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Romance fades three and a half years into marriage

Wedded bliss has an expiration date, according to a recent study.

By Kristin Wong Feb 12, 2013 3:50PM

When is the honeymoon officially over? Three and a half years into marriage, a new study says.

Two thousand married adults were polled about their marriage and romance habits, and researchers found that couples generally start taking each other for granted three years and six months into their marriage.

Couples start taking each other for granted three years and six months into their marriage.More on MSN Living: Best Valentine's Day gifts on Pinterest

It might sound like a depressing statistic, but 75 percent of those surveyed said they felt this was "normal." In fact, only 43 percent of respondents considered taking a partner for granted to be a bad thing.

Co-operative Food commissioned the study, and spokesperson Kate Jones told The Heart Beat:

"Once the honeymoon period is over, couples often let bad habits take over and forget to go the extra mile to make each other happy. Although it's completely normal to relax in your partner's company, and many couples could see these things as a sign of intimacy, it's great to keep that spark alive at the same time. The relationship with your partner needs just as much TLC as those with your friends, family or colleagues."

More on MSN Living: 10 tips for a sexy and romantic Valentine's Day

At the three and a half year mark, couples adopt quite a few bad relationship habits—forgetting anniversaries, for example. Couples also begin to eat at different times and ditch conversation in favor of watching TV.

”Bad habits begin to creep into the relationship, such as breaking wind in front of each other, showering less, women forgetting to shave their legs, not closing the bathroom door when using the toilet and leaving the toilet seat up," Jones said.

Nine out of ten people in the study attributed their lackluster relationship behavior to being comfortable with their partner. So maybe the romance doesn't fade; maybe it just transforms—82 percent of couples say, despite getting too comfortable, they're happy with their marriage.

Based on their study, Co-operative Food put together a list of signs that you've gotten too comfortable in your marriage. Check it out and tell us if you're guilty.

Top 10 signs of being taken for granted:

  1. Opting to sleep rather than having sex.
  2. Lack of ‘date nights’.
  3. You forget to say “I love you” everyday.
  4. You stop kissing each other goodbye.
  5. Go to bed at different times.
  6. Don’t cuddle up on the sofa in the evening anymore.
  7. Dressing down in tracksuit bottoms before the other half gets home.
  8. No longer bothering with Valentine’s Day.
  9. Assuming you’ll do all the chores.
  10. Breaking wind when partner is around.


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More from The Heart Beat:

Study: Yup, lots of women fake orgasms
Study: Couples cuddle eight times a week
World's longest-married couple share their secrets

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Photo: Cavan Images/Getty Images

Feb 24, 2013 7:15PM
You can't be "ON" all the time.  You have to be careful how you act outside your home every other minute of the day.  If the partner cannot accept that, "GOODBYE."
Feb 24, 2013 1:45PM
I consider our relationship to be in the 25%! We've been married for over 43 years and still are best friends. We take care of each other. We treat each other the way we would want to be treated ourselves. We know we have each others back and trust. We work hard and do most things together. We respect each other and consider the others feelings before we do something. We talk to each other about everything. We share household chores. We don't pay attention to what people think and don't let other opinions affect what we do or how we do it. I have read that marriage is hard work, we don't think of it that way. We care for each other and marriage just happens.
Feb 12, 2013 6:43PM
Study doesn't mention another study that states men are more romantic than women. Suggesting men lose interest with a partner that would rather wear footie pajamas, hair in rollers, a mud pack, with the latest reality show on.
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