Good news! Free USPS first class shipping on all orders over $90! (U.S. addresses only)

Who Falls in Love Harder or Loves More Deeply - Men or Women?

Posted by Sharon Gnatt Epel on

 

Ever since experiencing my first adolescent heartbreak, I bought into the widely-held belief that women have a greater capacity to love and feel emotion more deeply than men. Movies and chick-lit since the beginning of time have typically portrayed women as more romantic by nature, more dedicated to relationships and more loyal to their mates than their male counterparts. As the mother of two boys, I started to question the legitimacy of this popular notion as I watched my children grow up and develop into emotionally mature and caring men. Recently, several new studies have emerged to legitimately challenge this cultural axiom and potentially change our way of thinking.

So, who falls harder? Men or women? Is it even possible to measure the depth of a person’s love? What are the basic components that define what love is?

While each person is different to be sure, there are certain behaviors and generalities that are thought to be common to all loving relationships. Dr. Robert J. Sternberg, Professor of Human Development at Cornell University, thinks that these core elements “are the same in any loving relationship whether with a lover or with one’s own child” and include intimacy, passion and commitment. Being able to share one’s self with another human being, having the ability to give and get emotional support when it is needed, knowing that you can count on someone to be there for you in times of strife and turmoil, being able to put another’s welfare ahead of your own, and having the capacity to be genuinely happy for someone other than yourself, are all critical behaviors that are present in true love. Mothers have known this forever. There is an old saying that “a woman is capable of more sacrifices than a man.” Henry Ward Beecher said that “there is no slave out of heaven like a loving woman: and, of all loving women, there is no such slave as a mother.”

While mothers know that men can be equally affectionate, there are gender differences, to be sure. Women are often perceived as being more fragile and vulnerable, but this is because men often hide their feelings and can appear cold and aloof. According to Psychology Today: this “can give us a false sense that women…fall more deeply in love than their partners” when in truth…. “men may be going through extreme emotional turbulence inside their minds and hearts. Heartbreak hurts a man just as much as it would a woman, but it is hard to tell from the outside because pain can be hidden under silence.”

According to Debate.org, (http://www.debate.org/opinions/do-woman-love-more-than-man), 48% of the men and women they polled think women fall harder than men do, but 52% disagree, citing the differences in the way men and women express their love that tends to be misinterpreted. Different does not always mean worse than, or inferior to. Women tend to be more verbose in general, while men do not openly express their emotions in quite the same way. But this does not mean that they are not feeling an equally strong or deep emotional attachment. This is backed up by Marissa Harrison, a psychologist from Pennsylvania State University who thinks that women are much more cautious when it comes to love, while men tend to fall in love harder and faster. Studies show that a man’s requirements to fall in love are significantly less stringent than those of a woman. While a woman tends to assess a partner based on his ability to provide for her and protect future offspring, a man usually bases his decision on much more superficial criteria, and this often results in him being smitten as early on as the first date. Statistics also show that more men believe in love at first sight than women do.

In another experiment, Ms. Harrison polled 172 college students and asked them how long it took them to say “I love you.” The results of her questionnaire may surprise you. Men often declare their love after just a few weeks, as compared to women who tend to be much more cautious and wait several months before expressing their feelings. Many of us women can remember our moms instructing us not to be the first one to use the "L" word in a relationship.

Despite what you might think, when men fall in love, they often fall very hard and are a bit more attached to the relationship than women are. Because of this, (with the exception of sociopaths and sex-addicts of both genders) it is thought that men take longer to recover from a break-up than women do. Women also have the additional benefit of getting emotional validation from their network of girlfriends to whom they turn when they are in need of support. Men, in general, do not have the same level of emotional intimacy with their guy-friends. In fact, an article on the website The Rules Revisited offers this “insider” tip for women (http://www.therulesrevisited.com/2013/03/men-dont-fall-in-love-same-way-womendo.html) : “If a man isn't falling for you from an early stage - say, the first month - it isn't going to happen. Don't wait around for his feelings to "grow" the way yours sometimes do. They will not.”

Lest you think that these findings are exclusive to heterosexual men and women who are in relationships, you should know that the way people express the intensity of their love within same sex couples is no different, proving that love is, well, just love.

