One in twenty holidaying couples even said they used the break to discuss getting a divorce.

London - If you’ve just found your ideal partner, read on – but be warned: This advice is going to cost you.

For romance to blossom into a long-term relationship you have to have 22 meals out together, two holidays and spend at least £3,000 (about R41 900) on gifts, according to researchers.

And if that sounds like hard work, you also have to weather seven major arguments to go the distance as a couple.

Perhaps this is why the 2011 census found the number of single adults in the UK rose by more than 3 million to 15.7million, while the number of married couples hardly moved at all in ten years.

The statistics were mirrored in the research by lifestyle advice site

Managing director Mark Hall said that while singletons are now able to meet online, as well as through old fashioned means, such as in bars or through mutual friends, the disposable nature of society seems to be catching, with people investing less time – and hard cash – in love.

Hall said: ‘We’ve sat down and done the actual maths and if we’re correct, it’s a wonder that the human race has actually managed to survive this long.

‘By our calculations, only about three percent of new relationships will last long enough to get the couple up the aisle or into the registry office.

‘This is a long, risky process that requires skill, judgment and tact.

‘We’ve taken it upon ourselves to help gentlemen find and keep their ideal partner.”

According to the research by Socked, long-term love requires:

* 22 meals out as a couple

* Five meals out with friends in groups of four or more; two holidays

* Meeting the parents

* Two stays at the parents’ house.

It also involves seven major arguments; finding approval of at least 55 per cent of partners’ friends and relatives; at least £,3000 spent on gifts. - Daily Mail