What ‘turbo relationships’ tell us about moving too quickly in love…

Stephen Hussey

The pandemic takes its toll, not only on personal health but also the health of our relationships.

For single people, it may feel like there’s still a sexual firewall in place, blocking the uncoupled from making new attachments until we all get the next anti-virus update (though some are taking their chances regardless, I’m sure).

But what about those who have been in couples during lockdown?

A recent report from Relate and eHarmony in the UK suggests that many new couples have found their relationships on fast-forward over the last few months:

“Coined ‘turbo relationships’, over a third (36%) agree that two months in isolation feels equivalent to two years of commitment, and the same amount (36%) say they’ve reached common relationship milestones, such as moving in together, quicker. This acceleration has also led to more sex (23%), better communication (28%) and the opportunity to discover new, shared passions (18%).


More than half of new couples feel more committed to their partner than ever, but 17% say lockdown made them realise the relationship is over.”

Ok, this is a limited sample and we certainly can’t make any hard conclusions from it.

But the idea of ‘fast-forwarding’ relationships in lockdown makes intuitive sense. If a relationship grows by simply spending more time doing normal stuff in each other’s company, a couple living together for two months in lockdown for all intensive purposes may as well be married.

In some ways, there’s an efficiency to the forced enclosure: Think you’re compatible? Move in together for two months and put it to the test immediately.

It reminds me of a guy I used to know who told me that whenever he started dating someone new he would immediately bring them on vacation with him (within the first few dates!). If it works, he knows it’s something special. If they drive each other nuts and look forward to time apart afterwards, he knows it’s doomed.

We often judge people quickly who plunge into love, tell them they’re “moving too fast”. I know as a typical slow-mover I certainly have. But maybe it’s an underrated strategy for sifting out the wrong people quicker.

All well and good, but the one impediment to this filter is the question of whether you’re choosing good people in the first place. There’s an old computer science maxim: GIGO. Garbage-in, Garbage-out.

If you move too quickly consistently with every potential partner, then you’re just putting yourself in a constant cycle. Hook-up, move in together, argue, fight, break up, cry, eat junk food, get your confidence back, rinse and repeat. Then it becomes a terrible waste of time.

But that said: if you feel great about someone, and you’re both actually in the same life stage and seriously want commitment, perhaps stepping on the gas is the way to go. Set the relationship to “turbo” for a while and you’ll figure out quickly whether or not it’s meant to be. If it isn’t though, be ready for a tricky conversation about social distancing.

What are your thoughts? Do modern relationships move too quickly or slowly? Let me know in the comments below.

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12 Replies to “What ‘turbo relationships’ tell us about moving too quickly in love…”

  • Having started a new relationship at the beginning of March and spent so much time together since, it feels more like a year together than 4 months in for sure! But in the very best way! We know each other far better, and have had quality time we may not have otherwise had. Having had this “turbo” time as you describe, for us has worked and we know that we plan to spend the rest of our lives together.

  • I could agree more!
    I am incredibly grateful for this lockdown! These months were the Lachmus paper for many of my friendships and relationships. Just before the lockdown I rekindled with a guy I had a date with last year and because during lockdown everything was forced to slow down, he also slowly started to show his true colours and I was in the good place to actually walk away. The red flags I sensed in the beginning proved themselves true and that led me to read about emotionally abusive relationships and learned a lot and made peace with a lot of previous failed attempts.
    Also I have learned: if someone wants to move fast, slow them down and they will show their true colours, and you’ll save a lot a heartache and time – just as the blog post says.

  • Here I really don’t believe in moving too quickly in relationship although l must say l believe in loveisblind, ok it depends on individuals you go for what you know is good and safety for you, I like a good conversation and then companion✌️

  • Stephen,

    This article has left me with a few mixed emotions. I am not sure the principle of ”the turbo speed” dating or moving in together, is of merit for the longevity of a couple. I am more of a slow-mover too, and that’s probably the reason why I am not inclined to make out of the blue love-life decisions, which are usually based on lust and aroused emotions. BTW: Not just the GIGO method, there is also a FIFO method coming from accounting; First in, First out, which could be applied to that principle :-).

