Gosh, it’s been a long time since I’ve posted and I’m so sorry — because I have much to discuss — and I’ve had a lot going on in my life and little time to devote to getting all of these thoughts down to share with you. And I’m about to go on holiday with my young ones to a place where signals are weak or nil. So…
I’ve been thinking about all the times in the past few years that I’ve heard a man say, “I’m so immature!” to explain away a verbal gaffe or inappropriate joke he’s made. This seems so common to me, in fact, that I can’t distinguish between those who are simply excusing themselves for a joke in poor taste and those who genuinely mean “I am not capable of a mature relationship.” After all, so many of these men seem to be responsible breadwinners, parents, property owners and the like. They mow lawns, chauffeur children, pay taxes — certainly they must be mature!
I bring this up because I think we women should take heed. We should listen when a man says he’s “sooo immature” or “doesn’t have time” or other verbal cues that let us know he’s not the right man to be in our life right now.
Often — and I’ve observed this both in others and in myself — we women are inclined to respond (even if only in our own minds) with, “you are so!” or “sure you do” or some other protestation. We want to believe he is special, that he is a great guy, that — if he only believed he was worthy — he would be as crazy about us as we are about him.
And so my counsel is to stop with this dialogue (in our heads), shut up and listen. When a man says he is “sooo immature,” he means, “you don’t really want me,” because he’s trying to give you all the reasons he can for you to decide you don’t really like him. Because he really doesn’t want to have to say directly and out loud, “I’m not interested in you.” All this self-deprecation is man speak for no; it’s his way of letting a woman down easy.
So we have to listen carefully to those statements, even though it’s hard. Because we get confused at what seems to be contradictory — especially if we’re in the midwest and it’s socially expected that one will be self-deprecating and the anticipated response to such self-deprecation is always a protest, as in this sort of exchange:
A: Is that a new dress?
B: What, this old thing? I’m sure I’m entirely out of fashion by now!
A: Oh, stop! It looks wonderful on you!
Frankly, men, we’d prefer the directness of, “I’m flattered by your attention, but I’m not interested in a relationship right now.”
Why is this so hard for a man?
Because, dahling, as he’s already stated, “I’m sooo immature!”