Love After Lockdown

Love After Lockdown

What Follows Togetherness Overload

By Tammy Nelson

September/October 2021

During the recent COVID lockdown, many previously commuting, working couples were offered something they’d long craved: luxuriant stretches of time together. It even seemed that spiritual and sexual reconnection—discovering each other again, body and mind—might have been a silver lining to an otherwise dreadful time.

Research has long borne out that the more time couples spend alone together doing things they like, the closer they become. But studying what couples did do during the extra time they had together during lockdown has offered an interesting glimpse into what can happen when togetherness is forced upon us.

Was couples’ extra time in the same vicinity taken up with things that made them feel more connected? Or was the experience as a whole more divisive than affirming? Even if they’d gotten to indulge some passions, more than a third of couples reported they’d still faced serious levels of stress. For those whose finances had worsened, that number climbed closer to 50 percent. Some couples told researchers that staying home together improved their sex lives and even increased their sense of connection. But close to 20 percent of the men and more than a quarter of the women reported the opposite experience. Still others found they wanted more sex and connection in quarantine—just not with their…

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