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Study: 1 In 7 Adults Are Not With Their True Love

Seventy-three percent of adults in long-term relationships stay with their partner because their ‘true love’ got away.

"When you carefully consider your words, thoughts and actions, and specifically how they will benefit that other person…you’re in love,” says Dennis Neder, author of Being A Man In A Woman’s World, to Discovery Fit & Health. The quality of romantic, long-term relationships significantly impacts a person’s physical and psychological well-being. People may feel their happiness is fully dependent on their partners, leaving them in a fragile state of mind if their feelings are not reciprocated. One in seven adults, in fact, claim that they are in a serious relationship with a partner who they do not consider “the love of their life,” according to a UK survey.

A 2,000-person survey conducted by Siemens Festival Nights, a unique three-day event showcasing three different operas, revealed the intimate details of the views and experiences of couples in long-term relationships. A surprising result from the survey showed that while women do tend to fall in love more than men, men and women fall in love, on average, two times in their lifetime. Survey participants reported that they fell in love for the first time at the average age of 19 and dated an average of four to five people before they met “the one.”

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Seventy-three percent of survey respondents said that they have “made their peace” with their partners because their “true love” got away. However, 46 percent said they would leave their significant other to be with their true love if they got the chance.

"What is alarming is that so many people claim to be in long term relationships or even married to someone who isn't the true love of their life,” said Claire Jarvis, communications director for Siemens, to The Telegraph. "And if there are people out there who are genuinely in love with two people at the same time, they must face a huge dilemma."

Knowing if one is with Mr. or Mrs. Right takes just about 10 weeks, according to 60 percent of the survey respondents. This statistic still remains coherent with the finding that 75 percent of adults admit their definition of love changes as they get older.

While the survey remains ambiguous on what the survey respondents believe is “true love,” Samuel Lopez De Victoria, Ph.D., a psychotherapist in private practice and an adjunct psychology professor at Miami Dade College, told Psych Central that there is a three-part model that can help romantic hopefuls determine if their partner is truly “the one.”

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Passion

The feeling of passion includes the physical and sexual attraction you feel for your partner. The feeling consumes you as you are jaw-dropped by their physique. Lopez De Victoria said pheromones, which are behavior-altering agents, are elevated and can trigger sexual behavior in humans. If you feel an obsessive need to have your feelings reciprocated, then you are likely passionately attracted to that individual.

Intimacy

Intimacy stems from spending a lot of time together with the other person, and it is most often built on trust and safety, believes Lopez De Victoria. This second part takes time to develop and involves effort from both partners. This can prove especially difficult if one of the partners has been hurt in the past and will express reluctance to become close to a new partner because of trust issues.

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Commitment

The last part involves the ability of both partners to stay intimate no matter the challenges they face. “For a couple to stay together they must consistently break through the barriers of being hurt while assuming that the other person wants to resolve the issue also,” said Lopez De Victoria. “Commitment is not for the lighthearted." But this doesn’t mean that you must agree with everything your partner says or does, but rather that you can respect the differences in views and opinions.

According to Lopez De Victoria, true love has all of these three components.

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