GL's Brutally Honest Guide to the Totally Confusing Things Guys Do

Boys are weird! And we have proof. We get tons of e-mails and letters from girls about all the things that confuse you about guys. How they kiss, talk, crush, dress, even smells that are just all kinds of funky. This is the list.
Sometimes in nature, when a female is finished with a male, she’ll kill him, usually by eating his skull. This is the beauty of being a praying mantis or tarantula. If her man is irritating, rude, crude, dumb or just not that into her, it’s off with his melon. “Thanks for fertilizing my 2,000 eggs. Now, excuse me while I chew off your fat head.” Romance, evidently, is not all red roses and unicorns no matter who—or what—you are. Being female means you’re equipped to be anything you want, achieve anything you want. Yet, it seems you will never understand boys. Ever. However, you can try. And so, GL will attempt to decode the hairier set’s behaviors.


1. How can I tell if he likes me? 

If there were an award for Most Articles on How to Know if Your Crush Likes You Back, GL would get a giant plaque. There are signals to look for. Clues to sleuth through. Voodoo to perform. We get it. You need to know if he likes you.

And, really, the only sure way to know is to ask. So spark up an e-mail, or call him. If you’d rather shave your legs with a nail file than be so bold, have a friend ask. But enough with dissecting the hidden meaning of the way he said, “Are you gonna eat those tater tots?”

2. Why do guys wear those baggy pants down around their butts?

That’s where they keep their brains. For real, though, who knows? The baggy thing hit in the ’80s—in prison culture if you can believe it—and never left. One girl writes, “In their defense, they have a lot of junk, you know, down there, so the tight-pants option isn’t too appealing.”
What bugs girls the most is when the pants are five sizes too big, like an airport wind-sock, and buckled nearly below the butt, like a suitcase strap across their booty cheeks. It’s not cute, but what can you do? Nothing. The sky is blue, and boys wear baggy pants.

3. What’s up with the endless boob fascination?

Since this is GL and not Teenaged Social Anthropology, we offer an obvious solution: Boobs are great, and only girls have them. To boys, girls are mysteriously soft and pretty. Breasts are obsession-worthy for that very reason.

A reader in Georgia writes, “Girls don’t focus on just one thing with the guy, and that one thing would never determine whether she’s into him or not. He has to be all-around hot.” As for the numbskull guys who gauge the girls they date based on boobs…pass. Use more hand gestures when you talk to them so they’ll at least look up now and then.

4. Why don’t guys call?

“The phone is the devil,” writes a reader in San Francisco. “Now, I get his number. It’s scary to call but better than waiting forever, then breaking another cell phone by throwing it across my room. Gets expensive, ya know?” We do. So we did some research, silly media people that we are. We found out this phone-hell thing is unique to Americans.
In Australia, for example, guys and girls rarely exchange numbers until they’ve kissed. The power play of calling or not calling just doesn’t exist. How to avoid the hellishness of the phone issue when you’re not Down Under? Take Frisco’s advice and be Phone Boss.

5. What is the deal with the constant sex jokes?

Most boys have a disorder called Stupidicus Hormonicus. Symptoms include distasteful jokes, graphic innuendo, lewd remarks and unchecked enthusiasm for things they’ve probably never experienced. Writes a reader in Pennsylvania, “We all took sex ed and know what it is, but constantly talking about it is really gross to girls.”

Male puberty is different. Their bodies are on high alert, but many of them won’t actually have sex until they’re in college. They talk about it because it’s very much on their minds. They also think, annoyingly, that it makes them cool. The good news is, Stupidicus Hormonicus has a cure. It’s called maturity.

1. He says he likes you but never asks you out. Nearly every girl has had this dilemma! Writes a reader in Seattle: “My crush’s buds say he talks about me all the time, but he never makes a move.” We e-mailed Aphrodite, goddess of love. She says that some boys are shy but, mostly, sort of stupid when it comes to girls.

2. He teases you or ignores you when he likes you. It’s the sandbox paradox. In third grade, a boy punched you in the arm if he liked you. In junior high and high school, a boy treats you like dirt if he thinks you’re hot. Great.

3. He never says he’s sorry for little things. Girls are trained to practically apologize for breathing. Someone cuts in front of you at Starbucks, you’re like, “I’m sorry, but…” Boys do the opposite: “Dude, I’m next.” They don’t apologize for asserting themselves. Problem is, this no-apologies policy crosses over when they should say they’re sorry.

4. He likes you so he stares. “How ’bout asking me out and you can look at me all night,” writes one spunky reader. “Or, hey, take a picture!” OK, it’s a little creepy. He’s probably a Shy Boy. Be nice.

