HPU poll: North Carolina says relationship hasn’t changed during pandemic

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With Valentine’s Day this weekend, more than half of those polled are extremely happy with their current relationship.


HIGH POINT, NC, February 12, 2021 – The latest High Point University survey asked North Carolina adults about their use of online dating sites or apps, as Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. Thirty-four percent of North Carolinians said they had used an online dating site or app, which is higher than the 29% of residents who said they had used an online dating site or app in an HPU survey. 2020.

About 2 in 5 respondents (44%) said they knew someone who had a long-term relationship with or married someone they met through an online dating site or app, while the half (50%) said no. When asked if the COVID-19 pandemic made it more or less likely that respondents would use more online dating sites and apps, 56% said they were more likely or about the same , and 34% are less likely. Only 11% did not give an opinion.

Almost two-thirds (64%) of HPU survey respondents said they were currently in a romantic relationship, and the survey asked these participants how satisfied they were with their current relationship. The majority of respondents (86%) said they were extremely or very satisfied, while 11% said they were somewhat satisfied and only 3% said they were not too satisfied or not at all satisfied.

“The fact that over 80% of participants say they are satisfied with their union is a testament to the strength and resilience of our romantic relationships,” said Dr. Sadie Leder Elder, associate professor of psychology. “Considering the additional stressors presented by the pandemic, it is reassuring to see that romantic relationships appear to be thriving.”

The poll asked those same respondents if their romantic relationship had improved or deteriorated since the coronavirus outbreak, and 2 in 5 (42%) said their relationship had improved a lot or a little. Only 11% said it got a little or a lot worse, and almost half (47%) said their relationship is about the same.

These survey participants were asked if they were arguing like they did before the pandemic. Majorities (52%) said they had roughly the same number of arguments, while 26% said a lot or a little more often and 19% said a little less or a lot less often.

The poll continued to ask people in relationships to what extent their relationship increased or decreased their daily stress levels with everything they had to deal with during this pandemic. About 2 in 5 respondents (41%) said there was no impact, while 44% said there was a large or small increase in their stress level. Only 13% said there was a big or small decrease in their stress level, and 2% gave no opinion anyway.

Respondents were asked if they thought their relationship would have gotten stronger or weaker after the pandemic ended. The majority of respondents (52%) said their relationship would not have changed, and a quarter (26%) said their relationship would have become much or a little stronger. Almost one in five (19%) said their relationship had weakened a lot or a little, and 3% gave no opinion anyway.

“At the start of the pandemic, there was speculation that COVID-19 would lead to higher divorce rates, similar to those seen in China earlier last year,” Elder said. “Fortunately, that doesn’t seem to be the case. Our data shows that for many people, their relationships have improved since the start of the pandemic, and some anticipate that this difficult time will eventually strengthen their union. “

NC Residents Dating App (Jan / Feb 2021)

Have you ever used an online dating site or app?

Yes – 34%

No – 64%

Don’t know / refusal – 2%

(Telephone and online interviews with residents of North Carolina, surveyed Jan. 22 through Feb. 4, n = 917 and the credibility interval is +/- 3.4%)

North Carolina Residents – Dating App Relationship (Jan / Feb 2021)

Do you personally know someone who has had a long term relationship with or married someone they met through an online dating site or app?

Yes – 44%

No – 50%

Don’t know / refusal – 5%

(Telephone and online interviews with residents of North Carolina, surveyed Jan. 22 through Feb. 4, n = 917 and the credibility interval is +/- 3.4%)

NC Residents – COVID and Dating App (January / February 2021)

Has the COVID-19 pandemic made it more or less likely that you will use more online dating sites and apps?

More likely – 12%

About the same – 44%

Less likely – 34%

Don’t know / refusal – 11%

(Telephone and online interviews with residents of North Carolina, surveyed Jan. 22 through Feb. 4, n = 917 and the credibility interval is +/- 3.4%)

NC residents – Current relationship (January / February 2021)

Would you say that you are currently in a romantic relationship or not?

Yes – 64%

No – 33%

Don’t know / refusal – 3%

(Telephone and online interviews with residents of North Carolina, surveyed Jan. 22 through Feb. 4, n = 917 and the credibility interval is +/- 3.4%)

NC residents – Relationship satisfaction (January / February 2021)

How satisfied are you with your current relationship – extremely, very, somewhat, not too much, or not at all satisfied?

