You know that seven-year itch myth? That time in a relationship when the luster starts to fade and we may even start looking at our partners a bit differently? Well, according to a survey of thousands of men and women between 25 and 41, that itch may actually come a lot sooner, like after just 12 months!
The participants were asked about the satisfaction of their sex lives. Their answers revealed that sexual satisfaction rises early in a relationship, peaking at 12 months, which means it’s all downhill from there.
While there’s no clear explanation as to what causes the heat to fizzle, researchers believe as time goes by, differences in sex drive become more apparent. And, by the time a couple clocks 16 years, the study shows couples find their sex lives almost a third less satisfying than they did in the early years.
The German researchers who conducted the study add: “We did not find that having children played a major role in a couple’s sexual satisfaction, which is remarkable as research has shown that sexual frequency is heavily influenced by the existence and age of children.”
The research isn’t that surprising as anyone who has been in a relationship knows, the honeymoon period doesn’t last forever. Those first few months are always the most intense. Desire is strong as new lovers are excited to learn about each other physically, emotionally, spiritually, intellectually…etc.
So, while the study may suggest sexual intensity may fade, it doesn’t mean that the relationship is on the way out, or a couple should throw in the towel. At the one year mark, couples may have developed a stronger emotional intimacy. The relationship has matured from that “can’t keep my hands off of you” phase to something much more deeper. A lot depends on how that 1st year was spent. If it consisted of nothing but sex and the occasional dinner and a movie, it’s not going to build much of a foundation for a long term relationship. However, if both good and bad experiences were shared, come that one-year mark, the relationship will be stronger.
Psychologist Cary Cooper tells the Daily Mail: “Perhaps over time as the relationship matures, the significance of factors like loyalty, trust, caring, honesty and the value of shared interests, become more important. Sex is still part of the package, but its significance declines as needs mature.’