The Malfunctioning Manspeak Translator

Novelist and official Southern Belle Loraine Despres used to warn me to be wary of men who say, "When I'm done with you...." As in, "When I'm done with you, you'll know Paris like the back of your hand," or, "By the time I'm done with you, you'll have a wardrobe of real silk lingerie." It means, she says, he expects to be done with you. Me, all I hear is Paris and panties.

Now, Lord knows I've been plenty lied to by plenty of men. I'd call out my first husband on a thing or two, except I'm not sure I know his real name. I suspect that even more often, though, men have told me the truth and I've refused to listen. Somewhere in between his lips and my ears, a powerful force garbles the meaning -- like Google, bless its heart, translating a web page from the Danish. Maybe it's cultural conditioning, maybe it's denial, maybe it's that the otherwise smart and capable Ethlie is, in some areas, just a little insane.

You may have the same Malfunctioning Manspeak Translator in your head. Let me know if you relate to any of these common phrases. (And, since misunderstanding is often a two-way street, I also include the Accurate Manspeak Translation.)

What he says: "I love you... just not in the way you want to be loved."
What I hear: "I love you."
What he really means: "I love having a friend with benefits."

What he says: "I'm really not ready for a relationship."
What I hear: "Hang in there, baby. We have a future together."
What he really means: "I don't want to be in a relationship. At least, not with you."

What he says: "You're my fantasy woman."
What I hear: "I picture myself on a white horse, rescuing you from a dark tower."
What he really means: "I think about your boobs when I masturbate."

What he says: "You're so hot!"
What I hear: "You're so beautiful!"
What he really means: "Take off your clothes."

What he says: "This is getting too intense too fast. We should make some space."
What I hear: "The depth of my passion for you scares me."
What he really means: "I'm interested in seeing someone else."

What he says: "It's not you, it's me."
What I hear: "You are perfect, I am broken. Will you fix me?"
What he really means: "I'm already seeing someone else."

What he says: "I just need time to work some things out."
What I hear: "I want to be a better man for you."
What he really means: "My wife is pregnant."