Couples Surviving the Pandemic: A COVID-19 Story

It’s been more than a year since coronavirus became a household word. The pandemic has laid bare the strength (or lack thereof) of many an institution. From public schools to your corner deli, there’s a fine line between the organizations that have survived and those that have crumpled. 

This is true also of relationships. A new study by a relationship coaching company surveyed more 1,700 people in long-term relationships. And some 68% of respondents who had separated from their partners this year reported that it was due to the pandemic. But while the study found that the pandemic has been a big stressor for couples, it also drew some interesting conclusions about the habits of couples surviving the pandemic.

“Our results tell the story of two different types of couples—those who are struggling and growing further apart, and those who are adapting and growing closer together,” the study reads.

What worked?

When asked “What has been helpful for your relationship during the COVID-19 pandemic?” the people who considered themselves the happiest in their relationships answered with one of these five options:

These are already all positive-sounding things, but now that we know they are associated with relationships that have survived the pandemic, they’re looking like really great ways to spend time together.

What didn’t?

Wondering about the other side of the coin? Those who identified themselves as being unhappy in their relationships answered with these options:

There is nothing wrong with any of these things on their own. However, looking at this list, most of the items are not conducive to quality time together. It’s great to connect with old friends and have some quality time alone, but make sure you’re tending to your relationship, too. As the study showed, that effort can pay off.

“Overall,” the study concludes, “we can see that—for some couples—this year has helped them to develop resilience and grow in a way they may not have predicted. In the words of one of our survey respondents—‘you can’t make diamonds without a little pressure.’” Resilience seems to be a winning skill for couples surviving the pandemic. 

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