By Bunmi Sofola
Forget the seven-year itch. It takes only 12 months for a relationship to start to lose its sizzle, research suggests.
Almost 3,000 men and women aged between 25 and 41 – from those in the first flush of love to others who had been together for up to 24 years – were asked how satisfied they were with their sex lives.
Their answers revealed that satisfaction rises early in a relationship and peaks at around 12 months. After that, it starts to gradually decline.
The German researchers at Ludwig Maximillian University in Munich suggested it might be because couples get to know each other’s desires in the first year, after which mismatches in libido are exposed, with women more likely to lose interest.
The study, published in the journal Archives of Sexual Behaviour, found arguments and lack of lovemaking also had an influence.
Relationship expert and agony aunt, Dr. Pam Spurr warned that waning passions could lead some couples to have affairs.
She said many ‘develop a deeper emotional intimacy that bridges the passion of the early days to a more mature approach to sex.’
But she added that ‘couples who don’t manage to negotiate that transition have many difficulties – some partners seek sexual release in affairs’.