21 February 2019
Katie Fforde with her new book, 'A Rose Petal Summer'
  • Brits fall in love three times on average in a lifetime, and usually twice by age 24
  • British men fall in love more often than women
  • One in six Brits have lost their heart to someone unobtainable

A third of Brits have fallen in love at first sight, according to a new study to celebrate the publication of the latest romantic novel A Rose Petal Summer from best-selling author Katie Fforde. New research reveals that Brits fall in love on average three times during their life time - and twice by the age of 24.

The research into the nation's love lives found that men fall head over heels more readily, and typically do so three times in a lifetime, while women tend to fall in love just twice.

But being a nation of hopeless romantics comes with its downsides. Many are harbouring secret desires, with a quarter still pining after an ex - and the study shows that one in six of us have lost our heart to someone they couldn’t be with.

Katie Fforde, author of A Rose Petal Summer and president of the Romantic Novelists Association, said: 'I very much believe in love at first sight. That is how I feel about the time I met my husband Desmond so I know it’s possible.

Being in love can be a great feeling, and I think most of us are familiar with the concept of the one who got away and that is what A Rose Petal Summer is about.'

The research also reveals:

  • One in ten Brits (nine percent) have fallen in love at least five times, but nearly one in five (18%) of today's 18-24 year olds say they've NEVER fallen in love
  • One in five (25%) Brits in a relationship admit they still have feelings for a first boyfriend or girlfriend
  • One in six have fallen in love with someone unobtainable (15%)
  • 12% of 35-44 year olds have fallen in love with someone they met online (10% 45-54 and 8% 55-64)
  • Four percent married their school sweethearts 

Katie Fforde has written 25 beautifully romantic novels and believes there is nothing greater than falling in love.  She married husband Desmond in 1972, and added: 'In a way, falling in love like that is quite scary. It felt momentous.

Desmond was a family friend and I had a holiday romance with him which worked out.  We married when I was 19 and are still together.

Some people seem to fall in love with people who are unobtainable and there's a sort of safety in that because you can maintain an image of them which suits your dream - it doesn't get spoilt by the reality of the mundane elements which are part of a relationship.

I know many people still carry a torch for an old flame and I don't think there's any cut off for falling in love. It can happen at any time of life and it's perfectly possible to fall in love again in your sixties and beyond.'

A Rose Petal Summer, by Katie Fforde is published by Century on Thursday 21 February.

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