We all put our feet in our own mouths sometimes. It’s an inevitable part of being human (and therefore more flawed than a botched nose job) to blurt out words we don’t actually mean or don’t realize come across differently than we’d intended.
Often, we need to be extra careful about what we say to those we are dating or seeing. Adding romance to the mix inevitably heightens our sensitivity and can cause feelings to get hurt quicker than we can say, “I’m sorry, babe. I didn’t mean it.”
As a helpful guide for those are less skilled in language than they are in other areas (cough, with their hands), I’ve compiled a list of the ten things to avoid saying to any girl you’d like to see again.
1. “You’re just PMSing.”
Listen, if we wanted to hear someone invalidate our thoughts or emotions as a woman, we would turn on Glenn Beck. Reducing what we have to say or feel into a temporary symptom of our monthly bouts of hormonal instability makes you worse than “a [period] stain on the underwear of life,” to paraphrase Marshall Mathers.
2. “Have you lost weight?”
Though this quip often comes with the intent of flattery (sadly), it can sometimes make us wonder what you thought we looked like before because it makes us realize that you are aware of our bodies — which is a source of insecurity for many of us. In Bridget Jones fashion, we will obsess over whether you notice (and mind) our “wobbly bits.” Just play it safe and avoid making comments about our weight in general (see #3).
3. “Have you put on weight?”
If you think that this is okay to say to a girl you like, you should prepare yourself for many passionate nights with your left (or right) hand. Just be careful because carpel tunnel syndrome is a real and painful affliction, or so I’ve heard.
4. “Stop being a bitch, etc.”
Generally, when you use terms like “bitch” (as well as the c or p words) in a derogatory manner — against us or anyone, really — our attraction to you fades faster than any misguided opinion we had of your intelligence. Take a new approach to conventional kindergarten wisdom: if you don’t have anything meaningful to say, don’t say anything at all.
5. “So-and-so is a slut.”
There are some characteristics that often fall into the realm of the unattractive. These include sticking your hand down your pants in public or launching Chipotle-flavored fart bombs in our direction. This automatically includes slut shaming, especially in front of us. The only romantic escapades that concern you are your own.
6. “Sorry, I was just so wasted.”
Alcohol is both a gift and a curse to humankind. It lowers our inhibitions, but it can also cause us to act as though we never fully evolved from our Neanderthal ancestors. Sometimes, while drunk, we slight those we care about or like — whether we inadvertently ignore them or slam another girl against the wall and proceed to reenact a scene from a 70s’ adult film in front of them (#projection). However, if you hurt our feelings under these circumstances, acknowledge that rather than blaming it on the a-a-alcohol.
7. “I didn’t say you had to stop talking.”
This line is a hit or miss. It can be cute as an apology for silencing us with a kiss. It can infuriate us more than finding out about Prince Harry’s engagement if you use it dismissively — to indicate that we can continue blathering on about whatever it is that we found so important while you only half-listen as you pay attention to the Mario Kart game in front of you.
8. “So, you’re going to hook up with me, right?”
This generally applies more to guys that we’ve just met or recently began seeing rather than those with whom we have long-standing relationships. We are no more obligated to hook up with you than we are to fold your laundry or scrub the vomit stains out of your futon. Any assumption otherwise is silly.
9. “I really don’t like your friend, sister, mom, etc.”
It matters to us what our friends and family think about the people we date, casually or seriously. This is because those close to us know us well and can often sense what our Infatuation Goggles cause us to ignore. Be nice about and to our friends and our family because they have existed in our lives long before you. They will continue to exist in our lives if and when you ever become only a blip in our stratosphere.
10. “Girls don’t know anything about sports or [insert stereotypical male interest].”
Admittedly, my knowledge of football is limited to knowing that the Saints will always be the number one team in the NFL (regardless of power rankings) and that Jay Cutler is sometimes the bane of my existence.
However, it’s invalid to reduce my limited knowledge of sports to my gender (and for the record, I have female friends — including one particularly passionate Tampa Bay Rays fanatic — who know enough about sports that they could run ESPN). It is equally invalid to categorize subjects as either “male” or “female” interests.
Here is a list of items that interest some males: sports, beer, Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition, rap music, and video games. Here is a list of items that can also interest females: sports, beer, Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition, rap music, and video games.
Bonus: here’s a song from Bikini Kills. Let Kathleen Hanna’s voice get you through the rest of the day.