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Image / Self / Relationships

Why is everyone breaking up and is Covid still to blame? 


By Sarah Finnan
20th Jun 2022

IMDB

Why is everyone breaking up and is Covid still to blame? 

Winter time may be cuffing season, but summer seems to be break-up season. 

TikTok, Hot Girl Summer and the influence of Love Island have people thinking that maybe, just maybe, they’d be better off single. In fact, research confirms that summer is one of the most popular times for couples to break up (aside from Christmas and Valentine’s Day… brutal). 

According to historical Facebook, now Meta, data, the end-of-relationship surge is down to people “spring cleaning” their love lives ahead of the summer months. Harsh, but I guess it kind of makes sense; better weather, trips away and a generally more relaxed approach to life means that some people feel they would be better off alone… or rather, they’d be better off not tied to just one person, at least.

Michael B Jordan and Lori Harvey broke up this month, as did Shakira and Gerard Piqué. Minka Kelly split from Trever Noah in May, with a source telling Page Six that she’d “rather be single than waste her time with the wrong guy”. Even Tish and Billy Ray Cyrus have decided to call it quits (for a third time). 

Covid breakups

Is there something in the water or have we just entered breakup season? Perhaps Covid is still to blame. The onset of a global pandemic made most of us seriously reevaluate our priorities. Lynn Enright wrote about The Great Resignation and how the nature of our ambitions (and how it influences subsequent career choices) changed during the past few years, and experts predicted similar would happen with our relationships.

A survey carried out in Australia last year by amica, an app designed by family lawyers to help guide couples through the process of separation, found that one in five couples blame the pandemic for ruining their relationships. Federal Circuit Court statistics revealed that a record 49,625 couples filed for divorce during 2020/2021 – an 8% increase in just 12 months. The findings were “unsurprising” according to National Legal Aid director and amica project chief, Gabrielle Canny. 

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“We anticipate that there are tens of thousands of couples who have held things together as long as they can, but now want to move on without becoming one of those bitter and expensive separation horror stories we so often hear about,” she told the New Zealand Herald at the time.

Some broke up due to logistical problems – long-distance, closed borders etc. – others parted having spent too much time together. Relationships were put on fast-forward during the pandemic, and a lack of other distractions (friends, family, hobbies) fostered tension in some partnerships. Discrepancies in who was carrying the brunt of the emotional/physical load of the relationship became more apparent during this time too and a return to normality means that many couples have since gone their separate ways. 

Hot Girl Summer 

Maybe Covid isn’t to blame at all. Hot Girl Summer has also kicked off, which could explain the sudden public skew towards singledom. A state of mind rather than an actual state of being, the concept encourages people to just live their best lives. For a certain part of the population, this means ditching their other half and focusing on them for a while. Not all relationships are made to last and sometimes, breaking up could be the healthiest thing for both parties. 

With few to no restrictions in place, our social lives have essentially returned to their pre-pandemic glory. Our hesitation at getting back out into the world has dwindled over the past few months and initial apprehension has now been replaced by excitement. Hot Girl Summer is all about prioritising fun – being free with your time and money and just doing whatever it is that makes you happy. Correlation does not imply causation, and though Hot Girl Summer and being single are often thought of as being one and the same, you don’t necessarily have to dump your boyfriend/girlfriend to embrace the concept. That said, travelling abroad, meeting new people, going out-out, are often things better suited to those not in relationships… spontaneity is a key factor in all of this, which, you could argue, is more amenable to the single and unattached. 

As Megan Thee Stallion, a.k.a. Creator of Hot Girl Summer, once said though, it’s all about “your attitude and your vibe”. So, whether you’re newly single, a proud spinster, or just taking a break from dating, embrace your single status and make the most of your time alone.