Nonverbal communication in dating relationships
We all have a need for physical space, although that need differs depending on the culture, the situation, and the closeness of the relationship.
You can use physical space to communicate many different nonverbal messages, including signals of intimacy and affection, aggression or dominance. When we speak, other people “read” our voices in addition to listening to our words.
Eye contact is also important in maintaining the flow of conversation and for gauging the other person’s response. Think about the messages given by the following: a weak handshake, a timid tap on the shoulder, a warm bear hug, a reassuring slap on the back, a patronizing pat on the head, or a controlling grip on your arm.
When they don’t, they generate tension, mistrust, and confusion.Even when you're silent, you're still communicating nonverbally.Oftentimes, what comes out of our mouths and what we communicate through our body language are two totally different things.We wave, point, beckon, and use our hands when we’re arguing or speaking animatedly—expressing ourselves with gestures often without thinking.However, the meaning of gestures can be very different across cultures and regions, so it’s important to be careful to avoid misinterpretation.
Ted, Arlene, and Jack are all articulate speakers who say one thing while communicating something else nonverbally, with disastrous results in their relationships: believes he gets along great with his colleagues at work, but if you were to ask any of them, they would say that Jack is "intimidating" and "very intense." Rather than just look at you, he seems to devour you with his eyes.