CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Groundhog’s Day was last week, and if you live with your partner, the past year of quarantining together has probably felt eerily similar to the classic Bill Murray movie where every day feels exactly the same. And if you’ve felt this way, then you’re not alone. After spending so much extra time together the past year, the average couple has experienced the equivalent of four extra years in their relationship––based on the results of a new Valentine’s Day survey of 2,000 people conducted by experiences marketplace Groupon.
In honor of Valentine’s Day, Groupon partnered with respected mathematician and Cambridge doctoral candidate Bobby Seagull, to develop a proprietary math formula* to come up with the quarantine relationship equivalent of “dog years” to quantify the extra time couples have spent together. In addition to calculating the additional time spent together compared to a normal year, the formula also includes a boredom factor, as nearly 60% of couples admit time is passing much more slowly since they can’t experience new things together. To calculate how much your relationship has aged during the pandemic, please click here.
For many, the extended amount of time together has been a positive experience, with 73% saying it’s strengthened their relationships and 65% saying they’ve learned more about their partners. Other positives identified by survey participants included: spending more quality time together (47%), sharing cooking responsibilities (43%) and drinking more cups of coffee (27%).
Although they’ve spent more time watching Netflix, chilling and playing board games, quarantine hasn’t been all fun and games for many couples. Fifty-nine percent said COVID has been the ultimate test of their relationships, and the average couple hasn’t been on a date in about five and a half months. The most irritating habits people discovered about their partners during quarantine included: they play loud music or watch TV during work hours (27%), they spend too much time in the bathroom (24%), they eat lunch too loudly (22%), they have an annoying work phone voice (20%) and they cause disturbances during work calls (18%).
"The pandemic has been challenging for couples on many levels, however there are some strategies that they can implement to alleviate any stressors that arise in the relationship. One such strategy is to create a filter system for each specific stressor,” said Bernard de Wet, a Chicago-based licensed couples therapist. “For example, checking-in with your partner and asking, is this a pandemic-related stressor or would this stressor still be present regardless of the pandemic? Having a filter system, and checking-in with your partner, may change the way you view the stressor and make it easier to resolve it from a team approach.”
The research also uncovered some interesting work-from-home trends and insights. Seventy percent of people surveyed said they’ve been working from home alongside their partners. Seventy-seven percent of respondents said they’ve learned more about what their partners actually do for a living as a result of working in close proximity to them throughout the past year. Six out of 10 people surveyed (64%) said they work in a different room than their significant other as a way to get some privacy and alone time. One out of three respondents (37%) said they take lunch breaks together.
“Many couples are currently spending more time than they ever have together, such as working from home and being in each other’s company throughout most of the day. As such, creating shared, meaningful experiences may be beneficial for the relationship. That said, it may be challenging to lean on some of the previous typical relationship or dating rituals that you and your partner shared prior to the pandemic, which will require more creative solutions. This may include going for a car ride together and having a picnic in the car or ordering food that originates from a country that you either planned to visit prior to the pandemic or want to go visit once it’s safe to do so,” de Wet added.
Whatever your comfort level is this Valentine’s Day, Groupon can help you escape boredom and foster deeper connections with your partner––and other loved ones––with a huge range of experiences such as engaging activities, relaxing massage and spa packages and mouth-watering eats along with the usual romantic staples of flowers, chocolates and wine.
To check out the entire Groupon “Love Your Way” Valentine’s Day collection, please visit gr.pn/lockdownlove.
*Lockdown Love Formula Key
P = Pre-pandemic average number of hours cohabiting couples spent together per year. Groupon’s research found this was 1696.67 on average
B = x 2 for the boredom factor. Considering couples said time spent together during the pandemic felt more like years than months, the boredom factor multiples the pandemic time spent together by two.
HWD= Hours spent together as a couple during an average week (excluding weekends) during the pandemic. 76.95 hours according to the research
T = the tier factor – the number of weeks working from home together since the pandemic began. Research found the average was 28 weeks
HWE = Hours spent together as a couple on an average weekend during the pandemic. The research found couples spend an average of 12.3 hours together
N = Number of weekends since the pandemic began (calculation based on this being 43 at time of research)
Groupon (www.groupon.com) (NASDAQ: GRPN) is an experiences marketplace where consumers discover fun things to do and local businesses thrive. For our customers, this means giving them an amazing selection of experiences at great values. For our merchants, this means making it easy for them to partner with Groupon and reach millions of consumers around the world. To find out more about Groupon, please visit press.groupon.com.