it’s a topic we’ve discussed a lot around here — when to say the “L” word in a relationship and who “should” be the first to say it. Well, a new study conducted by researchers at MIT discovered that men are the first to say “I love you” 61.5% of the time in relationships, and they typically wait 97.3 days to utter those three little words. But, women, if it’s been more than 97 (point three) days that you’ve been with your guy and he still hasn’t dropped the L-bomb yet, fear not. Researchers found that saying the L-word actually has less to do with feeling the love and more to do with just wanting to get laid:
“One important reason men may confess love earlier than women do is because men have a stronger desire to motivate early sexual activity in relationships.”
Of course, it’s important to keep in mind that a grand total of 45 men and women were questioned as part of this study, which means sounds to me like a bunch of MIT nerds found a clever way to fund a night at the bar.
SpaceySteph June 17, 2011, 11:45 am
Hah out of curiousity/boredom, I just did the math. I waited 197 days for my boyfriend to say he loved me. (I only remember the day because it was Thanksgiving.) I think we’d only been together about two months when I said it, though I don’t remember that day specifically. He was already getting laid though, so I guess there was no pressure.
Interesting stat Wendy!
TheOtherMe June 17, 2011, 12:40 pm
I could just see it now:
” Dear Wendy,
I said the L word after 60 days and my BF still hasn’t said it after 197 days, should I MOA ? ”
SpaceySteph June 17, 2011, 1:00 pm
Hehe I actually had decided already that I was willing to wait a year. If he couldn’t say he loved me by our anniversary, I was going to give up.
When we got together he seemed a little- I don’t want to say hung up, its not the right word… I guess I’ll go with ‘downtrodden’- about his ex (from years back), the last girl he said it to who claimed to love him and then broke his heart. So I was willing to give him time, but not forever. Luckily he did get around to it.
I think his 197 balances out the guys who say it at 2 weeks in order to get laid, so I’m willing to believe some guys do it way early to initiate sex.
silver_dragon_girl June 17, 2011, 11:51 am
This is interesting, but it seems to me that if a guy is going to use the L word to get in your pants he’d do it soon, rather than waiting 3+ months. I mean, most couples these days start having sex WAY before then (I would imagine, but I know there are many, many exceptions). Three months seems about right for the average “falling in love” time though. My bf said it to me after about a month and I freaked out a little and didn’t say it back for another 4-6 weeks after that, I can’t remember. He was a little Ted Mosby about the whole thing. If we hadn’t already been doin’ it like bunnies I would have suspected an ulterior motive!
TheOtherMe June 17, 2011, 12:35 pm
Maybe he was trying to pull a Mosby on you !!
silver_dragon_girl June 17, 2011, 12:46 pm
Lol, possibly…if so it backfired horribly! 😉
bagge72 June 20, 2011, 10:40 am
Hmm good point, but maybe it is because he has been waiting so long, and figures that is what the girl is actually waiting for him to do, before she does the deed!Maybe the guy thinks that some girls need to hear that before they have sex?
Eagle Eye June 17, 2011, 12:23 pm
As someone well acquainted with MIT nerds, not only did they probably use this as an excuse to hang out at some local pub, its probably a local pub mostly filled by MIT nerds…which I think would possibly skew the results a bit as well…lol
Jshizzle June 17, 2011, 12:45 pm
maybe it took them 3 months to make eye contact at which point they spewed out “iloveu” in hopes of motivating sexual relations.
Sarah June 17, 2011, 12:46 pm
Who the hell waits to sleep with a guy until after he says “I love you”?? Was this study conducted in Dawson’s Creek?
thyme June 17, 2011, 1:44 pm
There are people who wait until the relationship is very serious to take that step. There are other people who wait until marriage. And there are people who do it on the first date too. Everybody is different.
I do acknowledge that waiting until love is probably not representative of the average American relationship though.
RoyalEagle0408 June 17, 2011, 9:30 pm
I certainly am…and your comment came across as unnecessarily harsh to me.
Emma Woodhouse June 18, 2011, 11:39 am
I am waiting until marriage. I respect others’ rights to not wait, but in turn, I expect respect for my decision as well. Please reconsider your tone in the future.
evanscr05 June 17, 2011, 12:51 pm
My fiance took two weeks to drop the ‘L’ bomb, and he said it WHILE getting laid. 🙂
PFG-SCR June 17, 2011, 1:20 pm
Wow, that’s quite the compliment to you! 😉
mf June 17, 2011, 1:42 pm
Er, mine too. After two weeks as well.
