Which one of us wouldn't want to understand "guy speak"? Yep, that's a language that's even more complicated than trying to learn Greek, Latin, Russian, and Arabic all at the same time. :)
Of course, to be able to decode a guy's words, you need to know the guy in question. For example, I know that when my husband says "Oooo-kay..." when he's looking at my clothes, I can understand from this word - and the scowl or the puzzlement - on his face - what he is trying to be diplomatic about. (I better too, I mean, 10 years with the bloke, I'd really be an airhead if I hadn't figured out some of his 'basics', innit?)
And writers, we can hedge as much as we want, but we have to write that male POV in our romances, and that POV has to sound, well, male. For that, we need to know "guy speak" even if we don't exactly speak it fluently (I sometimes wonder if even guys know how to speak "guy" fluently, but that's another discussion...).
So here are words from real men out there - this is "guy speak" and the translation, from the horse's mouth so to speak. :)
The article is MSN Lifestyle, Love & Relationships, and is by Robyn Baitcher. You can find it online here.
Decode His Compliments: What He Thinks About Your Look
When he says, "You look nice," what exactly does that mean? We got real men to give us the scoop on how they react when their wife, girlfriend, or someone they're dating asks, "How do I look?"
He Gets Ambiguous
"When her look isn't my favorite, I'll say, 'That's a fun dress.' 'Fun' can be positive, or it can mean it's unusual in a bad way. I also go with 'It's interesting' a lot of the time if I don't like her outfit." — Sebastian, 25
"I'll say something like, 'That looks funny,' if I don't like what she's wearing. I might say it with a positive tone in my voice because then her feelings won't get hurt. I want to tell her the truth, but at the same time I want her to know I think she's adorable no matter what. So saying her outfit is funny is my way of telling her it doesn't work for me in some way." — Kennedy, 29
It's All in His Tone
"If I dislike something about her look, you can tell it all in my body language and by the tone of my voice. So even if I say, 'It's cute,' my voice will get higher, my eyebrows will go up, and I'll nod a lot. Lying is stressful; so I look stressed." — Zach, 23
He Focuses on the Positive
"If I don't like her outfit, I'll comment on one specific aspect I do like. If I don't like her dress, I'll say, 'I like the color' or 'I like the top part of the dress.' This avoids risking that I'll make her upset if I tell her flat-out that I don't like her style." — Geoff, 23
"My trick is to think of another outfit or accessory she has and then make it seem like I want her to wear that since she looked so great in it. So if I don't like her shirt, I'll say, 'Oh, but remember that green shirt you have? I loved that one!' A lot of times she'll change outfits. I don't want to put her look down, but if she asks for my input it's one way I can give negative feedback without being obvious or come off sounding mean." — Adam, 32
When He's Turned on, You'll Know
"I'll just go with 'You look beautiful' when she really has something gorgeous on. I honestly think my girlfriend looks great all the time, but I think she can tell when I really love something she's wearing. If I love it, I'll get racier with what I say like, 'That dress looks nice, but I'd like you better without it.'" — Zach, 23
He Gets More Honest with Time
"I'm married, and I always think my wife looks beautiful. What first attracted me to her was how bold she was in every way — including her makeup and hair. If she asks me how she looks and I really don't get it, I'll tell her. What I think is hotter than any outfit is the fact that no matter what anyone thinks about her look, she still won't change it." — Cody, 38
"I trust her for telling me the truth, and I think she deserves the same. I will tell her I genuinely like what she's wearing if she looks good. I'll say something like, 'You look gorgeous! I can't wait to get home later!' And if her style is weird, I'll suggest something else. I know what's in her closet. We're on the same page, so she tells me when she thinks my look is unusual too." — Peter, 23
The Bottom Line: He's Probably Confused
"If she likes her outfit, I'll support it. I don't feel like I'm fashion-forward enough to know what's cool anyway! I just want her to like how she looks so she'll have a fun night. Then I'll have more fun too." — Frank, 26
"When it comes to these types of questions, I need more specifics. Instead of asking, 'How do I look?' ask me, 'Does this shirt look too big on me?' or 'Does this pink nail polish seem serious enough for a first day at a new job?' Those questions I can answer. It's not about lying about how I think her outfit looks, it's just more about having the right details so I can answer and actually help." — Allan, 48
From Mauritius with love,