We all have either been in a relationship we considered serious, are in a serious relationship or even if you haven’t thought of it, you will be in a serious relationship eventually. I am sure you have heard the term “honeymoon stage”. In short, it is a time when everything is shiny, new and in your own personal way, a feeling of perfection within your relationship. You get the butterflies in your stomach, you’re always with each other and the words “I love you” or “I appreciate you” can’t stop flowing out of your mouth because it seems to be the only real way you can articulate and explain the amount of love you have for your significant other. But I digress this idea. The honeymoon stage isn’t a stage it all, in fact it doesn’t really exist. The honeymoon stage is in fact a term created to identify a change. However, this definition brings about a negative connotation: what was once perfect and good now isn’t as good as the beginning. Now there is a change that occurs in your relationship, in fact it is more of a transition. However, instead of it being perfect to slightly less perfect, it is more of a transition of how you demonstrate your affection. This is what I call the Transfer Theory. The theory that the way you show affection and intimacy in your relationship with your romantic partner changes from verbal to nonverbal because you need ambiguity for your relationship to prosper. The pace of this transition and the quality of each form of affection depends on each individual’s relationship; however, regardless of this pace, everyone experiences this transition from show it all affection to affection that is more ambiguous. This transition occurs because after a certain extent, these show it all affection become less critical in your relationship.
You’re probably asking “why does the transition occur in this particular way?” Whenever you are speaking to someone whether you know it or not, you are decoding and trying to make sense of their verbal and nonverbal cues. Non-verbal communication is ambiguous in nature, unlike verbal communication which is straightforward. Think about it? If you yawn I may think you’re tired but on the other hand you can also be bored. Now, if you yawn then say, “I’m sleepy” there is no room for interpretation, you said you’re sleepy so in the end, I know you’re sleepy. However, since verbal is straightforward and nonverbal is ambiguous the two don’t always play well together.
Verbal communication is the first thing you do in order to create a relationship and build awareness. I mean how will I know anything about you without you telling me things about yourself? Of course, one can argue that actions speak louder than words, and yes that is true. But at the beginning of a romantic relationship can I really rely only on your non-verbal cues? Nope, because I don’t know you that well.
At the beginning of your relationship that awareness and closeness is not created yet, and even once it is created it still needs to develop and only time can do that. Verbal communication comes first because verbal communication is used to label the progression of your relationship and how well it is doing, kind of like a progress report. In fact, Verbal communication is your first formal deceleration of love isn’t it? when the first “I love you” is said in the relationship its a clear identifiable marker in a relationship progression” It means things are getting like serious, serious. Of course, sometimes the I love you is not reciprocated (which is okay, it doesn’t always have too) and the motive behind the I love you isn’t always clear an I love you has no room for interpretation.
The reason there is a transition from verbal expressions of affection to a nonverbal form of expression of affection is that verbal expression of affection so straightforward requires less closeness. You are being told affection in the form of “I love you because…”, “I appreciate you because…”, and also in the form of compliments (yes, we love those things). In other words, you are being reassured and validated in your relationship by your significant other’s very clear verbal expressions. Nonverbal expressions require more knowledge, understanding, and closeness of the other because these forms of affectionate expressions come subconsciously. Yes, Verbal is straightforward but nonverbal in a way is a more powerful distinguisher of your relationship level because it requires more subconscious action and skillfully reading the emotions and meaning behind your partner’s nonverbal actions. It tells you how well you know that person.
“The honeymoon stage” isn’t really a stage but a state of being we create. What was once perfect because it was straightforward and clear is now looked upon as less perfect than the beginning. What happens is a transition of the quality and form of affection and intimacy you show: The way you show affection changes from verbal to nonverbal. Straightforward to ambiguous. This transition occurs naturally, subconsciously and is actually a requirement for the progression of your relationship. We are all constantly figuring things out when it comes to interpreting people’s intent. The great thing about this is that the accuracy and awareness of the interpretation of your partner’s nonverbal actions depends on satisfaction. If you’re happy and satisfied in your relationship you will try harder and naturally learn the motives and behaviors of your significant other. Instead of a job, it will be seen more of a hobby. Nonverbal expression is the last part of the transition because we as human beings need ambiguity (nonverbal). Not only do we need it but we actually enjoy having it. We like ambiguity because when you are able to accurately interpret your partner’s behavior and alter the kind of affection you express based on your heightened understanding, closeness and knowledge of the person you feel a sense of accomplishment. You feel this way because you’ve improved the skill of reading your partners emotions, preferences and behavior. This not only creates trust and security but it also creates your own source of validation and progression of your relationship that you no longer need from verbal expression from your significant other.