The Rise and Fall of "I Love You" in Relationships, in Two Charts

Source: Getty Images

True love is supposed to last forever. According to new research, that's not as true as we think.

According to a YouGov survey of British adults, the majority of romantic relationships become "more practical" and less "head over heels" over time. Even worse: Couples stop saying "I love you" to each other, even if they still care about each other.

The study: YouGov polled 2,071 British adults in September on the quality of their relationships over time. Of the adults polled, 959 respondents were currently married and 494 respondents were in relationship. The majority of respondents had been in a relationship for more than two years. 

YouGov found that romance is a young man's game, apparently: A third of those in the first year of their relationship described the nature of their romance, as YouGov puts it, as "butterflies in the tummy love," but that figure drops to 10% only a few years later, somewhere in the middle of the five- to 10-year stretch.



According to YouGov, this change in attitude toward our partners shows how the nature of love transforms as couples spend more time together. It's not as though love suddenly transforms into hate: One in five respondents (21%) simply said that they love their partner, but their days of being "in love" are over, while 11% say that the relationship "has gained a more practical quality, leaving love behind."

I just called to say "I love you." As the nature of love changes, so does the way we express it. Younger relationships tend to have the most expressive partners: Nearly 50% of respondents that have been in relationships for between two and five years say "I love you" every day to their partner. But this percentage drops to 33% of couple who had been dating for more than 10 years and 18% of relationships that have lasted more than 50 years.


Sorry folks, but it looks like love does not stand the test of time — at least, not in the way we imagine it: 


How likely are you to make Mic your go-to news source?

Jared Keller

Jared Keller is the former director of news at Mic.

MORE FROM

'Hot Mic' podcast: Tropical Storm Cindy, Housing for Grenfell fire survivors, Uber CEO steps down

The important stories to get you caught up for Thursday.

EPA committee told that "climate change will be de-emphasized" by Trump administration

A key advisory committee has been "totally decimated" ex-members say.

O.J. Simpson's parole hearing will be held in Nevada on July 20

The former NFL player is serving a minimum 9-year sentence for armed robbery, kidnapping and other charges related to a 2007 confrontation with two sports memorabilia dealers

Your favorite coffee could be going extinct thanks to climate change

Your caramel mocha frappuccino is in peril.

'Wall Street Journal' reporter fired over ethical violations

The reporter was allegedly part of a potential business deal with a source.

Sex crime advocates say 2 underage girls forced into sex during robbery are victims, not criminals

Prosecutors are charging the teen girls as adults for their involvement in an alleged robbery.

'Hot Mic' podcast: Tropical Storm Cindy, Housing for Grenfell fire survivors, Uber CEO steps down

The important stories to get you caught up for Thursday.

EPA committee told that "climate change will be de-emphasized" by Trump administration

A key advisory committee has been "totally decimated" ex-members say.

O.J. Simpson's parole hearing will be held in Nevada on July 20

The former NFL player is serving a minimum 9-year sentence for armed robbery, kidnapping and other charges related to a 2007 confrontation with two sports memorabilia dealers

Your favorite coffee could be going extinct thanks to climate change

Your caramel mocha frappuccino is in peril.

'Wall Street Journal' reporter fired over ethical violations

The reporter was allegedly part of a potential business deal with a source.

Sex crime advocates say 2 underage girls forced into sex during robbery are victims, not criminals

Prosecutors are charging the teen girls as adults for their involvement in an alleged robbery.