COVID-19 restrictions and the effects on people’s relationships

COVID-19 restrictions and the effects on people’s relationships

New research launched today by Relationships Australia reveals that the close relationships in our lives have been significantly affected by restrictions associated with COVID-19.

Based on data collected through Relationships Australia’s monthly survey, the research demonstrates that people have experienced considerable changes in their relationships, with the people they live with, as well as with many others in their lives.

Nick Tebbey, National Executive Officer, Relationships Australia said, “We are seeing that the majority of respondents were challenged by their living situations during this period and that those who were challenged were more likely to notice changes in their relationships”.

“Importantly, this research reveals that while many respondents noted negative changes in their relationships as a result of COVID-19 restrictions, there are some who have been in a position to use this opportunity to better manage their conflicts and build healthier relationships”.

“The survey also explored those relationships outside of the home with the results showing that people have spent more time and effort maintaining their friendships and family relationships.

“They have done so through various modes of communication, with a preference for technologically-assisted communications”.

“While people’s relationships with their partners appear to have struggled, with 42 percent of respondents experiencing a negative change in their relationship, it is interesting to note that over 90 percent of people reported no change, or positive changes in their relationships with their parents, children, friends, extended family, neighbours and colleagues”, said Mr Tebbey.

The research also explored how people’s experiences with loneliness affected their relationships throughout the COVID-19 restrictions.

“We found that those who reported feeling very lonely were more likely to experience negative relationship changes throughout COVID-19. This was especially true for people’s typically ‘close’ relationships (such as those with one’s partner, children and friends), whereas people’s relationships with their neighbours, extended family and colleagues were less likely to be affected”, said Mr Tebbey.

If you would like to find out more, read the full report here.

This survey is part of a series. If you would like to sign up to our mailing list to hear about the others, you can do so here.

Relationships Australia has adapted all services and is providing ongoing support across Australia.