A study published in The Journal Of Social Psychology finds that it’s men, not women, who tend to fall in love faster.
The study, which surveyed 172 college students, found that most women and men surveyed had preconceived ideas that women would be the first to say “I love you”, when in fact, men reported falling in love earlier and expressing it earlier than women reported.
Psychologist Marissa Harrison, who co-authored the study, believes the findings to be because women are “evolutionary more cautious,” and subconsciously postpone love to ensure their partner is suitable to have children with. How romantic.
“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.”
“If women commit to and get pregnant by an unworthy mate [with] no help rearing a child, that would be very costly, time- and resource-wise.”
Neil Lamont, a London-based psychologist, spoke to Broadly about the study, and considered the idea that for men, “falling in love” quickly might also be a method of claiming territory. Who said romance is dead?
“For males, the drive will be to secure a bond as quickly as possible and with less pressure of ‘getting it right’ the first time, compared to the potentially greater physical and emotional investment involved for women.”
When it comes to actually saying “I love you,” Neil suggests that the “risk-averse” nature of females could be why men get in there first, because women may “be less likely to express such deeply felt emotions until they feel safe and secure enough in the relationship to do so. Revealing to your significant other that you love them risks vulnerability, because we can never be entirely sure they feel the same.”
Not exactly poetic. Although of course not all women may want children, but either way, there’s another long-held gender stereotype and societal myth debunked.