A Practical Field Guide to the Body Language of Courtship
by David Givens
A world renowned anthropologist explores the nonverbal signs, signals, and cues human beings exchange to attract and keep their mates. As a medium of communication, Love's silent language predates speech by millions of years. Today, we still express emotions and feelings largely apart from words. The postures, gestures, and facial cues of attraction are universal, in all societies and cultures.
According to Dr. Givens, courtship moves slowly though five distinct phases: attracting attention, recognition phase, conversation phase, touching phase, making love. Since potential mates "test" each other before uniting as one, courtship is a choreographed give and take of signs granting physical and emotional closeness.
Love Signals is part enthnography and part how-to. Dr. Givens documents the little courting rituals witnessed in elevators, on subways, and in the workplace. He examines the essential role the face plays in courtship and how it can be optimally displayed. He decodes the body to find silent messages given off by shoulders, neck, arms, hands, waist, calves, ankles, feet, and toes. Dr. Givens analyzes expressive shapes, colors, and markings encoded in arm wear, shoulder wear, leg wear, and shoes. He deciphers the background messages of spaces, places and interiors to learn how environs help or hinder in the meeting process. Chemical cues emanating from aromas, tastes, steroids, sterols, and hormones strongly shape a partner's feelings, so they are explored as well.
The book suggests ways to gaze, ways to read eyes across a room, and ways to sit, stand, align, walk dress, and lift a drink to participate in the fascinating adventure of finding, winning, and keeping a mate. Knowing the unspoken vocabulary of love signals will give readers an edge. What this means for courtship is that the reader becomes able to read unspoken motives, emotions, and feelings with great clarity and precision. The more readers know about the nonverbal idiom of attraction, the more likely they will find a loving, lasting partner.
- St. Martin's Press, January 2006
St. Martin's Press
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