Communication is the transfer of information and ideas from one person to another. Gender communication in romantic relationships expresses feelings, emotions, opinions, and values, to learn and to improve the level of interaction.
The diversity of characteristics of those involved creates a gap during communication incase of information misinterpretation or misunderstanding (Dindia, 2006).
The gap comprises of prejudice, bitterness, pressure, and declined efficiency. Gender communication focuses on the social development regarding the behavioral, cultural, and psychological traits by concentrating on the roles, responsibilities, expectations, expectations, and ability of men and women in their culture, society, and environment (Kalbfleisch, 1950).
In order to understand the gender communication in romantic relationship it is important to understand the different styles of communication. The styles of communication rely on emotions, intimacy, compassion, appreciation, and attraction.
Gender communication in romantic relations is very common and frequent and comes in different ways between men and women. Men and women differ a lot when it comes to response and perception of relationships. It is therefore important to understand the forces that influence an individual’s decision and perception (Eadie, 2009).
Verbal and non-verbal styles of gendered expression in romantic relations
Non-verbal communication regulates relationships by reducing the chances of interaction. Perception brings about the understanding of each other’s message.
One is able to transfer emotions and influence to other peoples perception of our competence, power, and vulnerability. Both parties must be able to desire interaction between each other to make the message passed across a success (Le Poire, 2006).
The ambiguous nature of emotions is a wide variety of possible interpretations due to a mixture of varying quantities and strengths of emotions. Verbal communication makes use of words to express ones feelings and desires.
The ability to communicate using a common language of words helps the parties to understand each other during clarity of issues, to show ones integrity, speaking and listening skills, show the ideal character of an individual, and provokes emotions during discussion (Dindia, 2006).
The influence of gender on decisions and tensions
Men and women have different social and psychological decisions and tensions. It is up to the parties to determine the kind of interaction and intimacy they require in making agreements and during discussion of a variety of issues together.
People have different strengths of tension hence its important to use communication to understand or disagree with each other (Kalbfleisch, 1950).
Importance of gender communication in romantic relations
Gender communication is by early parent and child attachment patterns, differences in male-female biological dispositions and needs within a relationship, power inequality, variations in sociological conditioning and the differences in emotional expressions.
It is therefore necessary to understand the different styles and challenges of individual communication to maintain healthy relations involving open and mutually understanding communication processes (Nadler, 1987).
Communication styles in a romantic relationship
Silent couple is a type of communication style where the partners rarely share their feelings and emotions assuming that satisfaction will come automatically. The couple is bound to talk about other things such as weather and current events rather than personal issues.
The argument-avoiding couple tries to avoid conflicts by keeping away from disagreements that lead to crisis. The partners teach themselves to remain silent or withdraw the conservation emotionally or physically (Le Poire, 2006).
The fighting couple has their communication done along with conflicts and disagreements. The couple never plans to argue but always find themselves in a crisis. The friends’ couple builds their relation on open and honest communication habits about a variety of issues at ease.
The partners tend to avoid physical intimacy relationship to avoid conflicts. Finally, the fully intimate couple gets involved in emotional and physical intimacy with honesty and openness helping them to solve their disagreements at ease. This couple is also able to maintain a strong healthy romantic relationship (Dindia, 2006).
Comforting is as a way of maintaining, balancing, and enhancing relationships by reducing emotional stress through providing comforting messages that lead to satisfaction and support of an individual (Dindia, 2006).
Challenges in gender communication in romantic relations
They include determining the type of emotional bond experienced in the relationship; difficulties in communication occur in Individuals depicted to experiences of confusing, terrifying, or ruined emotional communications during their infancy often grow into adults who have difficulty understanding their own emotions and the feelings of others.
This limits their capacity to construct or continue successful relationships. Confronting the issue of sexuality, sexuality is by our genetics and in part by the social interaction with one another (Le Poire, 2006).
Sexuality is in terms of sexual activities, sexual orientation, and sexual uniqueness. However, sexuality like many other characteristics of our world can be best stated holistically whereby both the internal (i.e. sexual uniqueness, sexual orientation, etc.) and external (i.e. gender socialization, controlled celibacy, etc.) aspects influencing sexuality can be tackled (Pearson, 1995).
It is difficult to deal with the problem of relationship equality within a cultural perspective of gender inequality and to understand the talents, characteristics and behavior suitable to women and to men. Gender thus varies from sex in that it is social and cultural in nature rather than biological.
Gender elements and attributes, comprise of; bury alia, the roles that men, women play, and the hopes placed upon them, vary widely among societies and change over time (Nadler, 1987).
Nevertheless, the fact that gender traits are socially build means that they are also agreeable to modification to make a society more just and equitable.
