We all make mistakes. Forgetting to study for a test, blowing an audition, stealing another designer's work (hi, Gavin Rajah) - these are all things that can be forgiven and recovered from. But doing or saying something that you know WILL hurt your girlfriend or wife? I'm afraid that's a mistake you could possibly pay for the rest of your life.
However, the same also goes for women. There are certain things that we would like them to know, or at least keep at the top of our minds when dealing with us.
So to avoid unwittingly triggering the worst injury to your relationship or potential relationship, I've compiled a handy little list (for women, of course) of five shadow phrases that can upset ANY guy.
"It's okay, I'm fine"
Really? We dismiss this just like you dismissed us with that response. But honestly, it's annoying as a zit on the chin - you can ignore it, but you just know that it's there.
"You sure you can afford that?"
Sure, we understand that you can't help but communicate a maternal 'I know what's best for you' attitude. But guys often tie up a huge chunk of their self-worth to their finances, so criticising my money-handling abilities is pretty much the same as calling me loser. Is it too much to ask for to blow money we might not have on cutting edge electronics, pricey gifts for you or drinks with the mates, without you pointing out the error in our ways?
"Notice anything different?"
Why, oh, why do women like these guessing games that eventually make them mad? Honestly, this is like a minefield. You guess she's lost a bit of weight (she didn't), and she's now angry with you suggesting that she did. You then guess she's wearing a new outfit (she's not), and now she's even angrier. You grasp at another guess...she did her nails. Wrong again! Now you're officially the most insensitive man on the planet and she lets you know it.
"How could you not notice my new eyebrows?!" and under her breath she says, "My mother was right!"
Now what you're doing here is trying to validate a one-sided argument or opinion, as though you're marshalling an army to your side. But that's never a good idea because it's telling him that you're not on his side, or the side of the relationship. Though you should never let the opinion of others' dictate your relationship, if there's some kernel of truth to a concern that your mother raised, think about how to address that. Bite your tongue and focus on the root of what's making you mad.
"Where's your cute, funny friend?"
We decide against the dinner date and opt for drinks with friends rather. "Where's your cute, funny friend?"
Now let's get one thing straight here - he's MY friend. Not yours. Guys are not in the business of hogging friends.
"We need to talk"
Could you perhaps phrase this differently? Sirens go off and panic buttons get pressed when guys hear these words.
For us, 'we need to talk' usually means, 'you're in deep sh**'. We scrutinise everything we've done in the past week, month - heck, with some women you go far back as four months.
Could you not just rather include what is 'meant' to be spoken about in a normal conversation? It's easier that way. Find an alternative way to get our attention.
See? Guys are not so difficult to figure out. You can all thank me later.