Women in Love: Why Women are Expected to Love First and the Exploration of Changing Gender Roles in Heterosexual Romantic Relationships


  • Isabelle Kuzio




This paper explores the misconception that women, being perceived in western society as the most emotional gender, is the first to feel love and to say the words “I love you” in a romantic heterosexual relationship. Research has determined that women are expected to say and feel love in a relationship before men, when in reality the opposite is true. I will discuss social expectations of gender norms in heterosexual relationships and the ways in which relationship norms are currently being challenged. I suggest that changes in courtship norms and media influences on youth create inaccurate gender expectations around love and that new technological advances and decrease in the effectiveness of monogamous heterosexual relationships are challenging these gender expectations, therefore the relationship model and the gendered expectations within these relationships, as known by western society, may be obsolete.