Nonverbal dating behaviors

207) as they play out in the complexities of real life.It is also consistent with a dialectical approach to relationships, which views change as expected in rather than problematic to relationships (Baxter & Montgomery, 1996).That is, one or more nonverbal cues may function to alter something in a relationship—or at least within the minds of the partners to that relationship—quickly and saliently.Manusov and Milstein (2005) refer to the ability to evoke change as the “transformational quality” of nonverbal cues, and such a conceptualization is consistent with Andersen’s (2008) claim that nonverbal cues in relationships can be “capricious and nonlinear” (p.Nonverbal communication not only reflects existing relationships, however; the enactment of certain behaviors (i.e., intimate cues) works to create a certain type of relationship (Andersen et al., 2006; Noller, 2006).

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Likewise, brief and appropriate touches tend to increase positive affect between interactants (Hornik, 1992).

Nonverbal cues have arisen inductively as “turning point material” in several studies, however.

In their investigation of romantic partners, for example, Baxter and Bullis (1986) noted that two behaviors associated with touch—first kiss and first sex—were important events in escalating relationship commitment.

relationships sometimes suffer when people send conflicting nonverbal messages, express negativity through nonverbal cues, or misinterpret one another’s behaviors.

Nonverbal communication is also a potent means for showing affection, expressing positive emotions, and otherwise maintaining satisfying relationships (pp. Perhaps most notably, however, nonverbal cues are a primary mode through which people reflect the current nature of a relationship to one another and to others around them.


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