Body Language And Its Role In Healthy Relationship

Working On the Marriage | |
Updated On: March 22, 2024
body language in relationships

Body language in relationships is a means of communicating personal feelings, emotions, attitudes and thoughts through body movements, gestures, postures, facial expressions, walking styles, positions & distance – either consciously or involuntarily.

It is an outward reflection of a person’s emotional condition. The average person speaks for about 10 to 11 minutes in a day, with an average sentence being 2.5 seconds long, but one can make and recognize about 250,000 facial expressions! While we communicate, the words we speak account for 7% of the message, tone of voice accounts for 38%, and body language accounts for a whopping 55%.

Statistics prove it all, however, understanding how to read body language in a relationship is something a lot of us still haven’t picked up. It definitely takes time and getting used to but the art of controlling and reading body language is a key skill not only in a formal setting but also in relationships.

Why Is Body Language So Important In A Relationship

Body language plays a very important role in the personal, professional and social life of an individual. A 2011 study done at the University of California, Berkeley, found that people determine within seconds if someone is trustworthy, kind or compassionate based on how often he or she makes eye contact, smiles, nods while listening, and displays an open or welcoming body posture.

Hence, it would be acceptable to say that effective use of body language is extremely important in making a favorable first impression. Education, experience and soft skills can come to your aid when you get a chance to perform. But getting a chance to perform largely depends on the kind of first impression you leave on people.

When it comes to body language and relationships, the nature of the relationship can easily be determined by the body language of individuals while they communicate with each other as they love, hug, kiss, fight and so on.

So, paying attention to silent messages, body language signals and learning to interpret them paves way for a successful relationship. You can know how much he loves you through his body language – eye contact, holding your hand, walking close to you, etc.

It is also important to understand what messages you are sending through your body language and make them non-misleading and effective at the same time. There’s a famous quote “The soul, fortunately, has an interpreter – often an unconscious but still a faithful interpreter – in the eye.”

So how does one’s body language in relationships contribute toward fostering healthy bonds and interactions in life? Keep reading to find out.

The eyes say it all

Studies done by psychologists on eye reading have found that people use their eyes to indicate their interest with more than the frequently recognized actions of winking and slight movement of the eyebrows. It is a form of nonverbal communication and has a large influence on social behavior.

Making proper eye contact lets the other person know that you are showing interest in them and also shows you are listening instead of hearing. Eye contact is also the best way to decipher couples’ body language in any setting – whether a first date or the tenth.

Human touch

Human touch, including a handshake, a pat on the shoulder, holding hands, pat on the back are all powerful ways of communication. The handshake is evolved as a gesture to say hello, good-bye or to seal an agreement, so it always needs to be warm, friendly and positive.

An uncomfortable handshake is never a pleasant experience for anyone (and might be remembered negatively for a long time, subconsciously). When you’re confused about how to read body language in a relationship, just observe how the person responds to a touch.

If they’re comfortable, they won’t react unusually. However, if they give an awkward smile or move away awkwardly, they are not comfortable around the other person.

How to read body language in a relationship
An uncomfortable handshake might be remembered negatively for a long time

Communication via legs and feet

We have less awareness about communication facilitated by the movement of our limbs like face, hands, legs and feet. This is why legs and feet are a good way to assess how comfortable or awkward someone is in any given situation, as the chances of faking are very less.

If someone is bouncing their feet constantly, it is an obvious sign that they are anxious or nervous. But if their legs are slack and in a comfortable-looking posture, it is a clear sign that they are relaxed and at ease.

But it is also evident when they are faking a relaxed posture – if they constantly keep changing the way they sit and how their legs are positioned. It helps to pay attention to your own limb movements too to avoid body language mistakes at the workplace or in social settings.

Open body posture

Open body posture is crucial in understanding what her or his body language says about your relationship. It communicates to the other person that he/she is welcomed into that conversation. Don’t cross your legs and arms while in a conversation as it communicates defensiveness and insecurity.

Related Reading: How To Start A Conversation With A Guy – 30 Tips

Nod of the head

Leaning forward slightly and nodding your head is a very effective way of showing interest in the conversation. The couples who have perfected the art of body language in relationships don’t even need words to communicate with each other. One person just has to nod in a certain way and their partner will get the message that it’s time to leave. It’s as simple as that.

The smile

Couples body language

And finally, the smile, the most effective element in understanding couples body language, and one of the female body language signs of attraction. You are not completely dressed until you wear a smile. When you fake a smile, your partner will clearly know, and if they don’t, is they really the right one?

Knowing what her or his body language says about your relationship is the best way to understand where you stand as a couple without having to actually ask your partner. To reach this stage, you have to learn how to read body language in a relationship by observing not just other couples but also your own partner.

The eyes, the smile, and the body posture give away way more than we realize. Read some books on body language and relationships to become an expert on the matter. It will take you places in your love life and your professional life.


1. What are the positive and negative body language signs?

If a person keeps distance while maintaining a conversation it is usually a negative sign. Conversely, if they lean in and maintain eye contact, it is a positive body language sign.

2. What are the main components of body language?

Facial expressions, gestures, eye movements, body posture, touch, space, movement of legs and arms.

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