At the recent library used book sale, I bought A Practical Handbook for the Boyfriend: For Every Guy Who Wants to Be One, For Every Girl Who Wants to Build One! by Felicity Huffman (actress best known for Desperate Housewives) and Patricia Wolff (movie and TV producer).

It’s some very funny and insightful stuff.  Here are a few excerpts.



Phrases to translate: Practical cheat sheet for the boyfriend (or, what the heck does she mean?)



“You’re working too hard.” … “You’re not spending enough time with me.”

“I don’t want presents for my birthday.” … “Get me something anyway – surprise me!”

“What are you thinking about?” … “Do you still love me?”

“Do you find Carol attractive?” … “But I’m prettier, right?”

“Are you in therapy?” … “I really like you – God, I hope you have your shit together.” (This is a compliment.)

“How are the eggs?” … “Don’t you think I’m the best girl who ever made you anything in your whole life?”

“No, honey, I’m fine.” …”You’ve really made me sad/angry/upset, and let’s have a long talk about it.”

“Well, I think I’d better go.” … “Beg me to stay.”

“What do your friends think about us?” … “Are you falling in love with me?”

“Do you want to talk about it?” … “I wanna talk about it.”

“Are you too tired to stay over?” … “I want you to stay over.”

“Fuck you, I can’t stand you.” … “Fuck you, I can’t stand you.”



While women are receptive to meeting a potential BF in nearly any situation, we are also hardwired to reject the pickup artist.  Some things we’ve heard and never want to hear again:


Do you work for the post office?  Because I could have sworn you were checking out my package.

The voices in my head told me to come over and talk to you.

I’ll arm-wrestle you for some pussy.

You can’t be first, but you may be next.

If I said you had a beautiful body, would you hold it against me?

You had me at hello.

I seem to have lost my phone number, can I borrow yours?



Online dating is like real estate.  You’ve got to know the code.  Every homebuyer understands that “cozy” means “cramped,” that “partial view” means “dark and depressing,” and that “great potential” means “money pit.”  It’s the same thing with dating.  Be a smart shopper.  Make sure you understand the lexicon.


Animal-loving = Crazy lady with eighteen cats

Healthy and athletic = Twenty pounds overweight

Free spirit = Slut, wears patchouli

My mother would be horrified = Will bring a copy of Modern Bride to your first date

Caring woman = Over forty, long braid down her back, bakes banana bread

Spunky blonde who loves Nintendo = Jailbait, or wizened, bleached, sixty-year-old crazy

Laid-back = Hasn’t worked since she volunteered for McGovern

Intelligent is sexy = Pork-chop ugly

Girls just want to have fun = Chunky sorority girl

Ciao = Uses foreign words, doesn’t know the language, a poseur

Princess Charming = High maintenance

Is chivalry still alive? = Whiner with a bad track record





1. You look like my mother.

2. You look a lot like my ex-girlfriend.

3. You can walk from here.

4. I just did that to freak you out.

5. I’m thinking of swans.  They mate for life.

6. Your nose looks like your friend’s, only hers is fatter.

7. You have beautiful legs; they’d look great wrapped around my neck.

8. I can tell you’re not fat ‘cause of your arms.

9. Sorry, I’m a little out of it, I have a sex hangover.

10. I love this place, I just brought a date here yesterday.