Are Men Romantic?

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Nancy Kalish, Ph.D. is the author of Lost & Found Lovers,

a book about her research on people who go back to lost

loves. She has been doing this work for 11 years, and has

a web site, www,, with a discussion board.

Now she has completed a new survey of adults who have

not tried a reunion with a lost love. Her findings suggest

that men may be more “romantic” than women.

We too often define “romantic” in women’s terms — the

flowers and cards, saving items and putting them in a

scrapbook or listening to romantic songs all day long.

The men may not do these things, but they do something

more romantic than all that:

Dr. Kalish’s survey asked “how long did it take for you to get

over your lost love?’ The men tended to take longer to get

over a lost love than the women. And some of the men

were not satisfied with the survey choices.. The last choice

listed was, “Over 10 years.”Only the men crossed out all the

choices and wrote, “I never got over her.” While no doubt

some women never got over their lost loves either, only the

men wrote this comment in the margins.

Adolescent boys are not supposed to cry for a lost love. But

many of Dr. Kalish’s male participants cried hard, in private,

nightly…for months.

This is not just a reunion phenomenon. Dr. Kalish is finding

the same results in her First Love experience survey – for

adults who have never tried a reunion with a lost love. There

are significantly more men who chose to answer this survey

than women, and they express strong feelings for their first

loves, even though they have not contacted her (and may

never do so).

Members of Dr. Kalish’s web site, who are permitted to

post messages, seem to be more represented by women

than men. But Kalish warns that appearances are

misleading. There are slightly more men who paid to join

than women. The men don’t post as often as the women

— but they are reading!

Men are less likely to initiate leaving their marriages

than women, and over the last few years, there is little

difference between the number of men who have affairs

versus the number of women. As more women entered

the workplace, they found the same temptations there.

Dr. Kalish also offers private phone consultations. Men

more often want to talk to her about their lost loves than


But it is a rare magazine that is pitched to men that will

print a story about love and romance. The media think men

are uninterested. Not so!

As Valentine’s Day approaches, we should all remember that

men express themselves differently — and that does not mean

worse than — women. If women want men to open up, says

Kalish, they have to take men on their own terms, not try to

make them express their feelings like a woman would.

Men may not make scrapbooks of their love experiences, but

they are every bit as loving, loyal, and yes, romantic, as


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