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Courtship Chemistry

CR4's only blog that helps you understand the science in human relationships. The pieces written by Chelsey H and HUSH, with some friends along the way, will provide a male/female dynamic that will offer a better understanding of interpersonal relationships, from friendships and family, to romance and marriage. We won't be counseling but we will be offering scientific evidence as to why she plays with her hair when he walks by or why he doesn't like the guy that keeps catching her eye. Join us: we love to read your comments about your own experiences in the dangerous world of relationships.

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Learning the Body Language of Attraction-Part 1

Posted February 23, 2012 1:21 PM by Chelsey H

Body language is the study of nonverbal communication. Since 93 percent of the impressions you make on people are non-verbal, it may be helpful to understand not only the impression you give people but what people are really saying when they talk to you. Research was done at the University of Pennsylvania to observe how body language affects the impression people make of each other. The study revealed that 55 percent of the impression people form of you is based on your postures, body movements and gestures, 38 percent was based on the tone (tempo and frequency) of your voice, and only 7 percent was based on what you say.

Nonverbal communication can be defined as "communication without words through multiple communication channels". This is not an end-all definition though; there is still some dispute as to whether nonverbal communication includes unconscious movements and nonverbal communication methods vary between different cultures.

The body language of love is a well researched topic. Even a basic understanding of other people's reactions could make a new relationship bloom or can be used to save yourself from the embarrassment of rejection. Flirting is an emotional state and therefore has specific nonverbal body movements associated with it.

Body language tells all. Image Credit: Photostock

In the book "The Definitive Book of Body Language", the chapter on courtship discusses the nuances of male and female courting. The book first defines 'sexy' as highlighting gender differences; this means that a man will make himself look more masculine and aggressive, while a woman will make herself look more feminine and submissive. It was interesting to read that women call most of the shots during the courtship "dance". While men may appear to make the first move because they walked across the room, they only did that because the woman was sending them signals that she wants to be approached. Studies show that women initiate up to 90 percent of flirtatious encounters this way.

The Sequence of Events

There is a predictable sequence of events that happen between two people who find each other attractive.

1. Eye contact- Eye contact is a very powerful tool in almost every aspect of socialization. For most courtships, eye contact is the first thing that gets noticed. On average, the woman needs to make, and hold eye contact for five seconds with the targeted man three times before he realizes what's going on. But the gaze starts the flirting process.

2. Smiling- The woman then must deliver one or two fleeting smiles which is supposed to give the man the green light to approach. Unfortunately this is where most men miss the signal, leaving the women feeling that he is not interested.

3. Preening- This targets the animalistic nature in all of us. We want to be noticed for the things that make our gender unique and attractive. Women will sit up straight to emphasize their breasts and cross their legs or ankles to show them to their best advantage. If she is standing, she may tilt her hips and tip her head to one shoulder exposing her neck. Women will also play with their hair, lick her lips, or adjust her clothing or jewelry. A man will respond by standing taller, pulling in his stomach, expanding his chest, and adjusting his clothes and hair. This is all done as a sign of grooming for the opposite gender. They will also point their toes, feet or bodies at each other.

4. Talk- He'll approach and make small talk (often using cheesy pick up lines).

5. Touch- She'll attempt to initiate a light touch on the arm or hand. A hand touch is a higher level of intimacy, but each level of touch is repeated to check that the other person is comfortable with that level. Shaking hands is a quick way to move to the touch stage.

OK now that you know what should happen, you have to know how to make it happen. I'll talk about that in Part 2 of this blog post coming soon.

Resources

Body Language: In state of flirting

Reading Body Language

Pease, Allan, and Barbara Pease. The Definitive Book of Body Language. New York: Bantam, 2006. Print.

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#1

Re: Learning the Body Language of Attraction-Part 1

02/23/2012 1:46 PM

Chelsey, I am reading this with my assigned subtitle "What Women Really Want".

Please tell me; after reading the anticipated 74 installments of this, can I be right once in a while?

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#2
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Re: Learning the Body Language of Attraction-Part 1

02/23/2012 2:20 PM

Best if you are right once and a while you keep it to yourself. I don't think you will find in any of those 74 installment they want to be proven wrong!

