Psychologist explains why lockdown could be a positive for relationships

By Mirror | Wednesday, Apr 29th 2020 at 15:41
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A psychologist who has worked on Love Island and Big Brother in the past has revealed why she reckons the COVID-19 pandemic could actually help strengthen our interpersonal relationships.

Honey Langcaster-James explained the social psychology surrounding an external "other" - in this case, coronavirus.

"Add this to our shared sense of values as we more obviously and overtly engage in a joint purpose," she wrote for Sky News, "And a shared perception that we are all part of something big and are on a common mission, and you have a whole host of powerful predictors for increased relationship satisfaction."

She added that we, as a collective, have been reminded during lockdown that we value closeness and friendship - and as such will return to these relationships post-lockdown with a fresher, more positive outlook.

Being housebound with loved ones might even serve to reinvigorate one-on-one relationships that had maybe fallen off a bit.

She continued: "Being in very close proximity to one another might actually reignite the flame in a previously cooled romantic relationship, or you may have a sudden desire to nip out and share a few words over the back fence with your neighbours even though previously you only really acknowledged them at Christmas."

Social distancing also has a role to play - compelling us to reach out to those we'd ordinarily ignore.

Honey rounds off her article with a message of hope for the future: "'We are all in this together' has become a familiar phrase.

"I wonder whether this virus has turned our sense of 'me' on its head, and reminded us that it is 'we' that really matters after all."

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