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Sex or Love? New Study Shows Women AND Men Prefer Romance to Sex

We should jettison the myth that most men care more about sex than deep relationships.

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After researching these two studies, I began to draw parallels to my own relationship. My husband, a professional athlete before we got married, had a titanium lacrosse stick in his hand in the early stages of meeting my parents. I recall my dad looking at me with a glimpse of terror during a more physical part of the game and asking me, “You’re going to marry  him?”

At first glance, a guy that was nicknamed “The Axe” didn’t really seem like the romantic type. High-level athletes aren’t just a stereotype; physiologically  they have way more testosterone than the average male. You would be more likely to assume that “The Axe” is a knuckle-dragging Neanderthal that throws his women over the shoulder on his way to the bedroom. Surprisingly (or not, if you believe in scientific proof), he is quite the opposite.

What many married couples find out shortly after children arrive, or as careers take over, is that distractions dissolve intimacy. Many couples complain that there is little time for friendship, thoughtful and engaged discussion, and uninterrupted sleep. Although this is to be expected, many couples are caught off guard by this sudden shift from having all the alone time in the world, to calendaring date nights on Outlook. Often you witness husbands and wives seeking solace in their friends, who are typically in the same deer-in-headlights state of being. So, instead of gaining kinship with their spouse, isolation persists.

It was in September of 2009 that “The Axe” and I would put this science to the test. After my husband dialed 911 and spent six weeks in the hospital and months of rehab because of a bout of West Nile and, following that, Guillain Barre, we had the benefit of time to evaluate what really matters in life and love. Perspective is a special skill set and one I had yet to master—up until then. Three months earlier, I was grateful to go a day without nausea; now I was grateful that my husband was alive and holding my hand bedside, while I gave birth to our daughter.

Although it wasn’t overnight and we had a long road ahead of us, we eventually started to reassemble. What was revealed to me so many years later was that there was a sense of longing for authentic time together, real presence, romance, and friendship. Don’t get me wrong, sex is always an essential aspect to any healthy relationship, but perspective challenges us to evaluate priorities and friendship, for us, frequently claimed the Title.

Robert Frost, who believed strongly in the endurance of love and marriage, so aptly stated, “ Love is the irresistible desire to be irresistibly desired.”

It appears that Robert Frost had it right, proven now with scientific evidence. Love is the motivating factor behind desire. Men are no longer looking to simply procreate and move on; they want more meaningful, lasting relationships. Men are evolving creatures, and it makes sense that they too want romantic love as much as women do. Maybe women just need to take a few minutes to light the candles, shave the legs, break free from the flannels, put in a little effort, and stop expecting men to bark on command—it’s time to recondition Pavlov’s Dog.

So, if you still think this is all bullshit, ask yourself these last three questions: Could your heart feel like it was going to stop beating if it lost a one-night stand? Would you pick up a gun and a vest and go to war for sex? Would you jump in front of train for it? If you answer “no” to these questions, then ask yourself, what would you do for love?

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