Men and women might be equals in the world, but that certainly doesn't mean that we're the same. Let's be honest, sometimes it doesn't even seem like we're the same type of animal at all... and it definitely doesn't seem like we're living on the same planet, either. Biologically men and women have a lot of different things happening in and on their bodies, and then add to that the societal norms and two very different creatures we are left with. You might not ever be able to fully understand what a guy is thinking, but to be fair sometimes you probably don't even understand what you are thinking either. Such is life as a human. But even if you won't be able to figure him out completely, there are some fun things to know about how men and women differ, as well as how relationships affect us. Here are 15 random and also pretty awesome facts about men and relationships in general.
15 Technically Guys Don't Communicate As Well
It's basically a great big cliche that women always want to talk and men are right there, rolling their eyes by. But technically, women do speak more than men, and quite a lot more. Some studies have found that men speak around 2,000 words each day... while women speak over 7,000. Guess all those gab fests with the girls really add up. Now if we could only figure out a way to turn those words into the amount of calories that we were burning, that would really be ideal. Additionally, one study found that while men hear other male voices just fine, their brains tend to first hear the female voice as music so it takes them longer to deliver what we're saying to them. This sounds a little far-fetched, and yet it also makes a certain amount of sense. If that's true, then it's not totally their fault when we're talking and they aren't listening. But don't tell them that because let's face it, they don't need any valid excuses for not listening.
14 Looks Matter To Guys
It can take people a while to figure out if they want to be in a relationship or not, but some psychologists at the University of Pennsylvania determined that most people know within three seconds whether they would sleep with someone or not. Around 57 percent of women say that their first impression of a guy comes from his body language and presentation, which probably includes his clothes and hygiene. About 38 percent of women judge men based on hearing them talk... but only seven percent of women say that it actually matters what he says. So men are not the only gender making snap decisions based on someone's looks, it seems like we tend to do it as well. Of course, that doesn't mean that what he says won't turn you off within a few minutes, because we've all experienced that. But if you're digging his looks and his height and he looks like your type, you might be more inclined to laugh at a stupid pickup line than roll your eyes and walk away.
13 More Belly Fat = More Testosterone
You might not be as attracted to men who are carrying around a bunch of belly fat in comparison to the guys with six packs, but the reason why might go beyond the importance we tend to place on looks in our culture. Men who carry a lot of fat in their belly areas have lower levels of testosterone than men who do not, which means that they also have a lower physical drive as well as lower fertility. So when you take it down to a biological level, you're less attracted to that beer belly because he's less likely to knock you up than the hottie with the toned abs seems to be. Not that that's generally your conscious thought process, but somewhere in your body, you might be thinking about it. This might also be why we tend to think that men who put on a bit of weight look older than their counterparts even if they aren't, they appear to be more outside of the range of what we're looking for in fertile spouse options.
12 People Act Crazy Early On For A Reason
If you or your guy seem to be acting out of character in the early stages of your relationship, it might just be because one or both of you is really feeling the love. Researchers have found that when people fall in love the chemicals in the body more closely resemble those of people with OCD disorder, which might be able to explain why sometimes people end up acting out of character. Perhaps your relatively chill self has felt the need to control and cling when you first met someone you absolutely adored. It's not the best, but like if it's a physical response than how the hell are we supposed to combat that and act like rational people right at the time when we're trying to impress someone the most? When you fall in love you actually experience a decrease in serotonin, and an increase in the stress hormone cortisol. So that's why it's so hard to keep a calm clear head when you're falling fast. Your brain is literally freaking out.
11 Men Practice Imprinting
They say that men are attracted to women who are like their mothers... and that it isn't totally wrong. There's something called "imprinting" where men look for facial features in their ladies that closely resemble their mom's. This is a lot more commonly studied in animals who use imprinting for survival, and it also explains all those times you hear about a monkey who thinks he's an elephant or whatever. He imprinted on one in his early hours of life. In humans, it's not quite so extreme, but research has found that people do choose partners that more closely resemble their opposite sex parent than their same sex parent. Scientists don't know if this happens at a specific stage for everyone but consider it a form of social learning. People also tend to choose partners who are of a similarly perceived level of good looks, intelligence, and values. This is why we're interested and sometimes perplexed when we see a couple where one person is hot and one isn't. "Wow good for them," we might say for some reason.
