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Your relationship made it through the past year. What happens when the pandemic ends?

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Allison Miller (right) and her boyfriend  Ben Schwartz during a trip near Fincastle, Virginia.

Allison Miller and her boyfriend enjoyed six months of normalcy before the pandemic hit. But their relationship quickly became “a lot more real” as they went from seeing each other on weekends to working remotely under the same roof.

Miller, who was fearful of contracting COVID-19 after nearly dying from the flu in 2014, says through it all, her boyfriend was “fantastic, supportive and a blessing.”

While some couples have struggled to communicate and agree on COVID protocols during the last year, others have thrived. But experts say the next stage could be a challenge as couples who have grown closer adjust to post-pandemic life. 

Fifty-eight percent of people said their relationship has gotten stronger during the pandemic, according to a survey of 2,000 respondents conducted by eHarmony and Harris Interactive. A Pew Research Center analysis in October 2020 had similar findings: 53% of married or cohabiting respondents described their relationship as “going very well.” 

But for some, the closeness has also fueled dependency.

“This pandemic just feeds into our entire co-dependency,” Mila Kunis said in January when describing how her relationship with husband Ashton Kutcher has been impacted by COVID.

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