Loved up couples fear separation anxiety when they return to work, study finds

BBC host grills professor on coronavirus lockdowns

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The survey of 2,000 adults who live with their other half found 68 percent have “adored” spending more time together over the last year. Being able to go out walking together topped the list of activities people were able to enjoy more of, followed by talking, eating lunch with each other, and watching box sets. And while there has been talk of dogs suffering from separation anxiety when their owners return to the workplace or head on nights out, this also appears to be a ‘pet peeve’ for many couples as well.

The research, by wearable technology brand Bond Touch, found 24 percent are worried about getting separation anxiety from their partner when restrictions are eased – with men and women equally concerned.

More than a fifth (21 percent) are dreading spending time away from their partner when they go back to work.

And 23 percent admit they will feel jealous of their partner’s friends when they are spending time with them.

Bond Touch commissioned the research after seeing a surge in sales of the high-tech bracelet ahead of lockdown eases in the UK.

The bracelets allow couples and friends to connect with each other – sending vibrations to let them know they’re thinking about them wherever they are in the world.

Responding to the findings, relationship expert Sam Owen said: “A time for moulding new habits is here, and now you can decide how you’re going to sustain the loving closeness you’ve built.

“Relationships are built on simple loving gestures that show people you’re thinking of them and appreciate them.”

The research also found 63 percent thought having their partner nearby for much of lockdown and Covid restrictions has been wonderful.

But just a fifth (21 percent) think they have told their partner they love them more over the past year.

Almost half (47 percent) even want to spend all their spare time with their partner.

And six in 10 of those polled via OnePoll said spending lockdown with their partner confirms they’re perfect for each other.

Kwame Ferriera, founder of Bond Touch added: “The past 15 months have been difficult for everyone but millions of couples across the country have been brought even closer together as they spend more time in each other’s company.

“Whether it’s being able to exercise together, talk more, help each with work or just wake up at the same time, our bond has become stronger than ever before.

“So as restrictions ease and we start spending more time apart, this is going to create a whole series of emotions.

“We hope the Bond Touch bracelets will allow couples some closeness with the new physical distance and anxiety it brings.”


1. Walks (46 percent)

2. Talking (40 percent)

3. Eating lunch together (37 percent)

4. Watching box sets (37 percent)

5. Gardening (32 percent)

6. Being able to help each other (30 percent)

7. Lie-ins together (24 percent)

8. Waking up together each morning -(24 percent)

9. Doing DIY (23 percent)

10. Sharing problems (23 percent)

Bond Touch ambassador and relationship coach, Sam Owen has shared her six top tips for ‘uncoupling’ after lockdown eases.

1. Schedule daily time in together

Reconnecting and reassuring are key phrases to help you transition from so much togetherness to a distance that makes the heart grow fonder. Knowing you will reconnect each day gives you something to look forward to and can ease anxiety if you’re feeling adrift from one another.

2. Spontaneously let your partner know that you’re thinking of them

To go from working at home to suddenly no coffee breaks together and no touching and kissing throughout the day, may feel like a shock to the system. Suddenly there are less feel-good chemicals being released such as oxytocin and serotonin due to the reduced physical contact. So instead, reinforce the bond from afar by randomly phoning, or sending a loving gif or emoji or a quick buzz on the Bond Touch.

3. Do fun, new stuff together, not just with others

Take advantage of restrictions being lifted and also ensure your partner feels that you are having fun with them too, not just with those you haven’t seen much. Research finds that when long-term couples engage in self-expanding, new activities together that they haven’t experienced before, they increase desire for one another and also experience general relationship satisfaction, which is sustained over time.

4. Eat dinner together if you can, to break up the time spent apart

Having dinner together is a great way of reconnecting. It gives you a good amount of time to catch up with each other to build emotional intimacy. It also means you are apart in shorter chunks of time rather than only reconnecting at bedtime. Reassured and relaxed, you can then go off and do your own thing such as having me-time and socialising with friends.

5. Go to bed together if you can

Bed time together provides another way to make up for the sudden loss of daytime connection. Couples are more likely to engage in physical intimacy at bedtime, and whilst you probably realise it makes you feel more bonded as a result, studies also find this to be true. Even better though, research highlights that physical intimacy among married and cohabiting couples results in more relationship satisfaction, better couple communication and less couple conflict.

6. Share the love

If social media sharing is something you do, and you have a partner who needs reassurance, include them too. When you’re feeling giddy and want to share all the fun you’re having with your friends after such a long separation, just remember to give your lover a shout out as well. That way they feel like you’re having fun with them as well, as we get back to normality.

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