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Lockdown Relationship Milestones | F.Hinds

Posted on: 24/06/2020

With the nation currently having to spend more time at home than ever before, those lucky enough to live with their partners are also spending more time together as well. Whilst the ability to spend extra quality time with a partner is a welcome benefit for many, there is also the potential for any number of tiny squabbles  full blown arguments, as the country continues to cope with the social lockdown brought on by the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.

Here at F. Hinds, we wanted to gauge how the nation’s couples are getting along whilst spending so much extra time together in close proximity. We asked 2,000 couples of varying relationship lengths to tell us about their lives together in lockdown: what they enjoy, what has caused frictions and any advice they have on how to better get along in a lockdown relationship. Read on to find out how your relationship stacks up against the average, as well as our own fun guide on how to navigate living together in lockdown.

Number of Arguments

According to the research, the lockdown has created some positives for those couples isolating together, with the majority (52%) stating that they have enjoyed spending more social time together with their partners than they managed previously. However, whilst this extra time spent playing games, having video calls with friends and family, or going for daily walks is bringing couples closer, the pressures of being together 24/7 does seem to also be causing some issues along the way.

The vast majority (75%) of couples in the study are having at least one major argument a week during the social lockdown, with the average across all respondents being 3 significant fall outs in any given week. 

For 1 in 10 unlucky couples, the frequency of these arguments has made them realise they do not enjoy spending more time with their partner at all.

Reason Behind Arguments

Looking into the reasons behind these fall outs, the responses indicate that the pressures of using the home as a combined workspace, living space and social space is sparking arguments more than anything else. When asked for what issues were causing the most flashpoints for couples, tidying the house was named as the most common instigator with over a third of respondents (37%) claiming to have argued with their partner over picking up after themselves. 

It seems that household chores are the biggest overall issue for couples living together in lockdown with ‘cleaning the house’ being named as the second most common cause of couple’s arguments (29%) along with ‘who does the food shopping’ in third place (24%).

How couples use their social time is also causing clashes for couples spending more time together than usual, with additional days in the house creating arguments over what to watch on television for almost a quarter of couples (24%). Indulging in a bit of retail therapy may help pass the time on an evening, however over 1 in 5 couples are then having arguments over the number of parcels being delivered following online spending.

Arguments by Relationship Length

Whilst it may be easy to imagine that couples who have been together for a long period of time would find it easier to get along than those in new relationships, the data indicates that this might not always be the case.

Many couples have made the seemingly bold step of moving in to isolate together within mere weeks of being together, and it seems that the honeymoon period of a new relationship is able to navigate the frustrations of lockdown living better than most, on average. Those couples who have only been in a relationship for less than a month stated they were having zero arguments over living together in lockdown, however this household bliss may not last as long as they would hope.

Couples who have been in a relationship for 1 – 2 months claimed to be having the highest number of fall outs per week whilst in isolation, whilst those who have been together between 1-5 years have had only one heated exchange with their partner per week.

How to Cope

To get a first-hand account of how couples are coping in lockdown, we spoke to Rosa, 28 from Manchester who has been with her partner for 4 years.

I’m living with my partner in a one bedroom flat at the moment. We’re both working from home, so we have our laptops set up on the table in the living room. Our flat is only small, so we don’t have much space. It’s fine normally as we are both very active, sociable people who are out all the time. Being in the flat with just each other has taken a lot of getting used to!

The first two weeks were the hardest – we were getting under each other’s feet a lot, we were both quite frustrated with the situation, and perhaps our patience was wearing a little more thin than it usually would be!  

However, once we sorted out our individual workspaces, established our morning and evening routines and started to make an effort to still do the things we enjoy together (getting a takeaway, having a drink together and running together), we’ve found being in lockdown together has brought us closer than ever. 

Looking for the humour in the situation has helped us massively, as has keeping active together through running and online workouts. It’s not always easy, but it feels like we’ll be coming out of the lockdown knowing each other better than when we went in. 

New Normal Relationship Milestones

It’s clear that many couples are sometimes finding it a bit of struggle to get along as much as they’d hope to during this period so, taking inspiration from Rosa in looking for humour in the situation, we have adapted the traditional yearly anniversary gift guide to fit for each new week that couples are spending together in lockdown; with a number of small gift ideas for how to celebrate passing each day without succumbing to the most common arguments for the country’s couples.

Even though the standard anniversary gift list is celebrated for each year of a relationship, it is clear that the struggles of lockdown life mean that couples deserve more regular celebrations to reward getting through each day. Why not surprise your partner with a thank you card for all they do if they have done the washing up without a discussion? Or have that new dress they have been looking at delivered for harmoniously deciding on who does the cooking? A new wallet or purse could be the perfect treat for getting halfway through the week without arguing or even something as simple as baking your loved one a cake for getting to the weekend without any squabbles.

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