Do you like playing a game of chicken? Unless you’re a thrill seeker…probably not! At least not in the traditional car-racing-toward-each-other sense. But we do play the relationship equivalent, in fact. It can be summed up in three little words: “I love you”! Yep, that very risky and usually relationship-changing (or ending?!) moment.
According to a study done by MIT psychologist Josh Ackerman, in which the 205 people studied were all involved in heterosexual relationships, men are more likely than women to be the one who drops the L word first (even though over 60 percent of those studied said they thought women tend to be the initiators!). Also, men reportedly feel happier than women after those words are exchanged. (Although, the study concedes, it’s not ALWAYS because they have noble intentions…but sometimes it is!) Ackerman even provides tips to women for when and how to say those three powerful words when dealing with commitment phobes, with men who are looking for longer-term relationships…and, when to just hold out till the guy says it.
I remember a few years ago, I was tearing my hair out wondering why the guy I had been seeing seriously wasn’t saying those words. Of course, being that that relationship was obviously destined to end, right now I can’t remember if I wanted to hear it because I felt the milestone was just appropriate, or because I was bursting to say it too. Maybe it was my slightly competitive nature; but I do not tend to yield (and in that case, I didn’t)! But, there’s not necessarily a right or a wrong, and every situation, every relationship, is different.
Until I meet a situation where my emotions overwhelm my reason (and, um, my pride), I definitely have to agree with the study’s indirect recommendation that [if they’re not willing to risk being met with the sounds of dead silence, or whatever reason they do have] women should hold out as long as they can i.e. wait for the guy to give in first…because, as Ackerman’s study indicates at least, he probably will. Heh.
Do you speak what you feel when it comes to “I love you”, or do you wait for it to be said first? Is pride an issue for you? What if he/she just didn’t give in?