Women fascinate me. Or more accurately, the way women communicate fascinates me. It's a mystery to all men.
It's such a mystery that if I were to resign indefinitely from trying to decode women-speak, absolutely no one would blame me. And that might be a wise option. Sometimes unadulterated acceptance is better than struggling comprehension.
But that's not how I roll.
I believe there is a method to all madness, and how women communicate on a date is no exception. Here is a small sample of white lies women dish out and my understanding of what they really meant.
What she said: Oh, I've never been there before! That sounds great!
What she really meant: Of course, I've been there, everybody goes there! I'm only humoring you, because I'm giving you a chance. You better make it worthwhile for me!
When a female friend told me this, my jaw hit the floor. I've heard this from almost every female I've asked out on a date.
So my favorite Italian place isn't really a little secret of mine after all. It doesn't change anything, but why am I sad?
What she said: I'm a homebody; I don't like to go out that often; I like to stay home; I don't drink much; I have an early meeting at work tomorrow, so I can do only one round tonight; etc.
What she really means: I actually love going out and I can handle my liquor, but don't you dare think that I'm a party girl. I want to be treated as a lady.
“Party girl” is one of the worst labels for a woman, inching near “slut” and totally opposing “lady.” Even if I’m holding the hair of a cute girl who is puking her brains out after her ninth tequila shot at a dive bar full of college students, I must still compliment her at being such a fine young lady who simply had a tough day, while I hand her a wad of toilet paper to wipe her mouth.
Why? Every woman wants– no, every woman needs to be treated like a lady. It's a matter of respect and decency. And if I treat a woman with such great manners, it shows more about my character, not hers.
What she said: I had a nice time; You're a nice guy; I'll get the check next time we meet, etc.
What she really meant: You don't see me jumping for joy about you, do you? Yeah, you probably won't see me again, dude.
Generally, when a woman describes me or our time together as “nice,” my mind checks out. Nice is probably the weakest compliment, if it even is a compliment at all.
What makes a good first date? A second date. And if the second date isn't brought up during the first one with a certain level of specificity –like a indie movie the girl and I both want to see– there's a good chance it won't happen at all.
What she said: I take things slow, Let's be friends for now, I don't want to rush into things, etc.
What she really means: I might like you, but I'm currently uncertain. I just want you to lead the way for us in the friendliest way, but you must not make it awkward or nerve-wracking for me. We're nothing right now, but we CAN be something later on.
I chuckle whenever someone says “cost-benefit ratio” outside of a business context. It's not even a ratio, but a euphemism for “I want as much of the benefits as possible by paying the least amount of costs, because I'm narcissistic and greedy.”
But then I shrug. It's human nature.
A woman will tell such white lies in hopes of having the man treat her specially. She wants the benefit of this special treatment, yet without the cost of going beyond “just friends.” It can be a big step for some women, which is why they need this romantically-ambiguous-zone buffer.
This sort of white lie can be a good sign, really. She's simply communicating to the man, “If you can make it comfortable and casual for me, then you can get me.”
And doesn’t that sort of white lie make women fascinating?
Tommy Danger Kim lives in New York City where he enjoys classy activities such as making happy babies cry on the subway and chasing skinny girls in Central Park while pretending to run. He shares his dating observations on Just Call Her, a dating blog for awkward people.