She wants love, he wants sex? Men and women can be very different when it comes to love and sex. It’s said that men give love to get sex, and that women give sex to get love. Of course, every man and woman is different in his or her attitudes and desires towards sex and love.

 While some women are “freer” about having sex outside of a committed relationship, and some men prefer to have sex only in an exclusive partnership, what do these gender differences mean?

 Misunderstandings can occur when a woman assumes that sex with a man means they are in a committed relationship, or that he wants anything more than physical intimacy. Communication is important. Discuss with your partner what it means if the two of you have sex. Do you date others, have sex with others, are you planning a future together, just having fun, or not sure where things are going? A man might not volunteer information about other partners if he thinks it will decrease his chances with you. Or, he may think it’s not that important to you if you don’t bring up the issue. A man might also tell you he’s not serious, or just dating to let you know the two of you are not exclusive.

 Why do men and women often differ about sex? One reason is how the sexes are raised. Girls who grow up with a mother learn to stay close to her and follow her female ways. Boys generally learn while growing up to distance from Mom and her female ways and become a man. Ultimately, girls learn to stick close starting with their first relationship to Mom, while men are taught from childhood to move away from this relationship. As adults, women generally feel more comfortable being close in a relationship and men generally feel more ease with some distance in relationships. This can translate into women’s greater desire for commitment and men’s greater ease with freedom.

If you are wondering about sex and love in your dating or married life, speak with a licensed psychotherapist. Every person is a different and your love and sex style is formed by a multitude of factors.