Language is a fascinating thing. Whether you speak English, Spanish, French or any number of other languages you can bet that there are quirks and intricacies that need to be paid attention to. However, even when a man and a woman are speaking in the same language you can bet that one side is always saying something a little bit different than the other. Most relationship counseling sessions involve teaching people to understand what their partner really means. While we aren’t a relationship coach, we decided to put together 11 key phrases that women use all the time and that men keep misunderstanding. If you think you and your significant other are on the same page then think again and keep reading.
“Which of my friends is most attractive?”
Much like “Do you think she’s pretty” any questions relating to the attractiveness of her friends is a blatant trap. Your girlfriend might want a reason to argue or she might be genuinely curious about your response. In either case, your best answer is a straightforward stair and a firm pleading of the fifth in this case.
This is actually a particularly tricky phrase to discern the truth from. For the sake of being a decent human being you need to understand that ‘no’ always means ‘no’ and there are no exceptions. Unless you run into a moment in time where ‘no’ also means ‘yes’ which still means ‘no. So let’s give you an example: You ask to go to a football game on your three year anniversary. She gives you a no but then follows it up with a reluctant yes, wanting to be nice to you. That yes is still a no, you just don’t realize it. To be safe whenever your girlfriend says “yes” or “no” just ask for a bigger explanation.
“That guy whistled at me!”
There is a fine line between being proud of your girl for getting a compliment and understanding her anger for being objectified. Hint: if someone catcalls your girlfriend then you need to match your girls’ anger note for note. Catcalling may seem awesome in reverse, having woman exclaim how handsome you are, but it is not the case for women around the world. Catcalling is typically unwelcome and always disgusting. We aren’t implying that you need to go slug some dude, but at least respect your girl enough to sympathize with her anger.
“I’m almost ready to go!”
This is girl-phrase for “I’ve just began to turn myself into a representable human being. Please give me another hour.” If you hear these dreaded words then you had better place your well groomed butt on the sofa, pull out a magazine, and get ready to change your plans for the night — you aren’t going to make that movie, your dinner reservations won’t be held, and now you are going to be the bad guy. It’s not all bad, however, because now you have room for an ‘adventure’ — carefully re-orchestrating your minutely planned evening of romance.
“Thanks a lot.”
When your girlfriend responds to something you did with “Thanks a lot” you should pretty much hang up your cleats because the game is over. “Thanks” or “Thank you” is an appropriate answer to a small favor performed, but the added qualifier of “a lot” makes this one snarky response that should send chills up your spine — an argument is brewing. Any time that we end up dipping our language into hyperbole, male or female, will unveil layers of our own prior emotion. In couples counseling you’ll see the counselor focus on all of the qualifiers we add to our words. Eventually, with enough practice, you’ll begin to understand all the different forms of “Thanks a lot” that crop up in your day to day conversations.
“Do you need to do that now?”
If you are doing anything in the world of adult dating that precipitates this response then you’ve already sort of messed up. This is particularly true when it comes to the little passions you might have that your girlfriend doesn’t like video games, for example. If you are sitting on the couch with your girlfriend and you turn on the Xbox and she asks, “Do you need to do that now?” then your response should be simple: “No, you’re right, I don’t”. Not only is she giving a clear signal that she wants your attention but she is also giving you the ability to choose to give it to her, which will ultimately earn you some savory brownie points to be cashed in later. Always remember to give your girl the attention that she deserves because there will always be someone else willing to do it.
Navigating a conversation with the opposite sex can sometimes feel a little bit like an intense game of Minesweeper. You want to say all of the right things because there is that fear that a mine will show up and the convo will explode all over your face. In these conversations you have to realize that sometimes the words we don’t say will end up speaking the loudest. So if you are in a conversation with your girlfriend or wife and she dead ends response to your question with, “Oh, nothing” then there is undoubtedly something else brewing beneath the surface. Instead of using her answer as an opportunity to let the conversation die, you should instead take the hint and understand that she wants to be prodded a little bit more. Many people don’t feel comfortable speaking the absolute truth, especially if it makes them uncomfortable, without a little bit of a nudge. Be a good partner and give her that nudge.
“I’ll eat anywhere.”
It’s almost become a meme at this point, but trying to decide where to eat dinner is a conversation trap that can turn even the most loving of couples into two cats in a junkyard. When you ask your wife where she wants to eat and she says “anywhere” then you need to make some rapid fire decisions. Do you want to press the issue and force her to make a decision? Probably not. Instead of pressing her for an answer you should instead make a quick decision using your backlog of information. If you guys had sushi just two days ago, opt for something that she likes while still being relatively ‘new’ to your recent dining options. Whatever you do, don’t get yourself trapped in tornado like conversation killer.
A good rule of thumb in life goes like this: The shorter a response the worse it is. Whether you are in a heated text session or a real conversation and she drops a “Fine” on you, the outcome is a bad one. “Fine” much like “Good” are not the kind of answers you want to hear when you ask how the lady of your life is doing. If she drops one of those on you then you need to immediately put your ears up, investigate any potential wrongdoing on your part, and start a domestic retreat. Give her space and don’t press for her to explain what is wrong in a pushy way. You want to know the truth, but you’ll want it on her time — not yours.
“That guy is looking at me.”
You know that you have a complete smokeshow of a girlfriend or wife and that obviously rises to the top of your thoughts when you go out with her. Obviously guys are going to notice how beautiful she is. Sometimes your girl will feel flattered and other times it will bother you. In any event, if she mentions that a guy is flirting with her when you are around then you need to take notice. While the guy may or may not be actually flirting with her, your response is clear: You need to give more attention to your woman. She mentions the other guy’s looks solely to make you more attentive. Don’t be a meat head and start a fight. Be a good guy and give her more love.
