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Scientists Find Average Time for Couples to Say "I Love You"

Men are more likely to drop the l-bomb first, according to research. 

Many claim they fell in love at first sight or knew their partner was "the one" early on. However, people generally don't say those three words, "I love you," quite as soon. A new study published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships examines the average time it takes someone to drop the love bomb and has even pinpointed who in a relationship is likely to say it first. 

Most People Assume Women Say I Love You First


The study points out that gender stereotypes generally lead us to believe that women are more likely to say I love you than men, but this isn't the case. They surveyed people from actress the world and found the opposite to be true. 

Scientists Surveyed Over 3,100 Adults in 7 Countries


The study involved 3,109 adults from Australia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, France, Poland, and the UK. Just over 70% were women, and 85% were heterosexual. All filled out a questionnaire about love confessions with questions about how long they were in a relationship before they said it and who said it first. 

Men Were More Likely to Say I Love Your First


In six of the seven countries where participants were surveyed, men were more likely to confess love first than women. Interestingly, more women than men reported this to be the case. 

Men Also Thought About It Sooner


As for the time period in which people thought about confessing love to their partners, there wasn't a significant gendered gap. Women thought about dropping the l bomb about 77 days into a relationship, while men thought about it sooner, in just 69 days. 

Both Men and Women Waited Longer After They Thought It, To Say It


Both men and women waited longer to actually say the three words. Men usually waited 107 days into a relationship to say it. Women waited longer, 122. 

Gender Assumptions Are Wrong


Overall, the study found men were more like to say I love you first. They were also more likely to think about it first. "Our findings suggest that prior observations generalize beyond an ethnically homogenous sample and incorporate attachment theory into the study of love confessions. Our research suggests a dissociation between initial declarations of love (moderated by biological sex) and emotional responses to love confessions, moderated by attachment style but not by biological sex," the authors conclude.

Gender Dynamics is at Play


Men are more likely to confess love first in countries where there are more women than men, potentially due to increased mating opportunities.

Emotional Response is Similar


When hearing "I Love You," both men and women share similar emotional responses. Both men and women feel similar levels of happiness upon hearing a love confession, regardless of their gender, the study reveals.

Women Remember Confessions Better


According to the study, women tend to remember men confessing love first more often. Social stereotypes and personal motivations might influence these perceptions.

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Attachment Styles Matter


People's attachment styles affect how they respond emotionally to love confessions, study authors revealed. Avoidant individuals are less happy, while anxiously attached individuals are happier to hear such confessions.

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