How Men Fall In Love - Is It Different For Men And Women?
What happens to a man’s body and brain when he falls in love? Do men feel a brief spark? Do men and women fall in love differently? Or do the similarities run deeper than we suspect?
Below, we’re discussing the implications that current data suggests when it comes to considering the male experience in romantic relationships.
Nature, Nurture, And Neuroscience: How Do Men Fall In Love?
Discussions about men and women often start from the cultural idea that people of different genders are simply “wired differently”. Some may believe that there are deep structural differences between male and female brains in an attempt to create a simple explanation for why women seem to act differently from men.
However, contemporary neuroscience research in social psychology suggests that it’s often a mistake to assume that gender differences are rooted in the brain. In many cases, societal differences in how men and women are raised, educated, and treated by their peers may offer better explanations. This can be considered something that’s important to keep in mind as we look at how men fall in love.
Men May Fall In Love More Quickly
Current scientific data supports the idea that, in many cases, men may fall in love more quickly.
Falling In Love Can Foster Feelings Of Obsession In Men
When someone is in the beginning stages of love, they may find it difficult to keep their partner off of their mind.
Research on romance suggests that this obsessiveness can be a very common and distinctive phase of new relationships as partners build a deeper emotional and physical connection to one another. Data shows that it appears to involve the brain’s dopamine reward system, the same mechanism responsible for habits and addictions.
Additionally, one study found that men in love display hormonal patterns similar to those seen in obsessive-compulsive disorder, with their serotonin levels dropping sharply.
Interestingly, although women showed the opposite pattern — increased serotonin when in love — their levels of self-reported obsession were just as strong.
Men May Feel Euphoric When Falling In Love
A man who’s falling in love might feel happier, more energetic and more confident. Part of this may be linked to the activation of the reward system discussed above. When you’re craving another person, every interaction with them can promote feelings of intense joy and nostalgia. This can translate into an elevated mood overall for a man in love, especially if he’s spending a lot of time with the person he’s falling for.
This happy state may also make people feel more adventurous (regardless of gender). Some researchers believe that love can expand your sense of self, possibly helping your personal identity become more complex. The confidence and happiness a person gets from a flourishing romance may make them more open to trying new things and adopting new interests.
Men May Want To See Their Partners Respond
Many men might enjoy the feeling of provoking physical signs of affection such as a smile or a laugh from the person they’re in love with. A 2015 study looked at this pattern, analyzing how much male participants tried to make female participants laugh. The researchers found that the men’s level of interest in dating their partners strongly predicted how hard they’d try to be funny.
This may be part of a larger need that some men may experience as they look for visible signs of affection from their partners in their actions or body language.
Love Can Make Men Act Gentler
The initial sexual attraction that can spark a romance is often helped along by testosterone, a hormone that plays an important role in behaviors like sex, aggression and impulsivity. However, a man’s testosterone levels decrease noticeably. This might have something to do with the way that many men begin to show their softer sides when they develop strong feelings for someone.
Passion Deepens To Compassion
Much of what we discussed above relates to the beginning stages of romantic relationships, which are often marked by an intense, obsessive desire for the other person. Research suggests that this urgency may decrease as the relationship matures, but feelings of empathy, trust and attachment increase. This longer-term love may be modulated in large part by oxytocin, which appears to have powerful pair-bonding effects in mammals.
This process seems to work largely the same for most people, regardless of sex and gender. It may be marked by a greater ability to see things from a partner’s perspective and anticipate their needs. However, more research is needed to validate and support the experience that gender-neutral, trans and non-binary folks may experience.
Men In Love Might Look Past Flaws
In loving relationships, men might be likely to see the best in their partners — maybe even viewing the other person more positively than they view themself. Many studies have noted that people with deep romantic feelings hold idealized images of their partners and find them physically attractive. This seems to be true no matter your gender or biological sex.
This doesn’t always translate into putting your partner on a pedestal or believing that they’re perfect. However, it often means finding the best interpretation of the other person’s characteristics. A man who’s fallen in love with someone might forgive their shortcomings and perhaps even be charmed by things that would normally annoy him.
How Can Online Counseling Support Men In Love?
Once again, it’s worth remembering that the information presented above may not apply equally to everyone. Research can tell us about some of the broad patterns in the ways men fall in love, but everyone's experience will be slightly different. If you’re feeling confused about what love means to you or your partner, it might help to discuss it with a therapist. Having a neutral, professional perspective on your relationship can often help both parties understand each other better.
Some couples prefer online counseling over more traditional in-person therapy. Conducting sessions over the internet might mean that you can talk to your counselor from your own living room. This may improve your comfort with the process and make it easier to express yourself honestly. It may also make it easier to coordinate schedules between yourself, your partner and your therapist.
Is Online Therapy Effective For Relationship Support?
Most couples who tried online counseling as part of a 2020 study reported that the experience was helpful and positive. Many found that the online format made it easier for them to become “fully immersed in the therapeutic process”, and the majority said they were able to “effectively connect with their therapist”.
BetterHelp’s online therapy program can help you find a licensed relationship counselor to help you understand and improve your relationship dynamics.
