Single Black Male: Why Do Men Mislead Women?

August 13, 2012  |

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?

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  • Gemma

    I agree with elements of your article but i think you neglect a lot of factors that confront women. Firstly asking a guy where ‘the relationship is heading’ can be a huge turn off and is why a lot of women are reluctant to do so. Secondly i object to your point that ‘introducing a girl to his parents can mean something totally different to other guys’ – i think its a universal fact that this kind of behaviour signifies something more than just friends and therefore while it may mean different things to different guys its unreasonable to shift the blame onto the woman by asserting she is meant to question it. Lastly, sleeping with a girl when you know you are not on the same page as her is all fundamentally wrong. Even if there is no discussion on where the relationship is heading but the guy knows the woman is emotionally attached and is under the impression the relationship has substance, exploiting the latter point so he can have sex is morally wrong the same way a girl using a guy for his money (whether they are dating or not dating) is morally wrong.

  • applesauce585

    My brothers, uncles and male cousins always say “men are honest, but sometimes don’t tell the truth, but we always gonna be “honest”, WTF….I told em y’all full of sh*t…….LOL

  • cheekee baby

    First red flag, a 30 year old involving himself with a 21 year old. Now it ten years time that nine year age difference may not be such a big deal, but it is when you are just 21 dating someone for all intents an purposes is a fully grown adult. Second, not once did you say there was anything in particular about his personality that you liked. You liked what he had what he drove how he looked that’s it. Third, why are you going to wait until he contacts you? What is the point in that? On some level in some way you are entertaining the notion of still dating him. Which brings me to my fourth point, he knows 21 year old little girls are easily wowed and impressed with basic common courtesy date etiquette which is why he chose you even though his butt is newly married.

    Do not go out with him again. Do not entertain his texts, calls, IMs, Facebook notes because he will try to contact you. Date men who are open and honest with you and who are more close to your age and situation in life.

  • Two Cents Worth

    I can truly appreciate well-written articles like this one MN! It gives great insight from the male perspective and helps us mother’s who have sons to raise alone get a better idea of what men actually are thinking. I think honesty between 2 people is always the best policy and I instill that into my son. It’s bad karma to intentionally deceive someone into believing something false to get what you want from them. Eventually, it comes back to you and sometimes worse than you can handle. So whether you see yourself as a ‘good man’ or a ‘deceitful man’, try to think of how it would feel if the tables were turned and the female was doing it to you.

  • rock

    A Woman will tell a man the answers to all hers questions, her perspective on her concerns and then be enchanted because he agrees with and understands her. Whether the guy is sincere or not, time will tell. One thing is for sure, when a guy says he’s not interested in a relationship or something serious, its a statement not a challenge.

    • cheekee baby

      Your last sentence is dead on. I would have saved myself a whole lot of heartache had I taken their words to heart.

  • BeBe

    This is extremely sad, I mean the programmed belief that this is truth for every man and that to camouflage the inadequacies of low-self esteem. I asked a man once to truly search himself and then agree if these mind games is how he really believes himself to be and the answer was no-not-at-all. this man was my son, you see I know as a mother I raised him to be respectful toward women; now if the world conditioned him differently (which in this case that’s what I believe) than he must separate and be his own man even if that means he’s not a bro-man in the eyes of his fellow man.

  • kelseydr

    Ouch! I think you have made an effective decision before you got so emotionally involved and comfortable in a dead-end situation. Kudos to you!

    • Yes we no longer talk I deleted his number!His wife is so pretty and seems very in love wouldn’t want to do that but sadly he will continue to cheat on her Smh

  • FStubbs

    I’ve had women mislead me about what we were and where we were headed. Invariably it was always “the friend zone”. This brother has probably never had that problem, though.

  • bluekissess

    Ouch! This type of truth hurts. A women is in a lose lose situation. I think women all want the “honest man” but, his honesty isn’t attached to him liking you or wanting to be with you. It’s more of the woman’s choice. And men say women are difficult

  • DeepThinker

    I had a guy that told me upfront that he wasn’t looking for anything serious, but he would always do really nice things for me. Get my car fixed, buy me things and take me on nice trips. Even though he told me what he wanted (a casual dating not-exclusive relationship) I still got confused at times because he was spending a lot of his time and $ on me. I thought I was putting it on him so good, that he was “changing” his mind. Even when I discovered I wasn’t the only one I still could not be mad at him because he treated me so well when he was with me. His generosisty was just the way he was it did not mean he was in love. I guess I got a little excited, because I was not used to a man treating me so well. Lesson learned.

