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Man Saying One: “I don’t know.”

For many men, this is the vague go-to response to a wide range of questions: Where should we go for dinner? Do you like the red dress or the blue skirt better? What are you feeling right now? Of course, it is always possible that “I don’t know” means exactly what it implies—he hasn’t given the matter enough thought to form an opinion. In matters he considers trivial—like what flavor ice-cream to buy at the market—this response means, “I don’t care, you decide.” But sometimes it is code for, “I don’t want to say, because a truthful reply will make one or both of us uncomfortable.” When the issue is delicate and sensitive, he may be trying to sidestep potential landmines. Ladies, if you feel this might be true, it is up to you to decide how hard to push. Honesty is good—but so is discretion.