Though my girlfriend and I had been dating for almost a year and a half, I didn't really know what she was thinking most of the time until after we moved in together.
And even then, it's taken me six months just to begin to decode the complexities of the female mind.
*Disclaimer: I can't read minds. However, I'd put my skills up against any dude walking down the street who thinks he can read his girlfriend's thoughts better than I can.
Now that we've got that sorted, we can get back to trying to better understand how to read a woman's mind.
For instance, if your girlfriend says she's "fine," she most definitely isn't. And if she texts you a simple "OK," you better figure out really fast if it's your fault or not.
Are you starting to get the picture? If you're still with me, check out all the ways I learned (read: am still learning) how to know what's really going on inside my girlfriend's head.
1. If she comes home and goes straight into the bedroom...
...follow her. It doesn't matter how sh*tty your day was, if your girlfriend comes home from work and mumbles something about being tired as she makes a beeline to the bedroom, you need to get off the couch and see what's wrong.
I'm not saying it's your fault, but clearly something's up. Your girlfriend may not open up right away, but she'll remember you came to check on her instead of staying put in front of "SportsCenter."
2. If you're ordering food and she says she doesn't want anything...
...order her some anyway. Maybe your girlfriend feels guilty about eating out or spending money. She'll say she will just make eggs or something. Let me tell you, she doesn't want to make eggs; she wants you to order her a little something so her two previously mentioned fears are acknowledged and alleviated.
Don't order her a whole pizza pie, but getting an individual slice or a half-and-half pie shows you really care. The worst thing you can do is order something for yourself and say, "What? You said you didn't want anything."
3. When she says she's "fine"...
...consider it the equivalent of sirens blaring and Ben Affleck and Josh Hartnett running for cover in "Pearl Harbor." Think about it this way: When you say you're fine, are you really? Your girlfriend is no different. Maybe she had the worst day ever at work. Maybe she's dealing with some family issues. Maybe she's in a fight with her best friend. Maybe you f*cked up. Pay special attention to that last possibility.
The point is: When she says she's "fine," you need to stop what you're doing and sit down with her to try and see what's really going on. Break through that "fine" defense.
4. When she texts you "OK"...
...you're going to wish she just ignored you altogether. It may not even be your fault, but you have to know when you see those two letters there's more trouble lurking on the other end of the line than you're probably ready for. At this point, when I receive an "OK" text, I don't even beat around the bush by asking if something's wrong. I just ask her to tell me what's wrong.
It's also possible nothing is actually wrong and you just caught her when she's really busy. Still, that text should signal immediate warning signs in your head.
5. When she says, "It's your decision"...
...you have to put more thought into it than you would for Final Jeopardy. Just realize, whatever decision you make is probably going to affect both of you. You have to consider what she wants just as much as, if not more than, what you really want. Relationships require give and take, so hopefully you're with someone who's doing this for you, too.
6. If she says, "I'm going to pass, but you can go if you want"...
...consider it the double-edged sword of all double-edged swords. I'm not saying your girlfriend doesn't want you to have a good time, but just know what it really means to go somewhere without her. You need to think long and hard if it's really worth it.
Because when your girlfriend says you can go without her, it's not that she doesn't want to spend time with you -- sometimes it just means she'd rather have you all to herself in the comfort of your own home.
7. When she says, "I have a headache"...
...you should probably get quieter than Anne Frank in the attic. The reason your significant other has a headache doesn't matter. The bottom line is the person you care about feels less than 100 percent, which means you need to do everything in your power to make her comfortable. Just offering up Tylenol or Advil isn't enough.
Lower the volume on the television, shut the window and pull down the shades and just hold and massage her in hopes she'll soon feel better. Pills are great, but there's a part of this that's way more mental than it is physical.
8. The phrase, "We can just split it"...
...doesn't mean you should always go 50/50. Chivalry might be dead, but taking the initiative and treating your girlfriend every once in a while will go a long way in the happy and healthy relationship department. Money can be a serious issue in relationships, especially after you move in with your significant other.
Do your best to keep a balance. Sometimes, splitting things is cool, but don't get comfortable and start completely treating your girlfriend like a regular roommate.