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.