When a guy asks, “What’s wrong?” and a girl says, “I’m fine,” there are actually seven billion possible reasons why she’s upset. “I’m fine” might range from “you’re being a bigger dick than Trump during a presidential debate” to “I am sleep deprived and need my Vanilla Iced Latte, double shot, pronto (nonfat skim milk).” When we say it, we usually mean that not even Tide to Go, bleach, Clorox wipes or vinegar can wipe away the mess you made. So boys, here’s a guide on how not to piss your girlfriend off—please use it wisely.
You can’t read her mind, but we can. Here’s 10 things your girlfriend really means when she says “I’m fine.”
1. “I’m on my period, and I just want to cry and eat peanut M&M’s.”
Sure, not every girl binge-eats cookie dough while sobbing in bed when Aunt Flo visits, but every once in a while, our time of the month inevitably gets to us. Whether we’re on our periods or just had a bad day, let’s be honest: Even the best of us cry when you tell us you like us better in the other jeans or when our best friend ignores our snapchat. When we’re in one of these moods and say “I’m fine,” we probably mean to say, “Go to CVS and get me candy.” “One time, I asked, ‘What’s wrong?’ and she replied, ‘I’m fine.’ I could tell she didn’t want to talk about it so I kept on acting like nothing was off,” Florida State University Jack Shelgren said. “However, the more we hung out, the more I knew something really was off. So I prodded again, and it turned out she had skipped her period for over a week. To which I replied, ‘That’s not fine!’”
Solution: Make her a PMS kit that includes Kit Kat, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ben and Jerry’s ice cream and tampons.
2. “Check out that girl who just walked by us one more time and see what happens.”
We dare you. Don’t think we didn’t notice you checking out the MILF’s ass in those yoga pants. And listen—we get that it’s human nature to look, but show some courtesy by at least attempting to be discreet. We saw you. We’ll be mad for 20 minutes until you tell us that we look hotter than Regina George’s mom at 45. “I’m not fine and you just f*cked up, learn how to fix it,” FSU freshman Rebecca Price said.
Solution: Tell her that her ass makes Nikki and Beyoncé’s look worthless.
3. “I can’t believe you said that.”
Once, my boyfriend told me my floral dress looked like a tablecloth. Another time, when I said that I love putting lemons in my water, my boyfriend said, “Is that why your personality is so sour?” Boys tend to get a kick out of messing with us, but sometimes they go too far. What’s funny to them may not be necessarily funny to us. When I complained that my jeans didn’t fit, my boyfriend said, “That’s because you now have a thick ass.” While he loves a big booty, to me his comment just meant that I look fat. “He once described me as chubby because he thought it meant thin and curvy. I had to explain to him that chubby means closer to fat, called him an idiot, and he apologized. He had no idea you don’t call girls chubby if they’re not,” said FSU sophomore Emma Cyphers.
Solution: Count to 10 and really think about how you’re going to word anything about our wardrobe, body or friends.
4. “How many hints do you need until you realize I’m horny?”
If we turn the other way during cuddling time, we aren’t pissed off. We actually just want you to hold us tight and whisper something sweet in our ear. Take it from us: We love cuddling, but sometimes we just want some good ol’ fashioned loving. Don’t you think we at least want a good night kiss? You might be tired, but don’t forget that two can play at that game, buddy. The next time you want head, we might be “tired” too.
Solution: Before you hit the Z’s, don’t disregard the signals. If you snooze, you lose!
5. “I’m thinking about the future of our relationship.”
Some of us live impervious to the impending “what ifs” of life, not even batting an eye when our boyfriends tell us they need space. On the other hand, however, some of us overthink every little thing. Oh, you “like us better with glasses”—so are we not pretty without them? “Once my girlfriend said, ‘It’s time to meet the parents,’ and I said, ‘I just spoke to them on the phone, no need to meet.’ But in all honesty, I was just trying to take it slow,” said FSU senior Jeremy Kadoch. Kadoch meant well, but sometimes these comments make us rethink what our future will look like.
Solution: Everyone needs to be reassured once in a while: An occasional loving text or tagging us on a cute puppy video on Facebook will go a long way.
6. “I won’t forget you just mentioned her.”
We know we’ll never be your first love or the one who took away your v-card. So when you constantly bring up your ex, and then ask “Are you mad?” we’ll say “I’m fine,” because deep down we’ll always be a little jealous of her. FSU senior Andrea C. said, “I don’t want you to know this makes me feel as jealous or upset. It actually does, so I’m gonna pretend I’m totally cool with it because I wish I was.”
Solution: Guys, don’t constantly bring up your ex. Test your comments on your mothers, your sisters and your best friends before you say them directly to your girlfriends.
7. “Sorry I’m not [insert celebrity name here].”
We know all the Jennifers and Kates of the world are hot—no need to tell us over and over again. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes it’s fun to compare celebrity crushes, but after the fifth time that week, we might start to wonder what’s up with your Jennifer Aniston obsession. When we tell you we’re fine in this situation, we most likely mean, “Why don’t you go hook up with Jenny from the block?” Even if we say “I’m fine,” know that you’re still not off the hook—we’ll definitely bring it up later in private.
Solution: Tell your girlfriend that if Kate Upton, Mila Kunis, Jennifer Lawrence and we were all standing in one room together, she’d still be the hottest.
