A study of dating-and married couples in India, who were surveyed before and after India’s COVID-19 lockdown,  has found that relationship satisfaction, love, intimacy, and passion were significantly lower post-lockdown compared with pre-lockdown. For many, this study is hardly surprising.

What’s love got to do with it?

The study, published in Family Relations, found that commitments among those who were dating remained unaffected. For those who were dating, watching movies together, and revisiting old memories were activities associated with love. For married couples, doing household chores, cooking, and watching movies together were associated with love.

Passion and intimacy in relationships changed after the COVID-19 lockdown. How couples spent time with each other during the lockdown holds important implications for relationship satisfaction.

Collateral damage

The study included 100 participants (65 dating, 35 married) who were surveyed in two waves, first in January–March and then in May after the lockdown.

“Love in relationships has been a collateral damage to COVID-19. How couples spent time with each other is the key to maintain love. Watching movies together, reminiscing positive experiences, and sharing housework led to better connectedness,” said co-author Kanika K. Ahuja, PhD, of Lady Shri Ram College for Women, in India.

Love in the new normal

“While it is widely believed that the way through a man’s heart is through his stomach, our results suggest that a similar route exists for women as well, provided men want to take that route! Norms that define a relationship, particularly with regard to participation in domestic work by men, must be revisited to adjust to the new normal.”

References

Locked-Down Love: A Study of Intimate Relationships Before and After the COVID Lockdown
Kanika K. AhujaDhairya Khurana.  First published: 08 September 2021
https://doi.org/10.1111/fare.12582

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Em Sloane

I am an introverted nature lover, and freelance writer. I love sharing new insights on how to live a healthier life using nature's gifts. Be kind. Be generous. Love. Peace. Humanity.

The content in this editorial is for general information only and is not intended to provide medical or other professional advice. For more information on your medical condition and treatment options, speak to your healthcare professional.

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