If you’re wondering who falls in love faster, perhaps, it depends on your definition of love.
Just because the sparks fly and the butterflies flutter does not mean you have truly fallen in love — or, at least, into the kind of love that lasts a lifetime. You could be experiencing limerence or even simple lust.
In fact, it’s all just about hormones and other chemical reactions in the brain and body.
Everyone is at the mercy of one of Mother Nature’s most delightful and devastating little tricks, one that has successfully resulted in 7.9 billion (and counting!) humans on the planet.
So, who falls in love faster? Men or women?
Men may fall in love faster and harder and may even think it’s love at first sight, more often than women. This is because of their intense initial physical attraction to a woman.
Men also may say, “I love you” first, while women are still wondering, “Is he my soulmate?”
According to a recent study of 172 college students published in the Journal of Social Psychology, women need more time to feel trust due to the subconscious biological imperative to find the most suitable partner to father children, which is likely why sex works best for a woman once her emotional needs are being met.
In fact, if a woman is immediately physically drawn to a man, it can be a red flag or a cautionary warning.
This reaction is a clear sign that she is attracted to a fantasy of who he might be and not necessarily who he really is.
Although there’s a chance he might be the right one for her, she cannot know that yet.
As a “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus” relationship coach who has worked with hundreds of dating couples, I can tell you there are clearly several stages of dating, where both men and women are assumed to be in love.
It’s always wise to go slowly and savor each and every step. The time it takes to truly experience unconditional love can be up to 18 months, based on science.
Although women are assumed to be more emotional than men, it’s actually men who report falling in love earlier at 88 days and women at 134 days.
For the most successful relationship, both partners need to be prepared to take the opportunity to move through the entire process and navigate the dating stages without skipping over any of them.
Now that you know who falls in love faster, here are 5 secrets of attraction that cultivate a healthy relationship.
1. Be aware of the chemistry of love.
There are four basic kinds of chemistry:
Physical: creates desire
Mental: creates interest
Emotional: creates affection
Spiritual: creates love
The issue is that men and women often experience chemistry differently.
In Dr. John Gray’s metaphor, men are more like blowtorches — they turn on full blast, while women are more like ovens because they need to be warmed up slowly.
Men reported being attracted to a woman physically first, then mentally, emotionally, and, finally, spiritually.
Women tend to be attracted mentally first, then emotionally, physically, and, at last, spiritually.
2. Get through uncertainty.
There’s a point where both partners need to reflect on whether this is the right relationship. Men often pull back at this stage while women panic and try to push forward.
This is where men ‘ghosting’ and women over texting or calling can occur.
Moving on to the next stage requires both partners to give each other space and time to decide if they both want to move into exclusivity. Because if you move too fast and don’t work through your doubts now, it’s just going to get worse later.
Just because you feel love for someone does not mean they are the right person for you. If you find that your heart’s desire is unavailable, you may be looking in the wrong direction.
3. Commit to exclusivity.
This is the process of growing together in love by learning how to get your emotional needs met, discovering and delighting in shared values and goals, learning about the power of commitment, and opening your hearts.
4. Create intimacy.
This is when you truly get to know your partner, warts and all, and you still want to be with them.
There’s nothing more encouraging to the human spirit than being deeply known and loved by another.
5. Build engagement.
Build the bonds, learn to be romantic, meet each other’s emotional needs and learn to deal with life’s inevitable challenges and problems.
Two critical skills in making your relationship work long-term are apologies and forgiveness. Because if you can’t make up, you will break up.
When you’ve successfully moved through the dating stages together as a couple and find true unconditional love, then you will know you have found your soulmate.
Melodie Tucker is an internationally known Mars Venus Success Coach and instructor, guiding people to discover what it is they really want out of life — relationships, family, business/career — then helping them figure out how to get it. She is also a Prepare-Enrich couples mentor, an NLP practitioner, a workshop leader, public speaker, writer, and a contributing author to “Vibrant Women’s Wisdom.”