When you’re out
of the house, things might get a little freaky—and we’re not just talking about your girlfriend’s solo sessions with her vibrator. “We try to be the best version of ourselves around our man,” says DeAnna Lorraine, a Los Angeles-based dating coach. “So as soon as he leaves, we binge on weird behaviors that we’re afraid would turn him off.”
But it’s not just pimple-popping that happens once you’re off the property. Your girlfriend may also indulge in a few rebellious—and sometimes sexy—pleasures. “Being a ‘good girl’ can feel like a straitjacket,” says life coach Sasha Cagen, author of Quirky Alone. “So when a woman is alone, she can be bad, and do the things she’s not supposed to do.”
Here’s what she might be up to right now:
1. She watches your “together” TV shows without you.
In a recent Harris Interactive poll, 57 percent of women said they’d be willing to commit Netflix infidelity—that is, watch shared shows without their significant other. Of course, her secret Breaking Bad binge may be entirely innocent—she’s just so addicted that she can’t resist—or she may actually be a little pissed she’s on the couch . . . and you’re not. “If you’re out with the guys or on a business trip, and she’s upset you’re gone, watching the show may be a way of getting back,” says Lorraine. (Cagen also admits to doing this when a boyfriend didn’t seem fully committed to the relationship.)
2. Or she watches some freaky documentary.
If she’s not sneak-watching Dexter, your partner is probably indulging in one of those bizarre documentary-style shows, likeMy 600-Pound Life or Hoarders. “We like watching the really weird shows, but might feel self-conscious doing so with our guy,” says Lorraine. What’s the attraction? “Women are interested in emotions, inner life, and the weird parts of being human,” says Cagen. “They like the drama of being a person, whereas men are more drawn to the drama of competition.”
3. She checks herself out in the mirror. Naked.
Before you get too fired up, realize she probably isn’t admiring her stripped-down bod—more like scrutinizing it. A recent British study revealed that more than half of women spend 10 minutes a day staring into a mirror—and then feel bummed afterward. “Women suck in, check out their butt, and look at their pores,” says Lorraine. “They do poses in the mirror to see what their good side is.”
How can you reinforce the perfection of her reflection? In the morning, while she’s getting ready, simply say, “Babe, you look stunning. You’re such a natural beauty—gorgeous with or without makeup.” Do this often enough, and her private scrutiny may shift to appreciation.
4. She dances around the house. Also naked.
Two reasons she mimics Miley Cyrus at the VMAs: She’s practicing her moves for you, or she’s just playing out her childhood fantasy of being a pop star. Either way, “it helps us feel sexy and feminine,” says Lorraine. “A lot of women dance naked in heels. Some wear lingerie.”
Even if she’s fantasizing about doing a striptease, you may never see her moves. “Alone, she can be fun-sexy—and not so worried about being sexy-sexy for a guy,” says Cagen. “So she’s more liberated.” How can you encourage her to show off her twerking ability? After you’ve had a couple glasses of wine together, ask her to dance for you. Then compliment her like crazy.
5. She stuffs her face.
If she eats like a bird around you, she’s probably raiding the fridge while you’re away. “I’d down a whole bag of salt and vinegar potato chips,” says Cagen. “Some women binge on things they bake.” It’s the same reason she ate a salad on your first date: “We don’t feel the freedom to eat everything we want in front of a guy,” says Lorraine. “So when he leaves, we can stuff our face and really, really enjoy it.” Want her to let loose with you? “Tell her that you hope she’s eating whatever she wants, because she’s sexy when she eats,” says Lorraine. “Telling a woman she’s sexy when she does anything is highly encouraging.”
6. She performs crazy (and kind of scary) grooming rituals.
Popping pimples? That’s expected. But she’s also probably bleaching or waxing her mustache, plucking stray hairs, and sanding (or picking) away calluses on her feet. “There’s something satisfying about foot picking, like popping a pimple,” says Cagen. “And it’s relaxing.” Adds Lorraine: “Every time women pick a pimple, it’s therapeutic, like one more step toward a totally clear face.” Although you could suggest shaving her legs in the bathtub or giving each other facemasks, these activities are, for the most part, best left solo, says Lorraine. “We want men to think we’re naturally this fresh and beautiful, always.”
7. She stalks her ex on Facebook and curates her Pinterest wedding board.
Both are kind of disturbing, but neither is cause for alarm. In aMen’s Health survey, 70 percent of women admitted to Facebook-stalking an ex—and it’s probably not because she misses the guy. “We like to see whose life is better—mine or my ex’s?” says Lorraine. “We can be totally in love, but be curious about the past.”
As for the wedding ideas? “It’s like a vision board. It feels hopeful and optimistic—like she’s one step closer to having that man in her life,” says Lorraine. “You shouldn’t take it too seriously, because it’s not necessarily directed at you.”
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