Mature Enough For a Frank Study of Proxemics?
If you replied “No” to the above question, you may bring a note from your mother to skip the following frank discussion. Ahh, I see that none of you are willing to concede immaturity, so let’s jump right in. Are you ready to leap into the unknown?
The five levels of non-verbal communications
Leaning in toward your date is another sign to come a little closer. Christian singles note that brief incursions into the other persons “personal bubble” is a way of testing their willingness to allow you in. Remember, at this point the whole object is to get closer to that one whom you are attracted to, everything else, the conversation, music and dining is just a means to get more intimate.
The overt flirtations vary from person to person, they may be a wink or a pick-up line. Being a good flirt in the world of Christian dating is a bit touchy as there are some conservative sensibilities out there. Like it or not we all flirt, it is our only way of communicating our desires for one another. God gave us this system for a reason, so use it in good taste.
Let us discuss a topic of great interest ahead as it will help you, the Christian single to not only discern the intentions of the other party, but avoid causing anxiety for him or her. The subject ahead is PROXEMICS.
Proxemics is the study of human territories.
Ever wonder why the Italians are considered to be great romantics and lovers? It is because their culture is very touchy. They love to use expressive hand gestures and touch one another. Now let’s contrast this to German culture. The Germans are more reserved and not as touchy-feely as the Italians thus the not so romantic reputation ascribed to the Germans, fairly or not. Generalities are often wrong.
Most cultures respect the personal territories of individuals. People are territorial and desire to control the space around themselves. We will study this special usage in social settings.
An individual’s personal space or “bubble” varies with circumstances and the company present. The following applies to all cultures except Italian. Gotta love ’em!
Intimate distance = 0-18 inches
Good friends = 1.5 to 4 feet
Acquaintance = 4-12 feet
Public speaking =12 + feet
The five levels of non-verbal communications
Christian singles if we intrude into these territories we may cause anxiety. For example, police interrogators use proxemics; they will invade the suspects personal space to gain a psychological advantage. They will assume an in your face attitude to try to mentally coerce the suspect into submission. This is a very effective tool in the hands of authority. People who are aggressive will do the same to attempt to bully others. Political activists use this invasion of territories in the same manner. Most people will usually yield to the aggressor for a time.
There are other intimate zones which deserve mention here as well. Many people will sit in the same seat in school or even at church week after week until that seat becomes “theirs” If someone else sits there then conflict or at least resentment may arise even though there are no officially recognized seating arrangements.
Another example of respected territories is when we come across another’s intimate zone. For instance; someone is talking on the phone and we may pretend to be reading the paper. Or, there may be a couple arguing, so we pretend not to notice as we walk by.
Let’s recap with this important information for the Cherishmates Primer. A change in distance between two people face to face signals a desire for increased intimacy, aggression, or lack of interest.
Some will say that personal space is a myth, but we do know that people are territorial so play it safe and don’t step on anyone’s toes out there. This is especially important when it comes to Christian singles dating. We must be sensitive of one another’s territories. With this understanding, we can move confidently into the stages of online dating, and obviously, you will find this study of proxemics helpful as you learn to get along with new Christian singles, both male and female.
It is now time that we considered another topic so that any shyness, anxiety, or depression will not put a barrier between you and your new love interest. Yes, lonelinesss and depression are rampant today, and stand in the way of finding your dream mate, whether the depressed one is yourself or the one you hope to spend your life with, in happiness and contentment. These obstacles must first be overcome. The good news, though, is that there are definite steps you can take to solve these problems and we will spend time on overcoming them.