Relationship Statistics – 2021 Coronavirus

Relationship Statistics During Covid

The pandemic continues to affect our relationships with other people – romantically, in our communities, with our families, homes, and even the workplace. Many are losing face-to-face contact with people and also being thrown into closer contact than usual. This presents a worrying, frightening, and even unbearable situation.

The stresses of our relationships are hard to cope with at this time. Many relationships are being strained. In these situations, our physical and emotional wellbeing comes first.

Key relationship statistics & facts during Coronavirus

  • Interest in separation during quarantine peaked on April 13, 2020, in the US— just about 15-20 days into when the vast majority of states began lockdowns.
  • USA data has revealed that The COVID-19 quarantine destroyed marriages in less than 3 weeks with newlyweds were hit hardest by a significant margin.
  • The number of couples filing for divorce during the pandemic steadily decreases with each year of marriage.
  • However, another study showed a majority of married Americans (58%) say that the pandemic has made them appreciate their spouse more
  • In a poll of more than 9,000 people, 24 percent said the COVID outbreak has positively affected their sex lives.
  • Social distancing presents the dangers of increasing social rejection, growing impersonality and individualism, and the loss of a sense of community.

How is covid positively affecting relationships?

According to data from the American Family Survey:

  • A majority of married Americans (58%) say that the pandemic has made them appreciate their spouse more and half agree that their commitment to marriage has deepened

A survey on social relationships during the pandemic showed that:

  • Across all living situations, the majority of people (52%+) spent more time and effort maintaining relationships during COVID-19 restrictions.
  • 20 percent of respondents who were challenged by their living arrangement still managed to create

Another study on the impact of Covid-19 pandemic on marriages:

  • 74% of participants agreed the pandemic strengthened their marriage and 82% agreed it made them feel more committed to their marriage.
  • 85% agreed the pandemic was helping them appreciate their spouse more, helping them appreciate what a good life they had before the pandemic and was bringing their family together to make them feel more committed to their marriage.

Diana Wile, a board-certified sex therapist and author of Love in the Time of Corona: Advice from a Sex Therapist to Couples in Quarantine., said:

“We’re more in touch with our mortality with this life-and-death COVID crisis,” she says. “So we express a lot of gratitude for each other.”

Covid-19 and relationship problems

How is covid negatively affecting relationships? There has definitely been a high degree of marriage stress during covid. Research on romantic relationships shows that external stressors such as economic hardship, demanding jobs, and disasters can threaten the quality and stability of couples’ relationships.

A survey on social relationships during the pandemic showed that:

  • 42 percent of people experienced a negative change in their relationship with their partner.

Another study on the impact of the pandemic on marital quality showed:

  • 63% agreed the pandemic was stressing their family, 54% agreed it was testing their marriage and 35% agreed it was straining their relationship with their spouse.
  • 21% agreed it was damaging their marriage.
  • 20% agreed it was causing them to question their marriage.
  • 16% agreed it was causing them to think about separation or divorce.

How is coronavirus affecting our sex lives?

Studies have revealed that the pandemic has increased conversations around sex, sleeping in the same bed, touching and cuddling with our partners.

According to an NBC News poll of more than 9,000 people:

  • 24 percent said the COVID outbreak has positively affected their sex lives.

And in a separate poll of more than 24,000 U.S. adults, conducted by YouGov:

  • 13 percent of those 45 to 54 and 5 percent of those 55 and older reported having more sex during the pandemic.

Sex therapist and sexologist Gloria Brame, of Colbert, Georgia said:

“People have more time for intimacy; they are more bored and more inclined to want to spend time together. There’s been more sex-positive advice out there … that has encouraged people to maintain sexual activity during this time.”

Social distancing effects on relationships

With government guidelines, people have found themselves following social distancing measures that have been disruptive to their everyday lives. The impact on social interaction has received less consideration, however, there are harmful effects on our well-being and communities.

Here are some of the impacts of social distancing according to a study on ‘The dangers of social distancing’:

  • Socializing is a fundamental human need, and social distancing hinders it, which ultimately affects our mental wellness.
  • Social distancing measures carry a strong psychological message, which is the fear of others, along with the idea that others are potential carriers of deadly germs and life‐threatening diseases.
  • Social distancing presents the dangers of increasing social rejection, growing impersonality and individualism, and the loss of a sense of community.

Is lockdown causing breakups?

The charity Citizens Advice reported a spike in searches for online advice on ending a relationship

Another factor playing a role in break-ups is the increase in mental health problems linked to the pandemic.

Ronen Stilman, a psychotherapist and spokesperson for the UK Council for Psychotherapy explained:

The pandemic has taken away “well-established routines that offered comfort, stability, and rhythm”. Without these, this leaves partners with limited opportunities to “seek other forms of support or stimulation” beyond their relationship, which can put them under strain.

Divorce rates in America during the pandemic

According to Legal Templates, a company that provides legal documents:

  • Interest in separation during quarantine peaked on April 13 — just about 15-20 days into when the vast majority of states began lockdowns.
  • By April 2020, the interest in divorce had already increased by 34% in the US, with newer couples being the most likely to file for divorce.
  • 20% of couples who had been married for five months or less sought divorce during this time period, compared with only 11% in 2019.

Data from the same legal study indicates that:

  • The COVID-19 quarantine destroyed marriages in less than 3 weeks
  • Newlyweds were hit hardest by a significant margin.
  • Couples in southern states were far more likely to seek a divorce.
  • The rate of divorcing couples with children increased compared to 2019.
  • The number of life insurance policies and payouts required in divorce settlements soared.

The same legal study also shows the number of couples filing for divorce during the pandemic steadily decreases with each year of marriage. There is a massive decrease from 2020, of couples filing for divorce.

divorce rates during the pandemic 

Year the couple were married Divorce rate during the pandemic
2020 20%
2019 9%
2018 9%
2017 7%
2016 7%
2015 6%

 

The divorce rate in the world

Divorce rates are increasing around the world. The pandemic-induced break-up curve continues to impact us.

  • In China, after the 70-day-long quarantine in April, the central Chinese city of Wuhan’s divorce rate doubled, with family experts saying there was a rush for couples to separate because of rising conflicts.
  • In Sweden, there was also a rise in the number of applications for divorce divorces usually falls in the summer months but in summer 2020, there was an upward trend compared to 2019.
  • In Saudi Arabia, divorce rates have increased by 30% compared to the same period in 2019 according to local newspapers.

Women initiating divorces

According to law-firm Stewarts, there has been a significant increase in the number of women initiating divorces:

  • 76% of new cases coming from female clients, compared with 60% a year ago.
  • This could be down to a disproportionate share of housework and child work still falling on women, even in heterosexual couples where the male partner also works from home.

Tips for having healthy relationships during Covid

Here are some tips for nurturing healthy relationships during Covid from the Mental Health Foundation:

  • Give time. Put more time aside for connections with friends and family
  • Be present. Pay attention to other people in your life and try not to be distracted by other things.
  • Listen. Listen to what clothes are saying and try to understand and focus on their needs at that moment.
  • Let yourself be listened to. Honestly share how you feel, allow yourself to be heard and supported by others.
  • Recognize unhealthy relationships. Harmful relationships can make us unhappy. Recognize this and move forward to find solutions.

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