One in five adults have gone through a relationship breakdown due to the pandemic

Found yourself single this year?—you’re not alone

Woman sitting alone in her bedroom
(Image credit: Getty Images / Jasmin Merdan)

The pandemic has been hard for everyone, we’ve all been stuck inside, working from home and losing many hours of sleep. It’s been stressful, and affected everything, from a lull in our sex lives to causing huge breakdowns in our relationships.

In fact, one in five adults has faced a relationship breakdown during the pandemic. Whether it was a friendship breakup, a relationship, or a relationship with a family member.

According to an ongoing study by the University College London, 22% of adults in the UK have experienced a complete relationship breakdown with a friend, family member, or romantic partner. The biggest age group reporting this was 18-29-year-olds.

This trend could be showing just how important physical connection and socializing is for all of us, especially young people. As much as we’re in an age of social media, interaction is incredibly important for our relationships.

woman with brown hair lying on her bed

(Image credit: Getty Images / Cavan Images)


Focusing on your self-care and mental wellbeing really has never been more important than right now. As the Lead author, Dr. Elise Paul from the UCL Institute of Epidemiology & Health told the Guardian, it also demonstrates just how stressful this year has been. 

She said: “The stress of the pandemic and lockdown measures which prevented people from seeing those outside their household may have contributed to the breakdown of other relationships, particularly those with people who do not live close by.” 

It’s not all doom and gloom though, 46% of young adults reported that their relationships with spouses and partners were actually stronger post-pandemic.

Dr. Paul explains that couples, "may have benefited from furlough or remote working allowing them to spend more time together." Not to mention going through such a stressful shared experience.

woman using her phone in bed

(Image credit: Getty Images / Adam Kuylenstierna / EyeEm)

So, if you’re feeling lonely or grieving over a lost friendship or breakup, it’s not just you. The pandemic has affected everyone and everything—and we’re only now starting to understand just how much.

All we can do now is crank up the best breakup songs, reach out to those we can and start trying to move back to normalcy. 

Naomi Jamieson
Naomi Jamieson

Naomi is a trainee News Writer with the Women's Lifestyle team. She has a background in design, having studied Illustration at Plymouth University but has taken a leap into the world of journalism after always having a passion for writing. She currently writes pieces on fashion, wellbeing, and entertainment for GoodTo and My Imperfect Life and is training for an NCTJ Qualification. 

Before working for Future Publishing’s Lifestyle News team, she worked in the Ad production team. Here she wrote and designed adverts on all sorts of things, which then went into print magazines across all genres. Now, when she isn’t writing articles on celebs, fashion trends, or the newest shows on Netflix, you can find her drinking copious cups of coffee, drawing and probably online shopping.