Many assume women but research suggests men do

It’s a feeling that many of us feel at least once in a lifetime yet no one can explain.

Some say it tingles, others say it’s like butterflies fluttering in your stomach and others still say it’s the quickness of your heartbeat when you’re near that person.

Yes, love is an indescribable feeling yet it’s one we can never seem to stop talking about.

Many feel that falling in love is the most exciting part of a romantic adventure. Both partners are on high alert, dressing nicely, being funny, and smiling all the time. It’s different than being in love for a long time and being able to sit on the couch, belch and still want to kiss each other after.

According to research, most people assume that women are more likely to fall in love and say “I love you” first.

However, often in romantic comedies we see men quickly falling head over heels in love with a girl, but it takes her another hour and 45 minutes to finally come around and realize that she is just as in love with him as he was with her the entire time.

That can’t possibly be true can it? Aren’t women the sensitive ones who are always jumping into things?

As some may have already guessed, studies suggest that men are indeed the ones to fall in love first. A study released in the October issue of the Journal of Social Psychology indicated “that although both men and women believe that women will fall in love and say ‘I love you’ first in a relationship, men reported falling in love earlier and expressing it earlier than women reported.

The study suggested that women tend to be more cautious about love than what is commonly believed. “Perhaps women are perceived as less rational about love compared to men because women have a greater capacity for processing emotional experiences,” the authors wrote. Adrian and Sally Haggis reminisce about when they first fell in love over 20 years ago.
Photo by: April Lamb

One Calgary couple, Adrian and Sally Haggis, remember when they fell in love.

When Adrian met Sally he fell head over heels for her. Much like the romantic movies have been telling us, it took Sally a bit longer to let herself feel the same way.

The couple recently celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary. Adrian says they first met when he was in ninth grade and she was in seventh. They were skating at the same rink in Calgary.

“I started chasing her around, and wanted to kiss her,” Adrian said. “My friends told me, ‘She’s only in Grade 7, leave her alone.’ So I backed off, but I remembered her.”

They met again many years later in their early 30s. They were at a bar downtown and a band called Doug and the Slugs were playing live.

They ended up spending the night dancing and flirting. Later that night Sally was trying to drive Adrian home: “I said, ‘Well let’s just go to your place, let’s have tea or whatever.’ So she reluctantly took me home.”

It was that moment that Adrian remembers how he felt, “I was lying on her couch and I said, ‘I think I’m falling in love with you.’”

For Sally falling in love took longer. She said that before she met Adrian she had met her share of ill-fitting men, and had been hung up on love.

“I figured out that it was OK to be alone, and enjoyed being alone and not being so fixated on finding a man, because if that’s all you’re fixated on then it may never happen.”

Sally added, “Once I got that in my head that’s when I started meeting men; that’s when I met Adrian.”

It was about a month after Sally and Adrian had encountered each other at the Doug and the Slugs concert that they were talking on the phone, Sally decided it was time for her to jump in.

“I remember during that conversation it was sort of like I was trying to protect myself, but at some point in the conversation I said, ‘Well I think I’m at the point now where I either have to jump in this with both feet, or bail completely, because I’m falling in love with you.’”

On Feb. 15, 1992 they were married, and the rest was history.

alamb@cjournal.ca