As part of my research about love and gestures, I decided to interview couples to get to know them and also how they met, how they felt, and how they fell in love. I recorded interview on video and paid close attention to their gestures during the interview, they are transcribed below.

 

Christine & Oleg, August 13, 2017

Relationship: currently dating each other, and Christine is my flatmate Sep 2016-present

Prior to the interview no specific questions were told to them.

How did you meet?

Oleg: I swiped right on Tinder. (swiping right in the air with the index finger, clasping hands in front)

Christine: I swiped right, too. (swiping right in the air with the index finger and then clasping hands around crossed leg, shaking)

  • Both using the swipe gesture to demonstrate their point

 

By that time were you both actively using Tinder?

Oleg: Yea. (nods)

Christine: (nods)

  • Already showing signs of body synchrony

 

(Betty explaining background research on dating app research)

Do you feel like Tinder is the app that people mostly use?

C: (nods) I think so. (looks at Oleg)

O: Yea, the main reason I used it was cause that’s what like everyone used. I think I tried maybe 1 or 2 others but they weren’t as good. (glances towards Christine)

  • Both looking at each other for confirmation?

 

Do you feel like the swiping made things easier for you as opposed to the profile heavy services before?

O: (cross left leg over right)

C: (gesturing with hands conversational) I think it’s the fact that it’s obviousely a few pictures and a short description to pick yes (points left) or no (points right) (Oleg looks at Christine).

  • Point could not have been related to actually swiping meanings as in this case it’s signifying choice 1 and choice 2 rather than yes or no.

It makes it easier to go through many people. And then I didn’t actually swipe I think (looking in Olegs direction) cause I was worried that I would swipe the wrong way. (looks at Oleg and laughs) So I just used the buttons (holding hands up in phone using position with thumbs pressing)

O: aww (laughs) That’s so nerdy (Christine laughs) I think it’s the gamification of Tinder that made it so nice.

 

So you actually enjoy the gamification?

O: yea yea, subconsciously and consciousely (both looking right and nodding)

 

After Tinder, how did you finally meet?

(both Christine and Oleg fidgeting with their right hand fingers)

O: So we chatted on Tinder for like (looks at Christine) how long? A week maybe?

C: Umm a week, Yea. (looking in Oleg’s direction and nodding)

O: Then we would move to WhatsApp and then we arranged to meet in Greenwich for the first time. (both looking at me and touching face with right hand).

  • Still a lot of body synchrony

C: m hm (nodding).

 

Observation below is more on the conversation, less on body

Tell me about that?

O: (laughs and looks at Christine)

C: So…  It was a Sunday night (looking at Oleg) and Oleg asked me to go for drinks. So I met him at North Greenwhich. O no, I met you at… (talking to Oleg, both looking at each other)

O: Greenwhich, DLR, Greenwhich DLR.

C: And then we went to one bar and then a jazz club and then another bar, and then it was very late and I’m like, this is Sunday night, I should be going home to sleep. (body moving back and forth and both laughing)

Betty reconfirming

O: We met in front of the DLR station.

 

Did you recognize each other right away?

C: To be honest, I think I had like a second of..

O: I think yea we both had like a second

C: and then I remember it was winter right, so you were wearing a jacket and I was wearing a jacket too.

 

So did you plan to go to those certain places?

C: No, o I didn’t know, he just planned it.

O: yea, I had a map in my head. I know the area very well. So the plan is usually both flexible and fixed, so I knew we were going to go to the jazz bar but we stopped because there was a pub right on the way.

 

Do you feel like when you first meet someone for the first time, that you have a physical distance?

C: I think so because I remember when we first met at the DLR station, and then we were walking to the pub, we were kind of walking side by side with some distance between us. And then when we got to the pub, when we sat down, we sat across from each other. (gesture with hands)

O: Did we sit across from each other?

C: yea, I’m pretty sure

O: I normally don’t do that because I know that when you sit like kind of opposite from each other, it’s more like confrontational, so I tend to try to sit at like the angle if I’m on a date.

 

So you would deliberately think about where you would sit?

O: yea

 

Did you start having conversation right away?

C: yea (nodding)

O: well probably me just talking (laughs and looks at Christine)

C: he talks a lot, a lot (shakes head, rolls eyes, smiles)

 

Both noted they did not really check their phones during the date.

 

(talks about how the first date went and that they changed a lot of places)

 

When you like someone how do you motion to them?

O: So there’s the conscious and subconscious. Probably straightening up. On a date I also try to parallel the body language, it’s like a deliberate technique. Because it connects. You know like there are these moments. This is something that I notice when a date is going well. There will be a moment for example when we both like move the head (moves head and upper body to the right) in a certain way, like you know one person will go like this (moving upper body and head) and you know it’s like a subconscious sign that things are going well. I deliberately try to do it but obviously I won’t be constantly focused on just that but it’s definitely something I have in mind.

C: I think for me, if I’m walking next to the guy, I will like touch my arm to him (demonstrates and Oleg bumps Christine back) Or when he says a joke and it’s funny and I laugh I touch his arm (demonstrates) to I guess add more touch to it.

O: yea touching is very important. Like this kind of light (touches Christine’s arm with 2 fingers) you know subconscious, almost coincidental.

C: I like the person first then I do that. So it’s driven by who I like

 

Is there a specific gesture that you love/hate about each other?

C: The one I like is when we are having dinner across from each other, at one point he will reach his hand over to hold on to my hand. I really like that, it feels more intimate.

O: There is a certain way how Christine walks sometimes, like in the morning like you don’t lift your feet up high (demonstrating) I kind of like because it identifies so closely with Christine. And like you do a bit like hanging (hunching body over and moving left to right) and she’ll make small movements like of like (shuffles with feet). I like it, it’s funny but because it’s very Christine for me.

C: (covers face with hand and looks at Oleg) Ok what do you not like?

O: Ummm when you start biting your nails that drives me absolutely crazy. Or sometimes I think we both get stuck on our phones, I don’t like that.

C: I think maybe for you, maybe when you scratch your head?

  • This question engaged them to have a conversation with each other rather than to me, at some other points, the couple switches between talking to each other and to the interviewer.

 

General talk about Tinder and it’s accessibility to many, giving geeky guys the same access to many people. How people can get addicted to it but not majority. There are so many types of users on Tinder and only the people who’ve had bad experiences of hook-up are writing about it.