by Mike Domitrz
Do you ask your spouse, "Can I Kiss You?" Consent is a subject we often associate with dating but marriage...not so much. Why is that? Is it because after a certain amount of time passes, we "just know" when our significant other is "ready?" We are so in tune with their body language that verbal consent is simply not needed? Let's examine this a little more.
Body language is the most common form of communication in any relationship. For example, do most married people ask before they kiss their love? No. Instead, they try to figure out when is the right time to make their move. How do we figure out when is the right time? By reading body language.
Is body language reliable? No. If it were, you would never experience confusing moments in the beginning of intimacy or during intimacy. You would always know how comfortable your partner was with you.
Are you good at reading body language? Are you great at sending the right "messages" to your spouse? Take this Body Language Challenge.
Taking the body language challenge:
Challenge No. 1
Imagine you are single. Your partner to be is sitting across the room from you. Send the person messages through your body language to tell them you want to ask them out on a date. Will the person interpret your signals perfectly? For a fun exercise, try this with your spouse. Remember, this person has to interpret your body language correctly.
Challenge No. 2
You want to go on a "date night", write down all of the body language signals you could use to communicate with each other your intent to go on a date night. Include every signal imaginable. Example: moving closer to someone to let the person know you want to spend time with them.
Discussing the body language challenge:
Challenge No. 1
If you tried this challenge with your partner, did either of you laugh? The reason people will start laughing during this exercise is because each of you realizes how silly you look trying to send body language signals. While trying to read another person's body language, you feel like you are trying to read the person's mind. Reading minds is a skill most people admit they don't possess. If you can't read minds, body language does not work.
For body language to be an effective means of communication, everyone needs to use the same "signals." Since every person reads The Look signals differently, you cannot guarantee the correct interpretation of body language.
Challenge No. 2
Are you done writing all the body language signals? For fun, share the answers with your partner. If you wrote down every possible body language signal, you would be writing for days (flirting for fun, letting a person know you are attracted to them, sending the signal you want to kiss, etc.). Since an infinite number of "signals" exists, knowing all of them is impossible.
The Body Language Challenge shows you multiple examples of how body language can cause confusion and misunderstanding between two people on a date or in a relationship. Each of the examples is a real-life scenario that frequently happens to people. Each challenge proved body language is not effective. We need to use a better form of communication.
- Body language is unreliable and often misinterpreted!
- To communicate effectively with your partner, utilize verbal communication.
- While on a date, even with your spouse, do not project or force your wants onto the other person.
Should I ask my spouse to kiss me?
YES! Regardless of how long a relationship has existed, mutual respect is essential in all relationships. Body language is unreliable and often misinterpreted. To communicate effectible with your partner, utilize verbal communication.
Married partners can, and have, been sexually assaulted by their partners. Whether you have been married for three months or forty years, no person owes sexual or intimate acts to a partner. People in long-term relationships and marriages still need consent. Talk with each other to ensure that each person wants the intimacy. After all, don't you want to know that your spouse WANTS the intimacy with you? Don't you agree they DESERVE to always have a voice? The greatest way to honor your spouse's sexual wants is by asking and respecting the answer.
Mike Domitrz is on a mission to create a culture of consent and respect through The DATE SAFE Project. As one of the leading voices for helping children, young adults, parents, educational institutions, and the US Military discuss dating, sexual decision-making, consent, and sexual assault, Mike speaks to tens of thousands of people yearly around the world; providing positive how-to skill sets and helpful insights for romantic relationships, sexual intimacy, and being safer. Click here for access to the Facebook and Twitter pages for The DATE SAFE Project. Permission granted for use on DrLaura.com.