Friday, May 14, 2010

Woman-to-Geek Dictionary, Part Four

So I’ve covered the one issue of interested/not interested, but what about all the other ambiguous behaviors and phrases of women? For the most part, translation becomes easier the further you get into a relationship. I mean, we are adults here, right? If you don’t know what your girlfriend means, you can ask.

However, there are those times when a woman is trying to communicate something and it doesn’t even occur to the man she’s with that she *is* trying to communicate anything other than what her literal words say. And for these instances, the women of the world will appreciate my bringing them to your attention and translating.

“I don’t know if we should.” = “I don’t want to.” Uncertainty is certainty in the negative direction.

“I don’t know (where I want to go to dinner, which movie to see, etc.).” = “I do know but I’m deferring to you.” She’s being polite. If she really doesn’t know and this happens all the time, I would wonder how much of a sense of herself she has if she never knows what she wants. I’d also worry if she says this all the time and when pressed reveals that she does have an opinion. Why is she so unsure of herself that she can never share her preferences? Sounds like a martyr. Sounds like resentment down the road.

If she asks you if you like something that she clearly likes and she doesn’t say she wants your real opinion, she wants you to agree with her. Now I’m not advocating lying when you really don’t like something. And I’m not advocating hiding your true self and your true opinions. But hate and dislike of something is never the whole story. And hate and dislike are usually the lazy person’s response. The culture of the Internet that you love so much is about negativity and tearing down and attacking, and you really need to move away from that approach to the world. Seeing the positive is so much more creative and interesting. It’s easy to say what’s terrible about a Michael Bay movie. It’s much harder to say what’s good about it. So if the woman you’re with asks your opinion about something or someone you know she likes, address the positive first. Say what you appreciate about soap operas, the weird color she dyed her hair, her annoying friend from high school. If she presses for more, then she’s inviting criticism, so go ahead. But don’t start with the negative. It’s an Internet habit that you need to unlearn.

If she talks about her ex-boyfriend all the time, she is not ready to get involved in general and not with you in particular. If she really is interested in you, but is still hung up on her ex-boyfriend, she would make more effort to cover up her obsession with the old boyfriend.

“Take off your coat. Would you like a glass of wine?” = The evening has potential. If she invites you in as you’re dropping her off or when you go to pick her up, this is a sign that she is letting you in, literally and symbolically.

“I’m cold.” = “Put your arm around me.”

If she offers you a back rub, she wants to put her hands all over you in a “safe” environment. She is attracted to you physically but isn’t necessarily ready to engage physically with you in an outright sexual manner. If she puts her face close to you as she’s rubbing your back or wraps her legs around you from behind as she massages your shoulders, you’re an idiot if you don’t take advantage of this situation. She wants you to.

Up on Tuesday: More Translations

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