“As long as I know how to love, I know I’ll stay alive…”





I confess, no one ever asks me to “smile more.”


Throughout my life, I’ve been described as “dark”, “brooding” and “intense”.


In fact, those who didn’t know me well have categorized me as villainous from the outset, seeing as I resemble the antagonist (far more than the protagonist) in most literature and film.


This caused me no end of frustration and consternation for decades.


Until, however – after a great deal of effort, I managed to put it to work for me in aid of an anti-hero/outlaw persona.


Thus, bringing a tremendous amount of peace to my daily existence.


Yet all of the above only increases my consternation when women complain about being posed the same request I mentioned in the opening line.




See, no one expects me to be happy.


And even fewer care if I am.


(Truth be told, those two facts form a bit of a viscous cycle if one considers them both for more than the briefest of moments.)


Why grow angry at being asked to “smile more”?




Now, I understand no one wants their mood dictated to them.


Nor does anyone want to be denied their sorrows, when they occur.


Agency of emotion is an important thing to any person, women especially, I’m sure.


Yet ire at such a request seems foolish to me, for a few reasons:


1} Few make the request of someone for whom they don’t care. So, at least mildly decent odds suggests they have concern for you.


2} Few make the request of someone for whom there is obvious reason to avoid doing so. So odds are they perceive life has been generous enough to give you reason to do such.


3} Few make the request of those with poor/weird/creepy smiles. So it’s likely they believe you’ve the looks to make it work.




I’m sure there will be those who feel my three reasons are insufficient or naive.


Perhaps there are even some women who feel it’s sexist to be asked such.


Which I’m compelled to say, may be correct.


But for the wrong reasons guessed.




See, what gets forgotten is a critical point of female mate value is their ⁂ resilience ⁂.


Perpetually scowling, frowning and other exhibitions of displeasure could very well indicate:


1} A lack of fortitude to deal with the suffering dealt by life.


2} A chronic state of dissatisfaction and, potentially, an inability to be pleased.

Frankly, I’d be hard pressed to come up with less desirable traits in a female companion for any man.


Which is very likely why so many men shun and bemoan the deluge of miserable-looking women they encounter with staggering frequency both online and in their daily lives.


It may also be why those very women seem to only spiral downward further and faster, the more they rise up against such sentiments.


Additionally, as the lyric I’ve chosen as this post’s title states and ⁂ any dog knows ⁂, just the ability to give love goes a surprisingly long way in female struggle for survival.


Thus, the suggestion to “smile more” is, when seen from this perspective, extremely good advice.




Of course, none of this is to condone disingenuousness.


Nor concealment of powerful, well-founded emotions.


Rather, to point out what is being conveyed.


And how the message is being received.




6 Responses to ““As long as I know how to love, I know I’ll stay alive…””

  1. Amen…although I suspect this isn’t a part of your regular iPod shuffling.

  2. A♠,

    It has been posited that your body language and expressions can influence your state of mind. “Power Poses” and all that.

    And the perennial fridge-magnet philosophy “Smile … it’ll make everybody wonder what you’re up to.”

    The idea that anybody can be upbeat, positive and happy all the time is just New Age insanity. But being constantly miserable is equally unhealthy. Life just isn’t that good or that bad all the time.

    High and low moods are kind of like high and low prices; if everything is functioning normally they will revert to a mean. Somebody who’s constantly giddy or glum has a stuck lever somewhere. Best to stay away or deal with them low-key if it can’t be avoided.

    My two cents Canadian,

    • JD,

      Your summation is spot on here:

      “Life just isn’t that good or that bad all the time.”

      And I very much enjoy this succinct analogy of yours:

      “Somebody who’s constantly giddy or glum has a stuck lever somewhere.”

      Sincerest best,


  3. Asking a woman to ‘smile’ is an indirect request that she appear to be sexually available, or to at least be sexually attractive. As stated above, no one wants the company of a shrew. Men are not usually asked to smile because we’re designed to be sexually available 24/7 no matter what our state of mind or emotion.

    If a woman does ever ask you to smile, she’s pretty much sending up a flare that she’s interested. She’s asking you to mimic a female behavior that she considers an act of flirting.

    • Myopia,

      Well said.

      I agree and, frankly, believe this statement of yours is why they’re upset:

      “Asking a woman to ‘smile’ is an indirect request that she appear to be sexually available, or to at least be sexually attractive.”

      While I can – on the surface – see why this would be interpreted as a male power-play, I believe the real issue at hand is simply they’re being asked to contribute that which makes them (again, frankly) most valuable. Especially since my own (anecdotal) experience is that women tell other women to “smile more” with greater frequency than most men ever do.

      All of this is somewhat related to my personal (hard-learned) credo of:

      Never ask a woman why she loves you as it’s likely the answer will only disappoint you.

      As always, YMMV.

      All the best to you & yours,


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