Why Do Men Mislead Women?

This week I was asked to answer the following questions: Why do men send signals that make a woman think she’s more important than she is i.e introducing her to his parents. Why do men do that? Is it that they really don’t think it’s a big deal or is it part of some sort of strategy?


I initially planned to explain that men and women interpret actions and words differently. After speaking to a woman on the subject, I realized this wouldn’t take into account men who outright lie. To paint a more complete picture, I decided to approach this question from both sides.

Deceitful Men

A deceitful man will do whatever it takes to get what he wants. The question above asks, “is it part of some sort of strategy” to make a woman think you like her more than you really do. The answer is yes and no.

You don’t have to be much of strategist to make a woman think you like her more than you do. Assuming she even asks, all you have to do is answer her questions correctly. In most cases, there are no questions to answer. If all date plans seem like boyfriend and girlfriend activities, most people think there isn’t anything to clear up. In other words, these men usually deceive through the absence of truth rather than outright lying to you.

This is how a man can strategically end up on a completely different page than the woman. These type of men use the absence of evidence – having never committed to you through words despite their boyfriend-like actions – as the evidence of absence. Further, if someone is going to lie to you even when you openly communicate with them, then what good will talking do? Liars lie, which is why it’s key to point out the subtle differences between deceitful and honest men.

Honest Men

As a man, I admit I usually give men the benefit of the doubt to men. I’m not saying I’m right, but I don’t think most men are out to purposely hurt women. That said, even the actions of “good men” hurt women all the time. You see, even if a good man is considerate enough to tell you the truth upfront, I still imagine having him not feel the same way you feel is no better than having a deceitful man not feel the same way. Poison is poison no matter who gives it to you, but at least in one scenario you know what you’re being served.

Honest men try to strike a balance between doing right by a woman and getting what they want from that woman (sex, relationship, friendship, or whatever). These two goals don’t always align. For example, even a good man might only want sex with no strings attached. The key difference is that an honest man will explain his intentions upfront and at least give the woman an opportunity to agree or disagree to the terms of engagement.

As the relationship progresses, the man might notice that the woman is starting to catch deeper feelings than the original agreement. This is where most men choose to feign ignorance because they are still getting what they want out of the arrangement, especially if the woman doesn’t have the courage (or will) to admit she is no longer happy with the original agreement. Most men wonder, right or wrong, “if I’m perfectly content, then why should I be the one to bring it up?”

Honestly, he has no obligation to but that’s the difference between a good man and men as a whole. A good man accepts that he has to take on more personal accountability than satisfying his own needs. Some would argue that’s just the burden of being a man (This is not to say that women don’t have their own share of burdens, so please don’t falsely accuse or email me to say that. Thanks!). So, how do you tell the difference between an honest man and a deceitful one? 


The Difference Between a Deceitful Man and an Honest Man

The fact of the matter is that most men don’t want to bear a burden greater than themselves. They figure if they provide you with the truth, then you should be able to manage the emotional side independent of them or the status of your relationship together. To be fair, they think this way because that is how men operate. The problem is, as anyone who has interacted with the opposite sex will confirm, men and women don’t think the same way. Furthermore, a friend pointed out to me that many women (and men) will only pay attention to the communication that best aligns with what they want.

This means if his words don’t match his actions, they believe his actions. If his actions don’t match his words, they believe his words. This doesn’t make a lot of sense. You shouldn’t have to pick and choose between the communication style that best fits what you want. His actions and his words should match. There shouldn’t be a great divide between the two that leads to confusion. If you’re confused about your place in a man’s life, your confusion is likely justified.

It should go without saying but communication is key. A good relationship shouldn’t feel like you’re trying to solve the Da Vinci Code. Getting back to the original question, I wouldn’t introduce a random woman to my parents because this particular action means a lot to me (I’m old school). On the other hand, I wouldn’t hesitate to introduce her to my friends because that isn’t as big a deal to me. Another man might feel the complete opposite; maybe the opinions of his friends are more important than his parents. Who knows!

You shouldn’t have to guess your status in a man’s life. This is exactly why should you ask rather than assume. This isn’t a free license to overwhelm the man of interest in your life with questions, but you also shouldn’t be afraid to say what’s on your mind either. However, if you’ve never had a discussion on where you stand, it isn’t safe to assume anything. The fact that he introduced you to his parents (or performed any other number of actions you deem important) only means something if he agrees. For him, it might mean everything or it might mean nothing at all.