COVID vs. Relationships: Is your love life healthier because of the pandemic

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (HEARTLAND WEEKEND) - Since the pandemic, more of us have been working from home, and as a result, are spending more time than ever with our partners.

Dr. Gary Lewandowski of Monmouth University has been looking into whether a couple’s love has been hurt or possibly helped by the pandemic.

“When the pandemic lockdown all first started happening, the predictions about what this was going to do to relationships were dire. People thought the divorce rate was going to skyrocket.  How are people going to live spending all this time with their partner?” said Lewandowski.

“But what all those cynics forgot was we authentically like our partner, right? I mean, our partner generally is our best friend. Our partner is generally someone, you know, they’re practically our favorite person in the world. What the pandemic did, as much as there is like life stress and strain, our partner is our person who we go to when we feel life stress and strain. They’re also the person we like spending time with. The pandemic in many ways forced us to spend more time with the person we like the most,” he says.

Lewandowski conducted a survey that asked people about their relationships and COVID and how it has changed.  He found that most couples reported the pandemic was good for their relationship, and they grew closer through the crisis.  Dr. Lewandowski says that is great, and now the real work begins to make it last.

“One of the concerns I have for folks is that they’re going to forget and sort of slip back into their habits of neglecting their partner, prioritizing their careers and other aspects of their life, and just kind of allowing their relationship to go on autopilot. I proposed this four-hour relationship wherein in any week you dedicate at least four hours to your partner, to your relationship,” Dr. Lewandowski suggests.  “Four hours out of 168 hours where you can do anything you want. As long as it’s towards working to help your relationship grow and you and your partner grow as a couple. So that could be two hours on one night and then two hours you talk to your partner or, you know, have a just have a sit-down discussion about something.”

“It’s just getting in this mentality of making my relationship a priority, making sure we kind of benefit from some of the some of the nice habits we may have been able to build when we’re forced to be together and not letting that slip. And to make sure that we stay dedicated to our partner and keeping our relationship a priority.”

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