Hey guys. As you may recall, exactly one month ago I wrote a piece called 7 Lies All Women Tell Men. It got such a big response that I feel it’s only fair to let you in on a little secret: those aren’t the only lies. Hence, I’ve worked up a sequel—seven additional well-meaning untruths you might hear from even the sweetest girl you’ve ever met. Just like before, there are smooth ways to deal with them that can keep you sane and score you points. So read up and take notes. Here goes…
8. “I don’t mind that you’re still friends with your ex.”
What we really mean: “I do mind. In fact, I hate it.”
What to do about it: It’s kind of like the “Bro Code,” (made even more iconic by Barney Stinson’s bro-tastic character on How I Met Your Mother). But this time, it’s the boyfriend code (or girlfriend code—we have to play by the rules sometimes, too). No matter how much I convince myself I’m cuter/smarter/all-around-better than she is, it will always bother me when you hang out with her. And it’s rarely about me not trusting you. Instead—get ready for your ego to seriously inflate—it’s about me not trusting her. I just can’t imagine why she wouldn’t be after my man whom she lost. So please, steer clear of the predatory ex. It’ll save you some serious drama, I promise.
9. “I’m just one of those girls who can eat what they want and not gain weight!”
What we really mean: “I’m going to order a lot of food and pretend I can eat it all, but I probably won’t eat half of it.”
What to do about it: A guy appreciates a girl who can eat, amiright? But here’s the thing: we unlucky females can’t sustain a diet equal to yours and not sprout love handles for days. So yes, we might tell you that we love to eat—and most of us really do—to appear “cool” and not come off like one of those crazy calorie-counting chicks. And we might order a huge meal but push a good portion of it around our plates a la five-year-olds eating broccoli. Your best move is to roll with it. Whatever you do, don’t call us out if we actually do eat a lot. We just want the illusion of being able to keep up. Once you make it a reality, we’ll feel fat. It’s just how we are.
10. “You don’t have to get me anything for Valentine’s Day/our anniversary.”
What we really mean: “Please get me something.”
What to do about it: Sure, Valentine’s Day may be a “Hallmark holiday.” But most of us in America are suckers for commercialism, anyway, so we’re prepared to give and receive gifts on February 14th. If I’m telling you not to get me anything—for V Day or an anniversary—I’m trying to be humble and evolved, but I’m still hoping you’re so compelled to show me how much you care that you’ll give a little something anyway. You don’t have to max out your credit card on diamond earrings or a trip to Paris (I’d prefer Greece anyway, natch), but getting me something small when I “don’t want anything,” will earn you major points and spare you a week of passive aggressive drama.
11. “It was on sale, I swear!”
What we really mean: “It was not on sale, but I had to have it, and, yes, I probably overspent.”
What to do about it: If you really want to influence how much we spend, come shopping with us. I know, probably not what you want to hear. But if you join, not only might we become slightly guilt-ridden handing over too many designer duds to the cashier, but we’ll also be so frustrated with your impatience and indifference that we won’t be able to focus on the shopping task at hand and we’ll give up. That said, if you simply cannot bear the thought of hitting up Nordstrom for the third time this month, well then, it was on sale, I swear!
12. “Do you want to split the check?”
What we really mean: “This is the part where you tell me to put my wallet away.”
What to do about it: This one mostly goes for first dates. OK, the first several dates. I’m just feminist enough to know that, once we’ve been dating for a while, I can do my part by picking up the check (or at least splitting it) now and then. But when we’re first starting the dating game, my offer to split the check is purely for show. I’m civilized enough to do the reach-for-my-wallet dance, but in reality I’m looking for some good, old-fashioned chivalry. Please oblige.
13. “I don’t care how much you make/how much you spend on me. Just your love is enough.”
What we really mean: “I don’t care how much you make. As long as you can afford to take me out to some dinners and get me presents even when I say I don’t want them.”
What to do about it: Believe it or not, we’re not all soul-sucking, gold-diggers. But we do love the feeling of being taken care of (see number 12). So no, I don’t need you to be an investment banker pulling in seven figures at 27. I just don’t want to feel like my salary is the one carrying the relationship financially. I understand if you do work you’re passionate about that doesn’t happen to pay much. Just try to budget in a few dinners and pick up the check at the bar sometimes, and I’ll be appeased.
14. “I wasn’t ignoring you. I just didn’t hear my phone.”
What we really mean: “I was ignoring you.”
What to do about it: This goes hand-in-hand with the “I’m fine,” thing I mentioned last month. I’m upset with you for whatever reason, but I’m being passive-aggressive about it. So when I say this, don’t respond with, “OK” and end it there. Stick with me, be patient, and eventually you’ll be able to coerce the reason I silenced your call out of me. And then we can kiss and make up.