Today, The Knot Worldwide family of brands—including Lasting—released its State of Relationships Report, uncovering how couples’ relationships have been impacted by COVID-19. The report, conducted by polling engaged couples from The Knot and married couples from Lasting, finds more than three quarters of all couples are spending more time with their partner since social distancing guidelines for the US were announced in mid-March. In fact, more than 40% of couples report spending 20+ hours more per week with their partner than usual, with many even sharing spaces to work from home together. As a result, the majority of couples—51% of engaged and 66% of married couples—say they’ve learned something new about their partner during this time, from how they handle stress to unknown snacking habits or new aspirations they may have for post-pandemic life.
Since March 15, many couples are prioritizing deepening their emotional connection (68%, up from 55% pre-COVID), however, 35% are less likely to discuss conflicting issues in healthy ways1. In the past month, only 18% of couples report being satisfied with how they communicate with each other2, reflecting how additional time together and added societal stresses are leading to an increase in conflict for many.
“This is a unique time for couples. Social restrictions and financial uncertainty are two of the top contributors to increased stress, anxiety and conflict among individuals and their relationships,” said Steven Dziedzic, founder of Lasting, part of The Knot Worldwide. “We are expanding free access to our relationship resources for all couples in efforts to help them manage challenges better and ultimately find meaning from this unfortunate time. But we’re not stopping there. We’re also giving mental health professionals free Premium subscriptions to support them and help them manage the toll this crisis has taken on them, along with that of their clients.”
“As part of The Knot Worldwide family of brands, both The Knot and Lasting have prioritized love and healthy relationships for many years,” said Dhanusha Sivajee, Chief Marketing Officer, The Knot Worldwide. “We’re proud to support couples during this time of need, helping them navigate the unprecedented emotional effects of COVID-19, and ensure individuals and their relationships will come out of this crisis stronger than ever before.”
Today, Lasting has unlocked free, in-app relationship tools and content promoting health and wellness for all couples nationwide. Through Lasting, couples will now have complimentary access to five free relationship sessions, various meditations, unlimited conversation starters and daily healthy habit reminders.
In addition, Lasting is providing premium subscriptions to all mental health professionals free of charge for one year to address rising levels of stress and help prevent burnout during the pandemic, which has been identified as a significant and concerning issue for mental health professionals. Most commonly, burnout results from emotional exhaustion and leads to adverse effects both for professionals personally, and also for their clients. With unlimited resources from Lasting, therapists and counselors will have tools to help cope with stressors in their own lives, while supporting their clientele to their fullest potential. Plus, they’ll have the opportunity to use Lasting as another tool to support their clients’ relationships. Any mental health professional can get a free subscription to Lasting Premium by visiting www.getlasting.com/therapists and filling out a short form.
Pandemic Positively Impacts Most Engaged Couples’ Relationships
Despite unprecedented circumstances, the report reveals engaged couples are as eager as ever to prioritize their love as they navigate this challenging time. Although most to-be-weds feel anxious (71%), stressed (62%) and overwhelmed (50%), more than 6 in 10 couples say sheltering restrictions have strengthened their relationships. Most commonly, the positive impact on engaged couples’ relationships has resulted from finding new ways to spend time together (64%), reminding them what they love about each other (64%) and discussing challenging topics (54%), from finances and unemployment to preparedness for illness and death. Their relationship health priorities include managing finances together (49%), navigating disagreements in a healthy way (31%), and focusing on sexual intimacy (34%)—though nearly a third of engaged couples are having more sex currently than before the COVID-19 pandemic started in the US.
Engaged couples are also spending more time together on activities including binge-watching TV (71%), cooking (53%) or working out (40%), while also prioritizing giving back to their local communities: 34% report having helped the elderly or those with higher health risks in recent weeks; 19% contributed to charities related to COVID-19 efforts; and nearly 1 in 10 engaged couples have donated food or household products to those in need.
While Half of Married Couples’ Relationships Strengthen, Nearly 1 in 3 Weaken
Twenty nine percent of married couples on Lasting have admitted to seeing their relationships weaken as a result of COVID-19, and nearly 4 in 10 couples note they’ve experienced an increase in disagreements with their partner. However, with nearly a quarter of married couples spending 35+ hours more together per week, nearly a third of couples (29%, up from 22% pre-COVID-19) report being satisfied with the amount of quality time they spend with their partner2. Plus they’re more likely than engaged couples to have learned something new (66%) about their loved one. Having children may also impact how one’s relationship has changed due to the pandemic. Those with kids are less likely (49%) to report a positive impact on their relationship than those without (62%), and 1 in 10 parents say the crisis has significantly weakened their relationship. Additionally, couples with kids are 31% less likely to navigate disagreements in a healthy way than they had prior to the pandemic2. Despite the additional challenges couples with children face, sheltering restrictions have brought them together for quality time most commonly spent on home improvement projects (48%), watching TV (46%), and cooking or baking (42%) with their partner.
Couples can download Lasting on iOS and Android and professionals can visit www.getlasting.com/therapists for more information. All mental health professionals who subscribe will receive free access to hundreds of guided relationship sessions on Lasting through April 16, 2021.
Source1: Married Lasting users
Source2: Lasting users who created a new account since March 15
The Knot x Lasting State of Relationships report captured responses from more than 1,000 engaged couples, along with married Lasting users; respondents were recruited via email invitation from The Knot Worldwide or an in-app notification for Lasting users. To provide the most comprehensive view of research collected, this report also includes findings from Lasting users’ onboarding questionnaires.
About The Knot
The Knot is one of the nation’s leading multiplatform wedding resources offering a seamless, all-in-one planning experience—from finding inspiration and local vendors to creating and managing all guest experiences, wedding registries and more. The trusted brand reaches a majority of engaged couples in the US through the #1 iOS and Android mobile app The Knot Wedding Planner, the #1 wedding planning website TheKnot.com, The Knot national and local wedding magazines, and The Knot book series. Since its inception, The Knot has inspired approximately 25 million couples to plan a wedding that’s uniquely them. Visit The Knot online at TheKnot.com and follow on social media: Facebook.com/TheKnot and @TheKnot on Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.
Lasting is your personalized marriage health plan and the leading marriage education and skill-building app. Lasting’s mission is to empower all couples to build and sustain healthy, happy marriages. The app gets to know your relationship and creates a program to help you grow and maintain the health of your marriage. Whether you want to proactively keep your relationship strong, learn better communication and conflict skills, or embed healthy habits into your daily married life, join healthy spouses from all over the world with your own Lasting program. Download Lasting for iOS and Android and read more about the program at www.getlasting.com.