10 Locking Eyes Can Match Up Your Heart Rate
When two people who are in love spend some time gazing into one another's eyes, their heart rates match up and get on the same pace. Cute. Actually looking into another person's eyes, in general, can really heat things up, since when you do that the body produces phenylethylamine which is usually released when you're dealing with fight or flight stuff. It seems to have a bonding effect on people. The eyes are able to convey a lot of emotion without saying anything, so when you're comfortable staring into someone's eyes it says a lot about how you feel about them. That's also why you avoid making contact with some strangers and think it's creepy when certain people stare at you. You don't trust them enough to let them read you. Many people report feeling awkward about making extended eye contact, even with the people that they love. So it's not entirely surprising that when they are asked to they report feeling deeper levels of intimacy than they did before.
9 Cuddling Is A Painkiller
When couples spend time cuddling the brain releases oxytocin, which is pretty effective at helping to reduce pain in your body. A burst of oxytocin can even keep headaches at bay for up to four hours, which is probably more than your ibuprofen can claim. It's probably even better if you have some peak moments during the deed and then go cuddle crazy. But weirdly, you can get some of the same effects even if you aren't physical with your guy. Researchers have found that when people stare at photos of people that they love they experience a decrease in pain that is stronger than when they stare at a photo of something else like a stranger. Just maybe do your photo staring at home so other people around you don't think you're a stalker or something, because staring lovingly at a photo for too long in public sounds like a weird idea. Although we guess if you just pull up his Instagram page, no one will be the wiser. Lurk on your love, get rid of your headache.
8 Men Are More Likely To Kiss With Open Eyes
While 92 percent of women say that they close their eyes to kiss, only 50 percent of men do. That explains why if you happen to open your eyes during a smooch, he might already be looking back at you. Who knows why, although people tend to say that men are more visual creatures in general, so perhaps it adds to his experience to get some glimpses of your beautiful face. Most of the time, however, most people are keeping their eyes closed, which has a purpose. When we close our eyes, our brains are able to focus better on the sensations of the kiss and don't have to deal with cutting out distractions like what we're looking at. Studies have found that people feel less from a tactile experience when their eyes are hard at work. Makes sense: basically, you shut down your other senses so that you can fully focus on the important ones. And as far as your body is concerned kissing is important, because if it goes well it's going to turn you on and increase the chances that you hop into bed and procreate. Thanks, biology!
7 Heartbreak Is A Real Thing
Experiencing a broken heart isn't just an overdramatized experience of feeling down over a lost love. It can actually be a totally real thing. Scientists refer to the phenomenon as Broken Heart Syndrome, which doesn't sound all that official. But it really is and it can cause real physical pain in your heart. That's right, you can experience some physical pain to top off your emotional pain. This syndrome can be sparked by any kind of loss whether it's a breakup, a move, or a death of a loved one. It happens when the emotional distress in the brain is so strong that it literally can weaken the heart, which can then lead to shortness of breath and chest pain. This occurs more often in women than in men, and when it occurs it's often mistaken for a heart attack. Women don't do all the suffering however, men actually tend to suffer more after breakups than the ladies do. It's just that they don't tend to show it as much as we do. Maybe our emotional breakdowns are actually cathartic and we just get it out faster.
