Life During Quarantine 19: Relationships During a Pandemic

Seeing how our whole existence has been in upheaval since the pandemic, I thought about its effect on relationships. Living alone, after two months at home I realized my location wasn’t conducive to peace and moved within my complex. Across the street to be precise, and it made things much better. I am closer to the pool which has scheduled swim times, great news for me. To me, the best improvement was now I know some of my neighbors. For ten years prior I lived in Coronado and had a wide circle of friends I could even walk to visit. With COVID came limits on interactions and my relationships became very important. Good or bad you realize what you value. My feeling that the best way to see if you are compatible is to travel with or live someone. When I spoke with my family all in another state, they had everyone home together, a contrast to my solitude. There were a lot of views out there so here’s a few opinions I considered.

It’s also essential to develop a positive support system of single friends, who will help you deal with the inevitable ups and downs of life, and be there for you when you need physical, emotional, or even financial help.

Far too many singles isolate themselves and then have no emotional safety net to fall back on. Or they start dating someone but have no help in assessing how healthy their new relationship really is and may not see some obvious areas of incompatibility that a loving friend could easily point out. Being in a relationship and being single are really just two different sides of the same life coin: both have challenges, both have freedoms, both have lessons, and both are wonderful opportunities to learn to become the best person you can be and fully express the gifts you came to this life with.

I was curious about the question of single versus partnered?  In 2016, 59.8 million households in the United States were maintained by single men and women, according to census data, making up 47.6 percent of households across the country. 53.2 percent of 2016’s unmarried Americans were women, while 46.8 percent were men. That’s a pretty stark difference from as recently as 1998 when only 25.7 percent of households consisted of single, childless Americans over the age of 18. Millennials as a group are waiting longer to marry, for a long list of reasons, and in 2017 census data found women’s average age of first marriage was 27.4 (men’s was 29.5). a full 3.4 years older than in 1990, and 5.4 years older than in 1980. That’s just the average, of course — people couple up much younger and much older than that— which means a good chunk of us aren’t tying the knot, or even living with a significant other, until our mid-30s, if at all.

Eating nutritious foods is important, too. Scheduling breaks, such as a midday yoga video or mediation session, can break up the day and help partners stay grounded.

With this being a health crisis, many of the medical institutions have stepped up to give us some relevant advice. “For couples who are working at home, it helps to set boundaries between work hours and time spent together,” Kraft says. “The anxiety caused by the pandemic may tempt some people to lose themselves in work, particularly people who invest a lot of their personal identity in their professions. They might miss the routine, the meetings, the structure that goes with that.” “Self-care is essential. With everyone’s schedule changed, it’s important to establish and maintain some kind of a routine,” Kraft says. He recommends sticking to regular sleep hours, waking up on time, making the bed, and getting dressed each day. Eating nutritious foods is important, too. Scheduling breaks, such as a midday yoga video or mediation session, can break up the day and help partners stay grounded. Kids sequestered at home during the pandemic create another whole dimension of family togetherness, along with overwhelming stress, especially when one or both parents are trying to work from home. It can be all but impossible to do work, attend video meetings, help kids with home school lessons, and deal lovingly with their emotions and behaviors . Couples should plan kids’ days in advance when possible, and ensure that each partner is taking an equitable amount of time to keep children occupied and content.

The pandemic has created many changes in relationships. People just meeting have moved in together, divorced couples moving together again to keep the childcare issue easier. Marriages and divorces have seen some change as well.

Life in lockdown has been tough on many relationships. But negotiating the transition back to “normal” as restrictions continue to lift could also be a challenge for couples. There are a few factors in maintaining healthy relationships.

Vulnerabilities are any kind of factor that makes it harder for a person to maintain enduring and satisfying relationships. Vulnerabilities can include mental health issues, personality traits (such as neuroticism), past bad relationships, addiction, and the like.

Stressors are challenging life events and experiences external to the relationship, but which put a strain on maintaining a lasting and satisfying bond. These can include financial hardship, work stress, and difficult relationships with extended family or friends.

Adaptations reflect the skills and capabilities couples possess to effectively deal with and adapt to challenging circumstances. Adaptations can include a couple’s sense of fun or humor, constructive ways of handling conflict and solving problems, and supporting one another. For example, if one person has health anxieties and the other is highly impulsive, they may hold very different attitudes on how to navigate situations such as social gatherings. So it’s best to find the middle ground.

What has been the trend and what do people say?

  1. About three-quarters of Americans with a romantic partner say their relationship has not fundamentally changed since the coronavirus outbreak.
  2. Argument frequency and sex lives have changed for the better, but only slightly.

Less than 2 in 10 of those in relationships said they get into fewer arguments with their partner, while 1 in 10 said they get into more of them — and 7 in 10 said there has been no difference. And despite chatter that isolation leads to more opportunities for intimacy, only 9 percent said their sex life has improved. Still, even fewer — 5 percent — said it’s gotten worse, with 77 percent saying it is about the same

  1. About half expect their relationship will emerge stronger — and hardly any think it’ll be worse.

When looking toward the future, partnered Americans were even more enthusiastic about the strength of their relationships. A 51 percent majority said their relationships will get stronger by the time the outbreak is over and just 1 percent said their relationship will be worse. Another 46 percent said their relationship will not have changed at all.

  1. Married partners are more likely than unmarried ones to say their relationship has not changed.

About three-quarters of married couples said their relationship has not changed for better or worse since the coronavirus outbreak began, while just under two-thirds of unmarried couples said the same.

  1. Most say their relationship isn’t adding to pandemic stress — but women are a little more affected than men.

A 59 percent majority said their relationship has had no impact on their daily stress level. But 29 percent of women said their relationship has added to their daily stress, while 23 percent of men said the same. The key factor for doing well during the pandemic, Lewandowski said, is the strength of the relationship before the pandemic. “The couples who are already doing well are doing even better now,” he said.

“Overall, these results suggest that the global pandemic may not be as bad for relationships as many have feared,” Lewandowski said in the poll’s release. “Our relationships may become stronger and even more important than they already were.”

As human beings, relationships are very important. Do your best to maintain the relationships you do have and find ways to build new and stronger ones as we transcend this pandemic.


Cynthia Kosciuczyk, MBA
Cynthia Kosciuczyk, MBA
I took the less-traveled roads which led to many careers. Each of these contributed to my unique mix of expertise: science research, teaching, food, art, and textiles. Owning and operating my own businesses (a bakery, a gallery, and a consulting business) thrust me into the driver seat of learning many diverse roles from customer service to public relations and resulted in my unique management style. Participating in the creation of startups, working in design, and my own businesses and technology endeavors. My quest for knowledge and seeking out the best has turned me into a networking enthusiast. A lifelong passion for textiles and Persian rugs taught me an array of professional skills such as research, writing, and community events. Networking resulted in a multitude of business opportunities. My experiences include Management, Entrepreneurship, Sales, Design, Descriptive Writing, Business Strategy, Color, and Textiles. Every facet of my work and life comes together like pieces of a puzzle. I strive to be a phenomenal networker and problem solver who continues to learn and grow.

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