When I thought about my past (and present) romantic relationships, I'd assumed that I'd been the one to say "I love you" first. I mean, that's what normally happens, right? We're the gushy girls who can't wait to get it out of our mouths, so we always say it first and spill it at every opportunity ... right?

Not so much.

Women are the romantics in relationships. We're the ones quickest to let those words tumble out of our mouths, right? I'd have sworn up and down that women say it first.

I'd also have been wrong --  men are actually more likely to say "I love you" first. Shocking, I know.

In a survey of people in their mid-20's to their 60's, performed by a social psychologist at MIT, it was discovered that men declare love before women 70 percent of the time. But what's even more shocking is that the study found that it's when a man says "I love you," that really matters.

Men who say "I love you," before sex are often looking for a short term fling. They may leverage those words to get sex out of the deal.

Men who say those three words AFTER sex, however, are more likely to value -- and be seeking out -- long-term relationships. Using those three words, "I love you," after sex is a much better indicator of the true emotions behind those words -- as neither party is trying to get something out of the equation. Sex has been had, there's no more ambiguity as to what each person feels and wants. That means it's time for honesty.

Turns out that the science behind "I love you," tells you a lot about your partner. And that's a good thing.

Who said "I love you" first in your current relationship?

 

Image via qthomasbower/Flickr