Pandemic weight gain and aging

Study: Pandemic Is Making Us Less Attractive to Our Partners


Maybe it’s the weight gain, the infamous “Quarantine 15.” Maybe it’s the stress of the pandemic accelerating aging. Or maybe it’s just from the result of being cooped up at home with each other all the time. Whatever the confluence of reasons, the data is in, and it’s ugly: 89 percent of Americans in long-term relationships say their partner’s appearance has changed and 63 percent say their partner looks worse than they did before the pandemic started.

Now the boom we’ve seen in cosmetic dermatology procedures over the past year is starting to make sense.

How are people’s appearances changing? In the usual ways, of course. Partners report the most noticeable changes have been: fatter bellies, fatter faces, and fatter lower bodies. But routines have changed too, especially those associated with physical upkeep and appearance. Fifty-two percent say their partner is dressing more casually, 46 percent say their partner is spending less time on hygiene, and 45 percent say their partner is spending less time on grooming.

Weight gain and aging trends during Covid-19 pandemic

Not surprisingly, 57 percent of people we surveyed say they’re less attracted to their partners than before the pandemic and 56 percent say they’re having less sex. Additionally, 55 percent say they have felt embarrassed in social situations about how their partner looks! Sounds like it’s time for a makeover.

Weight gain and aging trends during Covid-19 pandemic

We asked what people would change about their partner’s appearance if they could. First and foremost, 79 percent of those we surveyed said their partner could stand to lose some weight. Quite a bit actually: twenty-two pounds on average. Presentation is important too: 69 percent said they wished their partner groomed themself differently.

Weight gain and aging trends during Covid-19 pandemic

Where do we go from here, besides the gym and the dermatologist? Good communication solves many problems in relationships, so you might start there if you have concerns. Three in four people say they’ve mentioned these changes to their partners, in one or another. More than half (52 percent) have addressed it directly, while the rest (48 percent) have stuck to making subtle comments. Of course, we hope people are sensitive and constructive when they communicate, these have been hard times. And to anyone looking to transform themselves, regain their confidence, and catch their partner’s eye again, we wish you the best on your journey!


From August 9-10, 2021, we surveyed 1,463 Americans in relationships of a year or more, to ask them about changes in their partner’s appearance that have occurred since the beginning of the pandemic. Our respondents were 51 percent male and 49 percent female, with an average age of 38 years old and an age range of 18 to 68 years old.

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