8. “Pay attention to me.”
Why play 2K in the living room for over an hour when I’m waiting for you to come make out with me on your bed? Don’t worry, we want to play 2K just as much as you do, but sometimes when we’re in this mode, no excuse to ignore our attempts to hang out with you will feel valid. This may come as a surprise, but we’re down for an afternoon of video games and smooching—so why can’t we just do both? “I’m actually really mad, but I just want you to shut up so I’m going to say I’m fine,” said FSU junior Brittany Kotowske.
Solution: Listen to the details of her pointless stories (you will be quizzed on this later). If you invite her over, then don’t leave her waiting, because the most you’ll get that night is a kiss…on the cheek.
9. “Don’t just sit there, figure out what you did wrong.”
If you have to ask if we’re fine, it’s because you probably have no idea why the hell we went from zero to 100 real quick. Sure, ask us what’s wrong for the first few months of our relationship—it’s only natural. But after the problem emerges multiple times, we stop wanting you to ask us what’s wrong and start wanting you to figure it out on your own. FSU sophomore Amanda O. said, “I get upset about my boyfriend making plans with me and then his friends ask to do something fun, and he chooses that instead of the plans we had already made.” Come on boys, intermediate English in middle school taught you how to use context clues.
Solution: Don’t say a word. Do some thinking. You’ll eventually figure this one out.
10. “I just want Chipotle, I’m actually totally fine.”
We didn’t eat all day. Our stomachs sing loud melodies. We sat through three hours of lecture. We just want a Chipotle bowl with tortilla on the side, extra rice and lots of guac. Sometimes we just want to take a burrito to the face, no questions asked. So, “I’m fine” just really means feed me. Feed me, NOW (and we’ll be just fine).
Solution: Enough said.
You said what? Keep reading for the road map to figuring out what your partner really means.
Written by Nicole Eisenberg, freshman, business, University of Maryland
Has misinterpreting something the opposite sex said gotten you into trouble? Would you like to know what guys and girls are actually thinking and how you should react when someone says “we have to talk” or “I’ll call you”?
According to Kerry Stephens, freshman at the Savannah College of Art and Design, when you hear this phrase in any situation, “Something is wrong.” She adds that if it’s a girl talking to a girl, “It is a phrase that [they use] when they have a problem with you.” Andy Marmer, a sophomore at Vassar College, said, “It sounds really forceful, so it instantly makes me think that I messed up in some way,” He explained that if he says this, it means that “you’ve done something that upset me, and we need to talk about it.”
Either way, the person that says this wants to talk about something, so open your ears without any assumptions and just listen.
Decode your partner’s vague text with our guide.
You know what?…uh, never mind.
“[People who say this] obviously have something on their mind but are too afraid to say it out loud,” said Julia Barnett, a freshman at Syracuse University. “I feel like guys never know what they are feeling, so this phrase kind of sums it up.” Bryan Brown, a freshman at Penn State University agreed. “She’s got something big on her mind but chickens out when saying it.”
Solution: Let it go. If the person decides that it is important enough, they will tell you later.
When anyone says, “I’m fine”, they are anything but fine, says Hannah Johnstone, a freshman at Westchester University. She thinks that they are extremely annoyed at something. Marmer thinks that it depends on the situation, however. “I think this one completely depends on the context and tone. If it comes after something like ‘how are you?’ it’s completely innocuous. If it comes after something like ‘what’s wrong?’ then it seems defensive, and makes me think there is something she’s not telling me.” Brown said that this phrase is his favorite. “[It] clearly means she’s not fine.”
Solution: To find out more, ask them a specific question about their day to see if they are actually fine or putting up a façade.
It’s okay, don’t worry about it.
When Barnett hears this phrase, she starts to worry. “If a guy says it, I probably shouldn’t worry though.” Alex Grassi, a freshman at Franklin & Marshall College, explained that people just need to “stop apologizing [because] it’s annoying.”
Solution: Instead of asking, “are you sure?” right in the moment, bring up the topic in a later conversation. The person might open up more, but if you are still told not to worry, then you have tried your best, so don’t lose sleep over it.
I’m so glad you’re my friend.
Stephens believes that when someone tells you this, they mean just that. Brown, on the other hand, explained that if you thought you had a chance with the girl who said this and you still think you have a chance, “You’re dumb for being friends with her. It’s the worst thing to hear ever.” Harsh!
Solution: If you are a guy hearing it from a girl, take it as a compliment that you are their friend and do not try anything. If you are a girl hearing it and don’t want a relationship with your guy friend, make sure that you relay these thoughts in the rest of your conversation.
I’ll call you.
“It probably means he won’t call me. Guys say this one all the time, and they rarely call,” said Barnett. Marmer said that if he tells someone “I’ll call you”, he will talk to you later! If a girl says this to him, he believes them and takes it literally.
Solution: The best way to react in this scenario is to take it with a grain of salt. Do not get your hopes up because this could mean a multitude of things to each person individually. That way, if they do not call, you will not be disappointed, and if they do call, you will be pleasantly surprised.
Mystery solved! Case cracked! Just be careful out there. It’s a tough world to decipher what people are saying, and you definitely don’t want to make a wrong move!
Have you misinterpreted what someone said and it landed you in the doghouse? Spill!
*Updated March 11, 2016 by Nicole Eisenberg to include “You Said What?”