As anyone suffering from a broken heart is always told, there are plenty more fish in the sea. But the waters are emptier than one might hope, according to research, as the average person falls in love only four times over their lifetime. The average age to settle down is 27, and a lucky 33 percent do so with their first love.
However, over four in ten admit settling for ‘second best’, with 61 percent of those regretting letting the love of their life go.
Eight out of ten fall head over heels for at least one person during their 20s, four out of ten in their 30s and three in ten after reaching 40.
Researchers also revealed 41 per cent have fallen in love with someone they shouldn’t have, with almost half admitting this has happened more than once.
Almost one in 20 have even fallen in love with five or more people they shouldn’t have, with a colleague most likely to be the target of their affection.
A best friend, stranger and even a friend’s parent also featured in the list.
But 77 percent of people believe you can’t help who you fall in love with.
And a third of people also think it is possible to be in love with more than one person at once, according to the survey of 2,000 adults.
However, the study – carried out for Opera North to mark its staging of romantic musical Carousel – also found four in ten Brits have been in love with someone and not had the feeling returned.
And while a third have tried to get back together with a past love at some point, only one in three of those ended up back in their ex’s arms.