July 29, 2021

Successive confinements and curfews have hurt couples

By admin2020

According to an Ifop study published this Thursday, a quarter of people in a relationship have wanted to break up since spring 2020.

A couple before the curfew in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, October 22, 2020

© Valery HACHE © 2019 AFP
A couple before the curfew in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, October 22, 2020

More than one in four couples have wanted to break up. While INED forecasts an increase in divorces in the coming years, the various confinements and curfews imposed by the health crisis for a year and a half seem to have damaged romantic relationships, according to an Ifop survey published on Thursday.

In total, 27% of people in a relationship have considered becoming single again, according to this study. If for 31% of them, health restriction measures allowed them to get closer to their partner, they were nevertheless the cause of estrangement for 17% of people in a couple.

Young couples more concerned than those over 60

And contrary to what one might imagine, this concerns more couples who do not live under the same roof, with ten points more than those who live together. In detail, young men under 30 represent the largest proportion of the population (50%) who wanted to leave their partner. Overall, young couples seem more concerned than those over 60.

Another lesson of the study: the most economically or financially precarious couples also seem to be more affected. Some 46% of men with a net monthly income per person of less than 900 euros have considered breaking up, compared to 21% of those earning more than 2,500 euros.

Sexual relations and communication

Certain factors seem to have particularly contributed to the weakening of relations. At the heart of the tensions: differences in sexual needs, lack of communication, work-related stress and lack of time spent together. For women, lack of communication comes first (70%) ahead of sexual disagreement or work-related stress. While among men, it is the differences in sexual needs (67%) that have played the most, far ahead of the rest.

If the desire to break up has crossed the minds of many couples, they are far from being all done. Some 63% of people in a relationship are still with the same or the same partner as in the first confinement. Since spring 2020, only 11% of French men and women have experienced a change in marital status. A rate that rises, however, to 20% among young people under 25 years old. However, once the health crisis has passed, some 12% of people in a relationship want to distance themselves from their partner.

A rise in divorces?

“The relative stability of marital itineraries observed since March 2020 should not obscure the negative impact that successive confinements or curfews may have had on the life of French couples, in particular the youngest who, for many, have lived their first experience of constant and intense married life “, points out François Kraus, director of the Gender, sexualities and sexual health center of Ifop.

And according to him, the lack of action is symptomatic of a certain classic wait-and-see attitude in times of crisis. “If it turns out to be risky to predict a ‘divorce boom’ at the immediate end of the crisis, it is likely that we will then witness a significant increase in disunity when the health and economic context will make marital breakdown easier. . “

Ifop study for YesWeBloom.com carried out by self-administered online questionnaire from May 7 to 10, 2021 with a sample of 2003 people, representative of the population aged 18 to 64 living in metropolitan France.