mauaA friend of mine jolted me out of my procrastination by linking to an article on Thought Catalog about things you should never ask a woman. I said “Oh, no! I wanted to blog that!” and was relieved when I skimmed through the article and found that it was different from this list, which I came up with last year and have been putting off for a while. Whew! :)

I knew this article was coming soon, since I finally, finally posted something about some helpful things to say if you want to make a woman’s day, but I’m glad I am finally writing this, just a couple of days after my last entry. Finally is the word for the day, people. Lol.

There’s also a list of things women should never ask men, but I need to run that by a few guys first.

The Bible tells us to let our conversation be full of grace and seasoned with salt, so that we know how to answer everyone. We’re told not to let any unwholesome talk proceed from our mouths. Unwholesome talk is not just cursing and violent words, but also hurtful words that pierce the hearer and can affect them possibly for years.

So… here are ten things I think you should never ask a woman.

1. Is your red flower in bloom?

Variations: Is it that time of the month? Are you on/having your period? Has our monthly friend come to visit?

Particularly bad if: You are having an argument.

Even worse if: You are having an argument and it is that time of the month.

You NEVER want to ask this question. No matter how much you think a woman is overreacting, do not ask if she’s on her period. It will make her feel like you doubt her intelligence, like she is reasoning under the strong influence of hormones (which she just might be), or like something that matters to her is being taken lightly. If it actually is that time of the month, it’s very likely that she will flip. Because even though she might be overreacting, no woman wants to think that PMS or a period affect her judgment to that extent. No woman wants to feel like a man is trying to red-herring something important. And because of the things hormones do, if it is indeed that time of the month, any man appearing to be trying to red-herring a serious issue will find himself in big trouble. Please, I beg of you, stay away from this question.

2. Are you a virgin?

Variations: How many sexual partners have you had?

Particularly bad if: She’s not your girlfriend.

Even worse if: You don’t even know her like that.

I don’t know what to call it. Guts? Bad manners? Foolishness? Insecurity? Whatever it is, I am always appalled by the people who have the nerve to ask a woman this question. How is it your business? What will her being a virgin add to your life? What will her not being a virgin add to your life? Does this information change the price of bucket lids at Owino Market? Don’t ask this if you are not her man. It will make a woman lose respect for you. And even if you are, be sure you really want an answer (because trust me, you probably don’t), and don’t be surprised if she offers none.

3. So when does the baby arrive?

Variation: How many months along are you?

Particularly bad if: You’re not 100% sure she’s pregnant.

Even worse if: She’s not pregnant.

Obesity has become an epidemic. As a result, it’s very possible to assume belly fat is a baby tummy. A friend told me a story of a day she walked into a pregnancy facility in Uganda with her… “healthy” American friend. They met with the owner, and when they were leaving, the owner said to my friend’s friend, “Please make sure you come and have your baby with us.” My friend must have wanted the ground to open up and swallow her. Her friend, who had struggled with her weight for so many years, was heartbroken. My point here is that a woman who worked for years with pregnant women could not tell that her fellow woman was not pregnant. So, guys… if you’re not 100% sure there’s a baby in there, be considerate of the woman’s feelings and say nothing of the matter.

4. Can I kiss you?

Variations: None.

Sigh. First of all, this is a grammatically incorrect question. The correct version would be “May I kiss you?” But let’s focus. I’ll begin by saying I’m one of those women who do not believe that the first kiss should be at the altar. Here is my reason:

Alright, let me not post that picture. But it’s a picture of a wedding kiss gone horribly wrong.

So, while I am not advocating lengthy French or shady deep-throat kissing, and while I do not believe people should kiss on the first date (hello, don’t you know how many potential diseases that would involve?) and every five minutes (hello! Time management; get to know each other!) I think it’s okay for a courting couple to kiss.  This question makes things so boring! What do you want her to say? “Yes”? Then what? It makes things very awkward.

So, dear guys, don’t ask! Just go for it. Make sure your mouth is clean and your breath is on point (mouthwash, mints, no sticky, icky food leftovers in your teeth) and that the moment is right, and go for it! It’s all about the timing.

