Years ago I co-hosted a morning network talk show, a TV version of the popular John Gray novel, Men Are From Mars … Women Are From Venus, along with friends Dr. Drew Pinsky, Cristina Ferrare, Rondell Sheridan and Bo Griffin (RIP).
In the 100-or-so episodes that were broadcast, I covered many cool topics relating to the differences in how the sexes communicate. Gray's theory maintains that “men complain about problems because they are asking for solutions while women complain about problems because they want their problems to be acknowledged.”
Agreed. Both genders are guilty of misinterpreting each other's words and actions because we speak two separate languages.
For example, when a man says “Not right now” it often translates to, “Please go away” or “Leave me alone.” Men need time-outs in their caves until they find a solution to whatever they're figuring out, and they don't want our help. There's no mystery in what they're saying, it's to-the-point and straightforward. Men say what they mean.
The same doesn't apply to most women. Instead, they drop hints. They beat around the bush. They expect men to know what they're thinking. “I don't want to talk right now,” is usually a passive way of getting a guy to pay attention as a sort of test. In other words, she's asking if he cares.
To top it off, women often expect men to be mind readers. When they look away to avoid spilling tears, or they huff and they puff and mutter under their breath, they're not happy. It's written all over their faces, despite attempts to hide it.
To help men understand this “chick code,” dudes need a tool to help decipher ladies' glossary of terms. The following are translations of the more common phrases men will hear coming out of a woman's mouth:
1. Whatever. Truce. “I don't feel like fighting with you right now so you and I should just agree to disagree.” We say this when we don't want to get into whatever it is you're bringing up.
2. Fine. Our way of ending a fight or preventing one from starting. When we say “Fine” you should consider yourself lucky, say “OK” and walk away. Just expect to hear about it later.
3. Oh, nothing. Definitely something. Except you are expected to know what that something is. This is where the mind-reading comes into play. If you still haven't telepathically figured out what's wrong by time we bring it up, then you're in deep shit.
4. Do I look fat in this? Do NOT ever respond to this question with a “Yes.” What we're really asking is if we're desirable, if you're attracted to us – not if you like our outfit. This is the moment you should sweep your lady up in your arms and tell her how she'd look hot even in a potato sack.
5. Should I wear this… or this? We're asking, “Which outfit do I look sexier in?” Given a choice, guys usually go for the get-up that covers the most skin, (especially if you're off to lunch with his mother). We know this, and usually go for the one you don't want us wearing when it's girls' night out.
6. I'll be 5 minutes. Give us at least 20, and please don't harass us during this process; it will only make us nervous and fuck up our make-up, leading to at least another 5 minutes. This also can be code for, “Go pour yourself a drink, have a seat and put the TV on whatever it is you want to watch until I'm ready.”
7. Can I just blow you? There's something funky going on downstairs. Whether we're on our period, there's a yeast thing happening, it's sore from activity, or we're just not in the mood to screw – I say take the blowjob boys, and call it an early night.
8. I'm on my period. “Can't we just cuddle instead?” Rarely does this mean, “Let's go fuck.” Period sex does indeed feel good at times, and if that's what we're looking for, we'll let you know. Otherwise, please just rub us, pat our tummies and stop blaming “that time of the month” for our erratic behavior. It's annoying.
9. Can we cuddle? We're feeling vulnerable and need reassurance, or we just miss being held by another person. Either way, sex is the farthest thing on our minds. What we're craving is the human bonding experience. That, or we're on our period.
10. I love you. “At this moment you make me very happy.” Contrary to popular belief, it doesn't always mean we're “in love” with you. We say it when we feel safe and satisfied, usually after orgasm or receiving gifts. Tears may follow.
11. Tears. Tears are our way of releasing emotion, bad and good. Yes, annoyingly we cry when we're happy, too. You guys never know the difference so here's the barometer; if she's crying and refuses to talk about it, they're bad tears. If she's crying and wants to spill her guts, they're good tears.
12. You're the brother I never had. “I just want to be friends.” She might already have a boyfriend. In that case, be happy this woman wants you in her life at all. She could easier admit to being a lesbian, leaving you no options.
13. I'm a lesbian. 50/50 chance that she really is one. It's a tough call. (See No. 12.)
14. I think we should get a pet. “Let's have babies soon!” You've obviously displayed a natural knack with kids; this is our way of taking the temperature of the situation. How you react to this question will determine if you're daddy material down the line.
15. That guy over there was totally hitting on me. “Pay attention to me and don't take me for granted – because that man over there will happily take your place.” When feeling insecure, we like to remind you of our worth by pointing out its value to others.
16. I'm sorry. No we're not. We are usually just placating you to get what we want, or to get out of some situation. Women also say it right before we drop a bomb. “I'm sorry; I should've told you, I just got out of a relationship. And did I mention I'm a lesbian?”
But don't fret, guys and gals. There are women out there who, like men, mean what they say. They're just harder to find.
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