In relationships, who do you is more likely to say, “I love you”? Men or women? Who’s first? Most people will probably say, women. Well, it’s true the ladies were first to confess to their partners that they love them. A study done by Ackerman, Griskevicius, & Li found that 64 percent of women are likely to tell their partners, “I love you,” within two months of being in a relationship. The study reiterates the stereotype that the ladies are more interested in love and relationships than men, so that’s why women are more likely to confess their feelings quickly.
That doesn't mean that men aren’t interested in professing their love to their partners. When it comes to real relationships, it's men who are more likely to declare their feelings first! It’s also been found that men take around three months to profess their love to their partners, while women start thinking about saying their partners they love after dating for five months. Researchers suggest this happens because of women’s physiological and evolutionary characteristics such as childbearing, nurturing abilities, etc. are more valuable. Therefore, women have no issues to wait to confess their love to their partners. Also, women are choosier about whom they like to date and who they like to physically intimate.
Now, let’s move on sexual intimacy and love. Researchers told that men felt more happiness and emotionally positive if their partners said they love them before having sex. They also felt that the confessions were more honest and heartfelt if said before sexual intimacy. These findings were especially true for guys who are looking for casual or short-term sexual relationships rather than committed and long-term relationships. To these people, hearing the words, “I love you” meant more to them emotionally before sex indicating that their partners were also interested in having sex with them.
For women, it’s the opposite. Women felt more happiness and emotionally positive if their partners told they love them after having sex. This feeling of happiness and satisfaction is related with romantic excitement, particularly, for people who are looking for committed and long-term relationships than casual or short-term sexual relationships. Women think that if their partners told them they love them before being physically intimate with them, they assume that the man is less sincere and trustworthy.
For relationships where couples have already engaged in sexual activity, both men and women believed that the best time to declare their feelings and love for each was between three to six months. Meanwhile, if men and women are dating and they still haven’t had sex, they thought the appropriate time to profess their love to their partners would be a month earlier into the relationship given the same time frame.
Love and relationships can be messy and confusing sometimes. Whether you’re looking a casual sexual relationships or a long-term relationship, saying “I love you,” to the person you love is an individual decision that depends on many factors including relationship goals, timing, personal feelings, and so on. So, think long and hard before you say, “I love you!”