As pandemic drags on, relationships are getting more serious

COVID-19 deepening some relationships, widespread “pandemic separations” unlikely

The author(s)
  • Mallory Newall Vice President, US, Public Affairs
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Washington, DC, August 4, 2020 – A new Ipsos poll shows that most unmarried, but partnered, people say their relationship has gotten more serious since the coronavirus pandemic began. This number has risen nearly 30 percentage points from late May. At the same time, very few married or partnered people say they are likely to separate at least in part because of issues brought on by the pandemic.

Detailed Findings   

Seven in ten (71%) people in relationships (not married) say their relationship has gotten more serious since the pandemic began. In late May, just 43% said the same.

At the same time, married or partnered people are no more likely to be annoyed, or fighting, with their partner than they were in May.

  • Thirty percent say they feel annoyed with their partner/spouse more than normal, statistically unchanged from late May (27%).
  • One in five (22%) are fighting more than normal with their partner/spouse (20% in May).

Few say they are likely to split from their partner because of the pandemic. However, among all Americans, more than a quarter know a couple who is likely to break up when the pandemic ends.

  • Twenty-seven percent report knowing someone likely to break up, separate, or divorce when the coronavirus pandemic ends. This is up from 18% in May.
  • Nearly one in ten (9%) married or partnered people say they are personally likely to separate from their partner/spouse at least in part because of issues related to the pandemic.

About the Study   

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between July 30-31, 2020. For this survey, a sample of 1,005 adults age 18+ from the continental U.S., Alaska, and Hawaii was interviewed online in English. This poll is trended against a Buzzfeed/Ipsos poll conducted between May 26-27, 2020, with a sample of 1,004 U.S. adults.

The sample for this study was randomly drawn from Ipsos’ online panel (see link below for more info on “Access Panels and Recruitment”), partner online panel sources, and “river” sampling (see link below for more info on the Ipsos “Ampario Overview” sample method) and does not rely on a population frame in the traditional sense. Ipsos uses fixed sample targets, unique to each study, in drawing a sample. After a sample has been obtained from the Ipsos panel, Ipsos calibrates respondent characteristics to be representative of the U.S. Population using standard procedures such as raking-ratio adjustments. The source of these population targets is U.S. Census 2016 American Community Survey data. The sample drawn for this study reflects fixed sample targets on demographics. Posthoc weights were made to the population characteristics on gender, age, race/ethnicity, region, and education.

Statistical margins of error are not applicable to online non-probability polls. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error and measurement error. Where figures do not sum to 100, this is due to the effects of rounding. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll has a credibility interval of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points for all respondents. Ipsos calculates a design effect (DEFF) for each study based on the variation of the weights, following the formula of Kish (1965). This study had a credibility interval adjusted for design effect of the following (n=1,005, DEFF=1.5, adjusted Confidence Interval=+/-5.0 percentage points).

The poll fielded from May 26-27, 2020, has a credibility interval of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

For more information on this news release, please contact:     

Chris Jackson 
Senior Vice President, US   
Public Affairs   
+1 202 420-2025   
[email protected]     

Mallory Newall 
Director, US   
Public Affairs   
+1 202 420-2014   
[email protected]     

Kate Silverstein 
Media Relations Specialist, US   
Public Affairs   
+1 718 755-8829
[email protected] 

About Ipsos   

Ipsos is the world’s third largest market research company, present in 90 markets and employing more than 18,000 people.   

Our passionately curious research professionals, analysts and scientists have built unique multi-specialist capabilities that provide true understanding and powerful insights into the actions, opinions and motivations of citizens, consumers, patients, customers or employees. We serve more than 5000 clients across the world with 75 business solutions.   

Founded in France in 1975, Ipsos is listed on the Euronext Paris since July 1st, 1999. The company is part of the SBF 120 and the Mid-60 index and is eligible for the Deferred Settlement Service (SRD).    ISIN code FR0000073298, Reuters ISOS.PA, Bloomberg IPS:FP          


The author(s)
  • Mallory Newall Vice President, US, Public Affairs