  • I met this guy through my mom.From what she told me he was nice looking, had a nice car, good job, and just a God fearing respectful man.He’s 30 and I’m 21.Well after texting,talking on the phone and exchanging pictures for about a week we finally met.He wanted to take me on a date to a fancy restaurant overlooking the Chicago skyline.He was so sophisticated the way he walk talk and so handsome and such a gentlemen he wouldn’t let me open the car door or any door he opened it for me.We went to a blues’ lounge instead because the restaurant was to crowded.We had drinks and ate and talked.He asked me why I was single…I asked him and he said that “I be so busy working the night shift that I haven’t had time to really date”.We walked out arm in arm because I was a lil tipsy lol.He dropped me off home and walked me to the door.I always Google guys or search them on Facebook before I go out with them…I couldn’t find him the 1st time but something made me search again and Bingo!His behind is a newlywed!I was so hurt that I deleted his number and all the calls and texts. I really liked this guy we had so much in common the chemistry was great but ain’t no way I’m trying to compete with his wife!I haven’t heard from him in 3 days going on and he doesn’t know that I know he’s married.The only way I can contact him is via Facebook unless he contacts me 1st.I don’t know what to do I never been in this situation before.

  • Hmmmmm

    This is horrible. All over the place and not accurate where it needs to be.

  • Nope

    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.”

    This is pretty much the first thing that came to mind after first reading the question. Women tend to think and believe whatever is the most emotionally satisfying to them at a given moment.

    • Kayo

      You mean, women who you have known.

      • Nope

        Um, of course. There’s never an all of anything. But I think this holds true for most women. Most women go for whatever is the most emotionally expedient.

    • cheekee baby

      This isn’t a woman phenomenon, this is a people thing. We all want to hear and see and believe what we want to. What goes hand in hand with what we want.

  • Adrina

    “His actions and his words should match.” < and if it don't, I'm out.
    A guy mislead me once even after I gave him the opprotunity to come clean about if he wanted this other chic. Long story short, she dogged him out (after she mislead him that they will be together when he move 15 hrs away), spent all his money,and sent him packing. Then talk about his regret of not choosing me.
    Moral of the story: What goes around, comes around. So if you trying to scheme and "lie by omission" to get what you want, it will surely come back to you.

    • Two Cents Worth

      Very true. Additional words of wisdom to us single women: Know what you want (or need) before you go rushing into a relationship with these men. Take your time and really look at what you want versus what the other person has to offer you. If his answers or actions don’t add up, then you can make better choices. Of course, some men are very good at these mind games and you may still make mistakes, but you will learn from your mistakes. I have learned that by being friends and having more conversations with no sex involved helps to weed out the deceitful ones quite easily. After 30 days (sometimes less), I am able to clearly understand where the man is coming from. Without sex, you have more clarity and are able to think more clearly about what the other person is all about. It allowed me to be more objective, therefore I make better decisions for myself – not the other person. Good luck ladies!

  • SapphireKharyzma

    It’s nice to see a man’s perspective! Even better when –now, things begin to make sense. Men think black & white — completely blind to the 50 shades of gray that exists in between. Communication is always key and too me — without it, there literally isn’t anything to be said. And if that’s the case, what’s the point? Relationships will always be a “two sides of the coin” kind of thing…but if men continue to think that a woman’s intuition automatically equals “psychic” — then the problem will always exist.

    • Nope

      I also think a lot of women like the grey area because they avoid direct and flat out rejection, which every woman fears.

      • SapphireKharyzma

        Not all women avoid direct contact! I prefer to lay it all out and avoid the BS but then you find grown men — who rather avoid communicating — for whatever reason — and this has nothing to do with a woman’s fear of rejection??? Both men and women — equally fear rejection!!!

        • Nope

          There’s never an all of anything, but I think in general, yes most women avoid direct contact if rejection is possible. Women are terrified of rejection. Men honestly don’t know what to do with emotions most of the time, and when you’re dealing with women you’re going to be dealing with a lot of (her) emotions. Sometimes we do and say whatever it takes to keep women stable and quiet.

      • FStubbs

        Men want to avoid rejection, too. Some women don’t want a defined relationship.

      • cheekee baby

        Women don’t fear rejection anymore or less than men.

  • If introducing a lady to my parents is what will get me YOU KNOW WHAT, I’ll do it fast.

    • bits


    • kelseydr

      you’re a great example of a deceitful man…. I’m sure if you told women that’s what your goal was you’d be so single and lonely.

  • Kitty

    Great breakdown!!! Thanks MN what would I do with out you.