The pandemic has shaken almost everything that we knew, and among these, of course, the Couple relationships. Either by spending too much time together (yes, the confinement), or too much time apart (the same, go); Either for having first dates with masks and hydroalcoholic gel in between, or that “panic” of kissing someone after a while without seeing them, it will not be …
But the human being is the species with the capacity for adaptation par excellence, and for that reason, against all odds, it is coupled to this new “love” which is basically the same as always, only with some fear more than another. In “Love in times of pandemic”, David Suriol and Miguel Janer propose the idea of “couple marketing”, a concept in which love and relationships are taken as “a basic product that is in crisis.” The approach of the book is as follows: apply marketing techniques, which are so successful in the world of business management, to the world of relationships.
This idea of relationships, which the authors already explored in 2006 with their first book, is now “updated” and adapted to these turbulent times. And is that this last year has taken its toll on couplesAnd that constant “work” that is done in relationships now has new rules. We spoke with the authors at ABC Bienestar about these changes and how the conception of love as if it were a company is not as cold as a priori It seems.
Is this pandemic situation going to change, at least immediately, how we relate to our partner?
Critical situations bring out the worst and the best in everyone. During the pandemic, we have lived with each other for many more hours than usual, and in a climate of work, family, domestic and social stress that is more intense than ever. The couple’s relationship has obviously been greatly affected. Already in normal times, it is common that, after the periods of greater coexistence, such as summer vacations and Christmas, divorce demands increase. Well imagine the confinement! It is true that “touch makes affection”, but it also generates friction and, couple relationships that are not planned or work properly end up deteriorating.
How does this situation affect the search for a partner? Do the dating codes change, since it is difficult to meet someone in a bar, for example?
Young people continue to flirt the same, at least the most irresponsible. For the others, for the more adventurous and the most adventurous, those who like extramarital experiences or live with open partners, the pandemic has not affected them much either: it has been an impasse, it has involved more emotion or new formulas have been sought to flirt. Technology opens new channels, but dating is the same: “Do you study or work?” But above all, the pandemic has helped us to clearly distinguish between true relationships and those that are not. It is like a sieve, a sieve, like all crises. Distinguish relationships that are the result of a pure flirtation and those that come from the search for a stable partner project. They are very different realities. The one that linked before the pandemic continues to link during and after. Those who had a hard time, will continue to cost.
So, given the context, do you think that the search for more stable relationships will take place from the first moment?
Most of us seek stable relationships. Let’s not fool ourselves. And relationships are only stable if they last. The breakdown of a relationship generates a lot of suffering, not only in the couple, but in the ecosystem of that relationship, in all the people who live in the environment. The pandemic shows us once again that a good relationship can be the most important thing we have in our lives; and that we must take care of it. In the end, it is what remains, the last line of defense. Faced with doom, even if it sounds cornyThe only thing that remains is love: the need to lean on someone and to support another person; someone we trust and whom we trust … And it is from the first grade manual that we only achieve that in a long-term relationship. We cannot buy it with all the money or with all the power in the world.
Couples who have started their relationship in the middle of this situation, perhaps after confinement, are they going to notice a difference when things normalize?
When the situation returns to normal, we will all go back to being the same ones. The pandemic, when it is eradicated, will have brought great changes in the workplace, in payment methods, in the economy, but it may not radically change the way we live the relationship. The question is what will be the specific weight of the good versus the bad in the total of society. We hope that the crisis of the stable couple in Spain is bottoming out. That is why we have rewritten and republished the book, to help these new couples, although, for example, the people who have married during the pandemic, few, but there have been, are very clear about what they are doing.
But what exactly is it that you call partner marketing?
Partner marketing is a practical method to help couples solidify their relationship. The important thing is love, happiness, feeling, communication, sexuality. But all these vital issues must be put to rest. When you embark on your life’s work, you don’t say, I’m going to be a neurosurgeon. No. You study twelve years from primary to high school, you pass the PAU, you study a university degree and you apply to the MIR, and then you prepare for the specialty. Well, we assure you that it is more difficult to be happy as a couple than to be a neurosurgeon, although it is more affordable. To achieve any goal, also a stable partner, you have to plan and execute a thousand concrete steps at the right time.
This very entrepreneurial vision of love, a “cold” approach, cannot make us see our partner as a job, one more goal, and forget about love a bit?
Love encompasses all the activities of the day, from the first kiss in the morning to the last good night. The concept of love encompasses many things, not only the emotional or the sexual part. In the couple everything begins with affection, falling in love. We take it for granted. At the moment of: “I do.” But “the fish is not all sold”, as we think. We have to start working from that moment, every day. Establish a communication plan, a loyalty plan and a distribution plan. It may seem all very rational and cold, but it is that if the relationship is not worked like that … it ends up dying.
And do you think that, in these times, relationship work is more necessary than before the pandemic?
Yes, it is more necessary than ever, but not because of the pandemic, but because a stable relationship is what can make you happiest in this life. Look, everyone can do with their life what they want. Really. Thank God, we are in the century of freedom and we respect all forms of life. But living as a couple gives us that stability and peace of mind that we do not find in other realities of the world, neither in pleasure, nor in work, nor money, nor in intellectual, artistic or professional development. In the relationship of a couple, the two powers that constitute us as a person are expressed to the maximum: intelligence and will, concretizing love. The simplest way to be happy is to love another person through your body all your life. We call this a stable partner. It may be the same with friends, but it is not the same.
Does this vision of the couple as a goal, as a plan of action, accentuate with age? Do older people tend to see it this way, unlike younger people?
It does not have to be this way. The goal of a stable relationship is happiness, and the way to achieve it is love. Stability and durability is an essential condition to achieve this. An adult couple may know the strengths and weaknesses of their relationship more intensely than a young woman, but that does not mean that the relationship is in good shape. Sometimes there are people who stay together out of fear or selfishness and that is not a couple. A young couple is more likely to build something from scratch, without burdens. A relationship doesn’t break, you kill it. It may be a bit damaged, but it can be fixed. It is a matter of working it. To begin with, you have to learn to say three things: “sorry, thank you and I love you.” Three very simple words that put you in the starting box … and from there, to practice.