1 in 3 couples in the UK  lose that loving feeling after just 18 months together. That’s according to the latest survey by Europe’s leading personal publisher, PhotoBox.
Sadly the Righteous Brothers were right; and whilst Valentine's Day focuses attention on grand declarations of love and overflowing heart filled passion, further down the line that honeymoon period feeling can begin to fade. Yet, there is a solution – a trip down memory lane.
Research  shows that couples can finally let their heads rule their hearts this Valentines by using visual stimuli to help them reminisce and share past positive loving memories.
Couples can potentially turn their floundering relationships around by looking at past photographs of themselves enjoying happier times earlier on in their relationship, or by looking at other tangible reminders such as love letters and treasured keepsakes. 61% of those surveyed agreed that keeping visual keepsakes re-awakened affectionate feelings and helped them maintain strong relationships that stand the test of time.
The top three keepsakes which brought back strong loving emotions and memories included photos, jewellry and greeting cards, in particular personal Valentine’s Day, Birthday and Anniversary cards. In view of this 40% believe that the digital age now makes it harder for couples to relate to each other, with emails, texts and sharing photos on social networking sites, replacing traditional tangible and meaningful memory triggers.
Dr. Angela Rowe, Senior Lecturer in Psychology and specialist in interpersonal relationship studies at Bristol University commented: "Research examining the dynamics of interpersonal relationship functioning suggests that reinforcing positive relationship memories can be beneficial for romantic relationships and self-esteem.” She added: "In the context of long-term relationships, a good way to maintain these is to revisit the good times. What better way to do this than to look at photos of positive times shared."
A card is for Valentines, but true love is for life
For couples out there who are feeling that initial cupid effect now wearing off, here are three top tips to help psychologically re-establish your love connection this Valentines:
1. Talk about your feelings, not your partner’s behaviour – create a safe dialogue by talking about how you feel. This will help your partner to empathise with you and will prevent them from feeling like they’re being attacked or criticised
2. Make time to tell your partner how special they are every day, not just on Valentines – be specific about what makes them special and how they make you feel. This will highlight your partner’s uniqueness and help you re-live all those special things that made you fall in love in the first place!
3. Tell your partner how much you love him or her on a daily basis – be creative with this! Use visual reminders from notes to thoughtful cards; or why not frame one of your favourite photos together as a surprise? This will reinforce your bond and make you both remember what it’s like to feel in love and have someone express that feeling towards you
 40%, PhotoBox survey January 2010
 Collated studies investigated include: Carnelley & Rowe, 2007; Milulincer et al., 2001; Rowe & Carnelley, 2003
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