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Do men and women fall in-love differently? What are some surprising truths about love that makes it so captivating?


Our definition of love changes along with our journey through different life seasons and life experiences. What society expects of us and gender dynamics also play a role in how we express our love to our romantic partner. 


Two profound definitions of love were written by two influential men around the first century A.D. Paul and John said, “Let love be genuine..hold fast to what is good.” and “..let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth,” respectively. 

It is curious how men and women experience forming romantic bonds and express their love. How do men and women show their genuine love? How do they hold fast to what is good? Do men and women differ in showing deeds of love? 

Theory of love styles by John Lee

In 1973, psychologist John Alan Lee proposed 3 primary and 3 secondary love styles. 

  • Eros - erotic love or romantic or sexual love
  • Storge- familial love that grows slowly from friendship
  • Ludic- characterized by wanting to have fun and play games
  • Agape- described as other-centered; it is focused on giving and caring
  • Pragma - love that is characterized by reason and logic, seeking stability or companionship
  • Mania - characterized by dependence, jealousy and emotional struggles, often insecure

According to the theory, each individual may express love using a combination of styles.

A 1984 study wanted to know the love styles of 800 students of the University of Miami using a love attitudes scale and the researchers found that male students differed from female students in their attitudes towards love. Males tended to show more erotic and ludic love styles while women showed more pragmatic, storge and mania as their love styles. In addition, they observed that the primary love styles eros, storge and ludic were accompanied by other styles. The study concluded that men and women exhibit differences in expressing love. 

 In what ways do men and women differ in love? 

1. Who falls in love much quickly? Surveys show that men tend to experience “falling in love” and saying “I love you” much more quickly than women do.  

2. Who is less visual? Men are considered more visual than women when it comes to initial romantic attraction. On the other hand, while women also consider their partners’ physical features, attraction for women is influenced by many other factors such as personality, emotional maturity, intelligence, etc. As a result, men might fall in love quicker, while it would take women more time to come to the same feelings. 

3. Who is more cautious? While men tend to be action-oriented and act upon impulse, women show more analytical skills and are therefore more cautious. In effect, surveys indicate that men have more “love at first sight” experiences than women, although many of these were not responded to in kind by the object of their love. 

What is a common ground in love? 

1. A flood of feel-good chemicals in the brain. The “honeymoon phase” at the start of romantic relationships is marked with the highest positive feelings in a relationship for both men and women. The brain is flooded with the hormone dopamine which causes excitement.

2. With oxytocin comes commitment.
As the relationship matures, the hormone oxytocin is the dominant hormone that promotes bonding and attachment. 

3. Both seek long-lasting love.
Studies have shown that both men and women are motivated by finding long-lasting commitments in their romantic relationships. And the important values that both look for are compassion, intelligence, reciprocated love and understanding.  

With these differences and similarities, we can say that these things do not make us worse or better than others in expressing love. These are just generalizations and we all have our individual differences when it comes to love. In whatever way we choose to love, let it be genuine and good! 

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Do men and women fall in-love differently? What are some surprising truths about love that makes it so captivating?
Brandon Resasco