If rom-coms and romance novels have taught us anything, it’s that even the best of relationships get thrown some curveballs. In a time when the pandemic has allowed us to have more face time with our significant others, it’s also opened up a lot of new relationship challenges. And we’re not just talking about the tug-o-war of having to navigate work from home meetings in shoebox-sized condos or trying to decide what to order for the fifth night in a row, we’re talking about the bigger things that have suddenly reared their heads.
When Couply users were asked what their biggest relationship challenge was today, their answers ranged from the ever-present communication and trust issues to an interesting new option: the vulnerability surrounding mental health challenges.
With answers from couples all over the world—like the US, Canada, Nigeria, the Philippines, and Germany, to name a few—it goes to show that borders can’t stop the relationship challenges that any couple can face. Because, like any dynamic in our lives, relationships will always have their ups and downs—but, what do you do when you’re faced with one of the lows?The Top 10 Relationship Challenges—According to Couples on Couply
1. Communication Issues
Surprise, surprise, for 56% of users, this was the number one relationship challenge they often faced. There is a reason there are thousands of communication (or lack thereof) memes out there.
But being able to communicate isn’t just about saying what you feel, it’s also about listening without judgment, interruptions, and not on the defence. Just be honest! If something’s bothering you, say so—and if that requires frequent check-ins to help kickstart your communication habits, that’s okay.
2. Not Spending Enough Quality Time Together
For 37% of Couply users, another relationship challenge was the lack of quality time. And yes, the pandemic has definitely forced a lot of couples to see each other 24/7—but this is a prime example that it’s about quality, not quantity.
Intentionally take the time to disconnect for a bit and snuggle up to a movie, plan a date at home, or even set aside for a deep conversation. And if that means having to schedule in a weekly date night, what day will you be penciling in?
3. Mental Health Challenges
It’s no surprise that along with the COVID-19 pandemic’s lockdowns came a wave of anxiety, depression, and mental health issues. In fact, the CDC reported that 40% of adults were experiencing mental health issues—and, in some cases, those issues can create relationship challenges.
And for 35% of Couply users, the pandemic was the first time they realized their partner’s mental health concerns—requiring them to navigate the best way to intentionally support their partner. That’s why it’s so important to prioritize mental health—whether as a duo, or individually, and whether in couples therapy or solo—and taking the time to understand what each other needs.
4. Not Understanding Each Other
Does it ever just feel like you can’t be on the same page—no matter how hard you try? For 33% of Couply users it does. That’s why it’s so important to also know your partner’s Love Style, because once you do it gets a little bit easier to see just how well they’re communicating and loving you. Not sure what your top love style is? Download Couply to take the quiz!
5. Finances & Money
The Notorious B.I.G. once said mo’ money, mo’ problems—and sometimes we have to agree. Or at least 25% of Couply users do. When it comes to finances it’s important to be on the same page. We don’t know when it became taboo to talk about money, but we recommend talking about money. Set a budget as a couple, set one individually, and discuss your debts. When it comes to money it’s important to be transparent.
6. Lack of Sex & Intimacy
For 22% of Couply users, this is definitely a relationship challenge. While sex can really bring people together, sometimes dry spells happen in relationships too. So, what do you do?
Talk it out. Make an effort to express yourself, but not doing so in a way that places blame. Sometimes life gets in the way, and this is just a prime example of how to better understand your partner and what they may be going through.
7. Trust & Infidelity
Sometimes we wonder: who doesn’t have trust issues these days? No surprise, 17% of Couply users flagged this as a common relationship challenge. If you’ve been in toxic situations or past relationships that left you with a couple more scars than you wanted, it’s understandable why it’s hard trusting your partner.
But, if you’re struggling to build trust in your relationship, consider these key things: be consistent, be open-minded, be an effective communicator, and slowly be comfortable with being vulnerable. It’s not easy—we get it—but, baby steps.
8. Issues Related to Extended Family and Kids
And for 15% of users, some relationship challenges stemmed from extended family (like in-laws) and kids. And while we believe supporting family and your kids is important, it’s just as important to set time aside for some 1-on-1 couple time. A relationship, requires quality time to let the dynamic bloom. If you need to hire a babysitter for one night to go out on the town, we recommend definitely hiring the babysitter.
9. Lack of Support and Help
And for 10% of users, the lack of support or help really put a strain on a relationship. In these cases, it’s so important to ask: remember if you never ask, the answer is always no. It’s also important to remember that asking for help doesn’t make you weak—it’s important to allow others to help you carry the load. And for partners who are really struggling to prioritize, discussing expectations is never a bad thing.
10. Issues from the Pandemic
The pandemic has been life-changing for all of us—and the new problems that arise from lockdown, being laid off, working from home, or feeling isolated from friends and family haven’t made things easier.
Whatever the relationship challenge that might arise from the “new normal” that is COVID-19, try to find the silver linings in these unprecedented times. While we’ve all had to pivot and navigate new routines, it’s important to incorporate relationship-centric habits to keep the passion and romance alive. And for those in long-distance relationships, it’s about spicing up even your usual virtual dates.
And if ever you need a little bit of extra support to breathe some life into your relationships, Couply can help you have better relationships by helping you understand your personalities, Attachment Styles, while also giving you a new date idea to shake things up. Download it now for your Android or Apple!