Ah, dating: the hellish ritual of awkwardness that we all must endure to find the elusive boyfriend or girlfriend. Anyone who has done this a few times knows that if we actually said what we were thinking, another date would be far from guaranteed. So instead, we ladies tend to use some tried and true lines that probably don’t mean exactly what you think they do. In an effort to help you out, here’s a translation guide of what we say on dates and what we actually mean.
“You look nice tonight.”
Translation: “Thank God you actually showered and put on pants before you showed up.”
Explanation: Girls put a lot of thought into how they look for a date. Outfits are planned, and pictures are texted to friends for approval. We know you don’t put nearly as much effort into your appearance for a date, but we appreciate it when you at least try a little.
“I really like meeting new people.”
Translation: “I literally cannot handle Tinder anymore, so I hope we can go on more than one date.”
Explanation: Listen, this dating shit is hard, and so is the stuff that comes before we even get to the date: swiping left and right, chatting, worrying about the timing of texting, deciding how crazy it is that he’s holding two cats in his profile picture. All of the thought and analysis that goes into this is exhausting, so as much as we say we like meeting new people, we really don’t want to go through the whole dating process over and over again. If you could just not be a complete douchebag, that would be great.
“I’m not looking for a relationship.”
Translation: “Of course I’m looking for a relationship, but I don’t want to scare the shit out of you before we even sleep together.”
Explanation: Let’s be honest, most of us are looking for a relationship. Everyone (except sociopaths) eventually wants to fall in love with someone who loves them back and then proceed to live happily ever after. Otherwise, why would we put all of the effort into dating when we could just go use Tinder to find hookup partners? Most girls have been burned by guys who are just looking for a fuck buddy and weren’t upfront about it in the beginning. The purpose of this statement is two-fold: first, we’re trying to look relaxed and carefree so you don’t go running for the hills; second, it’s a preemptive strike. If we don’t hear from you again, we can convince ourselves it’s okay since we told you were weren’t looking for a relationship anyway.
“Please let me pay.”
Translation: “It’s the 21st century and I have to offer, but if you don’t actually pay, you’re an asshole.”
Explanation: As girls, we’ve been taught that we should be treated like equals, but that men should be gentlemen and chivalrous. It’s a double standard and we’re really sorry about that, but don’t let us pay until at least the third date. And while you’re at it, for the love of God, open the door for us. (Again, we’re sorry.)
“I’m really happy about where I am in my life.”
Translation: “I really want a boyfriend.”
Explanation: Two points here. One, anyone who constantly states how good his or her life is most likely is full of crap. If you feel the need to say it all the time, you’re trying to talk yourself into believing it as much as you’re trying to convince everyone else. Secondly, it doesn’t matter how great the rest of your life is if you don’t have someone to share it with–it will always feel like a piece is missing. But we want you to know that we are happy with who we are, because confidence is sexy. Or so we’re told.
“I had a great time.”
Translation: “I want to see you again. Call/text/facebook/tweet me.”
Explanation: If we actually tell you we had a great time, we mean it. Seriously, we’re pretty straightforward like that. However, if we use the word “nice” instead of “great,” don’t bother texting because you’re dead in the water.
“We should do this again.”
Translation: I might go out with you again, if someone better doesn’t come along first.
Explanation: We’re trained from a young age to be polite, which can also manifest as passive-aggressive. We don’t want to hurt your feelings, so we’ll say we had a nice time, pretty much no matter what–unless you say or do something so ridiculous we have to tell you to fuck off mid-date. Asking us out again here is risky, but what do you have to lose? (If we said, “I had such a great time, we should do this again,” please see above.)