Men in Love

Men in love: actions speak louder than words

By Sarah Moses Wednesday, October 10, 2012 - 13:56
Men are as good at expressing love as women, according to a recent study of married couples. When it comes to showing love in a relationship, women don’t have the upper hand – despite the stereotype that they’re better at talking about emotions.

Men definitely have to deal with a bad rep for not being good communicators in relationships. It’s the stereotype that comes up again and again in rom-coms and TV series. A woman professes her love to her man, and his response, well, leaves a lot to be desired. She ends up wondering how he feels and whether he loves her.

Expressing feelings

She shouldn’t be waiting for him to return her ‘I love you’. Instead, he’s likely to show he’s into her by wanting to spend a lot of time together. That’s because men and women show their love for each other in slightly different ways, the long-term US study found. And that doesn’t mean men are no good at expressing their feelings and emotions.

The study’s researchers followed 168 couples for 13 years of marriage to see how men and women express their love. They looked at how much a couple was in love and how that was related to things like giving compliments or criticism, wanting to have sex, and playing sports or running errands together.

Cuddling and kissing

Men and women are both into being affectionate when they’re in love, the research showed. And the more in love they are, the more cuddles, kisses, and compliments they’ll give their partner to show it.

But that’s where the similarities end. Clues that reveal a man’s in love have a lot to do with his actions. A man who’s into his partner will want to hang out with her, whether it’s partying together, watching TV, or even helping out with chores around the house. And of course he’ll also be all about having sex with her. For men, love has a lot to do with making time to spend with his partner.

Women, on the other hand show their love by trying to make their relationship as warm and pleasant as they can. They go about this not just by showing their affection, but by holding back when it comes to negative behaviour like criticising and complaining.

Different in love

Why do men and women express their love differently? Some scientists believe the way women and men act when they’re in love has to do with society’s expectations. Since women are seen as the kind, caring, and selfless sex, they express their love by trying to make a relationship as pleasant as possible. And men – who are seen as the more power-seeking, assertive, and group-oriented sex – show they’re in love by wanting to spend all their time with their partner.

For other scientists, it’s a question of biology. Women want their man to stick around to help raise kids, so they do what they can to make him feel good in a relationship. Since men have to be more competitive and dominant in order to get their woman, they’re more likely to want to spend all their time with her – so another man can’t, of course!

How do men and women express their love differently? What do you think? Leave a comment here or join the discussion on Facebook.

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