What Do Men And Women Want In A Relationship?

April 13, 2010

It turns out that men and women have different expectations from a relationship. According to a new study, while men, valuing their independence, like to go for one night stand, women prefer dating with the prospect of a long term, committed relationship.

In their new study, Carolyn Bradshaw from James Madison University in Virginia, United States, and her fellow colleagues, analyzed the reasons that motivate men and women to hook up or to date, as well as the perceived relative benefits and outcomes of the two practices.

During the experiment, the investigators exposed 150 female and 71 male college students to a variety of situations as well as dating. The situations included asking a woman for a date, a woman accepting or rejecting a man's proposal for intimate intercourse, prospect of a hook up relationship or chances of having just a casual sexual relationship. The participants were also asked to fill out an appropriate questionnaire and single out the top three benefits and/or risks associated with dating or hooking up. In addition, they were asked to report about their dating and hooking up activities for the last two years.

The results revealed that overall, both young men and women preferred traditional dating over hook ups. However, when compared to just 20 per cent of guys, it turned out that 41 per cent of young ladies opted for committed dating, and those who strongly preferred hooking up included less women

(2 per cent), but more men (17 per cent).

The researchers also found that when both genders saw a possibility of a long-term and committed relationship, they preferred traditional dating but if the possibility of a relationship was not very clear to them, they thought that hooking up would be a better option. Overall, women seem to want a committed relationship much more than their male counterparts, but whether they date or hook up, they always have this subconscious fear of being emotionally attached to a partner who might not have any interest in them.

On the other hand, men appear to want to be free of any kind of commitment as they value their independence the most. But they have the fear of their own, that even after one night stand, the woman might feel emotionally attached to them, wanting a development of a relationship. The study also revealed that no matter what their intentions are, both genders carefully weigh and perceive the benefits and costs of both the practices before getting involved in any of them.

"Analysis of the relative benefits and costs associated with dating and hooking up suggest that women benefit more from dating while men benefit more from hooking up," concluded Carolyn Bradshaw and her colleagues.

The findings are published in Springer's journal Sex Roles.

Tags: Relationships

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