Science Says Men Fall In Love Faster Than Women

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Women are crazy, right? We fall head over heels in love with men the minute we meet them, and we're obsessed and clingy forever afterwards.

At least, that's the narrative that's commonly told.

In reality, science says it's men who fall in love faster than women. One survey found that a man hardly needs to have spoken to a woman before he decides that she's the one for him. Women, on the other hand, require more time before they're willing to give their hearts away.

The survey was commissioned for the launch of Elizabeth Noble's new novel, The Way We Were, the story of childhood sweethearts who reappear in each other's lives years later. 1,500 men and 1,500 women aged 16 to 86 were polled about their love lives

One in five men surveyed claimed to have experienced love at first sight. Just over half reported being smitten with a woman after just one meeting, and nearly three-quarters admitted they'd lost their hearts within three dates.

In contrast, only one in ten women said they had experienced the fabled rush of love at first sight. Most said they waited until at least the sixth date before determining whether or not they'd found the real thing. The study also found that:

  • The average British man falls in love just over three times in his life, while the average woman falls in love only once.
  • More men than women claim to have loved someone who did not love them back.
  • Men are also more likely to say 'I love you' first.
  • Both sexes agree that their first love was the most difficult to get over. One in four said they felt they would never fully recover from the heartbreak.

Another study from the University of Texas found that it takes men 20 minutes or less to decide whether or not they want a second date with women. And the study found this interesting difference between the sexes: the more attractive a woman is, the more a man thinks she's interested in him. Women, on the other hand, tend to underestimate men's attraction to them.

Professor Alexander Gordon, a psychologist and member of the British Psychological Society, has analyzed the differences between men's and women's views of falling in love and choosing partners. He believes that men tend to turn to superficial factors, like a woman's looks, to determine whether or not they are in love, but the process of falling in love is much more complex for women.

Women are more likely to weigh all the pros and cons of a potential partner before making their choice. "Women are better at reading social situations," Gordon says, "and are more likely to ask more questions of themselves after meeting someone, like is he going to make me feel secure and will he be a good father to my children?"