I used to hate the word Fine. This was before I learned that it means something completely different for men than it does for women.
The truth is, I have ended more relationships over the word Fine than I would like to admit.
I remember numerous arguments I had with men I was dating, all because I did not understand how they communicated.
Things would be going great, and then suddenly, he would shut down or become distant. I would be certain that something had happened between the two of us that caused him to retreat into silence.
I’d convinced myself that I had done something wrong to cause the shift. I would be confused in those moments, going over the day and wondering what I could have done or said. Coming up empty-handed, I began probing him for answers to why he was quiet and seemed mad.
The only response I got was, “I am good; nothing is wrong” Those statements brought no comfort to my insecurities and over-analytical mind.
I desperately wanted him to open up to me and share his thoughts or feelings. I didn’t trust that he was truly ok; in fact, I thought he was hiding his true feelings.
The more I pestered him to tell me what was wrong, the further the emotional distance between us grew. The tension would finally break when he had enough of me asking, and a fight would break out.
Men Are Literal
What I didn’t realize is that men (unlike women) are generally very literal when they communicate with us. They say exactly what they feel and think. And the biggest revelation to me was this: They rarely, if ever, have hidden meaning to their words.
Men Need Space to Think
Men will retreat into their “cave” for space and think of… nothing. That’s right; men have a “nothing” space they can retreat to in their minds! Baffling, right? As women, we don’t have caves, and the thought of thinking of nothing makes NO sense to us. As a result, we will continue pestering our man, hoping he will tell us what’s wrong.
Men Believe What We Say
We don’t believe that a man is Fine or that nothing is wrong when he says so because when we say WE say we are Fine…we normally are definitely NOT fine. We want our partner to figure out what’s wrong by our subtle clues or body language. We want him to ask follow-up questions and keep asking us if we are okay until we share how we REALLY feel. But men are not women! Men will take our Fine as meaning everything is good.
The key to having a man open up is trusting that when he says, “I am Fine,” he really is or wants mental space. And it has nothing to do with you.
The more you question him, the further he retreats into his cave and becomes more agitated. Eventually, an issue will actually be because you are not giving him space, and sometimes that’s all men really need.
#1 Men Say What They Mean
Believe Men when they say there is nothing wrong or he is Fine. Give him the space he needs. Remember, it’s not about you. You did not do anything to provoke him. If he wants to share, he will on his OWN TIME
#2 Be Honest With How You Feel
When you say you’re FINE, be honest with yourself. ARE YOU REALLY FINE? Share what you’re really feeling (hurt, disappointment, frustration), don’t expect men to guess. Because he trusts that you are truly fine and will respond accordingly to that
If you take this advice to heart, it can relieve stress in your relationship and bring you peace of mind. Remember, men and women are different and communicate in different ways. Keep learning about the differences and applying them in your relationship.
What Does “Fine” Mean to Men
Apr 23, 2019