While the saying used to be that holidays could either make or break relationships, these days, in the COVID era, it’s lockdown that’s more commonly swapped in as the deal-breaker period.
Like holidays with our significant other, lockdown is a time when we’re spending 24/7 together, as well as living in unusual circumstances worlds away from our normal routine.
Unlike holidays, however, lockdown is a time we didn’t voluntarily sign up for, sees us spending much more time indoors and has no clear end date. Add in the fact most of us in Greater Sydney are experiencing it for the second time and it’s a recipe for a significant toll on a relationship.
Despite that, new research has shown that almost all (90%) of Australian couples said their relationship has remained stable or improved since the start of the global pandemic.
The research, which was undertaken by eharmony and Australian not-for-profit relationship services provider Interrelate, also found that more than half (57%) of the couples who’d said their relationship had improved were having more open and honest conversations, felt a stronger emotional connection or had become more of a team.
“Quality time is hard to come by in modern society, and the global pandemic allowed couples to spend those moments together that they normally wouldn’t,” says eharmony relationship expert Sharon Draper.
“Often there is no better way to feel connected to someone than to experience life together, side by side.”
Unsurprisingly, for new couples, the pandemic appears to have accelerated their love journey. One in 10 couples (12%) who have been together for a year or less are now looking to buy a home together, get married or have babies within the next six months.
“Lockdowns force a degree of closeness on couples that they may not see otherwise,” says Draper.
“That time together can allow couples to relax and open up to each other, leading to effective communication and allowing each individual to be themselves.”
As for singles, almost of half of them (46%) said they’re open to finding love and meeting the one when Australia opens back up again. And interestingly, it is in fact love that they’re looking for, with four out of five singles (80%) not keen on casual relationships.
One in three (39%) singles said they weren’t looking to waste time and that they were looking to settle down with the one as soon as possible.
All signs point to a baby boom nine months from the end of lockdown.