It is a known fact that the nature of romantic relationships has changed in the pandemic. Indianexpress.com had previously reported that in the lockdowns, the inability to meet loved ones may have caused some strain in relationships, causing couples to drift away or quarrel often.
August is considered to be ‘Romance Awareness Month’, and a recent survey has found that when it comes to dates, most Indians prefer actual meetups to virtual ones.
ITC Engage, a fragrance brand, in collaboration with IPSOS, a global leader in market research, notes in its ‘Love Survey 2021’ that when it comes to young individuals and their idea of love, 63 per cent of respondents believe in long-term relationships. Additionally, 36 per cent of respondents in non-metro cities say physical distance is not a hindrance to romance these days, and only 24 per cent from metro cities feel the same.
Impact of lockdown
Lockdown had put new relationships under stress with almost 80 per cent of single/casual daters finding it difficult to initiate/develop a relationship. It has, however, also helped people understand the meaningful aspects of their relationships.
It was found in the survey that a whopping 98 per cent of the total respondents believe virtual romance is completely different from real romance, in that it is perceived to lack authenticity, and is considered to be more casual and risky.
Per the survey, 50 per cent of respondents believe romance in the virtual world works well for people who are a little shy/introverted, while 50 per cent of respondents in metros feel romance in the virtual world is more flirtatious/casual and generally not serious. Further, 46 per cent of the respondents feel romance in the virtual world can become “very dangerous”.
Interestingly, in the course of the pandemic, association of romance with positive words has seen a decline. There is now a 23 per cent drop for words like ‘being together’, followed by a 14 per cent dip in ‘chemistry’.
But, association with negative words like ‘difficult’, ‘anxiety’ and ‘frustrating’ has increased by 25 per cent, 15 per cent and 20 per cent respectively – indicating a shift in the idea of romance in the new normal.