Love, Sex

Why So Many Women Believe Men Are In Love (When They're Really Just In It For The Sex)

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The Art of Discovering if He Wants a Relationship or a Casual Fling

Two people who are sleeping together are not always on the same page. 

My client Mike believes that most men will view sex early on as a casual fling. In his opinion, if a man is truly interested in a relationship with someone, he'll be in no rush unless he thinks she has multiple options for dates.

I agree with Mike. Unfortunately, there are several factors that may cause women to behave differently.

Women often struggle with sex and dating because the way people date is so different than it was when we were growing up. This is also exacerbated because of the way that popular culture views how men and women think.

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When a woman sees men and women as equals, she may assume that men experience life — and sex — from the same perspective as women. Most men know that's not true.

Most women tend to associate sexual intimacy with emotional intimacy. While part of this may stem from cultural beliefs, I believe that a large part of how women react to sexual intimacy stems from the effects of a combination of female instincts and neurochemicals.

A woman’s instincts, which come from a more primitive, subconscious part of her brain (which has different imperatives than a man’s subconscious) react to each act of sex as if it’s the precursor of a possible pregnancy, which would cause her to bond with her sexual partner.

When a woman experiences pleasurable sex, her body receives a surge of oxytocin, the powerful "hug chemical", which is designed to bond babies to their mothers…and women to their lovers.

According to oxytocin researcher and author of The Chemistry of Connection, Susan Kuchinskas, "When oxytocin floods the brain’s trust and connective circuits, we feel a range of emotions from trust to deep love." A woman who experiences great sex is likely to become more attached to the man who provides it.

To add another layer of complication to signs that he wants a relationship, women are generally unaware of how most men approach sexual pursuit because it’s so different from how women generally see it.

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Duke University professor of psychology and behavioral economics, Dan Ariely’s study of the influence of arousal (published in his 2008 book, Predictably Irrational) made me realize how strategic men are in the way they approach seduction.

About half of men he surveyed would buy a woman an expensive meal or encourage her to drink more alcohol in order to increase his chances of having sex with her. About a third would tell a woman he loves her in order to do so. And, that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Most men are aware that if they want to have sex with a woman, they can’t just walk up to her and say, "Let’s find a place to have sex." They know they need to spend time romancing her, possibly buy her food or drinks and possibly imply that more than just sex is in the offing. They may feel compelled to insinuate that they are moving towards a possible relationship.

When a woman is successfully seduced in this manner, it’s often easy for her to believe that the man she’s attracted to is sincere.

She’s likely to become so enchanted when she feels strong chemistry that she may long to believe his romantic words. She will then fill in the blanks with her own assumptions (and those associations may feel obvious and natural to many women).

She’s likely to feel that there is something so special as she becomes involved that a relationship feels inevitable. Bonding chemicals like oxytocin enhance this effect.

She may mistakenly fear that rejecting a man’s sexual advances will cause him to potentially lose interest in pursuing a possible relationship.

I agree with Mike’s advice to women and I try to lead up to it in a way that my women clients can hear it. Some of those women in my classes get it.

Believe or not, it's hard for women to hear. Some believe that it doesn’t make sense and that it sounds somewhat old-fashioned, especially if they believe that men think like women. Some women mistakenly feel that it doesn't apply to their particular situation.

If you’re a woman who wants a relationship and have had the experience of becoming overly involved after sleeping with a man, start taking extra time to get to know the next man before becoming intimate.

RELATED: 5 Honest Reasons Your Man Isn't Committing To You ... Yet

Annie Gleason is a Dating Coach whose strategic dating advice has provided lasting love to hundreds of women. To find love, don't leave it to chance. Get more free dating advice by visiting her website.

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This article was originally published at Get A Love Life . Reprinted with permission from the author.