Who Falls In Love Faster? Men or Women?
Who falls in love faster? Men or women?
Who is more likely to fall in love at first sight?
Who is more likely to believe that love lasts forever?
Who is more likely to feel there is one perfect love?
Who is less likely to marry without love?
When I ask my students these questions, most guess that women are more likely to do all of the above. Yet it turns out that the right answer is “men.”
I should note that the gap has been closing over time.
But everyone’s surprised, probably because women have grown up on Disney princesses and are stereotyped to want romance and relationship while men supposedly just want sex.
So why doesn’t reality match expectation?
The reasons men appear to be the more romantic sex are largely tied to three factors: looks, jobs, and physical strength.
How could any of that be linked to believing in love at first sight?
Men are more likely to place greater emphasis on looks — and only looks — as the signal for “she’s the one,” leaving them falling more quickly in love, or even falling in love at first sight.
Women can be very focused on looks, too. But they consider more factors. Because they’re more likely to expect they’ll stay home with kids at some point, they’re more concerned with whether a man’s job can support a family. Even among career women, wives are more likely to follow husbands around in their jobs than vice-versa. So what sort of a job does he have? A waitress who marries a dentist is likely to see her prestige rise to his level. Not so much for the waiter who marries an attorney. So “his” job has more impact on “her” status. And because men are usually bigger and stronger, women will suffer greater injuries if there is abuse, so they’re more likely to be concerned with a man’s mental health and stability. Men are also more rumored to stray (may be less true today) so women may want to take more time to discern character. All this discovery takes time.
But actually, women are more likely to be concerned with a plethora of factors even when they are engaged in simple sex fantasy. For fantasy men usually turn to two-minute porn clips that focus on body parts. But women favor long romance novels. As I’ve written before, referring to cognitive neuroscientist, Ogi Ogas:
Men’s interest is simple, uncomplicated. But women more likely want character-driven stories that reveal the lover’s nature…
The female cortex is highly developed and skillfully scrutinizes all available evidence – social, emotional and physical, somewhat consciously but largely not. All this leads to a general feeling of favorability or suspicion: Is he committed and kind? Is he a rouge? A player? Only if the detective work leads to a stamp of approval will physical and psychological arousal unite.
Women are also more likely to marry for reasons other than love, like, “He’s a good stable man with a good stable income.” That leaves women less romantic, on average, and less supposing that there is one perfect love that lasts forever.
The good news, as I said, is that the gap is closing and women are more likely to marry for love now that they have greater opportunity and are less dependent on men. And that’s a lot better for marriage.