See what “I love you” means to men and women - yes, it's different!

When it comes to love, men and women have different behaviors. Psychology Today has published the result of a series of research on love relationships and intimate situations. The result is quite curious.

Researchers Josh Ackerman of MIT; Vlad Griskevicius of the University of Minnesota; and Norm Li of Singapore University of Business have teamed up to unravel some behavioral patterns related to love experiences.

In all, there were six behavioral studies, and in one of them, the researchers asked a group of volunteers to imagine that they had started a recent romance with a person they found attractive and interesting. After that, participants were led to imagine different situations, doing programs that couples usually do and imagining themselves in situations where there was already a history of sexual intimacy, as well as in situations without sex.

Love is in the air

After a month of relationship, the idea was to imagine the partner saying "I love you". Next, each volunteer should answer a questionnaire about the feeling of hearing this declaration of love - on a scale ranging from 0, for those who did not like the situation at all; and 7, for those who really enjoyed hearing an "I love you".

Next, volunteers should say whether they fit more with unrestricted participants, who think that sex without love is a good form of fun; and the restricted, who prefer to have sex only with people with whom they truly feel close and with whom they have a commitment. Check out the results in the table below:

As you can see, in the group of unrestricted men, the idea of ​​hearing “I love you” before having sex is welcome, which is relatively bizarre considering that this group is made up of men who have sex even when they are not. sentimentally involved with someone. The explanation may be that these men know that they will have a different, perhaps even more intense, sexual experience when love is involved.

Listening to the same "I love you" after sex, for unrestricted men, makes them less satisfied, and it may have to do with the fact that unrestricted people may not like any idea that involves a love relationship. In the case of the restricted group, men and women almost tie in preference: it is better to hear an “I love you” after sex.

Gender issue

As you might imagine, men tend to value sexual relationships that are not dependent on love relationships, which helps us understand the results of other research by the same group of scientists. The question asked to the volunteers was simple: who usually says “I love you” the most? Men or women?

The most common answer was that, of course, women tend to say the dreaded phrase more easily - but that idea is wrong. Ultimately, based on other research, men tend to say “I love you” for the first time before women. It will be?

The discrepancy between common sense and the real answer, according to the researchers, has to do with evolutionary issues. In this sense, scientists have noticed that females end up devoting most of their energy to taking care of the young. In the matter of mating, females need to choose their mate very carefully.


Meanwhile, male mammals are less selective in finding a girlfriend. When a man says, "I love you, " that means he is willing to invest more time in the relationship, which means he will be available and help take care of his children. Unlike men, women are more suspicious and usually expect to make sure that the relationship is serious before saying the magic words.

In this evolutionary aspect of the thing, saying "I love you" is a negotiating process, and the person who says it is making a kind of offer. The decision to make this offer is made at different times by men and women. In the romantic field of bargaining, women want to lower their risk of selling too fast, so to speak, while men prefer to do business with really good deals.

For men, the biggest mistake in this negotiation would be to show no signs of compromise and end up losing the relationship. On the other hand, for women, the biggest mistake would be to believe too quickly in a partner's declaration of love and make bets on a sexual relationship without the man's investment. So, readers, tell us: do you agree with these results?