While I'm pretty sure that all of us get the gist of what body language is, if you're looking for a way to easily define it, it's when you use your mannerisms and expressions (including one's tone) to communicate with other people. Although it's been said for many years that 90 percent of communication is non-verbal, more studies are revealing that it is somewhere around 60-70 percent. Either way, what we do know for sure is, when it comes to how people respond and react to how you engage them, your body language plays a really significant role.
This definitely is the case when it comes to intimate relationships. That's why I thought it would be a good idea to share with you 15 different kinds of body language that might be sending up smoke signals that your connection with your partner isn't quite where it needs to be — whether you (or they) realize you are sending the message or not. Because the reality is, some body language is more subconscious than anything. That doesn't make it any less relevant, though. You ready to see what's up? Let's do this.
1. One of You Is Walking Ahead of the Other
Something that bothers me to no end is when two people who are clearly a couple are walking yet one is way ahead of the other. While no one has to constantly act like they are in a rom-com and hold hands everywhere they go, not walking in sync tends to imply one of two things — either there's a real disconnect between the two or one trying to passive aggressively prove who's in charge; not just to their partner but to the public too. Either way, it ain't a good look and it's definitely not something that should be seen as not that big of a deal.
2. Someone’s Body Is Facing the Other Direction in Conversation
It's pretty much a given that if someone is rolling their eyes or doing a lot of sighing while their partner is talking, it's a sign that they are disinterested in what is being said or that they are triggered on some level. Yet did you know that if your body is facing away from your partner during a conversation, it basically means the same thing? When we feel close and connected to someone, we naturally tend to face towards them — face, legs, chair, everything — because we want to be in their energy. When there is a disconnection of some sort, we will naturally turn away; kind of like a form of "walling up". Hard to reach someone if you've got to "scale their walls" first.
3. The Left Hand Is in Constant Use (When You Aren’t Left-Handed)
If you're one of the 10 percent of people who are left-handed, this doesn't (necessarily) apply to you. For the rest of us, when's the last time you tried to write anything with your left hand? It was uncomfortable, right? Same point applies when you gesture with your left hand a lot. What it signifies is you're uncomfortable with the topic or what is being said; that you'd rather change the subject, if at all possible.
4. Eye Pupils Aren’t Dilated
Wanna know if your boo is still into you, after all this time? Check to see if their eyes are dilated. No joke.
A sign of when someone is sexually aroused by another individual is their pupils will automatically start to expand.
If that's not happening for you, well…yeah.
5. Arms and/or Legs Are Crossed
When someone has their limbs — arms and/or legs — crossed while they're talking to someone else, it's rarely a good sign. Not only is it conveying the message that they want to put some distance between them and another person, it's also a way of letting someone know that they are going on the defensive…and when is that ever a positive thing?
6. Hands Are in Pockets
A couple of years ago, I wrote "This Is How To Tell If Someone's Lying To You". One of the signs that I didn't mention then, that I'm going to now, is oftentimes they will put their hands into their pockets while engaging you. It makes sense when you think about the fact that a lot of us tend to use our hands while expressing ourselves. Hiding them is a sign of holding something back or hiding the truth. Hmph.
7. Someone Is Constantly Checking the Time
Out of all of the body language points that I'm hitting, I'm pretty sure this one is a dead giveaway. When you're trying to share your feelings, is there anything more annoying — and let's be real, disrespectful — than someone who is constantly looking at their watch or phone? It says just what they want to say and that is they don't really wanna hear what you're talking about; that they have much more important things to do. It's the absolute worst.
8. Hands Are on the Hips
Most of us have some woman in our family who would put her hands on her hips when she was about to make some sort of declaration. Along these same lines, when two people are having a serious conversation and one of them places their hands onto their hips, what they are saying with their actions is they want some sort of dominance in the situation. It's a bit of a control play. When's the last time you did that? Hmm.
9. Eye Contact Is Avoided
A body language habit that I know I've personally got to work on more is not always looking people in the eyes when they are talking to me. Sometimes it's because doing so feels mad intense. Other times it's because, like a male friend of mine tells me, I don't have the best "screensaver" (which is basically a poker face) and I figure it's better to do that than to roll my eyes.
However, according to the body language experts, when we avoid eye contact, we're ignoring someone, we're thinking really hard, we're hiding deceit, we're super anxious or we want to remove ourselves from the dialogue as soon as possible.
Definitely something to think about.
