Sticky Bonds

Lost Loves, Romances, and Families in the 21st Century.

Are Men Romantic?

Rekindled romance research suggests that men have been misunderstood.

We too often define "romantic" in women's terms - sending flowers and cards, saving mementos and putting them in a box or scrapbook, gushing over chick romance movies, or listening to romantic songs all day.

Men may not do these things, but many men do something more romantic than all that: they keep their love in their hearts forever.

My survey of 3000 men and women worldwide who tried reunions with lost loves asked, "How long did it take for you to get over your lost love?" Responses from the men (gay or straight) indicated that they took significantly longer to get over their lost loves than the women. Some of the men were not satisfied with the survey choices: the last choice listed was, "Over 10 years." Only men crossed out all the choices and wrote, "I never got over her!" While no doubt some women never got over their lost loves, either, only men wrote this comment on the survey.

Adolescent boys are "not supposed" to cry over lost loves. But many of my male participants reported that, after their high school sweethearts broke up with them, they cried in private, every night, for months.

My lost love findings about romantic men paralleled results of my survey of adults who never tried lost love reunions. There were significantly more men than women who chose to fill out the survey, and they expressed strong feelings for their first loves, even though they had not contacted these women (and may never do so).

Posts on the Member Forums of my web site are more represented by women than men. But appearances are misleading. Actually, there are more men who are members of my site than women. The men don't post as often as the women, but they are reading!

Men more often sign up for private phone consultations with me, to talk about their lost loves, than women.

But it is a rare men's magazine that will print a story about love and romance. The editors tell me that they think men are uninterested. Not so! When my romance research was quoted in Playboy, it generated a lot of positive responses.

On occasions where romance is expected (such as Valentine's Day, birthdays or anniversaries), we should all remember to separate emotions from behaviors. Men may not make scrapbooks of mementos of their love experiences, but they are every bit as loving, loyal, and yes, romantic, as women - and sometimes more so!

Copyright 2010 by Nancy Kalish, Ph.D.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nancy Kalish, Ph.D., is an Emeritus Professor of Psychology at the California State University, Sacramento. She is the author of Lost & Found Lovers.

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