Men say ‘I love you’ first, but women love longer

I recently came across a study that says men start thinking about professing their love about three months into the relationship whereas women start thinking about it around five months into the relationship. [Source: “The Love Code.” Psychology Today Sept. 2011: 16. Print.] 

My initial reaction was that it made sense from an evolutionary standpoint. After all, women have a lot more to lose by committing to a potential unworthy mate. But the more I thought about love and the difference between men and women when it comes to falling in love, the more intangible the word “love” means to me. Not only do we use the word “love” rather carelessly—from “I love ice cream” to “I love my new boots” to “I love my boyfriend/girlfriend”— we also lack synonyms to categorize increments of love. There is no single adjective to describe loving someone a little bit, somewhat or a lot.

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As I strived to find a way to talk about love, I came across Diane Ackerman’s A Natural History of Love. This ambitious work opts for a different language. It analyzes love and takes a look at  the various aspects, such as history, literature, and neurophysiology, of this complex emotion.

Here are some interesting love anecdotes throughout history!

  • Greek playwright Aristophanes rationalized that each person is looking for his or her missing other half. He wrote that this desire, “this becoming one instead of two, was the very expression of this ancient need.
  • Chivalry arose in the Middle Ages as a way for the Church to tolerate the warrior knights. The Church justified the knights’ slaughter because they are fighting for a holy cause—for truth, goodness, and piety. 
  • The dashing Casanova, born in Venice in 1725, was notoriously known for his life of seduction, gambling, and adventure. He enjoyed eating raw oysters off a woman’s breasts because oysters represent female genitalia.
  • Benjamin Franklin, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, was a great charmer. As an exquisite player, Franklin balanced his family life and love life with ease. In fact, His French ladies would send gifts to his grandchildren in America and his wife would return with gifts for his friends.

2 thoughts on “Men say ‘I love you’ first, but women love longer

  1. Maurice Chon

    It’s quite fascinating in retrospect how as a society we are obsessed with finding ‘perfect love’. Movies, Korean dramas, reality TV, to even comics, the idea of ‘perfect’ love is tossed around from basket to basket. Quite honestly though, I think we derive our definition of love from our personal experiences with it. Some people use the word like adding butter to toast, while others are much more reserved and hesitant in its use.

    As someone who is on the prudish side especially when it comes to relationships, it takes a special someone for me to say those three words.

    1. Sherry Post author

      Awww… that’s cute (chuckle chuckle)
      I couldn’t believe (or even imagine) that Benjamin Franklin was a great womanizer (:P)


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