What He Doesn’t Need To Know…

By Ann

Oh, hi again, Cosmo. It’s me, Ann. You might recall that I had a bone to pick with you awhile ago over your endorsement of the term, “adorkable” (see: Chalarming is the New Adorkable). Well, that’s all water under the bridge now because I was flipping through your March 2012 issue the other day and stumbled upon some relationship advice that has changed my life.

How? I’ll tell you how. You see, there’s an article in this issue entitled, “Shhh. What He Doesn’t Need to Know.”  In this article you advocate three relationship-saving secrets that every woman should keep from her man in order to remain “alluring”:

Tip #1: Don’t tell him what you do on nights apart.

“Maybe you’re just hanging out with the girls, but for all he knows, you’re out having crazy adventures… If you’re in a new relationship, be vague about going out. And if he asks you outright about your plans, you can even be a bit coy. Say, ‘Oh, wouldn’t you like to know, but I look forward to seeing you later,’ and leave it at that.”

Good point, Cosmo. If he knew what you were really doing, he might figure out the kinds of activities you thought were fun. No good can come from that kind of tedious oversharing. Here’s how I imagine this tip working in practice:

Guy: Hey, just had a pretty good night hanging out with my friend, Tom. We should find some time for you to meet him and hang out with my friends from high school. They said they wanted to get to know you now that we’ve been dating for awhile. What did you get up to tonight?

Girl: Wouldn’t you like to know? 😉

Guy: Yeah, that’s why I asked. Did you wind up going to trivia night like you mentioned?

Girl: Mayyyyyybe. 😉

Guy: So… you didn’t go?

Girl: Maybe I did. Maybe I didn’t. 😉

Guy: No, but seriously. What did you do tonight?

Girl: Haha, nice try, John. You’ll never know. 😉

Guy: …Are you cheating on me?

Girl: 😀

Tip #2: Hide your cool skills and special abilities so that you can surprise him with them at random moments.

“‘Continually pulling out secret talents or knowledge keeps him at the edge of his seat,’ says Murray [a relationship expert]… Perhaps you’ve been taking an online Spanish class. Keep it quiet, plan a date at a Mexican restaurant, and blow him away when you order in Spanish.”

Another good point, Cosmo. After all, there’s nothing sexier than ducking his attempts to get to know you. It’s even better if he thinks he does and then finds out he’s wrong. For example:

Guy: So, I’m still pretty concerned that you might be cheating on me, but I can’t get an answer one way or the other from you so I guess it must be fine.

Girl: It might be. Or it might not. 😉

Guy: Well, que sera sera.

Girl: That phrase is silly. The words are Spanish, but the grammar is wrong.

Guy: What? You don’t speak Spanish. I speak Spanish. I asked you if you did and you said you took Latin in high school.

Girl: I lied. I speak seven languages. (Proceeds to give sampling of each)

Guy: What? Wow. Now we really have to take a trip to Europe sometime. With your command of all those languages, it’s a shame you’ve never been out of the country.

Girl: I lied about that, too. I’ve been to almost every country. The ravioli I’m about to serve you right now? I learned to make that in Bologna.

Guy: But you said you couldn’t cook!

Girl: Also a lie.

Guy: But you just let me order a pizza for us. You said you didn’t have any food in the house for dinner.

Girl: I know. Are you impressed with me yet?

Guy: What? No. What’s happening? …Are you an international spy who’s cheating on me?

Girl: 😀

Tip #3: Never reveal your insecurities.

“As soon as you hint to your S.O. that you’re not feeling your best, it diminishes your appearance of being sexy and in charge, and it makes him suddenly see you as a work in progress—neither of which is going to ignite a lusty inferno in your relationship.”

Yes, that makes good sense, too. Of course, he will interpret your honesty as a sign of weakness. Why didn’t I see it all before? Why share the occasional moment of vulnerability that could bring you together when, instead, you could maintain the terrifying relentless façade of an invincible superhuman who has no feelings? Ultimately, I see this as the cherry on top of the mystery sundae:

Guy: Listen, Laura, we really need to sit down and have a talk. I’m starting to feel a little depressed by the idea that you might be an international spy who is cheating on me.

Girl: I can’t relate to that.

Guy: What? You’ve never been depressed?

Girl: I have no emotions. I have no weakness. I exude only mystery and allure.

Guy: Seriously? You’ve never felt sad?

Girl: Wouldn’t you like to know? Too bad you never will because my plane for Russia leaves in forty-five minutes. Hmm, time’s getting tight. I’ll have to fly my roof helicopter to the airport. Did you know that I can fly helicopters? Did you know that I had one on the roof? You do now. Or do you? Take nothing for granted. What if it’s all another lie? What’s real, John? Am I real, John? Are you? Can you prove that this relationship ever happened?  Maybe you’re in the Matrix right now.

Guy: Sweet Jesus, are you a cyborg as well as an international spy who is cheating on me?

Girl: Yes. No. Maybe. Probably. Definitely. Never. Not at all. BOOM. MINDFUCK. IS OUR LOVE A LUSTY INFERNO YET?

Yes, that all sounds about right.

Now, somehow, prior to reading this article, I’d always thought that openness and honesty were the foundation of a lasting relationship. Good thing I read this sucker through, though, because now I see that was naive tomfoolery. After all, why have trust and a solid foundation when instead you could trick your unsuspecting significant other into thinking you’re a Cyborg Carmen Sandiego who runs around the world boning everyone but him?

And he thought all he wanted was an intimate honest connection? That idiot. You and Cosmo will show him, all right.


  1. afeministeye

    This is an absolutely brilliant piece of satire. I wish more writers had your insight and humor, especially when it comes to the gender-repressive nonsense that is Cosmo magazine. I love reading this blog and I’m so excited to see where your career as a playwright and blogger takes you. Cheers to another fantastic post!

  2. charliegreenberry

    Oh my goodness! This was wonderful. I read the same article, but only because I really like to mark up copies of Cosmo with my responses and ninja turtle noses and leave them in public places. My thinking was that, if every woman in the world started acting like that, it’d be a lot easier to be a super-secret international spy. In the end, I was in favor of it for just that reason.

  3. Pingback: What He Doesn't Need To Know… « Sibling & Charybdis | Good Relationship
  4. Pingback: Why did we leave you, and 5 things to do until we come back « Sibling & Charybdis

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