10. Physical Touch Is Minimal
Even if you and/or your partner's top love language isn't physical touch, people who feel truly connected to their partner are going to naturally touch each other. Some body part will be on the other's body while watching a movie on the couch. A hug or kiss will randomly happen while both are preparing for a meal in the kitchen. Spooning will take place at nighttime. Physical touch is a physical representation of feeling an emotional bond. That's why something is definitely up if one or both individuals in a relationship act as if they are trying to avoid physical touch as much as possible. It's sending a red flag that something in the dynamic is "off" and needs to be addressed as soon as possible.
11. Somebody Is Touching Their Neck While They’re Talking
Have you ever been in a discussion with your significant other and, without even really thinking about it, you found yourself using your fingers to rub up and down the front of your neck? Guess what that represents? Because words come up through our throat, it's oftentimes a subconscious way of conveying that you've got more to say yet you're not sure if you should share it or not.
12. Brows Are Furrowed
Wanna heads up that your partner is about to criticize TF outta you and then some? Check to see if their eyebrows are furrowed before any words start to come out of their mouth. Furrowed brows are a sign of disagreement or displeasure with what is being heard with a touch of brace-yourself-now for some big-time correcting or even reprimanding.
13. Lips Are Licked
A surefire sign that you or your partner are nervous in each other's space is if one (or both) of you are constantly licking your lips. It basically means that someone is either anxious, uncomfortable or withholding some sort of information; the licking is a jittery reaction.
14. There’s Plenty of "Church Hugging"
C'mon. We all know that the ever famous (or is it infamous?) church hug is, for the most part, pretty disingenuous. While some may do it in public settings to express personal space boundaries, why in the world would that be necessary with your partner?
If you side hug, back pat or put your arms in front of you when they try to embrace you, you are saying (without saying it) that you want to keep some distance between the two of you which is basically an indication of a relational breakdown somewhere.
15. Orgasms Are Fake
A couple of years ago, I wrote an article for the platform entitled, "Why You Should Stop Faking Orgasms ASAP" (men fake orgasms too, by the way). No matter how much you may try and rationalize it, faking means something isn't real, and nothing should be more honest and pure than the intimacy between two people who are in a relationship. Whether you're faking it to please him or he's faking it to hurry and get things over with you, both are problematic as all get out. It's far better to be upfront with your partner about how you're feeling and what you need — so that you can get to some body language that conveys all good things. If you know what I mean. #wink
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Different puzzle pieces are creating bigger pictures these days. 2024 will mark a milestone on a few different levels, including the release of my third book next June (yay!).
I am also a Professional Certified Coach. My main mission for attaining that particular goal is to use my formal credentials to help people navigate through the sometimes tumultuous waters, both on and offline, when it comes to information about marriage, sex and relationships that is oftentimes misinformation (because "coach" is a word that gets thrown around a lot, oftentimes quite poorly).
I am also still super devoted to helping to bring life into this world as a doula, marriage life coaching will always be my first love (next to writing, of course), a platform that advocates for good Black men is currently in the works and my keystrokes continue to be devoted to HEALTHY over HAPPY in the areas of holistic intimacy, spiritual evolution, purpose manifestation and self-love...because maturity teaches that it's impossible to be happy all of the time when it comes to reaching goals yet healthy is a choice that can be made on a daily basis (amen?).
If you have any PERSONAL QUESTIONS (please do not contact me with any story pitches; that is an *editorial* need), feel free to reach out at email@example.com. A sistah will certainly do what she can. ;)
How We Met is a series where xoNecole talks love and relationships with real-life couples. We learn how they met, how like turned into love, and how they make their love work.
I’m willing to bet that this is not the first time you’ve seen this couple. Dalen Spratt is a television producer, owner of a tailored men's suit line, and creator of Ghost Brothers: Haunted Houseguests, which is currently streaming on Destination America. Stacey Spratt is also a serial entrepreneur, focusing mostly on events and the nonprofit world, and she is the owner of two award-winning craft beer bars called Harlem Hops. But their accolades are not what united them.
The couple met years ago at their alma mater, Clark Atlanta University, when they were still working to create the life they have now, and if you had told them then that they’d eventually tie the knot, the pair probably would’ve laughed in your face.
Today, they’re new parents, flourishing in their careers, and each others’ “teammates.” When desiring love, Dalen recommends not looking to other couples for advice. And Stacey advises staying true to what you want. “Don’t put age or limitations on love and children. If God could do it for me, why can’t he do it for you?”
Here's How We Met.
How did you meet?
Dalen: We met in 2005 when she was advising the Greek sororities and fraternities in college. She was old as hell in college, and I was a young buck (laughs). Everybody had a crush on her, but I didn’t think much of it. Then, in 2007, we were in the same grad school class, but she still wasn’t trying to see me then either. I had to catch her five years ago; I was very patient.
Stacey: Yeah, everybody in our grad school class called him Young, Fresh to Death because he was always dressed in B-school (what CAU affectionately refers to as business major classes), and we’d just wear sweatpants (laughs).
