(CNN)Valentine's Day is a day of love, a special day on which we're supposed to make sure that those around us know how much we care for them. But on this day when Cupid is supposed to strike us with his arrow, there are several reasons to think "love" (by its many definitions) isn't what it once was in the United States, for better or for worse.
Americans less likely to have sex, partner up and get married than ever
Indeed, here are four potentially troubling statistics and one potentially positive sign about love in the US.
Twenty-six percent of Americans ages 18 and up didn't have sex once over the past 12 months, according to the 2021 General Social Survey. You might think this is just a pandemic effect, but it's part of a long-term trend. The two years with next-highest percentage of adults saying they didn't have sex once in the past year were 2016 (23%) and 2018 (23%) -- the last two times the survey was conducted. Before 2004, the highest percentage of Americans who said they hadn't had sex in the past year was 19%.
Last year's survey was also the first time that the percentage of Americans who had sex once a month or less topped 50%. In 1989, 35% of American adults had sex once a month or less.
Some of this has to do with fewer people getting married and an aging population, but that doesn't explain all of it. Among married couples under the age of 60, 26% had sex once a month or less in 2021. In 1989, it was 12%. The 1980s really were better for sex.