THIS Is How Long It Takes To Fall Out OF Love (Says Science)


As opposed to seven, it might actually be the 12-year-itch.

White weddings, picket fences and golden anniversaries aside, sex researchers have been going on for eons about how human beings aren't built for monogamy. All it takes is a peek at the skyrocketing divorce rates and a double-click through a cheating hearts website to know that a blissful lifetime of matrimony may not be entirely realistic for everyone.

But when do couples lose that loving feeling? Assuming that all (or at least most) couples walk down the aisle blissfully in love, how many weeks, months, years into the union do eyes and hands start roaming?

While biologists might point to year five, and psychologists (or film enthusiasts) to year seven,  a new study out of the Grant Thornton accountancy group, which was based on a survey of 90 of the country's biggest family law firms, actually thinks the old Seven-Year-Itch may be a bit premature. The average, they say, is a Twelve-Year-Itch.

But this doesn't mean all partners are bedhopping. In fact, only a quarter of the divorces studied blame infidelity directly. The most common reasons for a marriage ending? "Falling out of love" and 'growing apart' which, honestly, sounds sad but almost amicable. 

So why 12 years? Is it a life stage transition phenomenon? The onset of middle-age with its grappling of new responsibilities? Children and financial stressors? The natural shelf life of love?

Those are questions, unfortunately, researchers are loathe to answer with any certainty. 

As Sally Longworth, of Grant Thornton's Forensic and Investigation Services, said: 'It is impossible to put any scientific reasoning on why certain marriages succeed and others fail.'

Of course, we're always willing to try.

What's your take?