Men fall in love faster than women, study finds
Is it possible to see someone across the room and fall in love? Some laugh at the notion of love at first sight, while others say they knew they found their soulmate the moment they saw them.
Match.com asked over 5,000 singles a variety of questions related to relationships during their annual “Singles in America” survey. They found that 59 percent of men and 49 percent of women believe in love at first sight, and 41 percent of men and 29 percent of women said they have experienced it.
The survey and numerous psychological studies have found men fall in love faster than women, said Helen Fisher, a biological anthropologist and New York City-based senior research fellow at the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction, in an interview with the Wall Street Journal.
“Men are so visual,” she said. “They see a woman who appeals to them physically, and it will trigger the romantic love system faster.”
So what makes people fall in love?
“I think falling in love is when we see potential for our romantic expectations to be fulfilled. That is, we might see someone and then think, ‘Hey, they have the potential to fulfill my romantic expectations.’” says Nick French, family therapist at Advocate Behavioral Health in Des Plaines, Ill. “It’s like a flash of opportunity that we can’t help but take a risk on because there’s a chance this person will help complete our expectations.”
Whether it was love at first sight or years of friendship leading up to a romantic relationship, French says that healthy relationships are decided by the people in the relationship.
A helpful way to determine if the relationship is healthy is to ask three questions developed by Dr. Sue Johnson, a clinical psychologist and creator of Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy.
- Accessibility: Can I reach the other partner?
- Responsiveness: Can I rely on the other partner to respond to me emotionally?
- Engagement: Do I know the other partner will value me and stay close?
“If a couple asks themselves these questions and answers “Yes” to them, then they’re doing pretty good,” French says.
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