So, this Valentine’s Day, you might want to cut your significant other some slack, break "the rules" and take the initiative in planning a special evening. Try to remember that men and women are more alike than we are different, and it is these differences that make life interesting.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Copyright February 2017 Sharon Gnatt Epel

emotional EQ hopeless romantics love at first sight romance romantic men romanticism true love valentine's day

← Older Post Newer Post →

News

RSS
Tags
acne age spots AGEs alpha-hydroxy acid American Red Cross antioxidant anxiety argan oil Aromatherapy aromatherapy cleanser Aromatherapy Face Wash Audrey Hepburn autumn skincare AxThePinkTax bacterial contamination Beauty beauty and health beauty regimen benefits beauty routines beauty sleep beauty tips best-by date binge watching blush Body butter Book CLub brand yourself branding breast cancer caffeine caffeine tolerance Cameron Diaz cannabinoid-infused oils Cannabis in skincare carrier oils carrot seed oil CBD CBD oil chapped lips Chocolate Body butter chronopharmacological research circadian rhythms Clara Bow clogged pores Coconut Oil collagen production comedogenic concealer consumer pricing cortisol cortisol levels cracked heels Crepe-y skin crows feet cruelty free Cruelty-free Customizable moisture cuticle conditioner CyberMonday special damaged hair dark circles day cream Dehydrated skin depression dermaplaning Diana Ross diet Discount International UPS diy DIY Beauty DIY body scrub DIY mosquito repellent diy skin care DIY skincare DIY toner diy toners do-it-yourself beauty dress for success dry hands Dry Skin Eartha Kitt Elizabeth Taylor emotional EQ Empty-nesters endorphins entering the workforce environmental working group Erth Minerals Essential Oils Esssential oils EWG exfoliate Exfoliation Expedited Shipping eye makeup eye primer eye puffiness eye strain Eyebrow growth eyebrow regrowth eyebrow trends Eyelash extensions eyeliner eyeshadow Face Creme face polish face toners face wash facial exfoliant Facial toners Fall Beauty Tips false eyelashes fine lines first impressions flaky lips Flaky skin fluid retension fluid retention food-grade oils foundation makeup full ingredient disclosure Gabriel Cosmetics gender inequality gentle cleanser GirlfriendSocial.com Glucose-driven-aging glycation GMP GreenMedInfo guest beauty blogger hair conditioner hair conditioner residue happy new year 2017 health hemp hemp seed oil hempseed oil hopeless romantics hyaluronic acid hydroquinone hyperpigmentation hypothalamus inflammation International Purchases International Shipping Itchy skin Joan Crawford Kate Moss Kids Against Hunger Kim Kardashian La Isha La Isha Aromatherapy Sniffers La Isha HighPerformance Natural Skin Care La Isha Natural Skin Care Lash growth treatments Latisse layering Lena Horne lip balm lip wrinkles lipliner lipstain lipstick Loneliness Long shelf life Loose skin love at first sight luxury tax makeup makeup removal Making-Friends Manicure marijuana Marilyn Monroe mascara massage Mature Skin meditation Meetup melanoma Melissa Moore mental health Merle Oberon Microdermabrasion milky cleansers Moisture Booster moisturize moisturizer mosquito bites mosquito repellent myth of cosmetic safety nail buffing nanotechnology national skin cancer awareness month Natural Face Wash natural perfumes natural preservatives Natural Skin Care Neck exercises Neck wrinkles News night cream non-toxic beauty nonspecific dermatitis Norma Shearer oil-based skincare Oily to Normal Skin olive oil orbitofrontal cortex organic Organic Castor Oil organic food Organic Olive Oil Organic plant butters Organic Skin Care oxidative stress ozone layer pain management paraben free parabens personal branding personal care products safety perspiration photosensitivity phthalate free pink tax Pomegranate pomegranate oil pomegranate seed oil powdered blush prefrontal cortex premature aging prepare for spring preservative systems preservative-free product expiration dates puffy eyes raccoon eyes rancid oils rancidity re-branding Red itchy skin patches remove makeup romance romantic men romanticism Rosewater rouge rough elbows Safe Beauty safe mosquito repellent safe osmetics Safe Skin Care safe sunscreen sagging skin saggy skin Sayer Ji Self Help self-care self-love Sensitive Skin shampoo residue shelf-life Single-parents skin cancer Skin Care skin protection skincare Skincare Routines sleep deprivation sleep disturbances smeared lipstick smudgeproof makeup sodium lauryl sulfate free soft skin spring beauty routines spring cleaning Stay-at-home-moms stimulate circulation stress sugar summer beauty tips summer face tips SummerBeautyTip sun damage sun protection Sun spots sunburn sunscreen sunscreen ban sunspots sweat synthetic preservatives Synthetic-free THC The Melissa Lifestyle thepinktax therapeutic touch thin eyebrows thin-slicing timeless beauty Toner toxic chemicals toxic compounds toxic massage oils toxic petrochemicals true love Turkey Neck Twiggy ultraviolet rays unsafe body lotions valentine's day visine vitamin A Volunteering waterproof mascara weight gain Whipped Chocolate Body Butter Whitney Houston whole foods winter skin women in work women shaving women's products world environment day Worldwide Online Sales wrinkles