So, I know Dalen was always attracted to you. But what about you? Did your attraction to him develop over time?
Stacey: So 2006-2008 – all the years went by. I don’t think we were really thinking about each other at all back then. Years later, I had an event in Dallas, and I booked him to be a speaker. Then, a few years ago, Dalen posted a photo of him on Instagram, and I slid in his DMs. I remembered him being so young and handsome, and I’m like, I should hook him up with my younger cousin. His response was: "If you’re not hooking me up with you, no thank you." But I still thought he was too young at the time, and he started pulling receipts. Taraji P. Henson was dating someone young at the time, Gabrielle Union–
Dalen: First of all, I didn’t do that. You did that.
Stacey: Okay, I did. I thought he was a cutie pie, but that age thing was on my mind!
"Dalen posted a photo of him on Instagram, and I slid in his DMs. I remembered him being so young and handsome, and I’m like, I should hook him up with my younger cousin. His response was: 'If you’re not hooking me up with you, no thank you.'"
Talk to me about the first date. How did he change your mind?
Stacey: Our first date was at Tin Lizzy's in Atlanta. During that time, he was living in Dallas, so it was long-distance. But he came into town, and we just had a good time. We talked a lot, which we still do. It wasn’t anything fantastic.
Dalen: Don’t downplay our first date.
Then, walk me through your courtship. How did you get to the next level? What was that conversation like?
Stacey: I think he knew at age 43 or 44 I wasn’t playing around. But also, I think it just naturally progressed.
Dalen: Yeah, it just happened naturally. And I’m going to be honest, I don’t think initially either one of us thought it would be as serious as it was. She thought I was too young and I wasn’t ready for marriage, kids, and all that. I think we both thought we were just hanging out. But after spending so much time together, a lot of stuff started happening. Like, she had to have surgery early on. It wasn’t just time together; it was intimate time. Next thing we know, we just never left each other. That’s why we still don’t have an anniversary date because we never really asked.
"It wasn't just time together; it was intimate time. Next thing we know, we just never left each other. That's why we still don't have an anniversary date because we never really asked."
What made you want to commit to each other?
Dalen: The moment I knew Stacey was for me was from a phone call. I don’t really like talking on the phone, and I can be really blunt sometimes. But we were talking, and I said, ‘I don’t really feel like talking anymore.’ And she was just like, okay, and hung up. I wasn’t trying to be rude, and she understood that. It sounds bad, but that’s how I knew she just got me. I felt like she could get my random awkward moments, and she does to this day.
Stacey: For me, I liked him as a person. Even when times get rough and tough, I could still like him as a human. He is my best friend. We have time. We laugh until we cry, and it’s just always like that. Even when we get pissed at each other, something happens, and we fix it. Also, how he treats his mother. That’s a momma’s boy, but I’m a daddy’s girl – so I get it. I know how I want to be treated, and I see how he is with her and that’s beautiful.
What are some important lessons you’ve learned about yourself through loving your partner in this relationship?
Dalen: I grew up an only child and she grew up with siblings. So, when you have someone who is used to doing things by themselves, there is definitely a learning curve when you get into a serious relationship. It’s funny now, but it was definitely a process.
Stacey: I agree – definitely the only child thing. There’s times I look at him like, did you ever live with anyone else? That comes from being momma's baby, too. I have to say, my “mother-in-love” spoiled him. But also with Axel (their daughter), that brings another level of patience.
Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images
What was the biggest challenge that you had to overcome together?
Dalen: We’ve gone through a lot within the years we’ve been together. We suffered two miscarriages – I’d say that’s the biggest.
Stacey: Having those miscarriages and trying to understand what’s next and what our options are was a lot. I had two myomectomies (fibroid surgeries), and he supported me through that time. Also, still, it was on my mind that he’s eight years younger than me. I was wondering if I can’t carry [a child] what that looks like for us. We had very real conversations pretty early in our relationship.
"Having those miscarriages and trying to understand what’s next and what our options are was a lot. I had two myomectomies (fibroid surgeries), and he supported me through that time. Also, still, it was on my mind that he’s eight years younger than me."
What do you fight the most about?
Dalen: Nagging. Stacey nags; she’s a complainer. She’s that momma that will look in a room and just hunt for something to complain about. Like, I’m worried for Axel when she's in high school.
Stacey: It’s because I like things to be in place. He leaves stuff all over the place. I can tell where he’s been in the house because something is left around. So he says I’m nagging – but it’s like, just get your stuff.
What are your love languages?
Dalen: Stacey is gifts all day.
Dalen: We’ve talked about this. xoNecole is about to cause problems in our home (laughs).