TheOtherMe June 17, 2011, 1:52 pm
…”he said it WHILE getting laid. ”
I always thought that if it was said “WHILE getting laid”, it doesn’t really count ?
evanscr05 June 17, 2011, 2:00 pm
Well, he kinda paused for a second and looked me in the eye before he said it. It was really sweet. Totally counts, in my book 🙂
TheOtherMe June 17, 2011, 2:10 pm
Oh yes, if he paused, it totally counts 😉
_jsw_ June 17, 2011, 2:11 pm
Just out of curiosity…
* takes out notebook *
… how long of a pause is required to indicate sincerity?
LTC039 June 17, 2011, 12:06 pm
I believe it. But my bf said “I love you” about 3 months after were were offical. (We were dating for 4 months before we became official) so I guess 7 months total.. & I was already sleeping with him. lol It’s been almost 3 yrs since then 🙂
TheOtherMe June 17, 2011, 12:33 pm
I was wondering if it was said with hope of getting laid ” at that specific moment ” or for the first time with that person. If the latter, doesn’t 97.3 days seems like a long time to wait to get laid ?
PFG-SCR June 17, 2011, 12:39 pm
It doesn’t make any sense to me, at all. Once a couple starts having sex, they rarely go backwards, so it seems to be indicating the first time. But, three months is certainly not “early sexual relations”.
I’m just going to dismiss this “study”, especially since the sample size was ridiculously small.
LTC039 June 17, 2011, 1:52 pm
Yeah…I think it means the first time, however, you’re right about waiting 97.3 days… & if a guy said “I love you” within the first few weeks, then I’d think that was weird & most likely MOA. lol
Rachel June 17, 2011, 1:37 pm
Well that’s silly, why would I wait 97 days to sleep with a guy?
Amber June 17, 2011, 1:39 pm
I’m not sure how relevant this is – what percentage of women these days wait to hear the “L” word before having sex? I’m thinking not many. So how many of those men actually said it just to get laid? Likely very few.
thyme June 17, 2011, 1:46 pm
yeah… maybe it was a poll of sexually active 15-year-olds? Isn’t that the stereotypical scenario? Teen girl agrees to lose virginity when boy says, “If you loved me, you’d do it with me.”
thyme June 17, 2011, 1:48 pm
At least, that’s what my dad was always warning me about those scummy, good-for-nothing boys, who only have one thing on their mind. 🙂
Valerie June 17, 2011, 1:46 pm
It took my fiance 9 months to say the L word, but that was a-ok with me because we knew we loved each other way before then. Like SpaceySteph, I think I would be willing to wait about a year.
Also, n=45 is waaayyyy to small of a sample size to generalize the whole population… sounds like a funded night out at the bar to me! I’m sure their funding agency would LOOOVE that. 😀
_jsw_ June 17, 2011, 1:51 pm
I just wanted you all to know that I love you.
I apologize for taking so many months to tell you, but I wanted you to realize that I meant it.
I’ll be in my bunk… with the door unlocked.
RoyalEagle0408 June 17, 2011, 9:40 pm
I’ll have to read the actual study (on my phone now), but the Daily Mail article says that the study shows that 97.3 days is when men start thinking about it and that web take an additional 4-6 weeks after that, which to me implies that they’re not necessarily saying it then, just thinking about it.
I wonder if it’s biology or social conditioning at at work. Regardless, 45 total people is entirely too small of a sample size for this to have been published. There has to be more to the story.
fast eddie June 19, 2011, 8:44 am
A friend of mine had some plumbing done on the house he was selling and got an unexpectedly high bill. When he paid it (grumbling) at their office the office girl accepted his check and said “I love you” which gave him to do a double take. She further told him that she like to hear it when she got screwed. He left the office laughing.
I used the three words a bunch in my dating years often just to get laid but not always. It depends on what’s meant by itself. I can love someone for what they do, like take care of sick animals or other noble act. I love my cat, house, car and job but when the words are bestowed on a potential or existing sexual partner the word assumes some responsibility. It doesn’t necessarily mean that I want to have babies with her and live grow old together. Context is everything on this word. In most cases if a man says it to another man they’ve been really good friends for a long time. At least in the movies women can say it to other women more freely. Even strangers can say it to group without implying romance. Poets thrive on it as does the rest of the entertainment industry.
I’d better stop here because it’s gotten off the subject and my rambling is unorganized. In closing please note that I love you all, well most of you anyway…