What men are trying to tell you(Photo: Pamela Hanson)

Scene: Mexican restaurant. My date and I sit down to dinner and look at our menus.

“Hey, are you free next weekend?” she asks.

“Tacos sound good,” I say.

“My parents will be in town. I thought maybe we could…”

I look around for the waiter. Where is he? I’m starving and thirsty, and he’s ignoring us.

“My mom’s dying to meet you….”

Mmmmmm, tacos. “Should we get guacamole?” I ask her.

She narrows her eyes and gives a look that says, If I had guacamole, I’d dump it down your pants.

From her perspective, I get it: I’d deliberately changed the subject and avoided eye contact, all because I didn’t want to meet her parents. But here’s the irony. I really did want to meet her parents. We’d been dating a couple of months. It was time. But I wasn’t ready to tackle the issue head-on.

And I do love tacos.

Sound familiar? I’m not saying I wasn’t being an idiot (I was), but misunderstandings like this happen all the time between men and women. Guys want to say one thing, but we end up saying, or doing, another. So how can you learn to read us right? I consulted a few experts to help unscramble some common scenarios.

You’re talking to him—but he won’t stop watching TV

What it means: Probably nothing. (How could what you’re saying compete with The Walking Dead? I mean, zombies!) As annoying as this common male behavior may be, “we all need a little zone-out time when we get home,” says Carol Kinsey Goman, Ph.D., an authority on body language and communication. “Some women take bubble baths, do yoga. Men need to unwind too and often do it in front of the TV—or even in the car. I had a client whose commute went from 20 minutes to five minutes. He was miserable. He had lost his decompression time.”

How to deal: Does he do this every night? If so, for God’s sake call him on it. But if it’s sporadic, give him his downtime and try again when the zombies are dead.