A new study from Carnegie Mellon University found that women fall out of love before their husbands do.
The new study, published in the Journal of the Association for Psychological Science, found that women report a more dramatic decrease in feelings of love over time, compared to men.
The research showed that women are more in love than men at the beginning of their relationships. However, they fall out of love quickly and the reason is that they get stuck running the household and raising a family, with a perceived lack of pitching in by their male partners.
To conduct the study, Dr. Saurabh Bhargava, a professor of economics at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, tracked the emotions of nearly 3,900 heterosexual adults with different relationship timelines, ranging from recently engaged to married for decades.
Participants were asked to record who they were with and how they felt every 30 minutes for ten days, followed by a longer questionnaire regarding the type and target of their love.
The study revealed that women are far more likely than men to report moments of feeling love early in a relationship, but it doesn’t last.
Women in longer relationships experienced feelings of love while spending time with their partner nearly 60 percent less often than those in newer relationships. Meanwhile, feelings of love only decreased over time for men by 0.4 percent.
Women who fell head over heels reported that the feelings of passion fizzled even faster.
Women’s feeling of “excited love” while with their partners dropped nearly 80 percent over time. The decline was much smaller for men at just 30 percent.
How they’re feeling likely has to do with what they’re doing.
The study found that as they settle into their relationship, women spend more time doing chores and cooking, while men increasingly spend time relaxing and napping.
Bhargava also noted that having children could dampen a couple’s flame, as feelings of love could be reallocated to children and women assume the majority of childcare duties.
The study also found that staying apart helps couples feel closer.
Couples reported a large increase in love for each other when reunited after being apart for at least eight hours, no matter how long they had been together.
Everything seemed to even out at a certain point, among the study participants — after about seven years of marriage, women and men were about equally as likely to report being in love, while also saying that they were enjoying each other’s company.
“I think there is an optimistic interpretation of the data — even though romantic passion and romantic love decline, they do persist,” Bhargava told The Times (London).