Miss Psychobabble: The Psychology Of "I Love You"

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As we celebrate Valentine's Day, let us take a look at the Psychology behind saying one of the most powerful phrases ever created - "I LOVE YOU".

Our definition of love seems to demystify as time passes.  We realize that falling in love with someone is a combination of chemical reactions (biological), observable effects on our behavior (psychological), and diversity across culture (social).  With this overwhelming emotions, you tend to have the need to verbalize it.
Who really says "I love you" first and what does it mean?
According to Dr. Aaron Ben-Zeév, saying that phrase often comes with an emphasis on timing.  Every relationship develops differently which is why it may take you days or months to find the deemed right time.

Aside from time, another factor that plays a part in saying "I love you" is gender.  A 2011 research entitled "Women and men in love: Who really feels it and says it first?" showed that 7 out of 10 people believed that women will say the affectionate phrase first.  This belief may stem from the gender differences in expression as women are seen to be outwardly emotional beings than men.  Even most of the female cinematic characters are portrayed as rushing foolishly into a relationship.  But contrary to popular belief, 64% of men compared to the 18.51% of women reported saying the phrase to their partners first.
You read that correctly!
Defying the societal beliefs, the research found that males confessed their love earlier than their female partners.  Furthermore, it found that women were more cautious and pragmatic when it comes to love.  Theories as to why men tend to declare their love first include a) taking initiative in the relationship as expected by the societal norms, b) prompting women to reciprocate their feelings, and c) inducing sexual encounters.
Thus, it is certainly a good thing to see that more and more women are making careful judgments before jumping into committed emotional and romantic relationships.

Happy Valentine's Day 2016!!!


Sources:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22208110
http://misspsychobabble.blogspot.com/2015/08/psychology-of-love-and-attraction-you.html
http://elitedaily.com/life/culture/saying-love-psychology-behind-three-little-words/904518/
http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/dr-raj-persaud/valentines-day_b_6670754.html

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