Stacey: Obviously I love you. *thinks again* It’s words of affirmation.
Dalen: That’s it.
What’s your favorite thing about each other?
Dalen: I’ve always respected her business-mindedness. That may sound superficial, but it’s not because I’ve never been with someone who thinks like me. It’s one of my most treasured things about her. I remember one day, I was just running through ideas with her, and each time Stacey had a suggestion on how I could make it better. It’s just very comforting. She takes whatever I’m doing and elevates it – including me.
Stacey: I love Dalen’s hustle and creativity. He’s been on multiple shows, and he continues to create, produce, and reinvent himself and the product he’s putting out. I love that we can create together and bounce things off each other. Even though we may be in different arenas, there’s nothing he can’t offer me great advice about. I love that drive.
Finally, how did you know it was love?
Dalen: Well – she said it – first. (laughs)
Stacey: And he looked at me and smiled! He didn’t say it back. We were on a trip, out of the country.
Dalen: We were arguing when she said it, and she just threw it out.
Stacey: But we continue to do that. We’ve spent holidays and everything outside of the country.
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In January, it was announced that feminine-care brand The Honey Pot was acquired by Compass Diversified for $380 million. Black women expressed outrage with commentary on why Black founders “sell out” and stressed their concerns about The Honey Pot changing their ingredients, similar to their outrage when their products went from being listed as "Black-owned" to "Black-founded" in 2022.
As a founder myself, I understand the importance of scaling your business. Scaling leads to opportunity and expansion for your brand, something that The Honey Pot is doing to change the landscape of vaginal wellness for all women.
Years before the acquisition, I was a supporter of the brand. When I first learned of their products in 2017, I was eager to try them as a Black woman searching for Black-owned feminine products. At the time, I just embarked on a wellness journey, and that meant not just physical and emotional wellness, but vaginal wellness also. The dangers of the toxic chemicals often found in feminine care products weren’t discussed when I was growing up.
Now, we live in a world with organic pads, tampons, feminine wash, and even plant-based feminine care. Women are now realizing how sacred our menstruation time is and that the products that we use can either help or hurt us during that time of the month.
My vaginal wellness journey was rooted in a quest for healing. After a relationship where I experienced infidelity, I had issues with my pH levels for over a year. I’d never felt so disconnected from my body and ashamed that I didn’t know why; I was determined to figure out a way to heal from the inside out. After learning that the founder started The Honey Pot after suffering from bacterial vaginosis for eight months, I was intrigued. On the back of the feminine wash, she shared how her ancestors came to her in a dream and gifted her with a vision to heal herself and now others, including me.
My first two purchases from the brand were their organic pantyliners (a product many women who already supported the brand recommended) with mint and sensitive feminine wash. If I’m being honest, I didn’t like the liners; with already having a sensitive vagina, the mint didn’t feel as soothing as I thought it would, but I was sold on the sensitive feminine wash. Almost immediately, I saw a change in my pH balance and sensitivity, and from there, I was hooked.
From there, I started discussing the importance of plant-based care with my mother and my family members. My approach to the idea of vaginal wellness started gentle, and then I started asking and not telling, removing the products that we’d all used previously out of the homes of my mother, godsister, and close friends, and when they’d call and ask me, “What happened to my other products?” I’d remind them of the importance of giving our vaginas the care they deserve. Eventually, they caught on and became supporters themselves, and now when I visit my mother, she has The Honey Pot products in her bathroom that I’ve never even tried myself.
Recently, I was running low on my feminine products, and as I placed an order to have what I needed to be delivered, to my surprise, I discovered The Honey Pot had expanded their product line quite a bit and now had not only intimacy products but also additional feminine washes and supplements that I now use daily.
Check out some of the newest additions to their product line below:
Does your pH feel off? Reduce odor and help maintain a healthy vaginal pH range with this 7-Day Boric Acid & Herbs Suppositories from The Honey Pot.
If you feel an itch, consider The Honey Pot Relief Ritual, which includes Anti-Itch Soothing Wipes that provide immediate, soothing relief using plant-derived ingredients and medicinal compounds without compromising your vaginal ecosystem, while their Soothing Wash and Soothing Lavender Vulva creams are ultra-mild solutions for vulvar itching and discomfort.
Swap out your daily probiotic with this probiotic with urinary support formulated with 4-Lacto strains and 10 billion CFUs per capsule that support good bacteria, along with cranberry and pomegranate for optimal urinary tract support.
Goodbye cranberry juice, hello supplements. With its science-backed, clinically-tested ingredients, bad bacteria will be kept at bay. And the fact that you can pair this daily staple with The Honey Pot wipes and washes? Your urinary tract will thank you later.
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