Big To Do
About Us

"Saving Love Lives The World Over!" e-mail e-mail to a friend in need

November 19

Talk to the hand

Filed under: media,pop culture,Psychology,Uncategorized — posted by Paula @ 3:14 pm

According to former FBI agent and flashy author Joe Navarro –“the nonverbal expert”– two major body-language indicators can hint at whether your mate is “still into you” (Navarro’s words, not mine — can we please retire this expression? Also, “cougar”? Thanks) or whether your relationship is headed south.

As Navarro explains in a recent article in Psychology Today, the first clue that a true connection exists between you and a loved one lies in the hands — when your snookums places a full, flat palm on your body (“palmer touching,” which kind of lacks frisson), this is a sign of real bonding and trust. The longer they leave it there, the warmer the relationship.

If, on the other, uh, hand, your partner tends only to touch briefly or with the fingertips (“distal touching”), the passion may be fading.

Now I’m smacking myself on the forehead. (“Duh touching.”)

The other nonverbal clue is what body-language professionals call “ventral fronting” — when your mate approaches you, does he or she face you head-on with no obstruction to the belly area? This is a subconscious behavior that signifies trust and affection. (Think “happy puppy getting her belly rubbed.”) Couples whose trust and affection are waning tend to face their abdominal regions away from each other (“ventral denial”), or hide behind crossed arms, purses, the Sunday Times, etc. Or Spanx?

Navarro uses obvious examples from pop culture (Jon & Kate, Chuck & Di) to illustrate his point, and concludes by saying:

… when it comes to interpersonal relationships, how we touch and how we present our ventral side says so much about the health and longevity of our relationship…

No argument there — body language is visceral and immediate and can help us understand what people are thinking and feeling in the moment.

However! A couple of things are bugging me, which you might be able to tell by the way I am currently placing a large cheese sandwich between my belly and the keyboard.

For one thing, articles like this, in seemingly respectable (albeit pop-psych, not scientific) magazines, seem to play right into that women’s-magazine-of-yore myth that the only way to understand your partner is to desperately seek for clues.

If you are reduced to reading body language to determine whether someone really loves you, doesn’t that in itself indicate some basic disconnect? (I’m asking, not telling, so weigh in if you disagree!)

Secondly, while I understand and support the value of observing nonverbal behavior, I also know that individuals behave differently under different circumstances — a distal touch here and a ventral denial there may simply indicate that a person is not feeling present, is distracted or nervous. Or just got their nails done. I don’t think that Navarro does a good enough job explaining that the occasional pair of crossed arms does not a relationship fiasco make.


April 2

Speed schtick

Filed under: News,Psychology — posted by Rose @ 10:04 am

Speed dating may seem like a waste of (tiny microcosms of) time, but some researchers at Indiana University recently found a way to put it to good use: By having subjects (male and female) watch tapes of numerous speed-dating interactions (male-female), they measured which gender seems to be more adept at picking up on flirting cues, both come-hither and get-outta-here.

Turns out, it’s a draw.

“… [M]en and women were shown to be equally good at gauging men’s interest,” says the study, “and equally bad at judging women’s interest.”

So apparently it’s hard to get when women are playing hard-to-get. Score one for feminine mystique!

“‘The hardest-to-read women were being misperceived at a much higher rate than the hardest-to-read men. Those women were being flirtatious, but it turned out they weren’t interested at all,’ said lead author Skyler Place, a doctoral student in IU’s Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences working with cognitive science Professor Peter Todd. ‘Nobody could really read what these deceptive females were doing, including other women.’ ” (“These deceptive females?” Sounds either coldly anthro-scientific, or the opposite, like he’s gonna go on to say, “YOU made me do this study, Linda, YOU did!”)

Here’s something else I’m having a hard time getting. Behold this little nugget:

“Researchers expected women to have a leg up in judging romantic interest, because theoretically they have more to lose from a bad relationship [ital mine], but no such edge was found.”

An icky amount of such cavalier sexism has been coursing through the “scientific” studies I’ve read of late. This one’s so broad I’m not even sure which presumptions are being referred to: That women don’t have time on their side? That they often wind up financially lesser-off post-divorce? That they’re all just, y’know, thisclose to tripping over the line into full-blown nutso?

If you’re as worked up as me, unwind by playing your own Meta Match Game.


April 5

How to tell if he LIKElikes you…

Filed under: News — posted by BG Friday @ 4:59 pm

Fantastic new study featured in this month’s Psychological Science finds that college-aged men are more likely to misinterpret friendly non-verbal cues for sexual cues than college-aged women. (Um…duh?) The data out of Indiana University and Yale suggests that “women have an advantage when it comes to interpreting facial expressions and body language expressing a variety of emotions, thus are more likely to accurately ID cues for sexual interest.” This contradicts the simpler, more popular theory that young men just tend to over-sexualize everything. The findings excite me for a purely selfish reason: Finally, after so many years of shame, writing the same (not really, but essentially) How to Tell If He’s Interested In You-esque quizzes and articles, I see that they worked! So vindicating. If even one shy co-ed had the cohones to approach the guy ogling her because she recognized his subtle shift into the (very interested) “cowboy stance,” then I have served all of my sisters.


blog | advice | comics | animation | goodies | to do | archive | about us

Breakup Girl created by Lynn Harris & Chris Kalb
© 2019 Just Friends Productions, Inc.
| privacy policy
Cool Aid!

Important Breakup Girl Maxim:
Breakup Girl Sez


Powered by WordPress

Start Searching Now