5. He likes you today but flirts with another girl tomorrow. It’s the ol’ switcheroo. Some boys don’t know the diff between flirty and friendly. Or, maybe he did like you but, given his Stupidicus Hormonicus affliction (see No. 5 of “Top Five”), he noticed another girl’s boobs (see No. 3 of “Top Five”).


1. Showing off and bragging.
Much like a male peacock will, in vain, fan his feathers to a flock of chickens, the male teen believes he’s impressing you by bragging about how he can bite his toenails or fart in tune to the National Anthem. “If a girl went around saying how great she is at putting on eyeliner or making a sandwich, everyone would hate her,” writes a reader in New York. And we’re all so fond of male braggarts.

2. An entirely sports wardrobe.
The athletic “style” is definitely way meshy and polyester-ish. Still, things could be worse, such as a guy showing up for the formal in the fabulous new Nike tuxedo.

3. Dressing hip-hop when he’s so not.
“Some fool boys I know dress hip-hop, and they totally don’t listen to hip-hop!” writes a reader from Indiana. Hip-hop fashion is just fashion.

4. Jocks dating jocks, goths dating goths…
It only seems like a cliché that Skaterboy is all over the Avril Lavigne clone. Guys like girls they relate to, whether it’s superficial (he’s popular and so is she) or bonafide (they dig trig). Don’t let it ruin your complexion.

5. Bleached hair, blue contacts.
“If I see one more boy band wannabe, I’m going to hurl!” writes a reader, probably from the OC. We agree. It’s freaky.


1. Burping and chewing like a hog.
It’s simply more socially acceptable for boys to be less refined than girls. Most guys admit they mind their manners when they’re with a girl. At school? They just don’t care.

2. Public obnoxiousness.
A reader in Minnesota e-mails this: “Boys are like packs of dogs. They get all loud when they sense we’re nearby.” Those dogs want your attention. Say “hi.” It’s less messy than a raw steak in your pocket.

3. Sounding off.
Farting, war noises, beat boxing… Boys cut the cheese because it’s comedy to them. Justin Timberlake beat boxes. Does that excuse it? All other explosion and automotive-machine sounds? We’ve got nothin’.

4. Cursing.
Some guys perceive foul language as rebellious. “See how grown I am? I can say, ‘F this and F that.’” Talking foul makes them feel big. Tuning ’em out is why iPods were invented.

5. Package adjustments.
Boys grab at their junk just because things get moved around when they walk, sit, think. In summer, it’s hot and, well, let’s not create any unsavory images.


1. Soul patches, cop mustaches, billy goatees.
Think of boy facial hair like you think of makeup. They’re trying on looks. Remember how excited you were when you finally got to wear mascara?

2. Hippie hair.
One girl likes buzzed hair, another girl likes her name shaved into her BF’s scalp. Unless long hair is in braids and a bandanna and he’s singing “Kumbayah” for cash in front of the White House, let it go.

3. Spiky hair and perma bed-head.
Some boys like their hair to look like they brushed it with a shoe. Writes a reader: “Do they know not washing your hair is bad for the scalp?” Boys don’t.

4. Muscle appreciation.
“The boys at school flex and work out and talk about muscles all the time,” writes a group of California girls, “and they’re like 100-pound lap dogs.” Explanation? Muscles are to boys what an excellent shoe or handbag collection is to girls.

5. foul smells.
They’re hairy and play hard at sports or whatever, and they have stanky breath or feet and, you know, just…ew. Can we not talk about this?


1. Beer posters, neons and models.
Socialization by their dads? The privatization of Social Security? Who can say? We like lip gloss. Boys like beer things.

2. Marathon video-gaming.
Writes a fangirl in Los Angeles, “I love to play, but guys play for, like, hours. It’s also really exciting (not!) when a guy says, ‘Watch me play Gran Turismo 4.’ Can’t wait.” Could this be the boy equivalent of girls’ fixation with the phone?

3. The heat to compete.
We left this one to a reader in California: “At lunch, this guy James is all, ‘How many tries to get your lunchmeat on the Jefferson statue?’ (We go to Jefferson High.) They all throw bologna at the statue until a piece gets stuck to, say, the leg. Who cares?” Boys care. We blame testosterone.

4. Calling each other by their last names.
It’s what coaches do. It’s what champs do. Boys want to be champs.

5. Calling each other “bro.”
Sistergirl, boys are weird. But cute. And, in their defense, guys are trying to figure it out, like you are. If we had all the answers, it’d be pretty…unintriguing, huh? 


by Jodi Bryson | 2/1/2016