love in the time of covid

Love (or the Lack Thereof) in the Time of COVID

Dear Mr. Dad: Now that the COVID-19 pandemic seems to be coming to an end, I’m curious about whether it has had much of an impact on family relationships, both between mom and dad and between parents and their children.

A: I hope you’re right about the pandemic coming to an end. More than 100 million Americans have had at least one vaccine shot, and the declining death rate is great news. But more contagious variants of the virus are showing up across the country, the number of COVID cases has been steadily rising, and some health experts are predicting another wave.

Of course, predictions don’t always come true. For example, in the early days of the pandemic, there were dozens of headline-grabbing stories about the huge increase in divorces and relationship breakups in the US and around the world. Google searches for terms like “getting a divorce” were reaching new highs, and websites selling legal forms reported similar spikes in downloads of divorce agreements. But a year later, research is showing that the divorce rate in the US has actually fallen.

Of course, that doesn’t necessarily mean that all couples are doing well. COVID-19, with its lockdowns and financial pressures, put tremendous stress on many relationships. Several studies have shown significant increases in marital and relationship conflict and decreases in intimacy among couples. And tens of thousands of marriages that had been planned for 2020 and 2021 were postponed or cancelled. However, dating apps have been reporting increases in users as singles refuse to give up on finding love.

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

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Armin Brott

View posts by Armin Brott
Armin Brott is the proud father of three, a former U.S. Marine, a best-selling author, radio host, speaker, and one of the country’s leading experts on fatherhood. He writes frequently about fatherhood, families, and men's health. Read more about Armin or visit his website, You can also connect via social media: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest,  and Linkedin.

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