Who says I Love You first in a relationship: men or women?
According to a study Communicating Commitment in Romantic Relationship men say it first about 70% of the time. The fact that men are saying it first to their partners significantly more than women makes me wonder if gender roles play a part in it. How many women also don’t want to make the first move and ask a guy out?
The study explained how evolutionarily speaking women have more burden for childbearing and can afford to be choosier with whom they have sex as well as whom they love. This suggests that in our ancestral environment women waited to declare their love. Perhaps it’s wired in the female brain. So let’s go back to the idea behind a woman professing her love first.
Since men are saying it first the majority of the time in the relationship, does it follow that women are thinking it and feeling it as well but waiting for the guy to profess? On average it appears that men and women in romantic (sexual) relationships are at the “I love you” stage a few months to half a year into the relationship. If it’s taking nine months to a year, it may not mean he doesn’t love you, he could just be less emotionally expressive than yo
In recent conversations with women in this position, I would like to share what I emphasized to them. Keep in mind the following 3 points if you’re at the stage in a romantic relationship with a guy: —dating him for a few months, —falling in love and wondering why he hasn’t professed his love to you.
- Ask yourself if this relationship is moving at a pace you are comfortable with. If it’s not and it’s really bothering you that he hasn’t said “I love you,” then it’s worth discussing with him. Have a conversation about what the possible expectations are behind those 3 words. Perhaps he thinks that once he says “I love you” the expectations are that he has to move in with you, or it’s time to start the wedding planning. It’s important to ensure that you both understand each other’s perspective.
- If you avoid having the conversation with him about how you feel, unnecessary tension is likely to build in the relationship. It will come out in other ways through petty conflict and arguments because you need to know what he’s thinking. And if he loves you why hasn’t he expressed it verbally.
- After you have the conversation, maybe you’ll sense by his positive reaction and openness to express the strong connection you two have—as a sign that he genuinely loves you. Be willing to give him the time he needs to be ready to say it. That’s the good scenario. On the other hand, if after having the conversation you are not sure if he loves you by how he reacted, or if he backs away, give him time to feel and digest his emotions. It can be confusing. After all, he may want to be the one to say it first.
If after a reasonable amount of time you feel you are not getting closer or taking your relationship to the next stage emotionally, since he still hasn’t said those three little words, then try having the conversation again about your feelings. Hopefully this time he’s ready to profess his love. If not, you deserve a man who’s more emotionally available for you. After all, women can afford to be choosier on who they choose to love. ~