Over 6 out of 10 couples say the stay-at-home restrictions due to the pandemic have strengthened their relationships, Insider reports. In fact, only 3% of couples have reported weakened relationships. For most couples, the pandemic has forced them to spend more time together, reminded them about what they love about each other, and has even led to some creative proposals and weddings.

Stronger bond

Bonnie Ziegeler and Joel Hotker from Melbourne have strengthened their relationship during lockdown. Joel lost his job as a result of the restrictions, which could naturally put pressure on any relationship. However, with Bonnie now working from home, the couple’s communication has improved. “We both tend to communicate poorly when we’re working, so being able to spend so much more time together has naturally made the conversations flow more easily.” They’ve also used this time to rethink their goals. “We have actually really enjoyed this lockdown period as an enforced chance to reflect on our lifestyle and what parts of ‘normal’ we plan to reintroduce once all of the restrictions are lifted,” Bonnie says.

Creative proposals

Before the pandemic hit, Billy Clemons was planning to go to Santiago in Chile with his partner Ali Knapp. “We were going to go to Peru and do the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu”, explains Billy. “I had picked out a spot at the top of the trail where I wanted to propose. Then, obviously with COVID-19, that wasn’t happening anymore.” Instead, Billy chose to  get creative with the proposal. “I set up a tent in the living room and cast onto the TV the spot where I wanted to propose. I put those little glow-in-the-dark stars on the ceiling, got Chilean wine and Peruvian food and had lantern lights in the kitchen”. After he proposed, Ali’s family came over to celebrate. “It was a little bright side in what would have otherwise been cloudy times. It was nice to have good news to share, especially when there hasn’t been that much in a while”.

Impromptu weddings

Marina Williams and Evan Williams had been together for 13 years and engaged for several, but their busy schedules prevented them setting a wedding date. When Florida’s stay-at-home orders suddenly slowed them down, the couple finally had time to get married. They wanted to have their wedding on the day of their fast-approaching 13th anniversary — just five days away. The couple rushed to get everything ready with support from friends and family. They got married before a small gathering of socially-distanced loved ones. Marina said it was exciting “to be wed, to be joined and celebrated in a time when it can be hard to find joy.

Honestly, if we had a year to plan I wouldn’t have changed a thing. The important thing about a wedding to focus on is each other. Everything else is just fluff, and fluff is good but it’s not the glue and the love.”

Although the pandemic is testing relationships, many couples are becoming a stronger unit as a result. There are fortunately many positive stories of people finding and celebrating love together during this challenging time.