When She Plays Detective

It’s the end of the day, and you get that call you always get come end of day. The little lady’s on the other end of the phone, with the usual questions: What’s the plan for tonight? Am I seeing you? Do you want to see me? You know the drill, you’ve heard it before and, whether you were holding the phone away from your ear or not, you’ll hear it again. So when you throw her for a loop by telling her you’re actually meeting someone else for dinner, you’re not helping her, or yourself. Because this only leads to the next batch of questions.

Be patient and realize she’s not your “5 o’clock shadow.” Before you start accusing her of playing detective, realize that her curiosity is not (necessarily) intrusiveness. And remember, if you start getting defensive about her queries, even if it’s only in the name of privacy, you suddenly become a prime suspect.

Here’s how to handle your little Samantha Spade:

Show Interest
We want to know what you’re doing, guys, and who you’re hanging out with. It’s not because we’re jealous, crazy girlfriends — well, only sometimes — and it’s not because we want to keep track of your every move, and it’s not even because we want to be in control of your schedule. Here’s the revelation: We want to know what you’re up to just because. There is no hidden or secret reasoning. The same way we ask you to go over the events of your work day, or tell us what you had for lunch: We’re just making conversation with the man we care about. So, when we’re just being the sweet lady that you fell for, by showing interest, don’t jump down our throats. I mean, we only asked where you were going for dinner, not to describe whom you fantasize about when you’re in bed with us, so calm down, pal. Basic and simple: If you go on the defense, we think you have something to hide. (Even if you do have something to hide, why raise our suspicions?)

Fill Her Itinerary
That’s what she said! (Rimshot) Look: When she asks what you think is a few too many questions, it’s likely she’s just trying to figure out her own plans and see if you fit in anywhere. If you both have busy work weeks and don’t get to spend much one-on-one pre-bed time, she may try to work her plans and schedule around yours, to get some quality time in. A guy tends to mistake this as her being dependent or clingy, but in fact it’s just her way of trying to balance her social and love lives. We know that relationships take work, so if we can hit two birds with one stone (i.e., have a drink with the girls while you’re wrapped up in something else, then get to see you as well), we become doubly happy. If you try to dodge a simple question, like what time — approximately! — you’ll be home, or whether you want to see her following your night out, she’ll feel like you’re putting her off, and might also wonder why you don’t want to snuggle up with her when you’ve had a whole day to yourself. Answer her questions; help her plan accordingly. If you don’t, she might end up sitting by the phone, and you will feel that negative energy. Trust me, you don’t want that.

Be Smart, Not Shady
Despite the above, there are some moments where she may actually be grilling you to try to put together various pieces that suggest something is up.You may tell her you never talk to any of your exes, but if you show her something unrelated on Facebook, and she notices that a private chat conversation window is open, well, you’re an idiot for lying in the first place. You may tell her you couldn’t call because your phone died, but when she tries you, the call goes through. There are endless versions of this farce; it’s bad sitcom territory, which means that the only laughter is canned (which is also what you’re going to be). Basically, the more things that happen that seem hinky, the more she will try to figure out the “real story” — again, even if there is no real, or at least major, story. Look at it this way: She always wants to give you the benefit of the doubt, rather than think you are a liar; so don’t behave in a way to make her think you’re a liar. Especially if you’re a liar.

So, for today’s likely 5 o’clock shadow, remember that when she seems to be poking around, it really is just friendly conversation; she is a part of your life, and your days affect her just as much as her own days. And should you start asking why she’s “investigating” you, understand that you are manipulating her by using unfair labels simply to silence her. Not cool; you don’t like it when others do it to you, in business, friendship, family or romance.

No girl wants to be perceived as an intrusive nag, so don’t make the woman you’re with feel that way. If her queries are bothering you, and you know she should have no reason to be suspect, have a separate conversation, face-to-face, about insecurities — hers and yours. Address this from a healthy place. You need to both be on the same page if you’re interested in the future. And if you’re not, you should be man enough to move on.

Image courtesy of Daily Sunny.

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