In Straight Relationships, Men Are More Likely to Be the First One to Say “I Love You”

"I love you" written with sparklers
Image by nicholas / CC BY

When I talk about someone being “a hopeless romantic,” most people are likely to assume I’m talking about a woman. Because we’re fiends for romance, don’t you know? Sensitive creatures obsessed with feelings and affection and all the trappings of a loving partnered life.

Romance junkies.

Straight men, on the other hand, are notoriously immune to such frail feelsy notions as love and romance. Everyone knows men are impenetrable fortresses of solitude who are just as happy to stay unfettered and free. And it’s a straight woman’s job to try to trap one of these free-ranging wild creatures.

Hahahaha.

Seriously though. I feel silly writing all of those things, but if you look around at half the advice given in magazines these days, you’ll see the nasty underpinnings of these beliefs behind every other sentence.

Like. People actually believe them. And behave as though all of that is true. Straight up true.

Turns out that they’re wrong. Men are emotional creatures, too.

One study argues that they’re just as quick to love — and actually, even quicker.

Men Apparently Fall in Love Really Fast and Say “I Love You” First

The study in question surveyed both men and women about love and romance. It asked participants not only about their views on love and romance but also questioned them about long it took for them to fall in love and also to say “I love you” in a relationship.

The study found that men and women had no differences in their attitudes about love and romance.

Not only that, but men reported falling in love more quickly than women did and also reported saying “I love you” sooner in relationships.

This was actually counter to the participants’ beliefs about relationships. They believed that women would say “I love you” sooner and also fall in love more quickly than men. And then as a group they gave answers about their own histories that contradicted that assumption they made about how things generally work.

Well then.

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This post is part of an ongoing Poly Land feature called Psyched for the Weekend, in which I geek out with brief takes about some of my favorite psychological studies and concepts. For the entire series, please see this link.

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Books by Page Turner:

Dealing with Difficult Metamours

A Geek’s Guide to Unicorn Ranching

Poly Land: My Brutally Honest Adventures in Polyamory 

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2 Comments

  1. I do wonder though if some of that isn’t because as a woman i don’t want to come off clingy or needy so I often will wait to say those 3 words until my partner does. I will say all kinds of other things so they know I care, but I don’t want to be the first to say it because it may scare them off.

  2. As a queer/bisexual woman, I don’t find this surprising. In my younger years when I still convinced myself I was hetero, the speed with which men fell in love often made me very uncomfortable. Women I have dated have been much more measured.

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