On a primal level, it benefits a woman to pick a man who is far more in love with her than she is with him, because that feels like he will stick around, and so we (and our babies) can have all his resources.
However, this is the exact thing many men hate about a relationship, and commitment to a woman. Research shows that men fall in love faster, and way harder than women do. And, research done by the well respected Anthropologist Helen Fisher, also shows that MEN are far more idealistic about love and relationships than women are. Are you surprised?
Research shows, also, that women on the other hand, are more pragmatic: "hm….is he willing to give me marriage and babies?" "is he the tallest and smartest one I can get?" "is he rich enough to get us through the 18 years of all our children's lives?" "Is he the richest one I've got on my contact list?" "Is he willing to spend money on me?" "I'm in love with another man, but he is nuts and doesn't stick around. A safer bet would be to go with the 'cute' one who will stick around."
"I'm not as passionate about him as I am about Daniel, but at least he'll stick around."
The problem is, this makes men feel like crap. It breaks hearts, it makes them never want to commit to another woman again. If I could count the number of times I've heard stories about men who fell in love, and it was their first love, and they were willing to give her everything, and they did….but then, after 5 years of marriage, they find out that she's run off an gotten pregnant to the bad boy, I would at least be half-rich. If you're interested to see this for yourself, start with this discussion page here.
Men need to fall in love from an evolutionary perspective, because it encourages them to shell out their resources to just one woman for the long term. If they are not in love, they are not likely at all to shell out any resources. They have sex with the women and then leave.
But if he is in love, he shells out more than just dinner and a movie. A little bit of money is easy to shell out. But falling in love makes men shell out a bunch of other resources that normally feel unnatural to him – emotional resources. For a number of years.
At least the children will have a caring and involved daddy. Good for wife, and good for children.
When I was 18, my mother and her friends told me to pick a man that loves me more than I love him. I scrunched my nose up. Something didn't feel right to me, hearing that. It felt selfish. It felt so guarded and such a miserable way to live.
Many years later, if you were to ask me: is it wise to pick a man who loves you more than you love him?
Well, my answer is, yes, and no.
Yes, if you treat relationships as a transaction. ("what is this man worth to me? What can he give me?" "is he willing to have a long term relationship with me?") Hey, many women do this.
No, if you want to live a blissfully happy, passionate and fulfilling life, where other people look at your relationship and envy you.
I choose the No.
You might be wondering why I give that reason for the 'no' answer.
My answer is because: it is only through your emotional vulnerability to a man that you get to feel the full pleasure and bliss of what an intimate relationship has to offer: magnifying your emotions. And it is this way that HE gets to feel great with you too.
It can't work long term unless you both have intense emotions towards each other. After all, that's the purpose of intimate relationship: to magnify our emotions, and make life more delicious.
Being completely vulnerable to a man, being completely in love, actually give you incredible pleasure, and provided he is also in love with you, you both get to grow together and develop a loving, beautiful, lasting and passionate relationship.
When you are choosing a man completely pragmatically, or logically, and not because you are truly in love – and not because you just want a relationship for the sake of a relationship – it's you who eventually suffers. We don't live only 15-30 years anymore, like our ancestors. Back then, the strategy of picking a man who loves you more than you love him worked. It got the species procreating, it allowed you access to resources that helped you and your babies live.
But, here's the problem: We live some 60-120 years now! Now, it's not the transaction, and what we can get from a man that makes us giddy and happy in our relationship. Now, we want happiness. Transactions between a man and a woman aren't designed for happiness.
We are evolving beyond this transaction thing now. At least that's the way I would like to see the world moving. And that's what I believe in.
To be happy in a relationship, you have to be vulnerable to a man. not logical about his WORTH to you. That takes courage, though. Because, with vulnerability also comes pain. I'm ok with that, aren't you? Pain is a part of life. We try to avoid it like it's the devil. Actually, it's not: it's a gift. Without allowing yourself to feel deep fear and pain, you cannot experience deep love and passion.
I suggest you value your long-term happiness, rather than what's easy; and choose a man who you are obviously in love with, and whom is also obviously in love with you. Of course, as a woman, you will always choose the best man, who has the better provider qualities, to be in a relationship with. There is nothing wrong with that, and that's instinctive whether you like it or not. It's there to help you.
The question is though:
why are you really choosing to commit to him long-term? Are you making the decision to commit to a man for the long term because he loves you more than you love him? And are you looking to just keep the man around, because if he loves you more, then he will stick around?
Because he won't. Soon, he'll be another male statistic that feels used by women. He'll get tired of desiring you more than you desire him. Being more invested in the relationship than you are. He'll want something else.
I choose to say it is not wise, for your own long term happiness, to choose a man who is more in love with you than you are with him. I don't want to make my values your values, too, though. So what do you think? Would you prefer to choose the man who is in love with you while you like him just 'enough' to be with him?