Couples stop saying ‘I love you’ over time

Relationships|October 11th 2014

The longer a couple is together, the less they tell each other “I love you”, a new study suggests.

Research from polling firm YouGov found that 30 per cent of couples who have been together for more than 50 years never said it. Only 18 per cent of those couples said it on a daily basis.

The results were gathered from a survey of 2,072 British adults in committed relationships.

According to the data, couples who say “I love you” the most often are those who have been together between two and five years. After that, the frequency begins to drop.

The way couples describe their relationship also changes over time, the study found. Perhaps unsurprisingly, people who had been together less than a year were most likely describe themselves as “head over heels, butterflies in the tummy” in love with their partner.

Only four per cent of couples who have been together more than 50 years described their relationship in the same way. However, 43 per cent of those couples said they were “definitely in love”.

YouGov’s research indicated that 70 per cent of the British adult population is currently in a relationship. 46 per cent of those are married.

Last year, a study showed that ‘teenage sweethearts’ are increasingly rare in the UK.

Photo by Jeff Kubina via Flickr

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  1. Luke says:

    I don’t think this is surprising, science has shown the body chemistry that produces the state of being “in love” is not a permanent one – it generally lasts between 1-3 years. Human beings are not designed to stay in couples indefinitely – it is a poor strategy for both men and women to spread their genes.
    “Love” seems to be a short term evolutionary mechanism for couples to pair bond with regard to having and looking after small children.
    The whole thing is extremely complex but what we can say is being “in love” (which may be regarded perhaps as similar to lust with feelings) as opposed to “loving” (which is closer to caring and intimate friendship) is a state we cannot remain in indefinitely.

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