Men more likely to say ‘I love you’ first in relationships, research shows

It’s long been a stereotype that straight women are quick to say “I love you” in relationships.

But research shows that heterosexual men are actually the ones most likely to rush in by announcing their feelings earliest in couplings.

As ardent Love Island viewers will know, men do not always live up to their reputation for “playing it cool”. 

Ahem, Joe. 

A study of men and women’s attitudes to love surveyed 172 college students and found that “men reported falling in love earlier and expressing it earlier than women.”

Marissa Harrison, who co-authored the study told Broadly: “Both men and women in our study presumed that women would fall in love and say ‘I love you’ faster than men.

“Women are assumed to be emotional; sometimes overly so, or rash.” 

Harrison believes that women fall in love more slowly for an evolutionary reason. 

She says: “I think women unconsciously postpone love compared to men.

“Women have a lot more to lose reproductively by committing to the wrong man.

“They are born with a finite number of eggs, yet men produce millions of sperm on a daily basis.”

In addition to women being more practical cautious than popular culture gives them credit for, many people also believe that men are generally seeking a meaningful connection more than they are given credit for. 

Neil Lamont, a London-based psychologist, thinks people generally tend to see men as more pragmatic or even commitment-avoidant. 

But he argues “meaningful relating is as important to men as it is to women.

“And while societal and cultural norms may have dictated that men should be strong and resilient, the reality is a well-lived life for men will typically involve deep and meaningful, loving relationships.”

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