Couples admit it’s been a struggle to keep the spark alive during COVID-19

Originally published @ New York Post


- Content and imagery reposted with permission -

Nearly half of Americans in a relationship said it’s been difficult to keep the spark alive with their partner during the pandemic, according to new research.

And though keeping the spark alive has been challenging, 67 percent of respondents agreed the pandemic has brought them closer to their partner.

The survey of 2,000 Americans in a relationship revealed 42 percent of couples have planned at-home “date nights,” and 4 in 10 have even started a new exercise routine together.

Thirty-eight percent, moreover, said they have tried to keep the spark alive by planning a trip, with respondents planning an average of three trips with their partner during quarantine.

Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of the Aruba Tourism Authority, the study probed the state of travel and romance in the midst of the pandemic.

The average couple surveyed hasn’t taken a trip together for seven months — and couples with children haven’t been away without them in 11 months.

Sixty-one percent said travel restrictions due to COVID-19, such as regions of the EU closing borders, have made them feel even more “trapped at home” during this time.

While nearly six in 10 said they had to cancel a previously planned trip due to COVID-19.

About three-quarters of respondents said they and their partner are eager to take a trip as soon as it’s safe to do so.

Approximately three in 10 respondents said they think about taking a trip with their partner multiple times per week and four in 10 said they think about it a few times per month.

And six in 10 said their relationship with their partner suffers when they don’t have the opportunity to get out and explore new places, or have new experiences together.

“This year, I have seen a dramatic increase in couples seeking therapy to work through feelings brought on by the pandemic and how this has changed their relationship. For the most part, partners are either stronger than ever or on the verge of breaking up,” said Dr. Holly Richmond, a relationship expert and licensed psychologist.

“A common theme for couples is the desire to get away and venture out, particularly to new locations. Even the process of planning a trip can be uplifting, giving couples something to look forward to and hope that their relationship can feel more exciting and passionately connected.”

More than half of respondents said their next trip with their partner will need to last seven days or longer in order to fully reconnect with them.

One in four said they’re most interested in taking a relaxing vacation and nearly one in five said a beach vacation is in order.

“We have also noticed a rising trend of travelers extending their stays, to 18 days or more, to truly relax and reconnect with their partners in a romantic beach destination,” said Ronella Tijn Asjoe-Croes, CEO of Aruba Tourism Authority.

Eighty percent of respondents agreed they always return from a couples’ trip feeling relaxed and connected.

And 70 percent said they feel safer traveling to countries that follow World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines, such as implementing temperature checks, on-site medical professionals, social distance markers and mandatory PPE training for all staff.

“Aruba is one of the few places where Americans can travel that has rigorous safety measures in place and beautiful weather year-round, making it an ideal destination for all couples,” said Tijn Asjoe-Croes. “Whether it’s spa and wellness activities or seeking adventure via hiking like in our stunning Arikok National Park, there is something for every couple to do and learn and reconnect together.”


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