There’s a common misconception that women fall in love faster than men. It’s something we see time and time again on TV, in books, movies, and in media in general. However, this sexist preconception may actually be false. In fact, a new study has found that men might fall in love quicker than women.
There’s been a lot of chatter about how long it actually takes for people to fall in love, and even more people speaking about how, actually, you should just really love yourself (too right), but now a recent study has revealed who actually falls in love first, the girl or the boy.
In the new study, which surveyed 172 college students, it was found that MEN were the ones to fall in love first, and were also the first to express this, too.
So, all those ideas that men are unattached and scared of commitment aren’t true after all.
Speaking to Broadly, psychologist and the study’s co-author Marissa Harrisonechoed these stereotypes.
“Women are assumed to be emotional; sometimes overly so, or rash,” she revealed. “Both men and women in our study presumed that women would fall in love and say ‘I love you’ faster than men.”
These presumptions come despite the results of the study stating that “men reported falling in love earlier and expressing it earlier than women reported.”
Harrison told Broadly that she felt that women were more trepidatious when it comes to the L-word because, as creatures, they need to be cautious.
“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,” she said. “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.”
This was something that Psychologist Neil Lamont echoed, claiming that he believed that women were more risk-adverse. “[Women] can be less likely to express such deeply felt emotions [as love] until they feel safe and secure enough in the relationship to do so,” he said. “Revealing to your significant other that you love them risks vulnerability, because we can never be entirely sure they feel the same.”
Harrison did note that she felt that men were more likely to move on from a relationship quicker than women, citing a man’s ability to…spread his seed, shall we say, in comparison to a woman’s ability to carry the child of just one man. This she argued, however, did not excuse infidelity.
“Today, if a man commits to a woman, and vice versa, one’s modern frontal cortex should allow them to keep that commitment,” she said. “That is, I am not saying evolved drives confer a license to infidelity or abandonment of one’s partner.”
Given the relatively small sample size of this study, there’s no way that these figures can be 100% verifiable for a wider population. However, we like the idea that those outdated and old fashioned gender norms, conventions, and stereotypes are actually wrong, and that saying “I love you” is not a gendered experience.