Turbo Relationship—What Is It and Will It Last?

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If you met your partner in January and moved in together in March, you’re part of one of the oddities of the COVID-19 pandemic: a turbo relationship. Is it a good thing? What’s the future for such relationships?

The Fast-Forward Effect in Relationship Timeline

On a typical relationship timeline, strong connections can take months or years to develop fully. But a couple can become close quickly if there are outside circumstances that push them to bond—like quarantine. Despite the somewhat accelerated pace of the relationship, it would still seem right for that couple.

Therapists say that the majority of people in turbo relationships experience positive outcomes from making big moves or hitting relationship milestones in warp speed. A report from eHarmony echoes that. About 60% of new couples who moved in together during the quarantine period feel more committed to their partner than ever. They said that being locked down felt equivalent to two years of commitment.

So, what exactly happened? How did the lockdown push people to be closer to their new partners?

Peter Saddington, a counselor based in the UK, explained that when you’re in a new relationship, your brain and body become preoccupied. After all, there’s that thrill of being in a new relationship. Usually, you tend to forget these feelings when you don’t see your partner all day, and you need to focus on work, go for a jog, visit a clinic for an IV therapy, or see your family or friends. But those activities were pretty non-existent during the lockdown; a person in a turbo relationship only had their partner to talk to at home.

And in a situation where the world was full of uncertainties, having someone you could rely on to ease your everyday stresses was a great thing. That probably made people in turbo relationships realize they liked living together and even consider keeping that arrangement for months or years to come.

The Future of Turbocharged Relationships


Does this intense bonding mean couples in turbo relationships are more likely to stay together for a long time? Or have they only fast-tracked their way to the breakup phase? Turbocharged relationships are a new phenomenon, so counselors and psychologists don’t have a clear picture of the future of such relationships.

But some therapists have their theory. The three-hour-long talks about each other’s interests, Netflix dates, couples’ workout, and flirty negotiations over household chores are solid foundations. And the fact that the couples in a turbo relationship managed to weather the difficult times together shows strength in their connection. Even if the normal life and relationship timeline resume, those couples will be inclined to look back on the quarantine period very fondly.

The common issue that arises in couples’ counseling is that they don’t have enough time for each other. So if you’ve had that precious three months alone with your new partner, you got to start on the right foot. You and your partner just need to build on that to make your turbo relationship last for years.

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