We women speak a special language. You know how we’re great at multi-tasking? Well, we do it when we talk, too. Yup. We can pack a dozen little intricate meanings into one sentence, and the other women will get it. Most of the time. At the very least, they know that our meanings run far deeper than the surface. To survive the nasty years of high school when every girl talked behind our backs, to survive passive aggressive female co-workers and jealous friends, we’ve become hyper sensitive to hidden meanings. You can’t blame us. But it can still get us into a little trouble, and a big tiff, with men. We can read into things when there is simply nothing to read into. Or we can read the wrong meaning. Here are some things that men say that really send our subliminal-message-interpreters firing — but shouldn’t:
“Can we talk tomorrow?”
Women like to re-hash every detail of our day. We text our best friend to tell her someone farted in the elevator. Giving a play-by-play of our days makes us feel closer to our friends and, of course, boyfriends. A lot of couples have the ritual goodnight phone call. But on some nights guys just don’t feel like going over every little minute detail of the day. I thought something was terribly wrong one night, when I was cozying into bed, charging up my phone for that goodnight call and my boyfriend texted asking “can we just talk tomorrow?”
I was so certain that without that call we would feel a little distant. But he called me up the next day, all sweetness, dying to hear about my day, and I realized he didn’t feel distanced because we missed one call. I didn’t need to either.
“I don’t feel like having s*x.”
It can be a major ego-deflator to be making out with your guy in bed, starting your usual moves that always lead to a good sack session, when he stops it all and says, “I don’t feel like it tonight.”
This can infuriate some women because they feel they really put themselves out there, and got rejected. A little misconception here though is that it takes more courage for women to initiate s*x than men, so we get extra mad when they turn us down. But men can be just as shy about asking for s*x as women. So we have no more of a right than they do to get angry about the other one sleeping with their clothes on for one night. Also, if he doesn’t want to have s*x, it probably doesn’t say anything about you. Come on, they’re men.
“What Did I Do?”
Evolutionarily speaking, women are the caretakers. It is in our genes to be constantly aware of the needs of those around us: Is this person offended? Is that person depressed? Did she lose weight? And, since this hyper-awareness is ingrained in us, we can forget that not all people (read men) have it. A guy isn’t necessarily insensitive because he missed a small detail or interaction that upset you. While women are used to having to read into what our female friends say, men are used to just having it told to them like it is by their friends.
If your boyfriend is just a jerk and doesn’t even care when you seem upset, that’s a whole other issue. But if you want a guy that will pick up on every little thing that makes you angry, without you even saying so, you may just have to date a woman…
“Why are you so emotional?”
When a guy asks you this, just remind yourself, most women get asked this by their boyfriends quite frequently. You’re not a drama queen for getting emotional. And he isn’t a robot for not understanding your emotions. Men are fixers. And, to be completely honest, getting emotional doesn’t fix anything. Your car gets scratched? A check bounces? Not one second spent huffing and puffing about it is going to aid in fixing the problem. Somehow, men keep that in mind and skip over the whole reaction part and move onto the action. Good for them. But sometimes they can forget that women don’t work that way.
If you ask a handful of your girlfriends if their boyfriend ever says any of the above statements, you’ll probably realize your boyfriend isn’t insensitive. He isn’t ignorant. He’s just a man, and he’s wired differently than we are.