Popular perception says wide-eyed puppy love is just for infatuated teenagers and passionate honeymooners; that intense love often wanes with time. And perhaps this fear of diminishing affections has helped U.S. marriage rates reach an all-time low in recent years.
But commitment-phobes and hopeless romantics alike rejoice! A random survey of 274 people led by psychologist K. Daniel O'Leary found that 47.8 percent of married Americans reported being "very intensely in love" with their spouse. So long-term couples actually like each other-hooray! Perhaps even more heartening is that according to the study, affections seem to bounce back to newlywed status in the third decade of marriage after a slight slump in the second decade.
While we're generally skeptical of studies that seek to make blanket statements about complicated issues such as love and marriage, we can't help but want to hold on to this optimistic view of long-term commitment as absolute fact. But perhaps even more heartwarming than hopeful statistics, is anecdotal evidence: For those of you who have been married for a long time, does your experience match up with these findings? How in love are you with your partner on a scale from "not at all" to "very intensely" and have your sentiments ever ebbed and flowed?
More from DivineCaroline:
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Science of Sex: Why We Have "Types"
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Single and Successful: 10 Women Who Redefined "Spinsterhood"
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