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Love Signals: A Practical Field Guide to the Body Language of Courtship Paperback – January 10, 2006

3.9 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“A masterful piece of work.” ―American Library Association on Dr. Givens' on-line Nonverbal Dictionary

“Highly recommended.” ―New Scientist on Dr. Givens' on-line Nonverbal Dictionary

“It's contents will enlighten you.” ―Discover Magazine's "Pick of the Web" on Dr. Givens' on-line Nonverbal Dictionary

“Site of the Day.” ―Good Housekeeping on Dr. Givens' on-line Nonverbal Dictionary

“Tells all you need to know--and much, much, much more.” ―San Francisco Examiner "Website of the Week" on Dr. Givens' on-line Nonverbal Dictionary

“Very interesting reading.” ―Houston Chronicle on Dr. Givens' on-line Nonverbal Dictionary

From the Inside Flap

Praise for Dr. Givens' on-line Nonverbal Dictionary:

"A masterful piece of work."
- American Library Association

"Highly recommended."
- New Scientist

"It's contents will enlighten you."
- Discover Magazine's "Pick of the Web"

"Site of the Day."
- Good Housekeeping

"Tells all you need to know--and much, much, much more."
- San Francisco Examiner "Website of the Week"

"Very interesting reading."
- Houston Chronicle

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; Reprint edition (January 10, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312315066
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312315061
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #884,135 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This book is a blend of three parts: 1 - research studies on the subject of human behaviour, especially applied to courtship and mating; 2 - direct, field observations by the author; 3 - how-to manual to find a partner (how to wear, how to behave, how to speak, how to move... and so on).

I'm fascinated by human behaviour, I read other books on the subject. Soon after the purchase, I quickly delved into it. Although some of the studies described here are already well-known, others aren't - that's why appreciate it.

Did you know that courtship has five phases? They are: «(1) Attention, (2) Recognition, (3) Speech, (4) Touching, and (5) Lovemaking. Each phase has its own signs, signals, and cues. Since potential mates `test' each other before uniting as one, courtship is rarely hurried. Moving too fast - giving too many signals at once or showing them out of phase order - may frighten a partner away. Universally, patience is the key».

This a practical book. What's written here is feasible by everyone.

Caveat: when I say that what's written here is feasible by everyone, I don't mean this is an easy book. Many people will understand this book, but not everybody will. In this book, the author talks human behaviour, neuroanathomy, ethnography, anthropology; you find here things such as `conjugate lateral eye movements', `isopraxism'... and so on.

I think to this book as an example of the cultural divide - if you understand (and apply the findings of) this book, you have a wide advantage over those who don't understand it: but that's another story...

I give it four stars instead of five because here and there there are less interesting parts, the quality and the insightfulness of the prose is not even.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Imagine that you've had a weathered old treasure map lying around your house for years. People told you that it's a real treasure map, and yet for some reason, you never got around to following it. Finally, one day, out of curiosity, you say, "What the hell -- let's see where this takes us." You follow the map, and -- you find treasure! Who knew.
That's how I feel about "Love Signals" by Dr David Givens. I had known about its existence for years, but only now finally got to reading the whole book. What a treat! It is full of fascinating, little-known yet totally essential facts about how human beings operate in the world. I thought I had read every book under the sun about love and courtship, and yet this book contained reams of entirely brand-new data for me. I must have highlighted a good 40% of the text. Some delightful things I had never heard of before:
-- Lip compression and showing the tip of the tongue are unconscious aversive signals. If you do them, people will stay away, and you won't even know why.
-- Trigeminal taste, related to what people would call "heat" or "spiciness", is unexpectedly arousing
-- The importance of signaling vulnerability for a successful approach (eg through pigeon toes or an exposed neck), especially if you're a guy.

I particularly like that fact that Dr Givens has done a lot of the primary research himself and presents the data to you with the rigor and care of a scientist. No wildcat anecdotal claims in this book: everything is amply supported by peer-reviewed observation. The information in this book is so esssential and yet so little-known by the general public that it should be called "The Book of Secrets." And yet, here it is, hiding in plain sight.
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Format: Hardcover
Dr. Givens presents us with a readable compendium of his research into non-verbal cues characterizing modern courtship. Although Givens rounds the bases on a number of topics, such as the importance of the face, the way & why we attract -- and why we are attracted to -- certain body types, as well as suggestions on how to remain together, the crux of the book is his discussion of the five phases of courtship: 1) Attracting Attention, 2) How to Read the Gleam in an Eye, 3) Exchanging Words, 4) The Language of Touch, and 5) Making Love.

At times, it is difficult to determine who the target audience is, especially when he juxtaposes scientific jargon and anthropoligical history with cue lists, anecdotes, & field notes --- this, however, shouldn't deter the would-be reader that shares Givens' perspective: "In courtship, knowledge is power. Knowing that gestures work better than words give you a clear advantage in finding a mate" (p.21).
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Format: Paperback
I would absolutely recommend "Love Signals" to anyone who wishes to enjoy the intellectual discussion behind the science and psychology of attraction and/or for anyone who wishes to become better skilled at reading people's body language (as well as being aware of their own "signals" they are sending out).

As a professional matchmaker, I see that people who are cognizant of other people's "nonverbal" signals have a greater likelihood of success in dating and in their relationships. In this book, Givens provides valuable tips to his readers on how to recognize interest from members of the opposite sex (e.g. noticing that people lean towards whatever - or whomever - they find most important at the time, that people's eye blink more and tend to dilate when they are interested in someone, etc.) while also offering practical tips on how to "create" interest (e.g. how to use your voice, colors, etc. to create an attraction/send certain signals).

Occasionally, the read can be a little dry and - as one reviewer here comments - photo illustrations over drawings might have enhanced the book a little. Overall, however, I really enjoyed "Love Signals" and would highly recommend it.

Marni Galison, President and Founder
Sunday at Noon Matchmaking and Events
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