Do you remember the first time you said “I love you” to a romantic partner? Were you fearful or was it something you blurted out without thinking?
Well, needless to say, those three words carry a powerful punch. They can be the start of a new chapter in your budding relationship, or they can be the end, closing the book on your relationship all together. This is likely why even the thought of the first utterance of those words gives so many people anxiety—and most surprisingly for both sexes.
A recent article in Psychology Today took a deeper look into the phrase and what it meant in the early stages of relationships. And this is what they unearthed.
They found that men were more likely than women to say “I love you” first in a relationship. According to a researcher quoted in the article, this was because men are more likely to experience feelings of love before their female partners. However, according to another study, some men may drop those three words a little earlier because they are—either strategically or subconsciously—trying to initiate a sexual relationship with that female partner.
Women, on the other hand, are both more likely to delay their declarations of love and are more likely to view a male’s early declaration of love suspiciously. Researchers believe this is because women feel they have more at stake by jumping into the next stage of the relationship too soon. Inversely, men were more excited by an early declaration of love from a woman—even if they weren’t interested in committing to a relationship with her.
The article examined other factors that influenced how “I love you” is first perceived (such as, if it’s said before sex or after sex), but experts agree that, in the end, actions mean far more than words.
So, in recap, a man is more likely to lead the relationship to the next stage; though when women do announce their feelings, they’re more likely to be certain. But either way, there is still a possibility for your words to go unreciprocated or, worse, flat out rejection.
So, yes, you can still fell insecure and even uncertain about dropping those big three words too early in your relationship. But if you’re sure to back up those words with actual actions and evidence, then there should be no concern for your words to be misinterpreted or get lost in translation.
BMWK, who said I love you first in your last relationship? How did it happen?