Extremely satisfied – 60%

Very satisfied – 26%

Somewhat satisfied – 11%

Not too satisfied – 2%

Not at all satisfied – 1%

Don’t know / refusal – Less than 1%

(Telephone and online interviews with residents of North Carolina, surveyed Jan. 22 through Feb. 4, n = 917 and the credibility interval is +/- 3.4%)

NC residents – COVID relationship (January / February 2021)

Would you say your romantic relationship has improved or worse since the coronavirus outbreak, or is it pretty much the same? – Would you say a lot better, a little better, about the same, a little worse, a lot worse?

Much better – 22%

A little better – 20%

About the same – 47%

A little worse – 7%

Much worse – 4%

Don’t know / refusal – 1%

(Telephone and online interviews with residents of North Carolina, surveyed Jan. 22 through Feb. 4, n = 917 and the credibility interval is +/- 3.4%)

NC Residents – COVID Arguments (January / February 2021)

Do you and your partner argue more often, less often, or much like you did before the outbreak? – Would you say much more often, a little more often, about the same, a little less often or a lot less often?

Much more often – 10%

A little more often – 16%

About the same – 52%

A little less often – 9%

Much less often – 10%

Don’t know / refusal – 3%

(Telephone and online interviews with residents of North Carolina, surveyed Jan. 22 through Feb. 4, n = 917 and the credibility interval is +/- 3.4%)

North Carolina Residents – COVID Relationship Stress (Jan / Feb 2021)

With all you have to deal with during this outbreak, how much does your relationship increase or decrease your daily stress level, or have no impact on your stress? Would you say increase a lot, increase a little, no impact, decrease a little or decrease a lot?

Increase a lot – 14%

Increase a little – 30%

No impact – 41%

Decrease a little – 7%

Decreases a lot – 6%

Don’t know / refusal – 2%

(Telephone and online interviews with residents of North Carolina, surveyed Jan. 22 through Feb. 4, n = 917 and the credibility interval is +/- 3.4%)

North Carolina Residents – COVID Relationship Strength (Jan / Feb 2021)

Once the epidemic is over, do you think your relationship will have become stronger or weaker, or will it not have changed? – Would you say a lot stronger, a little stronger, not changed, a little weaker, a lot weaker?

Much stronger – 10%

A little stronger – 16%

Not changed – 52%

A little lower – 9%

Much lower – 10%

Don’t know / refusal – 3%

(Telephone and online interviews with residents of North Carolina, surveyed Jan. 22 through Feb. 4, n = 917 and the credibility interval is +/- 3.4%)

The most recent HPU survey was conducted by live interviewers from the High Point University Survey Research Center from January 22 to February 4, 2021 and an online survey was conducted at the same time. Responses from a sample of all North Carolina counties came from 917 adults surveyed online (800 respondents) as well as landline or cell phones (117 respondents). The Survey Research Center contracted with dynata, formerly Research Now SSI: https://www.dynata.com/ to acquire these samples, and conducted the survey online using the Qualtrics platform of the SRC. This is a combined sample of live telephone interviews and online interviews. Online sampling comes from a panel of respondents, so their participation does not follow the usual assumptions associated with random selection. Therefore, it is not appropriate to assign a classical sampling error margin to the results. In this case, the CRS provides a credibility interval of plus or minus 3.4 percentage points to account for a traditional 95% confidence interval for the estimates (plus or minus 3.2 percentage points) and a design effect of 1.1 (based on weighting). Data is weighted by population estimates for age, sex, and race / ethnicity based on U.S. Census counts for North Carolina. Factors such as the wording of questions and other methodological choices in the conduct of survey research can introduce additional errors in the results of opinion polls. Details of this survey are available at http://www.highpoint.edu/src/files/2021/02/78memoA.pdf

Further results and methodological details of the most recent survey and previous studies are available on the Survey Research Center website at http://www.highpoint.edu/src/. Online documents include previous press releases as well as memos summarizing the results (including approval ratings) for each survey since 2010.

The HPU Survey reports methodological details according to standards set by the AAPOR Transparency Initiative, and the HPU Survey Research Center is a founding member of the Initiative. For more information, see http://transparency.aapor.org/index.php/transparency.

You can follow the HPU poll on Twitter at https://twitter.com/HPUSurveyCenter.

Dr. Martin Kifer, president and associate professor of political science, is the director of the HPU poll, and Brian McDonald is the associate director of the HPU poll.



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