The four relationship questions we’re asking Google in lockdown

The world has changed dramatically in the last few weeks. Find out what impact it’s having on our relationship – based on our Google searches.

How’s your relationship holding up in lockdown? If you’ve been happily living together for years, you’ve probably got the foundations to survive being together 24/7.

But what if you’d only been dating three weeks pre-lockdown? What if things aren’t official? What if you were planning on ending it and now, you’re buying pasta and facemasks together? 

Trethowans
Trethowans

The answers to these questions lie in Google. Or specifically, what we’re currently searching for on Google. Since lockdown, Google Trend data has revealed a huge search increase in relationship related questions. (All data is correct at the time of publishing from January 2020-April 2020.)

So what are we searching for, and what does it tell us? Perhaps unsurprisingly, the terms Long distance relationships (166%) and Is it too soon to live together (10%) have both seen increases. (All data is correct at the time of publishing from January 2020-April 2020.)

Qualified relationship therapist Zoë Williamson from Gear Hungry looks at some of the most common relationship questions we’re asking Google in lockdown, and shares her advice to help answer them for you.

1) Is it too soon to live together?

Is it too soon to live together and break up or live together have both seen a 10% rise in searches within the last four months, and it’s not difficult to see why.

Government rules have meant that many couples who previously lived separately have had to decide what steps they need to take to keep their relationships going.

Whether you’re thinking of living together in normal times or during lockdown, you should always understand it’s a big step in a relationship. Discuss with your partner the reasons – good and bad – for it happening, and the hurdles you’ll have to clear for it to work.

Isolating together can bring its own problems, such as losing your boundaries, and not being used to the amount of time you spend around each other.

If you do decide to move in, remember to have some alone time. That could mean time apart in different rooms, or if that’s not possible then together in the same room, but focusing on your own activities and needs.

2) How is a long-distance relationship possible?

Self-isolating away from your partner sounds like a nightmare, and with a rise of 166% for long distance relationships searches it’s clearly on a lot of people’s minds.

Whether you’re in a new, blossoming relationship, or one that been steady for some time, suddenly putting the brakes on can seem like a knife in the heart. But it’s not all bad.

Being away from anyone you want to spend time with can be hard, and it doesn’t take long for you to start to miss them. Physical contact in vital in any relationship, and isolation instantly deprives you of that, and nothing can really replace it.

Having said that, we don’t say ‘absence makes the heart grow fonder’ for nothing, and in 2020 there are many electronic ways to create time for each other, build your relationship, and communicate.

Sometimes diving in and living together isn’t an option, so create a plan to stay in contact, communicate daily and be open – it’s going to make that rendezvous when you can finally meet again all that more special.

3) Is it ok to break up with my partner?

Uncomfortable truth time – breakups happen, sometimes at the worst possible moments. And with searches for breaking up with my boyfriend (during) coronavirus seeing a 10% rise since January 2020, it’s clearly a truth that’s on a few people’s conscience.

But is it possible to do this in this current climate without coming across as heartless? Honesty is the number #1 rule in a relationship, and although it can seem sometimes like coming clean is the worst possible thing to do, in the long run it’s the fair decision on everyone involved.

Currently with what’s going on it can seem impossible, or you’re in an unwinnable dilemma, especially if the relationship is only just beginning and hasn’t had a chance to breathe – but if you feel it’s the right thing to do, then it’s something which needs to be talked through with your partner.

If you’re living together, then it’s a good ideal to put a plan in place that supports you (friends/family/support networks). The last thing you want to do is break up and then have two months of awkward pasta bakes.

4) How do I date?

Dating was already hard enough before lockdown started, what with fake Tinder heights, having to listen to stories about exes, and lying about having seen Killing Eve. But now everywhere is closed and you can’t meet up.

The search term romance and Covid 19 has seen a 5,000% increase over three months, and whether it’s about what you can and can’t do with your partner, or if you’re allowed to date its obvious people have questions.

But let’s be clear – no, you can’t currently date in the conventional sense. No matter how you try and define it, you can’t meet up and socialise with any people who you don’t live with on dates. Nor should you invite them over – safety first.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t meet people. Video dates is something that a lot of people have taken to doing. Setting a time for a meal, maybe dressing up, and then talking for a few hours, or watch a film at the same time.’

Read more relationship advice

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Photo by taylor hernandez