Majority of Couples Prioritize Deepening Their Emotional Connections During COVID-19 Pandemic

The relationship guides at the Knot Worldwide family of brands have released their State of Relationships Report, uncovering how couples’ relationships have been impacted by COVID-19.

This report, conducted by polling engaged couples from The Knot and married couples from Lasting, finds more than three quarters of all couples are spending more time with their partner since social distancing guidelines for the US were announced in mid-March.

In fact, more than 40% of couples report spending 20+ hours more per week with their partner than usual, with many even sharing spaces to work from home together.

As a result, the majority of couples—51% of engaged and 66% of married couples—say they’ve learned something new about their partner during this time, from how they handle stress to unknown snacking habits or new aspirations they may have for post-pandemic life.

Since March 15, many couples are prioritizing deepening their emotional connection (68%, up from 55% pre-COVID), however, 35% are less likely to discuss conflicting issues in healthy ways.

In the past month, only 18% of couples report being satisfied with how they communicate with each other, reflecting how additional time together and added societal stresses are leading to an increase in conflict for many.

Pandemic Positively Impacts Most Engaged Couples’ Relationships

Despite unprecedented circumstances, the report reveals engaged couples are as eager as ever to prioritize their love as they navigate this challenging time.

Although most to-be-weds feel anxious (71%), stressed (62%) and overwhelmed (50%), more than 6 in 10 couples say sheltering restrictions have strengthened their relationships.

Most commonly, the positive impact on engaged couples’ relationships has resulted from finding new ways to spend time together (64%), reminding them what they love about each other (64%) and discussing challenging topics (54%), from finances and unemployment to preparedness for illness and death.

Their relationship health priorities include managing finances together (49%), navigating disagreements in a healthy way (31%), and focusing on sexual intimacy (34%)—though nearly a third of engaged couples are having more sex currently than before the COVID-19 pandemic started in the US.

Engaged couples are also spending more time together on activities including binge-watching TV (71%), cooking (53%) or working out (40%), while also prioritizing giving back to their local communities: 34% report having helped the elderly or those with higher health risks in recent weeks; 19% contributed to charities related to COVID-19 efforts; and nearly 1 in 10 engaged couples have donated food or household products to those in need.

While Half of Married Couples’ Relationships Strengthen, Nearly 1 in 3 Weaken

Twenty nine percent of married couples on Lasting have admitted to seeing their relationships weaken as a result of COVID-19, and nearly 4 in 10 couples note they’ve experienced an increase in disagreements with their partner.

However, with nearly a quarter of married couples spending 35+ hours more together per week, nearly a third of couples (29%, up from 22% pre-COVID-19) report being satisfied with the amount of quality time they spend with their partner.

Plus they’re more likely than engaged couples to have learned something new (66%) about their loved one. Having children may also impact how one’s relationship has changed due to the pandemic.

Those with kids are less likely (49%) to report a positive impact on their relationship than those without (62%), and 1 in 10 parents say the crisis has significantly weakened their relationship.

Additionally, couples with kids are 31% less likely to navigate disagreements in a healthy way than they had prior to the pandemic.

Despite the additional challenges couples with children face, sheltering restrictions have brought them together for quality time most commonly spent on home improvement projects (48%), watching TV (46%), and cooking or baking (42%) with their partner.

The company is offering a wealth of tools and resources for couples. See www.getlasting.com

Couples can download Lasting on iOS and Android and professionals can visit www.getlasting.com/therapists for more information.

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