6 Timing Really Does Matter
People like to give a lot of credit to timing and use it as the reasoning about why relationships do or don't work out. Some of this seems to be backed up science whether or not "fate" or any of that has anything to do with it as well. This is not entirely surprising, but researchers have found that people who are in a psychological and financial place where it makes sense to settle down, then they are more likely to fall in love with a suitable partner. If you aren't ready, you just aren't going to be ready. However, there are some other things that can increase your likelihood of falling in love besides being psychologically ready for a mate, such as when you're looking for adventure, when you're feeling lonely, while you're in a foreign country, or when you're in the midst of transitioning into a new life stage. Plus, being in a dangerous situation with someone can increase your chances of falling for them as well. Think getting stuck in an elevator for a few hours and then walking out with a new soul mate.
5 Divorced Men Don't Live As Long
Interestingly, women actually report a higher need for independence in a relationship than men do. Around 93 percent of women say that having their personal space in a relationship is very important, while only 81 percent of men say the same. And when it comes to money, 77 percent say that they want to keep the bank accounts separate while 63 percent of men state that they need their own money. But if a woman makes a lot more money than her man, her odds of wanting to get a divorce increase. For every $5,000 a woman earns more than her man, her odds of wanting to split up raise by five percent. And in the case of divorce, she might not be the one hurting, even though men seem to move on faster. Men who go through a divorce on average experience a shortening of life expectancy by four whole years. No word on whether this is because they're bummed to be alone or if they don't take as good care of themselves once she's not asking that they do.
4 Men Only Think They Hate Make-Up
Men often say that they prefer women who have a natural look instead of a full face of makeup, but they actually have no idea what they're talking about. These same polls have determined that the "natural look" men love is what they see on Kim Kardashian. Um, what now? There aren't a lot of people who wear more makeup than Kim Kardashian, but something about the approach seems to read as natural to them. Perhaps what they mean is not a lot of sparkly colorful eye shadow. They clearly don't mind lashes and contouring. Or plastic surgery and facial fillers. Another study set out to test how quickly men approach women based on the amount of makeup (or not) that they have on, and it determined that women who are wearing makeup will get approached about six minutes sooner than a woman who is not. That's good to know, if you're ever not in the mood to be chatted up, just skip the lipstick.
3 Work Relationships Tend To Last
For some reason, when couples meet at work, they tend to be more likely to last long-term. On average around 40 percent of relationships that start at work end up in marriage, which is quite a lot when you compare it to all the other places you could meet and not end up married. Maybe it is because it is harder to break up when you have to see them everyday and people would rather stick it out than have to go looking for a replacement job? Ha ha kidding. Kind of. Or maybe it is due to the fact that workplace romances are sometimes forbidden, frowned upon, or at least not meant to be flaunted around. Perhaps something about needing to keep things low key in front of other people so you are not exactly broadcasting your building love story has something to do with the longevity of the whole deal.
2 Couples Party Just As Much As Single People
Sometimes people tend to think that single people are out partying all the time, partly in the hopes of meeting someone, while people in relationships sit at home watching TV or whatever. However, this doesn't seem to be entirely true, at least not in the sense that it has any correlation to relationship status. When polled, 52 percent of single people and 46 percent of people that are in relationships say that they are out doing something from one to three days a week. So yeah, not everyone who's in a relationship goes out, but neither do all the single people. This is probably proof that people tend to stay the same people that they always were whether they're in a relationship or not which makes sense, because why would we change our mind about what seems fun? Couch potatoes stay couch potatoes and social people stay social people. We're all happy. Except when we're hungover, then we're all sad.
1 Men Think Modern Life Is More Difficult
The modern man may have more opportunity than ever, but our generation of men think things are harder than they used to be. Apparently the fact that men are now expecting to be thoughtful, communicative, and great dads stresses them out since they are still expected to be as macho as ever. Sometimes these things feel like they conflict in practice, and guys aren't quite sure how to get the balance right. Another reason why this feels tough is that looking to their dads doesn't necessarily help since that generation had different expectations on them that don't necessarily show them what works now. While more and more fellas are comfortable with women's success and making money, men can still struggle with feeling like their job as a man is undermined, which is something else that stresses them out. Although you'd think there would be plenty of gold diggers around to calm their fears about that.