The Casanova Myth: Guys want relationships too

Studies suggest men might be just as in to exclusive relationships as women. (Thinkstock)The movies would have you believe that if men had their way, they’d bed-hop like James Bond, flitting between casual encounters and no-strings-attached agreements.

But studies suggest that guys may be just as into exclusive relationships as women. And in some cases, more men buy into the dream of a white-picket fence and 2.5 kids.

Salon.com’s interview with research psychologist Andrew P. Smiler -- author of “Challenging Casanova: Beyond the Stereotype of the Promiscuous Young Male” --pokes holes in the idea of widespread male promiscuity.

Smiler suggests that the evolutionary-based excuse that men need to sow their wild oats is not true. It’s commonly argued that because men can technically reproduce hundreds of offspring a year, they’re hardwired to seek out more partners instead of sticking with one.

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However, Smiler notes that “what gets left out of that is the fact that if you want your genes to go beyond that next generation — beyond your children to your grandchildren, then your odds are better if you actually stick around and help raise that kid.”

In terms of numbers, Smiler looked a health research into STDs and unplanned pregnancies. Typically, stats show about 15 per cent of guys have three or more partners in any given 12-month span. However, after three years, only 5 per cent of men have three or more partners a year.

USA Today also looked at a recent study of adult singles conducted by Match.com. After surveying 5,000 men and women, researchers found that among singles without kids under 18, 24 per cent of men said they wanted children, but only 15% of women said they did.

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And more women than men were keen to keep their independence once partnered up: 77 per cent of women said maintaining their personal space was "very important," while only 58 per cent men did. And while 35 per cent of women insisted regular nights out with friends were important, only 23 per cent of men felt the same.

Other dating sites, such as Itsjustlunch.com have also polled their members to see what they were looking for. Turns out, men and women were both quite future-oriented in their concerns. In a survey of 5,000 singles, 47 per cent of men, and 50 per cent of women said they considered whether there was long-term potential just after the first date.

It looks like men and women aren’t so drastically different when it comes to relationships after all.

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