Time To Stop Panicking: Most Married People Are Deeply In Love

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baby penguins cute
Despite high divorce rates, long-term love is not a fairytale. But it's harder to find in New York.

Contrary to popular belief, penguins do not mate for life. They're pretty promiscuous, albeit cute and entertaining.

But people do, and according to recent research, those long-term couples are more intensely in love than we likely thought. A study published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science reports that 48 percent of the 274 married Americans surveyed nationwide said they were "very intensely in love" with their spouses. Meanwhile, 26 percent were "very in love," and 13 percent were "intensely in love." That only leaves 13 percent to be unhappy clams. 

That lovin' feeling declined for couples married 10 to 20 years, but went up again for those together for 20 years or more, which is consistent with the findings of a study that revealed women enjoy sex more after 20 years of a relationship

"It is commonly assumed that intense romantic love occurs in the early stages of a romantic relationship, but decreases dramatically across time," notes lead researcher K. Daniel O'Leary. As you can see, this study happily disproves the stereotype. Perhaps the high divorce rate is exactly what leads to all these happy marriages: those who aren't in love get divorced anyway?

Another part of the study, which queried 396 married residents of New York state, showed significantly different findings. Only 33 percent of married New Yorkers said they were "intensely in love." For those married 30 years or more, 19 percent of women and 29 percent of men reported this level of intensity. I'm not particularly surprised about this — the researchers say this reflects the fact that "general happiness" is lower in the Northeast than other regions of the country. My dreams of living on a beach in California, finally backed up by scientific fact!

Read more findings of the study here: Long-Term Love Not Just A Fairy Tale

Are you still in love with your husband? Do you agree that penguins are adorable? Sound off in the comments.

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