The Look is the wordless expression guys get when the ladies are not impressed with our comments, our actions, our oversights, or the body-generated sound we just shared. We should view The Look as a courtesy warning that the relationship is about to veer off course. The ladies use turn signals, but we must pay attention.
The diagram captures the common path from The Look through the possible states to follow. Permutations of movement as well as additional states are possible but not shown to preserve readability.
Following The Look is a period called The Pout. The lady ceases verbal communication for an unspecified segment of time. The guy’s question, “What’s wrong?” receives the lady’s single word reply, “Nothing!” Now the guy digs a deeper hole with his second clueless query, “Did I do something?” The lady retransmits The Look and the process restarts. The wise man, eager to avoid oscillating between The Look and The Pout will exercise consideration and wait for his lady to signal her next move.
The Pout usually gives way to The Torrent. It is in this verbal exchange the man gains appreciation for the capacity of the lady’s mind to capture and retain dates, conversations, his past actions, and so on. Recall the library computer with the female voice on the Enterprise in the original version of Star Trek. She remembered everything. The one-line executive summary to be gleaned from The Torrent is, “My lady is not happy, and I’m the most-likely cause!”
Men, there is a glimmer of hope for an exit in The Torrent phase if we withhold our rebuttal and allow the lady to express her thoughts. Don’t try to overpower her with loudness. Once the lady’s verbal energy begins to subside our next words are crucial. Here are some suggested deescalating lines to memorize:
- Honey, I love you. I didn’t mean to hurt you.
- What do I need to change?
- You’re right. What I did was inexcusable. Will you forgive me?
The lucky guy who reaches his lady’s heart with his humility, sincerity and devotion will skip the next step and jump straight to The Makeup. Nice move, genius! The bonehead who opts to score personal points in The Torrent will pay a steep price. Up next for that guy is The Couch.
Even sunshine and twittering birds will not lift the sting for a man marooned on The Couch. The lady does not care about the lump that makes The Couch uncomfortable or the blanket that does not cover the man’s feet. The guy must endure the hardship and wait until his lady is ready to retrieve him from exile.
The Makeup follows The Couch (hopefully). In this stage, the one the marooned guy hopes for with all his being, the lady accepts him back into her graces. Men, remember that The Makeup is not the time to restart hostilities. Be on your best behavior and exercise caution with your words.
I used to think that teen-aged daughters learned The Look from mommy’s interactions with daddy. Recent discoveries have forced me to reconsider that position. May I share Exhibit A, this picture of my bride as a child? The photographer, the parents, or someone waiting to see Santa received Shawn’s five-star laser-focused Look. Ouch!
Granddaughter Fern, at three months of age, gave me The Look a couple of weeks ago as shown in Exhibit B. She’s not advanced enough to have learned it from her momma or grandmamma. That little ten-pound bundle of joy pulled The Look from deep inside herself all by herself.
Was it something I said?
Disclaimer – The first version of this post triggered The Look from my editor-in-chief along with a warning that I may want to consider a revision. I have reworked the post accordingly.