Lingering Eyes & Long Goodbyes: What The 'Look' Really Means

So there you are (up in the club, yo). The music's blaring, everyone's far too drunk, but no one will admit to it, and you've given the last however many hours of your time to that eye candy (who has a great personality btw) you're in fierce pursuit of. They look at you and smile, their gaze lingers telling you... absolutely nothing. They could be giving you a flirty look, inviting you to get the shift, or they may just be being friendly who knows?

No one, that's who. Anyone who claims they can tell when someone is giving them 'the look' is full of absolute horseshit. That's not my opinion, it's an absolute fact. People look and smile at each other all the time, but it doesn't mean that you're going to have company tonight. If things were that simple, all our lives would probably be near identical to a Bonobos sex life.


Some people out there are just being friendly, and then there are those really sadistic people who spend all night flirting with you, loving all that attention you give them, and enjoying the drinks you paid for, but have zero interest in you. Obviously you don't have to do anything but come on, when you know they like you don't string them along, that's just cruel and you know it.


Life isn't a romantic comedy, people don't go at each other when it rains and the whole 'our eyes found each other across the smoke filled room' isn't a thing. Sure we can meet someone and hit it off, there can be instant chemistry, but meeting people to date them or engage in other adult activities isn't always so straightforward. It can be confusing and difficult, and working off the basis that looking at someone is how you'll get their number is a terrible, terrible plan.


True, sometimes it would appear we've picked up on 'the look'. Their eyes twinkle in the right way and you've drunk so much that you decide to be brave and make your move. They accept your embrace and we all know the rest. Other times you think they've given you the all clear when they give you that fleeting glance and a shy smile. So you move in and they run away screaming.


My girlfriend apparently gave me 'the look' several times the first night we got together. I just thought she was being friendly (I suppose she technically was). I thought she just wanted to be friends, she thought I just wanted to be friends, it was a terrible strategy and how things played out that night was no thanks to 'the look'.


This isn't exactly a unique story and I was lucky with the way things turned out. I know plenty of other people who have supposedly missed their chance. Ignorance is bliss till your friend points out how you had a shot with him/her because they were definitely giving you the look. How do they know for sure? They don't, but now that they've said it you'll forever wonder what could have been.


We're all guilty of this. At some point or another we'll think it a great idea to let our friend know about how they missed out. We want our friends to be happy, to find the warm embrace and tender lips of whatever they're attracted to (well as long as it's legal). So when we see a missed opportunity, something in our intoxicated brains says 'I better let them know that they missed out because that'll help somehow'. We are all guilty of this captain hindsight moment.

So what's to be done? Well for a start, you could just make a move. If they say no, they say no, but at least no one's time is being wasted. You can find your next target and pursue them. Or drown your sorrows at being rejected in alcohol. Or go dance, or get food. You do what you what you want, I'm not your boss. Yet.

Mark Byrne
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Has always wanted to write since he learnt to. When he was told he had to be able to spell and use proper grammar he considered a job as a binman, but thankfully he got over his fear of learning how to use proper english. Anything else? I dunno, he likes penguins, I guess. Just facebook creep on him like a normal person.
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