In a study of dating and married couples in India who were surveyed before and after India’s COVID-19 lockdown, relationship satisfaction, love, intimacy, and passion were significantly lower post-lockdown compared with pre-lockdown.
The study, which was published in Family Relations, found that commitment 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.
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. “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.”