Back in 2018, CivicScience asked American adults whether they went on dates with their romantic partner or spouse. The survey revealed that only 62% of Americans in a romantic relationship said they went on dates.

More than two years and a global pandemic later, that number has declined to 55%.

Of course, traditional dates, in many ways, have been thrown out the window (or are at least more precarious right now) so it’s not too surprising to see a decline. Date night activities like indoor dining, going to the movies, or grabbing a drink are now deemed risky activities in the pandemic era. However, dates mean different things to different couples, so CivicScience asked a series of questions to determine how paired-up Americans are viewing the quality of their romantic relationships under unprecedented circumstances. In a year’s time spent pretty much constantly together, how are couples faring?

When framing it under the lens of the pandemic specifically, the majority of partnered Americans say they’ve had the same amount (44%) or less dates (50%) than usual over the past six months. A mere 6% said they’ve had more dates.

But wait–it’s not all bad… Twenty-eight percent of respondents in another poll said they’ve carved out more time for their partner than before the pandemic. While the majority of respondents say they’ve made about the same amount of time as they would have before, another 11% do say they’ve managed to make less time.

It should be no surprise that those working from home during the pandemic have reported making more time for their partner, notably nearly two times more than those who are still working as usual outside of the home. 

Age is kind of a mixed bag. It looks like people between the ages of 30 and 44 are the most likely to report making less time for their partner during the pandemic, but it’s pretty spread out over the brackets otherwise. 

As it turns out, time is money…at least somewhat. Again, in the most unsurprising news of 2021, the more money the household makes, the more likely they are to report having spent more time with their partner during the pandemic than before it. While we can’t say money buys you happiness, a higher income can certainly afford you this luxury. 

The below chart does somewhat prove the time and happiness theory quite well. As shown, more quality time spent together equates to higher relationship satisfaction levels. 

It feels obvious, but individual circumstances generally determine which couples carve out time for each other and which do not. The chart below shows how this is more nuanced than rich versus poor. Both those who have made more and less time for each other during the pandemic are likely to report they are better off financially. Interestingly, those who report being worse off are actually slightly more likely to report this. However, those slightly worse off are also the most likely group to report spending less time with their partner.

What about the very first question: Do people date their spouse / partner or not? This simple question determines whether people are satisfied in their relationship during the pandemic. In a period during which pretty much all of our time is spent at home and with each other, it’s clear that intentionality is key to really make the time feel high quality for your significant other. You can’t just be together, you have to spend it wisely.