If you’re seeking a better understanding of how love is affecting you or your partner, BetterHelp can pair you with a licensed relationship counselor.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
How long does it take for a man to fall in love?
You may be wondering how does a man fall deeply in love? How long does it take to fall in love? Many men actually fall in love pretty fast On average, it can take a man a few months (around 88 days,) before he’s in love. Of course, it depends on the man. Often a younger man falls in love faster, while an older man may take a while. For example, teenage puppy love can be one reason why couples fall deeply in love faster.
However, not everyone may know if the person they’re with is right for them and they may feel confused. Sometimes one partner may fall in love faster than the other. An outside perspective can sometimes be quite enlightening.
What does love feel like for a man?
For a man who has fallen deeply in love with a woman, it can make a man feel like he has found someone whom he can be himself around and wants to spend time with.
When guys fall deeply in love, they will want to talk to a special someone no matter what. When you see a man fall in love, he will want to do anything it takes for the woman to feel safe. For men to fall in love, they may express it through affection, which is important for both sexes. However, when guys fall in love, they express much more affection than in most other relationships. Many men don’t fall in love with every woman they meet, but once guys fall in love, the feeling is much different.
What are the signs of true love?
You may wonder, “how does a man act when they are in love, or how does a man feel in love.” Being such a nebulous term, it can sometimes be hard to know what the signs of love are and when they fall deeply in love. When you see a woman or guy fall in love, what were the signs that you can tell a man fall deeply in love. While women fall in love differently than men, and vice versa, several signs can apply all across the board regardless of your sex or sexual attraction. So how does a man fall deeply in love? If a man or woman does any of these things, it may be a good sign they are in love.
- When men and women fall deeply in love, they will typically be completely themselves around each other. With our family, we have to be a little different. You don’t typically talk the same around your grandma as your friends. Even with your friends, there may be something you keep a secret. However, when a woman and man fall in love with each other, they typically will feel comfortable being themselves.
- As cliché as it sounds, when you see a woman or man fall in love, they can’t get each other out of their heads. When you’re in love, you’re always thinking about the person.
- You’re extremely empathetic with your partner. Some men don’t show too much empathy towards anyone, but when you see a man fall in love with a woman, they may start to grow extremely empathetic and they may want to be people who will be there for their partner no matter what.
- When women and men fall in love and truly love someone, they will accept them as a complete package, flaws and all. We might still expect our partners to learn and grow, but we love them just the way they are. That is often considered real love.
Why is falling in love scary?
When men and women tend to fall in love, it usually brings forth positive emotions. Why is this? There are a few reasons why this may be, including:
- The fear of commitment. It can be scary to know you will be attached to someone and will have to take their needs into consideration instead of only focusing on your own. You may also be afraid they could lose interest in you after a while and these can be difficult feelings to take on.
- The fear of losing one’s identity. In many relationships, some people are afraid of being thought of as part of a couple rather than an individual. This may be hard for some men and women to get used to and they may have to find a balance to keep their identity.
- You’ve been burned in past relationships. Even if you haven’t, the idea of potentially getting your heart broken can be terrifying for some people, causing emotional distress.
- You’re afraid of rejection. If the other person hasn’t appeared to fall in love yet, then you may wonder if you’ll get rejected by that person. This can bring up difficult feelings for many men and women.
These are just some reasons why you may feel afraid of love. If these feelings continue, do not be afraid to talk to a therapist. Just realize that love is something that takes time and that you need to have the courage to pursue it.
A man in love can sometimes be afraid of losing the things that he holds dear. Don’t feel like you have to face the world alone. No one is perfect and everybody has feelings that keep them up at night. People fall in love and get scared about what that means. Feelings like this don’t make you weak. If you’re a man in love and you want to enjoy a healthy relationship, then you can make it happen.
What do men want in a relationship?
Most of us want the same thing in a relationship and may look for the total package. We want someone who will understand us and our feelings and will be there for us through thick and thin. Focus on ensuring that you both feel connected. The physical attraction might be important, but sex and passion isn’t the only thing that supports a relationship. You need real reasons to be together and you can find them by focusing on developing your relationship naturally. If you want to ensure that your relationship stays strong, then developing an emotional connection is a must. Spending time with each other to talk about your feelings is a good way to do this.
How do men like to meet women in modern times?
Many men still prefer to meet women in person in modern times, but the vast majority of men use dating apps to find the total package and meet women. You can meet other like-minded individuals who are seeking love connections on dating apps.
Online dating might be new to you, but it’s worth trying. Regardless, you’ll find that dating sites are pretty practical and that you can form healthy relationships using them. If you’re looking for healthy relationships to meet another person and aren’t having any luck in person, then dating apps might be for you.
Can men fall in love with women who have very different interests or hobbies from them?
How does a man's age affect his ability to fall in love?
Can a man fall in love after being hurt in a previous relationship?
What is the impact of cultural differences on how men fall in love?
Can a man fall in love with someone he has never met in person?
Can a man fall in love with a woman who is much older or younger than him?
Do men fall in love faster than women?
Can a man fall in love with someone who is already in a relationship?
What role does physical attraction play in a man falling in love?
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