“I’m not mad.”
There are white lies that keep most relationships afloat and for the most part they are best off ignored. Don’t press the issue on some of these white lies but always be aware of what they mean. If you notice your girlfriend acting a little short, or a little irritated, and she tells you that she “isn’t mad” then you need to believe her, but also know what she really means. She’s probably mad. She might be mad at you or she might be mad about something that you have no control over. Either way, don’t push for her to spill the beans. Merely continue being the good guy that you probably are. If it continues to bother her then she will eventually open up and let you know. Just be aware that things might be tender for a little bit.
“I don’t want to talk about it.”
We have mentioned white lies that are good to be ignored, now let’s talk about white lies that you don’t leave alone. When your girlfriend starts an argument with you and then abruptly bookends it with “I don’t want to talk about it” then you know she is fibbing. Couples aren’t supposed to walk away from arguments to let them ferment. Instead, couples need to be proactive in their approach to problem solving. If she says that she doesn’t want to talk about something then give her some space before exploring the problem further.
“Do I look fat in this?”
To a degree we are all aware of just how our body looks. This gives us body insecurities that tend to magnify when we grow older or when we start to break down just a little bit. An important part of your relationship will revolve around always making sure that your girlfriend looks and feels beautiful. So when she asks that trap question, “Do I look fat in this?”, she is really just asking you to tell her that she’s beautiful to you in any outfit. Still, do be honest in regards to outfits. Instead of talking about her body when answering this question, instead focus on things like patterns and colors.
“Do you think she’s pretty?”
We’ve talked a lot about how certain questions or phrases can be coded requests for affirmation or love. This question, “Do you think she’s pretty”, is nothing more than a minefield that needs to be avoided. Perhaps your girl is feeling less than her best in terms of appearance or maybe she thinks that your eyes have been wandering a little bit lately. Either way, your answer should be a resounding “No way, not even half as pretty as you”.
“Do whatever you want.”
This phrase is particularly indicative of the kind of double speak that men just aren’t equipped to understand. On the surface the phrase ‘Do whatever you want’ sounds like your woman is giving you permission to go ahead with whatever plans you had made. This is not the case. In fact, ‘Do whatever you want’ is closer to a dare than it is to any other sort of phrase. If your girlfriend or wife utters this phrase then you need to pause in your tracks, perk your ears up, and try to read between the lines. Hint: she doesn’t want you to go forward with your plans.
“We need to talk.”
This is one of the oldest phrases in the book of ‘Doublespeak’. If your girl ever utters these words to you then you should immediately see red flags sprouting out of the ceiling. If you are particularly attached to this woman you need to turn tail and run away as fast as possible. If she can’t catch you then she can never break up with you…right? Needing to talk is the worst phrase you can hear from your girl next to, “It’s not you, it’s me.” pro tip — it was always you, not her.
“Let’s get a dog!”
If your girlfriend ever tells you this then she is subtly hinting that you need to engage, and soon. If you don’t even live together than this phrase gains even more steam because it means you have to make a choice right now. Is she the one? Are you willing to lose your dog if the two of you ever break up? Dogs are as important as kids in terms of signifiers of potential nuptials. If you hear this phrase then you need to start seriously re-organizing how you see your relationship. This phrase could mean “let’s move in”, “let’s get married”, or even “let’s have children”. “Let’s get a dog” could also just mean that she wants a dog. Who knows at this point?
“I’m not that hungry, I’ll just have a salad.”
Your male friends and family members don’t care if they stuff their face in front of you, but your girlfriend certainly does — at least for the first few stages of your relationship. If you hear your date or girlfriend ever say, “I’m not that hungry, I’ll just have a salad” then you know they are lying. In reality they are probably starving but too committed to looking pretty and dainty to risk it by ordering a double cheeseburger. A gentleman would offer to share some of their greasy entree and try to entice her into eating like a champ alongside you.
Re-evaluate any actions or statements you just took part in. She clearly likes something that you did and it bears remembering for usage in the future. You don’t want to waste the opportunity to associate cute/adorable with you as often as you can. Keep stock of all the things that makes her go ‘aww’ and repeat them early and often to have a long and healthy relationship. Just make sure it was something you did that made her go ‘aww’. You don’t want her oohing over someone else. That’s definitely a bad sign.
“I want a guy with a funny personality.”
Don’t take this statement the wrong way, it could mean disaster if you think that you are the guy with the ‘funny personality’. What she likely means by this statement is that she wants a dude that looks like Ryan Gosling with the humor of a guy like Ryan Reynolds. In other words she isn’t that interested in listening to your 1,001 different Jim Carey impersonations. In fact, most people probably are pretty tired of your Ace Ventura so you might want to go ahead and retire that bit.
“You don’t have to get me anything.”
If your girlfriend tells you that she doesn’t want any presents for her birthday/anniversary/graduation/Valentine’s Day then you know she is either entirely selfless or completely lying to your face. We applaud her for trying to be frugal but we all know the truth: she really wants you to get her a well thought out gift that looks pretty, comes from your heart, and didn’t cost $5 at the gas station right before you got home. Win some major brownie points by not even asking her what she wants for gifts. Instead pay attention (gasp) to what she talks about, what she shows that she likes, and anything else that may give you a hint. Knock her socks off with a great gift!