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Friendship, Timing Key Differences Between US, Eastern European Love

August 17, 2011

The importance of friendship in romantic love and the time it takes to perceive falling in love are two key differences in how residents in the US, Lithuania and Russia see romantic love, according to a study recently published in Cross-Cultural Research, a SAGE journal.

The study examined how men and women defined romantic love through the use of surveys and used the results to find some commonalities and differences among the countries. Researchers found that residents of all three countries listed “being together” as their top requirement of romantic love. From there, the notion of romantic love seemed to diverge with the US respondents having different views than Lithuanian and Russian counterparts.

“The idea that romantic love was temporary and inconsequential was frequently cited by Lithuanian and Russian informants,” wrote authors Victor C. de Munck, Andrey Korotayev, Janina de Munck and Darya Khaltourina. “but not by U.S. informants. Furthermore, we noted that expressions of ‘comfort /love’ and ‘friendship’ were frequently cited by the U.S. informants and seldom to never by our Eastern European informants.”

Additionally, the data looked at how long it took before respondents fell in love. Americans took longer than their Eastern European counterparts with more than 58 percent saying it look two months to a year. On the contrary, more than 90 percent of Lithuanians report falling in love within a month.

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