I was at a book signing earlier this evening for Andrea Syrtash, who is a dating coach and author. After reading from her new book, she mentioned something interesting that got me thinking. According to her experience, men and women fall in love differently—they have completely different processes. Not like Men are From Mars different, but still.
She said if you were to ask a guy if he could fall in love with a girl, he knows pretty much from the start of the relationship whether or not he could. No amount of dating will change his mind to make him more attracted to her. The girl however, could start falling for him after developing a friendship or casually dating a long time…a year or so later, she could wake up and think “I might be falling for this guy”, even though she didn’t really have feelings for him before.
I was discussing this with my boyfriend, who said that he doesn’t think it’s necessarily a gender issue, but rather whether or not the person really knows what she wants. More specifically, if she knows herself well enough to recognize what she wants, and who would make a good partner. It takes some people longer than others.
Now, first I should clarify. There is a difference between feeling a lot of chemistry and quickly falling into a physical relationship compared to falling in love. Sure, we develop crushes and we lust. But falling in love in a real way, with the intention of pursuing a long-term relationship, is different.
I do think it’s a different process for women. For me personally, it takes a while to build trust. I have to have a friendship first, which means it takes me longer to figure things out. But does this mean that I don’t know myself very well?
I also think that a lot of women are invested in how others perceive us. We want people to approve of our significant others…many of us want the charismatic, successful, handsome guy that everyone likes…so we get stuck on the idea of the perfect guy. But then, we date someone who doesn’t resemble this perfect guy, so we spend time trying to sort through our feelings and making pro-con lists as to whether or not we should continue dating, or wait until our perfect guy shows up as we pictured. We try to control the process of falling in love, instead of just letting things happen.
I don’t know if men and women are hard-wired to process love differently. But I do know that if I let go of trying to control things and enjoy the process as it unfolds, I am able to see things more clearly.
Do you think there’s a difference between how men and women fall in love?