When it comes to dating, merely saying that asking the other person what he really means assumes an awful lot β€” mainly that that person is going to be upfront with you if you do ask for a straight answer. Perhaps Tracy Moore didn't mean it this way, but she came off as awfully naive.

During the initial stages of courtship, there are far more advantages to not telling the truth and/or misleading someone than there are to being straightforward. Your emotional investment isn't as much and you don't know this person as well so being indirect is a far safer route. Plus if you're enjoying the status quo (sex, good times, etc.), why do anything that would rock the boat? That's why people do it.

Here are some sample responses I've gotten to direct relationship questions.

"Don't ask me what I'm thinking. I fucking hate it when women do that."

"I'm not really seeing anyone else, but can we keep things as they are?" [he was dating two other women at the same time]

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"Why are you asking me this? What am I supposed to say?"

[silence]

"I don't sleep around anyway. I prefer to sleep with one woman at a time. I'm not like most guys." [he was sleeping with one other woman]

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"It's not you. I'm just not ready for a serious relationship right now." [turns out he was already in a serious relationship that he'd kept secret]

"I'm not seeing anyone else." [he was seeing someone else]

I sincerely hope you're not relying on outdated stereotypes of women being passive and cryptic. I'm not one of those women. Unfortunately being direct doesn't always yield honest results because, as I said, the incentive to lie is too valuable. That's why relationship advice such as this are just more, well, reliable. Because most people think their friends and family (who are more emotionally invested and actually care about them) will be honest. Chances are that's probably true.