Forget taking it slow, many couples have found their fledgling relationships have been on fast forward during the coronavirus pandemic, resulting in so-called “turbo relationships”.
Some people found themselves switching from sharing a bottle of wine to sharing an actual house within weeks of meeting.
In ordinary life, this may have caused many “too much too soon” alarm bells, but the new research reveals that many of those in a turbo relationship are largely thriving.
Navigating lockdown as a pair has made close to two-thirds (63%) say their relationship feels stronger, and over half (58%) now know they want to be with their partner forever.
Moving forward more quickly has meant over a third of those newly living with a partner believe the past two months have felt “more like two years of commitment”.
And more than a third of respondents say they’ve reached common relationship milestones a lot faster – leading to more sex, better communication and the opportunity to discover new, shared passions.
“Make no mistake, we are living in historic times, with a pandemic and the resulting lockdown having a profound impact on the way we live and love,” said eharmony relationship expert Rachael Lloyd.
“What’s really interesting, is the creation of so-called turbo relationships whereby couples who’d never usually move at such speed may have found themselves living together within weeks of meeting — and largely thriving.”
So what’s leading to the formation of so many turbo couples?
According to Relate counsellor, Peter Saddington, in wider periods of societal unrest, couples often pull together.
“The combination of more time spent together, heightened anxiety levels and the removal of common routines – like seeing friends – is an intense mix,” he says.
But being part of a turbo couple isn’t always snuggles on the sofa and sipping soave in the garden.
"In our now virtual counselling sessions we're hearing how increased pressure around finances and the stress of juggling work and home schooling is taking its toll on some relationships,” Saddington continues.
“Disagreements about lockdown rules are common across the board no matter how long a couple has been together,” he adds.
Of course there’s always the risk that the relationship bubble many have been enjoying will be disrupted when the UK is released from lockdown.
“Whilst many of the consequences of these turbo relationships are encouraging, people must remember we are living through a unique set of circumstances,” Saddington explains.
“If your relationship doesn't continue at the same pace or feelings lessen post-lockdown, that doesn't spell disaster.”
But if you do find yourself struggling with the relationship changes returning to a more normal way of live could bring, it is important to talk about it.
“Communication is vital to allow couples to navigate what feels right when normal life resumes,” Saddington advises.
Watch video below
And of course some of those who have jumped feet first into a lockdown relationship, may now be finding it isn’t everything they hoped it would be.
That may mean finding themselves arguing over something that has never cropped up before, finding out they have different life goals to you or discovering a huge gap in your mutual interests.
Again, however, this doesn’t have to spell the end, but it may be an idea to try to slow things down a little.
Entering into a turbo relationship may have meant you’ve missed out on the typical exciting bits of having a new partner, so it’s worth rewinding to the dating phase and reliving it, this time at a bit of a slower pace.