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

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

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: