“We all live in a yellow submarine
Yellow submarine, yellow submarine” … a little bit underwater 😅
It’s been over a year since the Covid entered our lives. One year already that social distancing, quarantine, mask wearing, confinement, and curfew are part of our daily life and have almost become the norm. One year also that we no longer dare to hug our loved ones for fear of transmitting the virus, that we avoid kisses (does this mean the end of the French “bise”?) and that we only see the eyes of strangers in the street. But above all, one year that we are amazed by the human capacity to bounce back, to adapt and to find new ways to keep a connection because yes, the human is a social animal!
We figured it was time to take a look at how relationships have evolved since the beginning of the pandemic. We’re taking you along with us, are you ready?
Couples: closer to the eyes, closer to the heart?
Some couples have seen life through pink glasses while others have gone through 50 shades of arguments.
The first confinement was an unprecedented change in the lives of most couples. Until then, they were used to seeing each other only in the evenings and on weekends, but they suddenly had to live together all day, without any leisure activities… for some it worked … for some it didn’t 😬
There were certainly as many different situations as there were couples, but here are the main trends found by Ifop (a French agency that observes social trends).
The festival of love neglected
This year, Valentine’s Day had a historically low participation rate (49% of couples celebrated Valentine’s Day against 60% last year). The explanation? Many couples celebrate Valentine’s Day in restaurants or bars, but with these places being closed this year, they just skipped it.
However, there is an interesting difference between couples living in the country and couples living in the city. Since rural couples were less likely to go to a restaurant because they were farther from home, Covid had less of an impact on their love festivities because their habits were not disrupted. Maybe love really is in the fields!
Young couples not living under the same roof were also numerous in celebrating Valentine’s Day. The reason could be that they suffered more harshly from the confinement, having to use tricks and excuses to be able to continue seeing each other!
A declining libido
Contrary to popular belief, the first confinement did not generally result in more sexual relations. The anxiety-provoking context, the new proximity and the lack of interaction with the outside world did not encourage physical closeness and even contributed to reducing it. The need for closeness has become more emotional than sexual, which is understandable in a context where everything has been shaken up. Would this confirm Diderot’s quotation “It is said that desire is born from will, it is the opposite, it is from desire that will is born. Desire is the son of organization”? It takes a fertile ground to create desire and the stress generated by the Covid clearly did not contribute to it.
Living under the same roof all day long without external stimuli has increased the frequency of arguments, 1 out of 2 couples reported having arguments more frequently! The main cause? The fact that schools were closed increased the difficulty to share tasks like childcare, housework and home working. The second confinement went much better, as schools remained open. Aaah the famous mental load 😅. The lack of distractions and life outside increases the importance of the smallest disagreement tenfold by not allowing easy de-dramatization.
The fact that couples had to live 24 hours a day with the same person did not help. Not everyone is made to live a fusional relationship glued all day to his half! Some have discovered in the other person character traits that were unknown to them until then, for better or for worse 😬
But also beautiful stories
However, the picture is not so bleak as confinement only kept 1 in 10 pairs away and had no impact for 6 in 10 pairs. Better yet, 3 out of 10 couples got closer ❤️. For those who always felt like they were short on time, the confinement appeared to be a blessing: an opportunity to take time together, to find each other, discover each other differently and share more things away from the distractions and hectic pace of daily life; a second breath!
Synonymous with upheaval, confinement also brings the question of the aftermath, what will happen when we are completely back to our former lives? Some look forward to it, others dread the return of busy schedules, late nights and temptations. Some couples who have recently formed are afraid of not knowing each other in the context of a rich social life, afraid that the return to normalcy will upset their balance and the cocoon they have created together. What about you?
Being single during the pandemic: the obstacle course?
Living in an era where social distancing is the flagship measure to fight an epidemic and wanting to meet the rare pearl is a bit like leaving for 5 hours of hiking with a rock in your shoes: it’s difficult, and it can be fraught with pitfalls (mountain people’s word)!
However, it is not a fatality and many of you on our Instagram account have told us that you still managed to find your other half, on apps or in unusual situations like on a scaffold (proof that love is everywhere)! ✨
The boom of dating applications
In 2020 we said goodbye to dating at the local coffee shop, dating in nightclubs and eye-catching smiles, so it’s quite natural that dating apps saw their number of registrations explode during the confinements.
Hundreds of new profiles were born, many of them first-time subscribers!
On the menu, second degree and authenticity: many singles have found themselves in the same boat, so we might as well laugh about it to de-dramatize. Positive point of the situation: no more need for excuses to be on a dating site since there are no real alternatives.
- 3 billions! But 3 billion of what? 3 billion swipes recorded by Tinder in one day during the first lockdown, and something tells us that it’s not the same person who swiped 3 billion times (well we don’t know … but it’s hard to see someone swiping right or left half of the humanity 😀 ).
- 35%: that’s the increase in the number of conversations. Many people signed up simply to chat with strangers and experience the “thrill” of the first exchanges.
- Unfortunately we don’t have any figures on the number of meetings because those that took place were clandestine, but we have no doubt that some people were very creative to meet elsewhere than in the kibble department of a supermarket.
Taking time for oneself
On the other hand, some people took the opportunity to refocus, take time for themselves and enjoy being single; being in a relationship is not an end in itself, there are a thousand other ways to have a good time!
Have friends melted like snow in the sun?
With the confinement and social distancing measures, the number of interactions we have with each other has melted away like snow in the sun. There are two categories of people with whom we still interact daily: family and close friends.
The closing of social places has sounded the death knell of unannounced meetings and invitations from friends of friends to have a coffee. From now on, you have to invite someone to your home, or go to someone else’s home, and many of us choose carefully who we let into our privacy!
he closing of bars, restaurants and shops also means the end of light conversations about the weather, the start of school for the youngest child, etc. And yet, although generally qualified as “superficial”, these conversations are important and contribute to our well-being!
The pandemic has locked us into our bubble of friends. Unlike family, we have chosen it, but there too our habits have been disrupted. Gone are the group evenings where drunkenness was an excuse to let go and sometimes hide a little. We meet in a small committee in an apartment and very quickly we find ourselves exchanging on our vision of the world, our doubts, our fears and our desires for the “world after”. It is often in new situations that we feel the need to say the things that really matter, those that we reserve for the big moments and that we hide modestly the rest of the time. So we tell each other that we miss each other, that we love each other, that we can’t wait to get together and that we’re here to support and listen to each other ❤️.
What will we remember about this year? It has been difficult for everyone, but, as with any big change, it takes time to adapt (well we haven’t found the key to adapting to the closing of bars and restaurants yet 😬). We were amazed by the creativity of the human, the humor, the resilience and above all, by the will above all to keep the connection!
Cheer up, we’re on the right track, this crisis will soon be over!