There are varieties of problems associated with creating and maintaining public relations in the efforts of retaining a relationship as desired by the important addressees (Honeycutt, 2000).
Overcoming challenges of gender communication in romantic relations
Understanding gender communication challenges in romantic relationships helps to create more intimacy and understanding of each other. The couples spend more time together to know what makes the other satisfied to become sensitive to each other’s feelings and expectations.
The partners should speak up to express their feelings, needs, and expectations and familiarize each other with their differences (Le Poire, 2006).
The couples should be sensitive to the communication attitudes and perception of each other. They include listening generously, speaking without arguments, focusing on appreciation, turning complaints into requests, and shifting from blame to wonder.
The couples should use communication tools that enhance satisfaction of both partners in the relationship. They should learn to ask for what they want, show their partner what they want to receive, to negotiate, and to modify what they want (Kalbfleisch, 1950).
The couples should establish a common language to enhance their communication during clarity of issues (Kalbfleisch, 1950).
The use of gender communication tries to understand the gender differences in response to emotion situations involving high level of marital conflict. The gender difference determines the socialized cultures and powers assigned to a married couple (Nadler, 1987).
Participants in these courses ranged in age from 25-73 years. They were all married with 90% having stable marriages and only 10% lived separately or divorced but still communicating. Each member of the participating couples individually completed a questionnaire providing information on their communication attitudes, behaviors, reactions, and expectations (Nadler, 1987).
Men and women reported to have had communication with their partners either verbally or non-verbally. They all confessed to have had conflicts and disagreements occasionally or even most of the time. However, what was important to them was how they dealt and overcame their disagreements. Most of them used withdrawal of one of the partners or silence to avoid conflicts (Guerrero, 2010).
They all wanted to be sensitive to the feelings and expectations of their partners and to understand their communication challenges; they had to spend more time together to learn from each other.
The couples reported high levels of provision of partner support, trust and intimacy, and moderate relationship satisfaction. Relationship duration was mostly associated with commitment for both men and women. However, women were subordinate to their men to enhance effective and efficient communication (Eadie, 2009).
A romantic relationship seemed to show positive reactions in relationship perceptions and attitudes compared to couples that had been together in a prosaic relationship (Harvey, 2001).
People get married out of desire for love and commitment or because of social and economic reasons. Marriage motivation is by companionship, desire for children, happiness, money, convenience, dependence, and the fear for AIDs.
In that study, there were no significant differences found in the strength of the relationships for either gender. However, this research supports the argument that when individuals involve in satisfying long-term relationships, gender differences increase by the way they communicate to each other (Honeycutt, 2000).
Gender differences in an enduring and commitment romantic relationships is by comparing men and women in relationships across a variety of factors known to directly or indirectly influence relationship satisfaction.
They include; communication style, dependence, comfort and support, ways of dealing with conflicts, intimacy, and relationship satisfaction. This factors if not taken seriously by a couple leads to divorce or separation (Pearson, 1995).
Communication characterizes romantic relationships despite their diverse experiences, culture, and individual differences. Gender communication determines individual attitudes, behaviors in love and social expectations.
However, romantic partners seem to have similar patterns of love attitudes although they face many differences during communication. Men communicate a lot verbally while women use much of non- verbal expressions.
It is evident that men and women perceive and act differently in romantic relationships. The gender communication links to romantic relationships through the different socialization cultures, social powers assigned to them, and the environment.
When it comes to gender, there is a steady developmental pattern in gender communication; however, perceptions of misunderstanding decrease more for young female than for the male respondents, while males continue to perceive a less favorable power balance whether they are currently in dating or cohabiting relationships. Romantic relationships therefore build on culture and styles of gender communication.
Dindia, K. (2006). Sex differences and similarities in communication. New York, NY: Routledge.
Eadie, W. (2009). 21st century communication: A reference handbook, volume 1. Park City, UT: Sage Publishers.
Guerrero, L. (2010). Close encounters: Communication in relationships. Park City, UT: Sage Publishers.
Harvey, J. (2001). Close romantic relationships: Maintenance and enhancement. New York, NY: Routledge.
Honeycutt, J. (2000). Cognition communication instruction manual. New York, NY: Routledge.
Kalbfleisch, P. (1950). Gender, power, and communication in human relationships. New York, NY: Routledge.
Le Poire, B. (2006). Applied interpersonal communication matters: family, health, & community relations. Kansas City, MO: Peter Lang.
Nadler, L. (1987). Advances in gender and communication research. New York, NY: University Press of America.
Pearson, J. (1995). Gender & communication. Dubuque, IA: Brown and Benchmark.