LOVE UNDER LOCKDOWN
Apps help to strengthen romantic relationships during quarantine
As the novel coronavirus shutdown prompts people to remain in social distancing mode, social apps have become even more integral to daily life, much of which is now spent under quarantine. Now, new relationship apps are helping couples maintain strong and healthy connections and communication, which is especially crucial for couples confined in close quarters for potentially the foreseeable future.
Emi (which means “smile” in Japanese) functions as a free digital relationship coach by sending users daily, bite-sized, and highly-actionable relationship exercises via text. The goal behind Emi is to help couples build healthy relationship habits through prompts that encourage daily connection, gratitude, communication, and honest emotional expression. To help users solidify such good habits into a regular practice despite busy schedules (as well as a lack of personal time due to quarantine), Emi tracks ‘streaks’ to motivate and encourage users. All exercises take less than one minute to complete, and do not require a participating partner to be physically present (meaning Emi can be used for long-distance couples, too).
Facebook’s New Product Experimentation (NPE) team has quietly released a new messaging app that aims to improve communication between romantic partners. Tuned gives significant others additional avenues to communicate via messaging in a personal space, with fun additions like stickers, love notes, mood boards, and even the ability to share music by integrating the app with Spotify. This “scrapbook-style” app comes at a time when some couples are quarantining apart from one another, leading it to be a potentially great way for couples to feel connected even when physically-distanced. The NPE works on experimental Facebook projects, so Tuned feels distanced from the major Facebook apps like Facebook Dating and Messenger, but still offers that personalized touch the brand encourages via its vast platform.
Love Nudge is a relationship app that is based on marriage counselor Gary Chapman’s New York Times best-selling book The 5 Love Languages. The intention behind the app is to help people in relationships understand their own love language, as well as how to strengthen their relationship based on their partner’s language. Love Nudge provides a quiz so each user can discover their specific love language, which could be quality time, receiving gifts, words of affirmation, acts of service, or physical touch. Once each partner in the couple has completed their quiz, the app offers goal trackers, reminders, statistics, and the ability to send a ‘nudge’ to their partner to cue them in on how to show them affection based on their language. The app has received a good bit of love since its release in January 2019, with over 500,000 installs on Google Play and an average user rating of 4.4 stars (between Android and Apple).