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Men Vs Women: Dating Expectations

There are, surprisingly, some similarities!

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Similar Expectations


We may tend to view men and women as having more differences than similarities when it comes to dating expectations, but this is untrue. Men and women surprisingly have many similarities when it comes to dating expectations! Some of these similar expectations include: having fun, companionship, relation escalation, and getting to know one another (Mongeau , Serewicz & Therrien, 2004). In addition, both men and women expect their partners to self-disclose their true feelings and compliment them on qualities that their partner likes about them (Gallmeler, Zusman, Knox, & Gibson, 1997). In essence, men and women both expect to spend their time with someone that they can can enjoy getting to know and have fun with, all while being reassured of their better qualities while their dating partner remains honest about their feelings.

Despite this, there are differences between genders when it comes to dating expectations.

Male Expectations


When it comes to first dating, men typically have higher sexual expectations than women, likely because they view sex to be more casual than woman do (Mongeau , Serewicz & Therrien, 2004). They also expect sex earlier in the relationship (Roche, 1986; Roche & Ramsbey, 1993). Another difference may be that men expect more autonomy in a relationship than women since they value it more highly than women (Hatfield, 1983).

Female Expectations


Women have higher expectations than men regarding self-disclosure. This is likely because women use self-disclosure to foster connections. Women have higher expectations that their partner will be open with them and disclose information about topics such as: what their partner wants out of the relationship, their fears, faults, family secrets, prior relationship history, and in general, about their true feelings. Men have less expectations for women to disclose about these issues (Gallmeler et al., 1997). Women also may have more expectations for intimacy and closeness since they tend to seek that out more than men (Hatfield, 1983).


Hatfield, E. (1983). What do men and women want from love and sex?

In E. R. Allgeier & N. B. McCormick (Eds.), Changing boundaries: Gender roles and sexual behavior (pp. 106-134). Palo Alto, CA: May- field.

Gallmeier, C. P., Zusman, M. E., Knox, D., & Gibson, L. (1997). Can We Talk?: Gender Differences in Disclosure Patterns and Expectations. Free Inquiry in Creative Sociology, 25, 219-226.

Mongeau, P. A., Serewicz, M. C. M., & Therrien, L. F. (2004). Goals for cross‐sex first dates: identification, measurement, and the influence of contextual factors. Communication Monographs, 71(2), 121-147.

Roche, J. P. (1986). Premarital sex: Attitudes and behavior by dating stage. Adolescence, 21,


Roche, J. P., & Ramsbey, T. W. (1993). Premarital sexuality: A five-year follow-up study of attitudes and behavior by dating stage. Adolescence, 28(109), 67.

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