In the past few weeks, you may have seen the recent promos for “Hall Pass,” starring Owen Wilson among others. While I was not necessarily keen on seeing the movie, I was surprised to see an article today about a survey that Warner Brothers conducted leading up to the film’s UK release.

The study caught my eye because of it’s objective: to find the point in relationships when people begin to take each other for granted. If you’re thinking Malcom Gladwell, you’re on the right track. Consider the survey a look into ‘The Tipping Point” of romance. The survey interviewed 2,000 adults in steady relationships (more than three years) and new ones (less than three years). It found that around 36-months into a relationship, the bliss and appreciativeness began to fade. In its place came stress, stress and little to no sex.

So how does a relationship lose its fizzle? Couples say, it’s when the small things become bigger and bigger issues. 67% of respondents in steady relationships said that the once minor irritations which are seemed harmless and cute during the first couple years of the relationship had expanded into major irritations around the 3 year point.

The Top 10 peeves for worn in couples?

1. Weight gain/lack of exercise, 13 percent
2. Money & Spend thriftiness, 11 percent
3. Anti-social working hours, 10 percent
4. Hygiene issues (personal cleanliness), 9 percent
5. In-Laws/extended family – too much/too little, 9 percent
6. Lack of romance (sex, treats etc.), 8 percent
7. Alcohol – drinking too much, 7 percent
8. Snoring & anti social bedtime habits, 6 percent
9. Lapsed fashion-Same old underwear/clothes, 4 percent
10. Bathroom habits – Stray nail cuttings etc., 4 percent


The sex three or more times a week of early coupledom had too dwindled- with 16% of steady couples saying they were still sexually active compared to 52% of newbies.  Many of the couples who had hit the 3 year mark were more apt to plan solo vacations, go away with their friends or even issue each other “pink slips” enabling an open relationship for a set period of time (hence the premise for the film).

While some say it is a depressing look into being coupled up, I think getting to the ordering in and getting annoyed at snoring point in a relationship is a good thing. It’s easy to be shiny and new, but toughing it out and learning new things to love about it each other can be nice too.  Just because the spark may flicker, it doesn’t mean the love is gone.

The survey raises some interesting points.  What do you think Clutchettes: Is there a really such thing as a tipping point in love?

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  • My friend said it the best…don’t worry about being together years ahead or making it to a certain year, try to love that person for that day only, and once the next day arrives do the same thing. Its a day by day thing. If you do that, time flys, next thing you know you’re 20 years in…