Let the old school sitcoms tell it, husbands want sex morning, noon and night, but their wives would prefer to knit or read. Of course, these depictions of men and women in long-term relationships are entirely inaccurate because sex drive varies from person to person – regardless of their gender. However, according to Cosmo, a new study suggests that your man underestimating your sex drive could be a good thing.
The study, which was published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, found that men in long-term relationships tend to under-perceive their partner’s sexual desires. But what was interesting about this finding is that women who are in long-term relationships with partners who under-perceived their desires appeared to be happier in their relationships and more committed to their mates.
According to researchers, a possible explanation for this correlation is that when men assume that their partners aren’t up for sex, they are likely to put forth a little more effort to get them in the mood.
“There’s still some more work to be done to figure out exactly what’s going on there. But one possibility is that perhaps when men are under-perceiving, they’re much more motivated to do things to entice their partner, make their partner feel good, and express their love and commitment to the relationship. And women are feeling more satisfied and committed as a result,” Dr. Amy Muise, an author of the study, said.
“If a person over-perceives how interested their partner is in having sex, they might feel as though they don’t have to do anything to set the mood or attract their partner’s interest,” Dr. Muise went on. “But, if a person sees their partner as having less desire than they actually report, the person might put forth a little extra effort to ignite their sexual interest.”
“For example, taking it outside of sexual desire, if I overestimate how much my partner loves me, I might just think that I can sit back and I that I don’t have to put in a lot of effort into the relationship because they’re already so much in love with me that it doesn’t really matter what I do,” Dr. Muise continued. “But if I were to under-perceive that slightly then maybe that can keep me a little bit more motivated to keep my partner’s interest.”
Muise also theorized that men might assume that their partners don’t want sex because they’re trying to avoid sexual rejection, which Muise says “tends to be associated with negative consequences for relationships.”