Gender and Age Differences in Love Styles and Attitudes

Saeid Fard
September 19, 2022

We looked at respondent data from Dimensional’s Personality test to explore how men and women differ in the way they express, desire, and think about love. We also examined how these traits change with age.

Here are the results.

Most people don’t give love the way they want to receive it.

Most literature on love languages assumes that we express love the same way we desire it. For instance, if our highest desired love language is Service, then we also naturally give Service. Our research shows this assumption is wrong.

On average, less than one-third of users have alignment between the love languages they desire and the love languages they express.

The discrepancy between expression and desire of love languages was highest in Affirmation. Just 14% of respondents who had Affirmation in their top 2 desired languages (making it a "Signature" trait) also had it in their top 2 expressive languages.

Conversely, this discrepancy was lowest in Touch. Not surprising considering it’s difficult to desire being touched without also touching in return.

% of respondents who scored Signature on Expressing a Love Languages given they scored Signature on desiring it.

Men desire more Touch, women desire more Affirmation.

We found that women were more likely to desire Affirmation while men were more likely to desire Touch. The magnitude of these differences was not dramatic.

% of users who have each desired LL as a "Signature" trait (Signature defined as scoring in their top 2)

Men instinctively give more Service, women give more Gifts.

Relative to women, the average male respondent expressed love in the form of Service, whereas women gave more gifts.

% of users who have each expressed LL as a "Signature" trait (Signature defined as scoring in their top 2)

Women are more possessive and practical. Men are more idealistic and casual.

On average, women scored higher than men in two Love Attitudes: Mania and Pragma. Mania is characterized as an obsessive, possessive, or jealous love. People who score high on Mania want to belong to their partner and want their partner to belong to them. Pragma is defined as a practical, less-romantic love attitude that’s characterized by wanting a checklist of traits in a partner.

Men, on the other hand, scored higher in Eros and Ludus love. These fantasy-oriented Love Attitudes centre around "fairy-tale" and casual fun, respectively. Simply put, men crush more easily and are more likely to want no-strings romance with multiple partners.

Percent of Users Signature by Love Attitude and Gender (Signature defined as scoring in their top 2)

Older people are more pragmatic and less idealistic when choosing partners.

Looking at how love attitudes change with age, we found that older generations generally scored lower on Eros and much higher on Pragma.

Interestingly, we also found that people above the age of 30 were 2 to 3 times more likely to desire casual/uncommitted romance (Ludus). This desire peaked among people in their 30s, but it remained higher than younger people even in older age.

Percent of Users Signature by Love Attitude and Age Cohort (Signature defined as scoring in their top 2)

Methodology Notes

About the Author

Saeid Fard has 9 years of experience working in personality testing and is the founder of According to the Dimensional personality test, he is an INTP and his top strengths are Humor, Creativity, Perspective, Appreciation of Beauty, and Social Intelligence.


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