We’ve all forced our favorite female to sit through a ball game they don’t quite care about, or a movie with more explosions than they likely want to see. So, just as her eyes glaze over and she clearly communicates that she would rather be elsewhere, say one of the follow statements verbatim. Consider this an exercise in empathy, but also one in pragmatism, because who knows where it may lead?

1 – “You know, I’ve been thinking…Lena Dunham is really brave.”

Whether you’ve ever sat through an episode of the hit HBO series “Girls” or not, this is sure to elicit a big response. Why? Because Lena Dunham is the hero/antihero of an entire generation of twenty-something women. Some find the show’s nudity appalling, others think it’s some kind of body revolution for women everywhere. Wherever your girlfriend’s perspective lands on the map, trust me, she has one.

2 – “Which ‘Sex and the City’ girl are you?”

Sure, at first she’ll roll her eyes, but in her head she’s thinking, “Charlotte! Not Samantha! No! Why do I still care about a show that hasn’t been on the air for ten years!” This show was like a great Biblical flood – no woman escaped the cultural hurricane that it created. No matter what ethnicity, pay grade or education your girlfriend has, she has vicariously lived through and envied at least one of these four fictional women. These are facts.

3 – “You know, women pay far more for underwear than men do.”

This sounds like an irrelevant comment under just about any circumstances, but follow me here. This is an inherent difference between women and ourselves, like menstruation and hormones. Although something as innocuous as underwear doesn’t sound worthwhile, it is a symptom of the things that divide us. Saying this will get you a standing ovation. It’s saying, “Yeah, we’re very different and that’s what makes us great together.”

4 – “Why don’t we just stay in tonight and search for cat GIFs on Tumblr.”

This one might get you into trouble. The “I called my mom and told her ‘I think you’re the one'” kind of trouble. Scientist have yet to make sense of the raw data, but repeating images of cats jumping, falling, eating, playing and generally being cute does something powerful to the female mind. And you definitely want that associated with you.

5 – “I like a girl with an appetite.”

Not every girl comes with more issues than you can shake the crazy stick at, but every girl has a few hang-ups with food, their weight, their ideal weight, their high school weight… you get it. This statement is a solemn reassurance that your love and affection does not ebb and flow with each and every meal. It communicates that sharing good food is a simple pleasure in life that should not be swiftly followed by feelings of guilt and regret. Sometimes the most obvious things must be said.