The Science Of Expectations: Do Women Really Have More Than Men?


"That's the thing with women, they have all these expectations."

This is a sentence I'm sure would start a fiery debate and probably has.

As an opinionated, independent woman, it's true that I'm full of expectations, but I don't feel like they are more excessive than any other person... let alone a man.

I may be much more vocal about them, but I've always thought it's better to know someone's expectations so you're aware of what exactly you're getting into or dealing with.

I've never bought into the saying of "no expectations, no disappointments." To me, that's like saying, "no risks, no failure." Talk about a very predictable and uneventful life.

Of course, no one lives for disappointments; they suck, but expectations are what helps us create our ideal world.

Deciding which gender has more expectations is fuel for a "he said, she said," men versus women all-out brawl.

These debates are bound to happen when discussing which gender is "better," even though we all know we bring different things to the table as men and women.

But, I wanted to see if the statement that women have more expectations than men had any truth to it.

In doing some research and speaking with some friends — both men and women — this is what I found:

Women And Our Expectations

If you lead with a question like, "What expectations do you have of men?" you are bound to get a list that starts with gentlemanly qualities, like opening doors, being romantic, being able to fix everything, being sensitive, manly, smart, etc.

In conversations and research, here are a few expectations that were brought up more than once:

Pay For The First Date

Although some may feel like this is a cliché, I'm apart of the group that doesn't. And, according to NerdWallet, about 77 percent of those in heterosexual relationships believe the same thing.

What it comes down to is women like romance.

You can blame all the Disney fairytale movies or romantic comedies we; paying for the first date is not only something women expect, but it's a way for guys to show that masculine side women like so much.

Regarding first dates, I believe Forbes has it right that it's largely about sex. Not that you must give it up on the first date, but that dates come down to discovering whether or not you both have that spark of chemistry between you that ultimately leads to sexual compatibility.

Your Place Is Clean Or Semi-Clean

I could not agree with this more!

It is an absolute turn off if I walk into your place and there is trash everywhere, it smells and your bathroom looks like an old gas station's public restroom.

We know that cleaning may not be listed as one of your favorite things to do, and believe it, or not it's not our favorite thing to do either, but, come on.

NBC News reported on a recent study that found bachelor pads to have 15 times more bacteria than the homes of bachelorettes.

And, the grossest part was that seven out of 10 coffee tables in the homes of bachelors contained coliforms, or bacteria abundant in the feces of warm-blooded animals. Yes you read that right — traces of poop were found on coffee tables.

Guys, women expect you to know how to clean up after yourself. After all, it is not our one sole purpose in life to pick up after you. So, do yourself a favor and learn how to scrub a bathroom.

Get Your Money Straight

Money is a very sensitive subject and remains in the top two things couples fight about the most, according to Investopedia.

Though most of us don't expect you to be rich by any means, we do, however, expect you to pull your weight.

Now, there is nothing wrong with women picking up the check every now and then. Where things start going south is when that "every now and then" becomes every single time.

Trust me, I've been there and done that, and if you're anything like me, you'll end up feeling like your boyfriend's mother, which is never a good thing. I'm all for taking turns paying for things; keeping things 50/50 or close to it can be healthy.

Most women expect to have a guy who can understand his own financial situation as well as ours.

We can understand, respect and relate to saving money to better your situation, however, if you make money and throw it all way buying useless items, then have the nerve to ask me for more money, it's not okay.

Knowing The Right Thing To Say

Now, this may be an unrealistic expectation women harbor, but alas, it still exists and even I am guilty of it. Generally, women expect men to know what to say when we are mad, upset, happy or whatever other emotions we may be going through.

But, the truth is, men are the first to admit they don't fully understand women. How can they possibly know the right thing to say?

And, judging from all the articles I found online about "how to understand women," "what you should never say to a woman" and "what women really mean," this expectation is a lost cause.

My only advice for men is to try to say the right thing by putting yourself in her position.

Men And Their Expectations

When I asked, "What expectations do you have of women?" at first, I got a lot of blank stares, like they weren't sure if it was a trick question.

After explaining what I meant, I found that most guys were very general about their expectations.

In fact, one guy said he didn't really expect that much because he "knows better." Here are the few expectations men told me they had.

Beauty And Brains

A Harvard University study found that a beautiful woman's face can set off "reward centers" in a heterosexual man's brain.

This activity in the section of the brain has been previously associated with food, drugs and money. No surprise, then, that men love beauty and because of this, many of us generalize that men only want a "trophy wife."

However, a new poll, done by 60 minutes and Vanity Fair, shows that only 1 percent of men claim "physical beauty" to be important.

Now, I believe that is a fat lie because looks are the first thing that captures our attention, whether you are a man or a woman. So, it may not be as important, but I will bet money that it's more than 1 percent.

It's very clear that men put a huge value on both brains and beauty, as well as expect the women they are interested in to have them.

Some Level Of Domestication

Now, I believe this expectation stems back to deep-rooted gender roles.

According to a survey done by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 82 percent of women spend time doing household chores and cooking, compared to 65 percent of men.

For the women who believe in 50/50 relationships, this seems like quite a challenge, although not a surprise.

It's always been an expectation that women know how to cook, clean and take care of the kids. In fact, this expectation is so hardwired that many women — even some of the most independent — believe they will take on most of the responsibility when it comes to home life.

NBC News reported that in a study of 100 undergraduate females, 60 percent believed they would take on most of the housework.


It's been scientifically proven that men do think about sex more often then women.

Kinsey Institute claims 54 percent of men think about sex several times a day, while only a small 19 percent of women think about sex as much.

When I asked the guys about this question, none of them really denied wanting to have sex often, but they all expressed in one way or another that they obviously wanted their significant others to want to have sex with them.

It's completely understandable; both parties should undoubtedly enjoy something as sensitive as sex in a relationship.

Men want sex often, however in talking to some, it was clear that most would like to think they can expect sex regularly, but in reality, know they can't.

Do Women Have More Expectations Then Men?

Though I've researched and asked around, there is no definite answer.

Expectations are so subjective that it's hard to really calculate.

What I did find, though, is that women, when asked about expectations, were more vocal about them and went straight into detail, even giving some examples through stories.

For men, though, it was very different. I almost had to pry it out of them and when they started to open up, much of what they would say was very generalized and included hardly any detail.

So, who wins? Well, in my opinion, women do have many expectations, not that it's a bad thing.

To me, it means you know what you want. Men have likely been cautioned not to have any, or to at least not be vocal about them, for fear of backlash from us, women.