Feelings of true love can still be as strong 20 years later
Although the honeymoon period lasts a year or two for most couples, scientists have discovered that for a small minority the first flourishes of love are still demonstrated 20 years into a relationship.
That’s right, the warm feelings we experience in the first throes of passion may not always diminish after a year or two but the flame can still burn brightly two decades on.
Scientists at Stony Brook University in New York made the discovery after scanning the brains of couples who had been together for 20 years and compared them with those of lovers who were just getting to know each other.
The tests revealed that one in 10 mature couples experienced the same chemical reactions when shown pictures of their other halves as those in the early stages of a relationship.
Previous studies showed that the rollercoaster ride of emotions we experience in the early days usually start to wear off within 15 months and ‘fracture points’ kick in after three years and at the well-known seven-year itch stage.
Experts nicknamed their volunteer couples ‘swans’ as they demonstrate similar mental ‘love maps’ to animals that mate for life – such as swans and grey foxes.
Arthur Aron from Stony Brook University said: ‘The findings go against the traditional view of romance – that it drops off sharply in the first decade – but we are sure it’s real.’