5. How much do you weigh?

Variations: Can’t think of any.

Particularly bad if: She’s overweight; sometimes if she’s underweight.

Even worse if: You don’t know her like that, or you ask this in the middle of a meal.

This is just one of those things that, again, is none of your business. If you’re not in a position where you have the right to ask this, just stay away from the topic. She’ll probably torture herself wondering why you asked, and that just starts or continues a cycle you don’t want any woman to go through.

6. Are you sure you want to eat that?

Variations: Shouldn’t you have a salad instead? I know I just showed up at your house at 5am, but I thought you might wanna join me for my 10-mile run…

Particularly bad if: She’s not seven years old and you’re not her mother.

Even worse if: You’re her man.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard or witnessed this happen. The stories about the man showing up at dawn to go jogging. The glares when a woman tells the waiter what she wants to eat. The snide comments about the rolls, love handles, cellulite, etc. Enough with the badgering, please. She gets enough of that from her TV, newspapers, magazines, social networks, billboards… she doesn’t need to be emotionally abused by those around her.

7. How old are you?

I can’t think of any variations. I’ll be honest: I don’t really see what’s wrong with this question. It’s not a bad question, in and of itself. However, this is a generation of people who are struggling not to age. From botox to hair dye, from breast lifts to anti-aging creams and everything in-between, people are fighting to stay and look young. This society disrespects the old. The Bible tells us that the grey head is one that commands respect and is crowned with wisdom, but comedies tell us that seniors should be the butt of every possible joke. People feel pressured and some deal with it by making fun of themselves  – think how many times you’ve heard someone say “I just had a senior moment.” For this reason, I think that out of respect for a woman’s feelings, the age issue is one to stay away from.

8. Is [female friend] single?

Variation: What happened to [female friend]’s boyfriend/husband?

Particularly bad if: You’re her man.

Even worse if: You’re her man, you’re married to her, you insist on an answer or appear to be seriously investigating the issue, and [female friend] is beautiful… and single.

Respect your woman’s feelings. This is the type of question that could contribute to trust and insecurity issues in a relationship. Men are not known for their love for gossip, so why do you want to know why she’s single? This is so bad, so disrespectful, if you ask me… and it’s difficult for this question to seem like it was asked with good intentions, especially if you proceed to discuss this mysterious friend for more than a split second.

9. Why are you still single?

Particularly bad if: This question is always horrible.

I get it; sometimes a guy is trying to state that a woman is so beautiful that it’s a surprise she’s not taken and you see that as your miracle or whatever. But that’s not what she hears. What she sometimes hears is just another irritating corny line that is being repeated for the 200th time. What she often hears is that there must be something wrong with her; that something about her is so negative that it is weightier than her supposed beauty.

10. You look tired; did you eat?

Variations: What’s wrong? You look terrible!/Can I get you some water?

Particularly bad if: she’s not tired or she just ate.

Even worse if: She just did her makeup and was under the impression she’s looking really hot.

I know that this question is asked innocently, but when you tell a woman she looks tired, she will often equate that to things like “Your makeup looks terrible,” or, in some cases, “You’re ugly.” She’ll probably wonder if she has bags under her eyes, or chapped, cracking lips, or if her clothes are creased… it’s just generally not a good question to ask. I’m trying to figure out what you can ask instead, but I’m going to have to think about a better way to phrase the thought that inspires this question.

I hope this post helps! A general tip would be to think about how a woman will feel if you say what’s on your mind. I’m sure you’ve heard that while men are thinkers, women are feelers. Of course this doesn’t mean women don’t think or men don’t feel. All I’m trying to say is that it would help to remember that for a man, all that’s often necessary is the facts, but for a woman, sometimes the facts need to be phrased in such a way as to help her see that she’s not being attacked. The things we say to people potentially affect them for years. I am learning in my journey that if what we want to say is not helpful, we shouldn’t say it. I don’t think I can remember anything potentially negative that I’ve regretted not saying.

Have a lovely week!

Love,

Pea.

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