by Yvonne Liu
It doesn't really matter what country you are from because there must be a saying in every language that equals the American idiom: Men are from Mars, women are from Venus. We're as similar as night and day, peanut butter and jelly, apples and oranges-well, you get the idea. And as we all painfully know, sometimes you can't live with the opposite sex, yet you can't live without them.
Because studying in America means new rules, new friends, and new customs, I thought it would be nice to "translate" some of the things American men and women go through during a relationship cycle. It's not so much a cultural thing as it is a gender difference. And maybe this is something you have encountered in your home country as well. But no matter what, it's better to be prepared for the "come ons" (Phrases that men usually use on women to weasel their way into our lives.) and nuances of what guys and girls say and really mean in this dating game.
Disclaimer: This article by no way implies that things men or women say really mean something else, but the language of dating can be trickier than you might anticipate. Use with caution. Your results may vary.
Scenario #1-The Study Date
He says: "I don't think I understood the physics lecture yesterday. Would you mind meeting me at the library and going over your notes with me?"
He means: I figured you must be really smart, so why waste time in class listening to the prof myself?
She says: "Sure. Want to meet at 9:30?"
She means: I know you're a moron, but nevertheless you are a cute one. And I will only help you after I watch Friends.
Scenario #2-The Dinner Date
He says: "I want to take you to this great Italian restaurant. You'll like it."
He means: Gee, I think this girl is pretty cool-so cool I'm willing to splurge on something other than pizza and beer or McDonald's.
She says: "Sounds good. Do you mind if I bring a friend along?"
She means: You are a nice guy, but I don't know if I want to be in this "situation" with you. Plus, you failed to mention a lobster dinner, so we'll have to see if this will work out between us.
Scenario #3-Defining the Relationship
He says: "You're my girl."
He means: I don't want you looking at another guy-even if he's your brother.
She says: "Really? That's so sweet. I'll always be your girl."
She means: Unless I'm out with my friends, and there's another hot guy around.
Scenario #4-Staying Together
He says: "Baby, it's Sunday. I HAVE TO watch the game!"
He means: Leave me to my football/baseball/basketball (Insert any type of "ball" game here.). Why don't you call up your friends and go shopping or something? I want to be left alone.
She says: "Fine." *SLAMS door*
She means: I can't believe you'd rather watch a GAME than spend quality time with me! But at least there's a sale at Macy's, so I don't really mind . . .
Scenario #5-Breaking Up
He says: "I don't think it's fair for me to do this to you. I think you deserve someone better than me. I still want us to be friends though."
He means: Look, I think I deserve someone better than you. I also heard you have violent tendencies when things don't go your way, so I'm trying to make it easier on both of us, plus I'm hoping you won't smash my car windows.
She says: "Yeah, I know we'll remain good friends . . ."
She means: LOSER. Over my dead body! I always knew I was too good for a moron like you.
And there you have it, Dating 101. Try it out for yourself, but be careful. When it comes to people and feelings, how you act or what you say may be interpreted differently by everyone. One last piece of advice: Guys, sometimes girls just want you to make things sound sweeter than you really mean. Girls, guys and sports is like girls and shopping. You don't want to tear that away from him unless you are willing to give up lunchtime trips to the mall, weekend shop-a-thons with your frends, and the annual trek to the outlets.
Yvonne Liu is a resident of sunny Southern California and a recent graduate of Scripps College, Claremont. Currently, she is working as an associate editor for an automotive publication and is still trying to pay off her student loans. When she's not sleeping or eating, she can be found typing away at her computer (e-mail, of course).