This is the final installment in a series of columns that take a nerdy look at dating, love and relationships. (Photo: Flickr/ LotusMonger)

Relationship Column

Saying I love you

From a nerdy perspective, the language of love is full of insight into how we relate to one another.

Well folks, this is the last column in the series of looking at love, sex and dating from a nerdy perspective.  

And as our time together draws to a close, I have something to admit:  I love you.

Phew.  There I said it.  It was hard to say, but I am glad I finally said it.  Telling someone you love them is a nerve-wracking thing to do, isn't it?

So for the final column and to celebrate Valentines day, I am going to talk about how to tell someone you love them.  Or rather, what the nerdy experts are saying about the language of love and attraction.

Similar sounds

In a 2010 article published in the journal Psychological Science titled, Language Style Matching Predicts Relationship Initiation and Stability, researchers were able to link the way people use language to the longevity of their relationships.

Examining the occurrence of unconsciously used words, such as pronouns and articles, the researchers followed 40 female speed-daters from initial meeting through a series of follow-up interviews months afterwards.  What they found out was that couples who used similar function words with similar frequencies wanted to see each other again outside of the speed-dating event.

When they conducted their follow-up interviews, they found that 76.7 per cent of couples with language-style matching greater than the median were still dating.  While only 53.5 per cent of couples with language-style matching at or below the median were still dating.

What this translates into (pardon the pun), is that those little words that we use every day, such as "him" or "and", may actually be indicators of who is worth dating and who isn't.  It is a shame, then, the average human doesn't really pay attention to the actions and language that comes naturally.

I always say it first

According to the research, being a female who has dropped the "L-Bomb" first is actually more rare than our preconceived sociocultural notions have led us to believe.

In their article, Women and Men in Love: Who Really Feels and Says it First?, researchers Marissa Harrison and Jennifer Shortall suggest that men are more likely to say "I love you" first in a relationship.

What they highlight is that women reported anticipating they would know they were in love with a partner after only a few months, but men would know in as little as a few weeks.

These findings coincide with the results from another study from MIT titled, Let's Get Serious: Communicating and Commitment in Romantic Relationships.  In it, researchers state that "men first considered expressing their feelings six weeks before women did."

It should be noted that both articles articulate that there is still a lot of room for research in this specific area, most notably as to who says, "I love you" first in homosexual relationships.

And, just while we are on the subject, I think next time, I'll wait...

...for someone to tell me they love me first.

One last treat

I have a little Valentines Day present for you.

Instead of travelling to the schools in the area to get the students' opinions on this week's column topic, I thought I would get the student staff at Unews to tell you what they feel is the best way to say "I love you."

(Video: Adam Scotti, Music: Steve McKay)

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should be required listening, watching and reading

Posted by stephen | Feb 9, 2022