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#3
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Re: Learning the Body Language of Attraction-Part 1

02/23/2012 4:37 PM
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#5
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Re: Learning the Body Language of Attraction-Part 1

02/24/2012 3:59 AM

Are you male?

If you answered "yes" to this question, then the answer you seek is "No".

.

.

Jus' sayin'

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#9
In reply to #5

Re: Learning the Body Language of Attraction-Part 1

02/24/2012 10:34 AM

ER, I believe you are correct: I'll never understand women <sigh>. These mysterious creatures seem to thrive on an uneven keel. There are some notable exceptions to this generalization.

I once married a woman believing she wouldn't change... but she did.
She married me believing she could change me... and discovered that she couldn't.

I am still attracted to them (a moth to a flame?), especially when some of these little signals mentioned in the blog are being broadcast.

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#14
In reply to #9

Re: Learning the Body Language of Attraction-Part 1

02/27/2012 10:06 AM

'Sokay, I'll let you into a secret, since no-one else is listening....most women don't understand men, either.

A thought for you: do you need to understand women - or would understanding just one be enough?

Of course you're still attracted to them (and they to you if those little signals are flashing)...it's what you're programmed to do! And being male, you're programmed to "spread it about", in a genetic sense, as much as possible. We little women are programmed to hang on to our big, strong providers for safety...at least until a better* one comes along

I'll just sit here looking helpless and fluttering my eyelashes for a bit...

*and since "better" is so subjective, the devil you know is often the one that wins...

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#4

Re: Learning the Body Language of Attraction-Part 1

02/23/2012 11:59 PM

Somebody seems to be speaking the language pretty well....

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#6

Re: Learning the Body Language of Attraction-Part 1

02/24/2012 7:31 AM

Engineers really need this:

  • An introvert engineer looks at his shoelaces.
  • An extrovert engineer looks at other people's shoelaces.

But what would I know? I'm a polooceman.

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#7
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Re: Learning the Body Language of Attraction-Part 1

02/24/2012 7:35 AM

<touches Crabtree's arm...briefly...whilst gazing at his shoelaces>

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Re: Learning the Body Language of Attraction-Part 1

02/24/2012 8:33 AM

Really! We hardly know each other!

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#13
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Re: Learning the Body Language of Attraction-Part 1

02/27/2012 9:55 AM

<backs off rapidly and goes to hide in Del's nest>

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#10

Re: Learning the Body Language of Attraction-Part 1

02/24/2012 3:52 PM

What?!? There are signals?!? That might explain the more direct approach taken by all those women, and eventually Mrs. North, when we first met.

I didn't get it until she leaned into me [pressing herself ever so slightly against me] and whispered something in my ear. That, after she walked right up to me, invaded my space, told me she wasn't dating anyone at the moment and wrote her phone number on my forearm with red lipstick.

THAT got my attention. Not these silly signals you speak of.

Don't ask me what she whispered, because I don't know. And she won't tell me. But she DID tell me that she was forced to do what she did because I was such a baffoon. Oooo, spicy!

My St. Valentine's Day Massacre followed shortly afterward.

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#11
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Re: Learning the Body Language of Attraction-Part 1

02/24/2012 4:48 PM

My goodness! How did you ever catch those subtle hints?

Yowza! I wasn't planning on going out tonite, but now I think I will.

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#12
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Re: Learning the Body Language of Attraction-Part 1

02/27/2012 8:04 AM

I stayed home.

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#15

Re: Learning the Body Language of Attraction-Part 1

02/27/2012 1:31 PM

Chemistry?

I find one of many possible equations to be: CR4 + C(n) + HCl + enzymes and other miscellaneous factors = CH4, (where C(n) represents digestible matter) which leads to the unlisted event (because if falls under the category of repulsion) in the sequence listed in the article..."Move away." It is one of the heights of intimacy. The equation can't be balanced, but then neither is my thought process.

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#16

Re: Learning the Body Language of Attraction-Part 1

02/28/2012 11:07 AM

Whose been hiding in my secret cat nest?
They been tidying it
Del

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#17
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Re: Learning the Body Language of Attraction-Part 1

02/28/2012 5:25 PM

Wasn't me - I don't do tidy. I just curled up in the hollow you left last time and wrapped a towel round my head so I couldn't be seen....

...was the tin of salmon still there? I left it as a thank you

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