gets out of work. We still see each other and spend time together, and we are still exclusive, but I’m not sure what happened. And I don’t want to bombard him with questions and ruin anything. But it’s driving me crazy. I don’t know what to do. Help!

  27. Jill says:

    Very confused. I have a friends with benefit type relationship with my male best friend which I am more than ok with but He now has a long distance relationship that is “Facebook official”.. What is the point of portraying a serious relationship when obviously there is a lack of respect for her? He tells me it’s not a big deal and he is never getting married again or moving. So why do this to get? So her is a prime example of his words not jiving with his actions. His words obviously have to be lies to her.


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