Samira van Bohemen
Samira van Bohemen

For couples and singles alike, a lot has changed due to corona and the accompanying regulations. The patience of couples is currently being severely tested and singles are seeing very little opportunities to get to know each other. “People are feeling unsettled and stressed,” Van Bohemen explains. ” There is uncertainty about work or about whether or not you can see each other and that often causes problems. For example, if a relationship is already not going so well and there’s a lot of stress on top of that, then couples are more likely to choose to break up a relationship.”

Living in each other’s pocket

Although sometimes the opposite is true. The crisis can actually prompt people to move in together more quickly. “During the lockdown, there is also a great need for intimacy. This means that many couples spend a lot of time together. According to Van Bohemen, constantly living in each other’s pocket does have a slight advantage: “This way, you can soon see if someone is right for you.”

Psychology student Laura Laban began a relationship a year ago and she and her boyfriend have spent much of their time together during the lockdown. “I got into a relationship with my boyfriend right before the first lockdown,” Laura says. “We were still doing a lot of fun things together back then.” But things soon changed. “A spontaneous afternoon out shopping together is no longer an option.”

Laura and her boyfriend

Yet things are not going too badly in the relationship sphere, Laura emphasises. “In fact, things are going really well between us. There are no tensions and we’re still not tired of each other. If we were together for two weeks non-stop, that wouldn’t bother me at all.” According to her, there are also plenty of fun activities left that they can do together. “We often cook together, for one thing. We also still really enjoy hanging out on the couch together.”

Less dating and less sex

Singles are hot having an easy time of it either. Although students use dating apps more than they did before the crisis, dates or sex tend to follow on from this less often, as revealed in a survey conducted by Erasmus Magazine last December. Van Bohemen recognises the outcomes. “The whole dating thing is on the back burner. You can go for a walk outside, but that’s about it. Also, lots of people are not comfortable with meeting someone in their home.”


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First-year sociology student Simon Bank had expected something else from his first year of study, also when it comes to love. “In secondary school, friends always used to say: Your love life starts at university,” he states. “But in the current situation, it’s just really difficult. Lectures take place via Zoom and you really don’t go and approach someone during a video call, that comes across as a bit weird.”

Simon Banks

All the same, Simon has managed to arrange a few dates via dating apps, although these have gone differently than usual. “For example, a while back I agreed to meet up with a girl and walk around Amsterdam. But in the end, we decided to leave it at that one date.”


As a tip for couples in times of corona, Van Bohemen recommends: “Really take the time for each other. Try not to sit around in your sweatpants for a change. It does help if you dress nicely.” Plus, singles should bear in mind: “Intimacy can be found in so many ways and not just in sexual relationships. Meet up with the friends that you already have more often.”

Laura and her boyfriend have already made plans for Valentine’s Day. “We’ll give each other a present and have a lovely dinner together.” Simon is also planning to do something and is following Van Bohemen’s tip for singles. “I may not have a date, but I think I’m going to have a nice time video-chatting with my friends.”