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  • “I want to be romanced.”

Translation: “I want you to state your desire to fuck me with impeccable subtlety.”

  • “One day you’ll meet your soulmate.”

Translation: “One day you’ll settle.”

  • “Just be yourself.”

Translation: “Know your place.”

  • “I will never cheat on someone I love.”

Translation: “I will never cheat on someone I love given the options available to me.”

  • “Does my ass look fat in these jeans?”

Translation: “Will you assuage my insecurities?”

  • “If she doesn’t want me, it’s her loss.”

Translation: “It’s my loss.”

  • “It’s what’s on the inside that counts.”

Translation: “You’ll never get laid.”

  • “I’m spiritual.”

Translation: “I’ve substituted one bogus belief for another that is peer-approved.”

  • “Everyone is different.”

Translation: “Generalizations are an affront to my inflated ego.”

  • “You look as beautiful as the day we first met.”

Translation: “I forgot how much better you used to look.”

  • “I love you.”

Translation: “I love you.”*

*I love you is impossible to say deceitfully without some part of your face twitching in betrayal. It’s like the truth serum of turns of phrase. Try it sometime with a lover you don’t really love. You’ll see what I mean. The words will ricochet in your brain and curdle your tongue before they’ve escaped your mouth if they aren’t sincerely felt. I love you too, baby and Love YOU don’t have the same effect. Those permutations can be effectively fibbed. Only the original three words, with meaningful eye contact, will thwart your best efforts at lying.


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