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? It can sometimes seem like our culture encourages women to talk about romance much more than men. This can leave people confused about what love is supposed to feel like for men. Do men and women fall in love differently? Or do the similarities run deeper than we suspect?
Research on this topic has shed some light on the biggest differences between women and men in love. It’s also revealed many things that the sexes have in common. This article will review some of the characteristic ways that love can blossom and grow for men.
Nature, Nurture, And Neuroscience
Discussions about men and women often start from the idea that people of different genders are simply “wired differently”. The idea that there are deep structural differences between male and female brains may be an attractively simple explanation for why women seem to act differently from men.
But contemporary neuroscience research 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. That’s important to keep in mind as we look at how men fall in love.
Men May Fall In Love More Quickly
Everyone reading this has probably heard plenty of stereotypes about women pushing for relationships while men are afraid of commitment. But there’s evidence that on average, men may actually fall in love more quickly.
A survey of more than 170 college students found that male respondents reported both feeling love and saying “I love you” at earlier stages in their relationships than females. Another poll reported that more men than women believe in love at first sight. Statistically speaking, men may be more likely to be “hopeless romantics” than women.
Falling In Love Can Make Men Obsessive
When someone is in the beginning stages of love, they tend to find it hard to keep their partner off of their mind. You probably know what we mean if you’ve ever found yourself struggling not to send your fifth text message in two minutes to a new flame, or thinking ahead all week to your upcoming date night.
Research on romance suggests that this obsessiveness is a very common and distinctive phase of new relationships. It appears to involve the brain’s dopamine reward system, the same mechanism responsible for habits and addictions.
Despite clichés about women obsessing over every detail of a conversation with their crush, men appear to be just as susceptible to the deep fixation of early love. 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 Feel Euphoric When Falling In Love
A man who’s falling in love will often 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 like they’re a drug, every interaction with them can feel like the first sip of beer after a long, hot day. 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 actually expand your sense of self, 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 Often Want To See Their Partners Respond
Many men enjoy the feeling of provoking 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. So if a man you know seems to be constantly cracking jokes, there’s a chance he has feelings for you.
This may be part of a larger, deeply-felt need on men’s part for visible signs of affection from their partners. For example, a 2021 paper revealed that 95% of men reported that it was important to them to feel desired by their partner. Contrary to stereotypes, this need for affection may not be limited to sex; another study found that emotional closeness mattered just as much for men as for women.
Love Can Make Men 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, studies have shown that as lust deepens into love, 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.
Women showed the opposite pattern in the above experiment. Their testosterone levels rose during the early stages of a relationship. The two sexes appear to be more hormonally similar when falling in love than at any other stage of life.
Men Have Better Sex When They’re In Love
People often think of testosterone as the “sex hormone”. So it might be surprising to hear that men’s sex lives get better when they’re in love, given that we just said their testosterone levels dropped. The reality is that the human hormone system is incredibly complex, and there are many more things involved in sexual desire and pleasure than testosterone alone.
Researchers report that enjoyment of sex is “associated positively with relationship satisfaction, love, and commitment for both men and women” [Emphasis ours]. This might have something to do with the fact that it’s easier to vulnerable and open with someone when you trust them deeply. The more intimacy you confer with another person, the more likely they are to understand what gets you going in bed.
Keep in mind that desire is complex and can vary widely between men. Love and sexual attraction don’t go hand in hand for everyone, and men of some orientations may experience intense romantic feelings despite having no interest in sex. However, for those who do experience a link between sexuality and love, a stronger romance often means a better sex life.
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. One study found that both women and men in love show greater activation in their “mirror neurons”, the parts of the brain which help us put ourselves in someone else’s shoes.
Love Looks Past Flaws
Men in love are also likely to see the best in their partners — maybe even viewing the other person more positively than they view themself. Many studies have found that people with deep romantic feelings hold idealized images of their partners. Once again, 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 will likely forgive their shortcomings and perhaps even be charmed by things that would normally annoy him.
Counseling May Help You Understand How Men Fall 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 each individual’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 means 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.
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.
In many ways, men fall in love much like women. The early stages can involve a distracting, even obsessive infatuation, which slowly deepens into trust, compassion, and deep attachment. Men may also fall in love quickly and feel a strong need for affection from their partners. 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? 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.