If you’re married, or in a relationship, knowing how to read couple’s body language is important. Body language is a form of nonverbal communication that includes facial expressions, body movements, eye contact, hand gestures, touch and space. When men and women interact, their bodies speak volumes about the state of their relationship. Learning to read between the lines will benefit you and your partner.
Here are six everyday situations you will encounter with your wife or girlfriend, and what body language may be saying about your relationship. Learning to interpret body language can help you assess the state of your relationship-and teach you better nonverbal communication, so you can send the right messages to your loved one.
- Kisses. Kisses are easy to read. Soft, warm, lingering kisses with open lips express happiness and contentment. They say, “I want more of this.” Additionally, full body hugs confirm the message. On the other hand, quick, hard kisses with closed lips signal avoidance and tension. And, partial hugs that don’t fully connect bodies reveal obligation rather than intimacy.
- Arguments. Happy couples and fighting couples are easy to distinguish. Their bodies speak differently. Happy couples look physically and emotionally engaged. They make frequent eye contact, touch each other and hold their bodies close, usually facing one another. Fighting couples appear to threaten each other with pointing or jabbing fingers. Their faces have glazed looks or angry stares, and they stand or sit with their bodies turned away from each other. Crossed arms, rolled eyes and crinkled noses are signs of disapproval or disdain.
- Dining. Dining in a restaurant reveals a lot about a couple’s body language and their relationship status. Loving couples sit next to each other, either side-by-side or catty-corner. Frequent glances, smiles and eyebrow flashes acknowledge their partner’s presence. Unhappy couples are more likely to sit across from each other, at opposite ends of the table. They will be out of sync, eating their meals at different paces. Their movements won’t mirror each other like a happy couple’s movements.
- Watching TV. The state of a relationship can even be measured by how a couple sits at home. Happy couples sit next to each other, though not necessarily on top of each other. Even if partners sit at opposite ends of a sofa, their body language will mirror the other. Frequent glances assure each other, “I love you.” Unhappy couples are distant and sense a missing connection. Even during commercial breaks, they don’t attempt to reconnect. They may look like two lonely people sharing the same room.
- Walking. Do you know you can read a relationship by a couple’s walk? It’s true. Loving, happy couples walk in step. They’re in tune with each other, and it shows in the way they walk, hold hands and hold their shoulders. However, when one partner walks ahead of the other, it reveals a lack of connection, or even hostility. Unhappy couples are simply not in sync when they walk, and it probably translates to their home life, too.
- Lovemaking. Happy couples are in love. But, they make love with more than their bodies. They share a unique body language that starts with eye contact. And their bodies respond with a pleasure language that shows they’re in sync sexually. Unhappy couples are less responsive toward each other. Partners who keep their eyes shut tight, or who move with a stiff neck and shoulders, communicate coldness, anxiety or disinterest.
In marriage, or any relationship, it’s not just what you say that matters, but how you say it. Nonverbal communication is a back-and-forth, give-and-take process. It’s as important as verbal communication to a good relationship. Learning how to read couple’s body language in your own relationship-and how to better respond to your partner-can make all the difference.