Pandemic Habits - Agencies discover love in the time of COVID

Chris Pash
By Chris Pash | 30 October 2020

Youth-focused publisher Pedestrian has released the findings of a reader survey on how COVID-19 is impacting the love, sex and dating lives of young Australians.

The survey, Love in the time of COVID, collected data from just under 7,000 respondents across all six Pedestrian sites -- PEDESTRIAN.TV, Business Insider, POPSUGAR, Gizmodo, Kotaku and Lifehacker -- with more than 70% falling in the 18 to 34-year-old demographic.

The research piece was shared with the market via a Zoom event.

Key findings specific to 18 to 34-year-olds:

  • COVID-19 has impacted singles and couples differently; 66% of all single respondents say they’re feeling more lonely than usual as a result of COVID-19, while 54% of coupled-up respondents say they're more in love with their partner now than they were pre-pandemic.
  • 50% of all single respondents say they’ve stopped dating during COVID-19, and the reasons why have far more to do with their mental health than any physical restrictions (51% of singles say they’re not in the right emotional and mental headspace to date right now).
  • Relationships between 6 months and 3 years in length are at the greatest risk of both added stress due to the pandemic and a partner considering ending things as a result.
  • 40% of couples are arguing about being too busy for "quality time", even though they are spending more time together than before. The majority are also having sex less frequently than they did before COVID-19. 

The study also yielded insights on the role dating apps play versus old fashioned methods in finding a partner, and on modern dating etiquette.

Vanessa Lawrence, publisher of Pedestrian Group, says there was a lot about the findings that surprised.

"We’ve been hearing a lot about COVID wreaking havoc on many relationships but that’s actually not the case, or at least not the experience of our readers - in fact, it’s singles who are on the down and out," she says. 

Rachel Tikey, commercial director of Pedestrian Group, says: “This fascinating data provides clear opportunities for brands to improve the sex, love and dating lives of young Aussies, whether that’s by helping couples who are feeling the pinch mark out quality time or giving disenchanted singles the tools and self-confidence to get out of their self-imposed dating ruts."

Have something to say on this? Share your views in the comments section below. Or if you have a news story or tip-off, drop us a line at

Sign up to the AdNews newsletter, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for breaking stories and campaigns throughout the day.