Every guy is different. Some of us like sports, some like the theater, some like to dress up, and some are afraid to wear pants. So it’s hard to find things that just about every guy agrees on. With that said, there are a few key phrases that no guy likes to hear. They are phrases that immediately fill him with a sense of dread, the phrases that cause his testicles to re-ascend to a place of safety and warmth, phrases that cause him to realize that he is utterly and completely boned. They are nine phrases that no guy ever wants to hear.
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Sure, it’s meant to be reassuring but look, we get it. We know you’re just trying to be nice. And if we ever have to hear these words it means something terrible has happened, something we thought would never happen to us. It might happen to every guy but none of us want to be just like every other guy. We’re all convinced we’re Superman and damn it, Superman can get a boner when he needs to.
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Look, this isn’t the usual clichéd nonsense about how guys are afraid to talk about things, it’s just that… well, does the phrase “We need to talk” ever indicate that something good is about to happen? It doesn’t just have to come from a lady either. It can come from anyone. Just think about it, if your boss came up to you and said, “We need to talk,” what would your reaction be? Immediate dread, panic, paranoia that he finally heard what you and Wendy did on top of the copy machine that one time… you’d be freaking out, right? “We need to talk” almost always actually means “I need to tell you something bad,” or “Here’s why this isn’t working out and you’re an asshole.” And nobody wants to hear that.
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AKA the dreaded Friend Zone. No guy wants to be caught here. It’s not that we’re not flattered that you hold us in such high esteem, it’s that this line is almost always used as a friendly letdown, a way to let a guy know that you just want to be friends even though he’s made it obvious that he’s interested in something more. If we’re such great friends and we both know that’s all it is then there’s no need to even say something like this. It’s a phrase designed to gently crush a dude’s heart, and while it’s good that you want to be nice, in the end, that heart? Yeah, still crushed.
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It’s not that guys hate your parents, it’s just that, well… guys wouldn’t even want their own parents staying with them for a few days. Look, no guy wants to have to sit at the breakfast table across from the guy who fathered the girl he’s shacking up with. That’s a uniquely awkward and unpleasant experience. You know you’re banging her, he knows you’re banging her and deep down you both know that he wants to stick that butter knife in your throat. The whole thing is just way too stressful. Like even a hardened Navy Seal would have a panic attack at the thought of this scenario. Kill Osama? Sure. But ask him to have coffee with your dad while your mom surveys your home and counts all the ways he’s failed you? Fuck. That.
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I don’t even want to think about this. It’s too terrible. And how dare you, hypothetical girlfriend, for even bringing this up. Let’s just move on, okay?
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If you ever hear these words then something has gone horribly, horribly wrong. Sure, it’s a gentler way of putting it than “I know why it burns when you pee,” or “I made you this card to tell you how much I love you and also you might have the Clap,” but there is little that can fill a man with dread more than those six words. At best, he’ll spend the next few days mentally calculating all the ways his life is about to be different. At worst, he’ll be obsessively checking to make sure that his dong hasn’t rotted off. Unless it’s Crabs. Then he’ll spend the next three days living in the shower or taking a blowtorch to his junk.
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Every guy dreads this moment. I don’t even have a daughter and I still dread this moment. And that’s because guys know. They know what you’re thinking. They know what you want to do with their daughter. They know because they’ve been you. They get it. We’ve all been on the other side of this, laughed at the psycho who stands menacingly in the door while you sit in the car with his beloved daughter. But one day that psycho will be you and you will want to beat the shit out of some seventeen year old asshole with horny eyes and a perpetual smirk. It’s the true circle of life.
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No guy wants to hear this because if you have to say it then we know that it’s not true. Also falling in this category is the dreaded “Eh, I’ve had smaller.” If you want to just wreck a dude, any dude, hit him with that gem. Thanks for the pep talk, champ! The absolute killer in this family, though, has to be the “Well, size isn’t everything” line. Unfortunately, just by saying it you just made it everything. When it comes to matters of the penis, just follow this age old bit of wisdom: if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.
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Insert sound of a car peeling out. No, but really, unless they’re already married and on top of that are actively trying to have a kid, no guy, deep down, wants to hear those words. Sure, in the end, he’ll come around – hopefully - but the initial shock and the knowledge that his life is about to change completely is just too much to bear. It’s not that we’re against settling down and starting a family, it’s just that there’s a time and a place for that shit, like twenty years and several million dollars from now. Even a 60 year-old is thinking to himself “Sure, I’d like to have a kid, maybe in a few years, like when I’m 70.” Sure, there are strange exceptions to every rule, but trust me, if you want to see the average 25 year-old dude’s face drain of all color in record time, just hit him with this one.
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(Previously published on May 17, 2013.)