The Difference in Nonverbal Behaviors and How it Changes In Different Stages of A Relationship

” The Difference in Nonverbal Behaviors and How It Changes In Different Stages of A relationship”

October 7, 2013 by Bryce Runge

Casual dating, exclusive dating, long-term dating, cohabitation while in a long-term relationship, and marriage are five different stages of a relationship studied in this article. With each having their own expectations on how the couples should be communication non-verbally  and how body language is looked at while in each different stage. Within these stages we find that men and woman differ and are disparate, which is found to be very common when dealing with this type of communication.

Research that has taken place includes gender differences, stage differences and age differences in order to determine to characteristics of nonverbal communication. Studies show that while a couple is in love they produce increased levels of confidence in their judgment regarding love. Other studies show that a relationship dealing with conflict caused in romance, can elevate negativity and decrease of a positive environment. It has also been found that woman with high ambivalence will express a much larger number of negative facial expressions and a shorter lasting positive facial expression than less ambivalent woman.

I have also read that studies found that unhappy couples seem to have shown a more poignant facial expression than others as well as finding that older married couples tend to display a lower pattern of listening skills versus middle-aged married couples.

During these studies I have read that those in more secure relationships touch their partner more, laugh more, look more and smile more. Studies also showed that people who displayed a more secure attachment were found to be more non-verbally expressive. Over time, communication tends to become more aware and individual predictions  of the spouse are more common.

Touching becomes a big part of the relationship especially the longer the relationship goes on. Married couples tend to touch more verses couples just dating or starting off. Studies show that it is more common for males to be more touchy feel while in a  dating relationship and woman tend to open up more and become more affections, touching after marriage.

After reading, studies show that there is a big difference in nonverbal communication  between male and females during the different relationship stages.  Woman express their nonverbal communication skills more than men while in relationships. Along with expressing nonverbal ques more than men, woman tend to identify nonverbal communication much differently than men do.

From this study there are a few limitations regarding nonverbal communication during these different stages of relationships.  One limitation is that  the study was done surveying college students. The other negative to the study is that the couples involved were not interviewed or talked to in person. All studies were done via a questionnaire.  Therefore, those involved in the study very easily could have produced false information or described what they would like to see out of their relationship.

Tracy Prinson, Narissra M. Punyanunt-Carter. (2009). The difference in nonverbal behaviors and how it changes in different stages of a relationship. 34(1), 1-7.


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