HPU Poll: North Carolinians Say Relationship Has Not Changed During Pandemic

With Valentine’s Day this weekend, more than half of respondents are extremely satisfied with their current relationship.


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

About 2 in 5 (44%) surveyed said they know of someone who has been in a long-term relationship with or married someone they met through an online dating site or app, while half (50%) said they do not. When asked if the COVID-19 pandemic made it more or less likely that respondents will use more online dating sites and apps, 56% said they are more likely or about the same, and 34% are less likely. Only 11% did not provide any opinion.

Nearly two-thirds (64%) of HPU Poll respondents said they are currently in a romantic relationship, and the poll asked those participants how satisfied they are with their current relationship. The majority of respondents (86%) said they are either extremely or very satisfied, while 11% indicated that they are somewhat satisfied and only 3% said not too satisfied or not at all satisfied.

“The finding that more than 80% of participants are reporting satisfaction with their unions is a testament to the strength and resilience of our romantic relationships,” said Dr. Sadie Leder Elder, associate professor of Psychology. “Given the additional stressors presented by the pandemic, it’s reassuring to see that romantic relationships seem to be thriving.”

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

These poll participants were asked if they get into arguments as they did before the pandemic. Majorities (52%) said they get into about the same number of arguments, while 26% said a lot or a little more often, and 19% indicated a little less or a lot less often.

The poll continued to ask those in a relationship how much their relationship increased or decreased their daily stress level with everything else they have to deal with during this pandemic. About 2 in 5 (41%) said that there is no impact, while 44% said that there is a lot or a little increase in their stress level. Only 13% said there is a lot or a little decrease in their stress level, and 2% offered no opinion either way.

Respondents were asked if they think their relationship will have gotten stronger or gotten weaker after the pandemic is over. Majority of respondents (52%) said their relationship will have not changed, and one-quarter (26%) said their relationship will have gotten a lot or a little stronger. Almost 1 in 5 (19%) said their relationship will have gotten a lot or a little weaker, and 3% offered no opinion either way.

“At the outset of the pandemic, there was some speculation that COVID-19 would lead to increased divorce rates, similar to those evidenced in China earlier last year,” said Elder.  “Thankfully, that does not appear to be the case. Our data shows that for a good number of people, their relationships have gotten better since the start of the pandemic, and some anticipate that this difficult period will ultimately strengthen their union.”

NC residents Dating App (January/February 2021)

Have you ever used an online dating site or app? 

Yes – 34%

No – 64%

Don’t know/refused – 2%

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

NC residents – Dating App Relationship (January/February 2021)

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

Yes – 44%

No – 50%

Don’t know/refused – 5%

(Telephone and online interviews with North Carolina residents, surveyed Jan. 22 – Feb. 4, n = 917 and 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/refused – 11%

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

NC residents – Current Relationship (January/February 2021)

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

Yes – 64%

No – 33%

Don’t know/refused – 3%

(Telephone and online interviews with North Carolina residents, surveyed Jan. 22 – Feb. 4, n = 917 and 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, 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/refused – Less than 1%

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

NC residents –COVID Relationship (January/February 2021)

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

A lot better – 22%

A little better– 20%

About the same – 47%

A little worse – 7%

A lot worse – 4%

Don’t know/refused – 1%

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

NC residents –COVID Arguments (January/February 2021)

Do you and your partner get into arguments more often, less often, or about the same as you did before the outbreak? – Would you say a lot more often, a little more often, about the same, a little less often, or a lot less often?

A lot more often – 10%

A little more often – 16%

About the same – 52%

A little less often – 9%

A lot less often – 10%

Don’t know/refused – 3%

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

NC residents –COVID Relationship Stress (January/February 2021)

With everything else you have to deal with during this outbreak, how much does your relationship increase or decrease you daily stress level, or does it 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%

Decrease a lot – 6%

Don’t know/refused – 2%

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

NC residents –COVID Relationship Strength (January/February 2021)

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

A lot stronger – 10%

A little stronger – 16%

Not changed – 52%

A little weaker – 9%

A lot weaker – 10%

Don’t know/refused – 3%

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

The most recent HPU Poll was fielded by live interviewers at the High Point University Survey Research Center calling on Jan. 22 through Feb. 4, 2021 and an online survey fielded at the same time. The responses from a sample of all North Carolina counties came from 917 adults interviewed online (800 respondents) as well as landline or cellular telephones (117 respondents). The Survey Research Center contracted with dynata, formerly Research Now SSI: https://www.dynata.com/ to acquire these samples, and fielded the online survey using the SRC’s Qualtrics platform. This is a combined sample of live phone interviews and online interviews. The online sampling is from a panel of respondents, so their participation does not adhere to usual assumptions associated with random selection. Therefore, it is not appropriate to assign a classical margin of sampling error for the results. In this case, the SRC 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 the weighting). The data is weighted toward population estimates for age, gender, and race/ethnicity based on U.S. Census numbers for North Carolina. Factors such as question wording and other methodological choices in conducting survey research can introduce additional error into the findings of opinion polls. Details from this survey are available at http://www.highpoint.edu/src/files/2021/02/78memoA.pdf

Further results and methodological details from the most recent survey and past studies can be found at the Survey Research Center website at http://www.highpoint.edu/src/. The materials online include past press releases as well as memos summarizing the findings (including approval ratings) for each poll since 2010.

The HPU Poll reports methodological details in accordance with the standards set out by AAPOR’s Transparency Initiative, and the HPU Survey Research Center is a Charter 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, chair and associate professor of political science, serves as the director of the HPU Poll, and Brian McDonald is the associate director of the HPU Poll.

Share Button

Related Posts