Nonverbal communication and dating

nonverbal communication and dating

Most of us remember cringing as children when our mothers gave us that look -- the look that meant we were in deep trouble. She didn't have to say a word. Keywords: nonverbal cues, relational turning points, nonverbal triggers, .. to be the typical “prince charming” that all guys seem to be when you first start dating. It's not what we say but what we don't say that matters sometimes. Especially in matters of the heart! Let's face it, verbal communication during.

Procedures [ TOP ] Following Institutional Review Board approval and instructor consent, two of the authors recruited students from 8 classes, which ranged in size from 24 to students.

How to Tell if your Date likes you - Nonverbal Language in Dating

Students were also told about alternative extra credit opportunities if they did not want to participate in the study. Students who chose to take part in this study were asked to go to a website address with our survey.

nonverbal communication and dating

After the system assessed their enrollment status, and the fact that they had not yet taken the survey, the respondents were given this information: Nonverbal behaviors are actions like touch, facial expressions, the use of time, and vocal tones that may communicate things to others. More specifically, we would like you to recall a type of nonverbal behavior enacted by you or another person that you felt changed something between you and that other person.

This turning point could be positive or negative. But, it should be an event that was meaningful to you in the relationship. If they were able to recall such a time, they were then asked to complete the following two questions: What was the behavior or behaviors and what was the meaning you interpreted for the behavior?

Describe the story of this behavior and what changes the behavior brought about. They also rated on a scale of 1 very negative to 5 very positive how positive or negative the event was to them; how negatively or positively they viewed their relationship prior to and after the event; how negatively or positively they felt about the other person prior to and after the event; and how negatively or positively they felt about themselves prior to and after the event.

They indicated how long it had been since the event occurred, what nonverbal behaviors were involved in the event in addition to their open-ended description, they could choose one or more of the following: They also reported how long before the present the event occurred, their relationship with the other person at the time of the occurrence and at the present, and other demographic information.

Coding [ TOP ] After data collection was complete, the researchers each read all of the open-ended data separately to look for the general types of changes that appeared to have come about through nonverbal cues.

To begin this process, each researcher was provided with one third of the responses, sorted them into piles based on the similarity of their content, and created tentative categories. After establishing these initial categories, we then met to discuss the data and identified through further use of constant comparative analysis four categories of change see results.

Throughout this process, the categories were redefined and revised until they did not need further modification. The primary investigator PI assessed the reliability of their coding and found that of the responses were categorized the same by both coders. The PI then acted as arbiter, placing the contested entries into one of the codes she believed best fit the data and that was suggested by one of the other researchers.

All of the responses fit well into one of the four change types. Thus, the occurrence of each cue across the data set could range from 0 were not indicated by any of the respondents to all of the respondents indicated that the cue was part of the change. This was the nonverbal cue chosen most commonly.

Nearly as common were facial expressions, which were reported times, often in combination with eye behavior. Of these, two referenced what was said, a category not applicable to this study. Many of the others were included in or restatements of existing categories e. Overall, then, a range of cues were reported as triggers for change in close relationships, the most frequent of which were eye behavior, facial expressions, touch, and use of personal space.

Research Questions Two and Three [ TOP ] To answer the second research question, we assessed whether the behaviors were part of events that were valenced differently by participants. Our assumption was that higher or lower valence scores given by people who included the behavior as compared to those who did not would indicate indirectly how they judged the behavior. Overall, then, three cues seem to be associated consistently with judgments of the event. Touch was associated with more positive judgments, voice with more negative evaluations, and facial expressions with neutral scores but scores that were lower than the scores given to interactions that did not include facial expressions.

The other behaviors may have been associated with events that were sometimes judged positively and other times negatively, or they did not have a strong evaluation. Research question three explored some of the ways in which the valence of nonverbal turning points may be associated with other judgments that respondents made.

nonverbal communication and dating

As a comparison, we also looked at their reports of those same judgments prior to the event. To do these analyses, we ran one-tailed Pearson correlations between judgment of the event negative to positive on a five point scale with the same scale applied to ratings of their relationship, the other person, and themselves after the event. We also looked at the correlations of the same variables prior to the event.

nonverbal communication and dating

But the size of those correlations is extremely small compared with the judgments for after the event, and given the sample size may be negligible. Overall, however, and whereas no causal claims can be made, there is a suggestion that the valence of the events—or at least how they are perceived or interpreted—affect how people judge their relationship, the other person, and themselves, in both negative and positive ways.

Research Question Four [ TOP ] The fourth research question was concerned with whether certain behaviors were more or less likely to trigger turning points in different types of relationships. As noted, participants stated the type of relationship that they had with the other person both before and after the event occurred. One analysis was run for each of the seven behaviors on which we had participants report. Based on close reading and discussion among all three researchers, four primary categories of change were indicated in these data.

