(Dis)comfort & Romantic relationships

Dressing Practice as an Indicator of the Embodied Affection Within Romantic Relationships (2017)

Photography: Kate Schermerhorn

Debora observed that people in a relationship can change their dressing habits. Sometimes one person becomes more the other. Sometimes both

factors that may infleunce this pheonomenen as well as.

in which the incolved respond to the need of the partners' needs and may help to strengthen their relationship. strategies the partner's needs, decision making, power dynamics, communication.

To understand more about this up this phenomenon, she looked to ecisiting studies in the fields of psychology and sociology to connect and underlie my observations.

For a research paper, Debora defined four types of dynamics that can occur in couples as as well as shows how her observations fit into existing literature. for possible explanations.

Unconscious imitation. By spening time together, people can start taking over the taske of the partner. When two individuals are close to each other and start to synchronize with each other.

It seems to be that people in a relationship start to wear the same color and patterns as their partner, for example black clothing or striped shirts. The psychology term ‚behavioral contagion‘ is used to explain a phenomenon when two individuals are close to each other and start to synchronize with each other. This can be a breathing or speaking rhythm, a walking pattern or a verbal expression. Intimate partners apparently develop similar physic postures and the psychologist Robert Zajonc found out that spouses start to look alike the more time they spend together1. He argues that this happens because we imitate the facial expressions.

Conscious adaption. Buy certain garments to please the partner. For women, lingerie seem to be most to create special moments. However, also pleasing and being liked by the other is important to people.

Some individuals start to change their clothing style, certain colours or materials, depeping on the taste, Liking and pleasing. The Presentation of the Self in Everyday Life‘ 2 by sociologist Erving Goffman, who argues that people are always adapting to the environment and performing depending on their goals.

Conscious creation. Fun and pleasure. Some couples feel the need to exporess their belonging. By wearing matching outfits. For instance, in Asia, couples celebrate their anniversary in identical outfits. Moreover, a British couple has been wearing identital outfits for over 35 years. For them it was fun to be visually recognized as a couple to others and also designed the outfits. 650 outfits.

Unconscious selection. Especially gay men seem to resemeble most to their partner. Not only in their clothing style but also in their physical apperance. Photographer Ari Versluis from Exactitudes shared with me: " (…) in this twitter-insta-tinder-grinding swiping times its seems people are looking and choosing someone almost like themselves. It’s like they are objectifying themselves and the other."

Photography: Kate Schermerhorn