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No. 1 Reason for Loss of Passion

What snuffs out that magical spark between lovers? With surprising consensus, 30 percent of men and 35 percent of women--nearly 33 percent of all survey respondents--cited lack of intimacy as the primary reason passion can be difficult to sustain in any type of romantic relationship.

That's the word from a survey of 1,000 adults nationwide conducted by Synovate for, a Web site started by Amanda Clarkson, the author of "Who Stole My Sex Drive?"

The rest cited these issues as causing a loss of passion:

  • 26 percent: Financial issues
  • 16 percent: Job stress
  • 15 percent: Growing older
  • 11 percent: Children

The results included a few surprises, shattering some gender and marriage stereotypes about which of life's many stresses can get in the way of passion and for whom. Significantly more women than men chose "financial issues" (31 percent versus 20 percent), while more men than women cited "children" as the single biggest contributor to loss of passion (12 percent and 9 percent, respectively).

A higher percentage of non-married respondents blamed loss of passion on "lack of intimacy," specifically 40 percent, compared with 27 percent of married respondents. While non-married participants concentrated their blame most heavily on "lack of intimacy" and "financial issues" (32 percent), married respondents were more evenly dispersed: 22 percent chose "financial issues," 18 percent selected "job stress," another 18 percent named "growing older" and 15 percent cited "children" as the primary cause of loss of passion.

While "children" ranked last on the list overall--with 11 percent naming it the single biggest contributor--for respondents with kids in the household it moved up to third behind "lack of intimacy" and "financial issues."

Earning more money does not guarantee that financial worries won't affect intimacy. Interestingly, the only financial bracket to go against the overall trend was the second highest (those earning annual incomes between $50,000 and $75,000), who cited "financial issues" (30 percent) over "lack of intimacy" (24 percent) as the primary cause for loss of passion.

Breaking the results down by age reveals that those in "mid-life" were most likely to say loss of passion is due to a "lack of intimacy"--39 percent of respondents ages 45-54--choosing it far above all other options. "Job stress," "financial issues" and "growing older" were the next highest reasons cited by this group, at 17 percent, 16 percent and 15 percent, respectively.

The 65+ crowd was the only one to go against the trend, attributing a loss of passion to "growing older" and "financial issues" before "lack of intimacy" (48 percent, 23 percent and 19 percent, respectively). Respondents in the youngest group (18-24-year-olds), however, already feel deprived of intimacy with 36 percent blaming loss of passion on "lack of intimacy," second only to those ages 45-54. But they also experience financial pressures, with 34 percent of those ages 18-24 citing "financial issues" as the single biggest contributor to loss of passion--more than any other age demographic.

"It's both encouraging and discouraging to learn that lack of intimacy and, as a result, loss of passion are common across virtually every demographic," said Clarkson. "It's too easy for that intimate connection that we all desire to get lost in the bustle of our busy lives. But no matter the reason for our loss of passion--whether it's due to a lack of intimacy or other life stresses--we can get it back if we realize how important and rewarding passion is, and if we're proactive about restoring it."

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