Examples from the data may help to illustrate the nature of these reported changes. We include some points in italics, and this is done for emphasis. They were not in the original survey responses. The following entry reflects how a nonverbal cue can change how people come to view their relationship with another person.

It suggests that, for one of the participants, the relationship may have already changed.

What’s She Really Saying? The Non-Verbal Side of Dating

I had this friend called Katie. We became good friends but there was one incident that I felt changed our friendship. I was sitting next to her at lunch with a group of friends. My friends made some reference to something funny and I turned over and made a comment about it.

She kept her head down and gave me this cold shrug. After this behavior, I realized that something was definitely wrong with our relationship. Likewise, the following two examples help show a shift in perception of another person: I was just feeling down in general. And I was sitting there on the couch, hiding my feelings and putting on a smile.

Non Verbal Communication with Dating

I asked him what that was for, and he just said it looked like I needed it. After that, I began to view him differently.

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Turns out that was right around the time when he was getting into various drugs and stealing money from his mother for them. Not being able for him to keep eye contact was the first thing that made me distrust him. As can be seen in the above example, some of our participants seemed very aware of the specific perceptual change and noted it directly.

The following is an explicit example of change in perception, this time about behavior and its importance to another, as stated by the respondent: My sister and I were arguing about something stupid one day.

Usually, she would bring something up and nag me about it. I would pretend like I was listening and just agree.

Non Verbal Communication with Dating

But this one day when she brought up one of her concerns I just ignored her. To my surprise she stopped nagging me and then began to cry. After I saw her cry, I instantly went to her and listened to her. Because she cried, I realized how important the issue was.

It changed my perspective and now I always try to listen. Overall, this set of changes reflected typically immediate shifts in how one person understands and sometimes evaluates another or a relationship.

They reflect a reportedly new awareness on the part of the meaning-maker, and show the potential for nonverbal cues to help change our stance.

These could be changes in the way that they felt about the other e. Indeed, it was sometimes difficult to decide whether the primary change was in affect or in a relationship. Typically, the writer did not talk about a change in the type of relationship that he or she had with the other. Indeed, often it was a validation of the type of relationship they had, as the affect shown was more consistent with the current relational status than the person may have been experiencing.

Some examples are as follows: I was recently at a party and my ex boyfriend and I were on really bad terms. We were at this party and several times across the room we met eye contact and he smiled at me. His eye contact and smile sort of said an apology in itself and showed that he still wanted to be friends. The following also shows the close tie between affect and relationship, where, again, the type of relationship did not change but the feelings within them did.

Having just admitted to lying to, and cheating on, my partner for several years, I cried while my partner embraced me for about twenty minutes. The experience ultimately brought us much closer together, solidified the bond between us and symbolized a strengthened commitment to one another. During an important part of the game, my team made a mistake and the coach shook his head and called a timeout.

During the timeout, he had a frustrated look on his face which brought the whole team down. Overall, these events included discussion of how nonverbal cues changed, more than anything, how the individuals felt generally or about one another. The focus is not on changing the character or type of relationship, although certainly relationships were reported to be affected by these emotional shifts.

What’s She Really Saying? The Non-Verbal Side of Dating

In some cases, these were behaviors that happened subsequent to the interaction. The only way to handle them is to focus on the rest of your body language and have a genuine conversation.

However, from this, simply know that making your body language warm and reactive, and responsive to what she is doing and how she is moving, will be the key to knowing when to lead her onwards. Knowing how to read female body language is essential to the success of a date. Even your dress sense says multitudes about you. If a quicker fix is on your radar, you can try vocal training or even something like improvisational comedy classes to bring you out of your comfort zone and grant a natural dynamism to your voice.

Women want to see energy and the ability to command respect while talking. This means pausing appropriately, always giving yourself space to breathe, and being natural.

nonverbal communication and dating

In some cases, we don't meant to do it, but we can't really communicate effectively without it. Increases Closeness Nonverbal communication can be incredibly reassuring. A warm smile thrown your way when you are trying to apologize for something, a light touch on your arm when you are sharing something difficult, a soft tone of voice or even a step toward you are all ways that nonverbal communication can increase closeness between two people in a relationship.

This type of nonverbal communication complements the message the speaker is trying to convey. Enhances Understanding When nonverbal communication is used to accent a message, it can enhance understanding. If you are in a negotiation with a coworker, and you see him nodding, this is a clue that you are probably on the right track. If your boss is telling you about something he feels strongly about, and he pounds the desk for emphasis, this is an indication that you should take what he's talking about seriously.

If your significant other tells you he is fine with you going away for the weekend, but his voice is shaky and he is frowning, you might want to probe a bit further because these things tell you that there is something else going on with his feelings about your trip. In most cases, nonverbal communication is not something that is easy to fake, according to HelpGuide.