    And seeing what happened to one of my former good friends, makes my conviction even stronger. His first marriage lasted for a year, the second for approximately seven years and the third less than a year. He tied the knot for the third time after under the year of dating, and it ended bitterly after only five months, with the public” washing of dirty laundry. ”

    Going to the vacation together can be a good indicator of potential personality/lifestyle, etc. compatibility or mismatch. As I heard there is another good test of character to identify if someone is a marriage material; which is to go sailing together for two weeks; being together in limited space and under various (weather) conditions can be quite challenging. The ”bride to be ” of my friend passed this test, but their marriage failed anyway. Friendships/relationships have to pass the test of time, and even in this case we sometimes uncover ”the real” face of a person only after few months/years of knowing/living with them. Thus, I am assured that the 2-month lockdown is a too short period to draw some serious conclusions from that. Still, it gives some insights or indication of the potential endurance of the couple.

    Moving in together is a considerable test for compatibility of a newly-in-love-couple, but the lockdown has also shown quite a bit of love-casualties, especially among long-term couples: ”Divorce inquiries up 42pc since coronavirus lockdown” https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/06/02/divorce-inquiries-42pc-since-coronavirus-lockdown/

    It’s not easy to meet people in these challenging times due to social-distancing, wearing masks (a bit of physical attraction is lost that way), etc. The pool of people whit whom we feel great in their company and are in the same life stage (synchronicity of timing) gets even smaller. Thus, if by chance we meet this kind of person it’s worth giving it a try.

  • Its so hard these days to be at the same pace with someone. I met someonline during lockdown who was moving so fast telling me how much he felt weve a special connection that this could turn into love. I was holding back a bit as it was so intense. He called me out on it and made me feel bad for doing so. So..I thought just go with it…he obviously likes you so much. I started opening up more and being more intimate. Then last week. He dumped me. I now wonder which is the best way to go.. go with the flow or risk them getting offended.

  • Hi,

    Very interesting article and stats.

    I was supposed to move in with my partner only 2 months after the lockdown started, so it happened a bit earlier.

    But there is a lot of reconsiderations and questioning, when you live 24/7 with someone and work next to eachother every day.

    You get to see their full personality that even after a year and a half relationship, I did not know. It is a very big challenge and I am asking myself should I be more indulgent because we are in quarantine, should I give the benefit of the doubt… or it is enough and I am seeing all those red flags so I should leave now. Thats is the kind of question I have in my mind.

  • Hi
    I think this question is in everyone’s mind…today modern relationships move too quickly…partners do not know each other very well and act out to have relationships… They do not pay attention to the this topic that they are stranger to each other…after a little time they get married…two years later they will live with him or her but life is like boring bond and their love isn’t like past…in the past people had time to investigate about partners…teens think their real life is like virtual life…thanks for your question

  • I started dating my boyfriend roughly 11 months ago now, before lockdown started I was staying at his easily 5/6 nights a week. When lockdown came into effect I stayed at his.. he was living in a shared house at the time so we pretty much lived in one bedroom for about 2/3 months 24/7. It taught me a lot about our relationship and how well we really do get on! Now 11months into the relationship we have moved into a rented house together. Some may say we’ve moved too fast but after spending so much time together (No personal space) in just one room it proved to me how compatible we were. I know that if it was anyone but him I would’ve gone crazy. For example if I had done that with my ex we would not have lasted a week without bickering and wanting to rip each other’s heads off. I personally don’t think we moved too fast by moving in as we are both on the same page with each other, we have a very open and honest relationship and more importantly we have so much fun together.

  • This could be an effective strategy to test compatibility without loosing too much time, and yet if one is not mentally strong enough to pull themselves from it, if things are not great, then there is a danger of getting stuck in an unhealthy relationships.

  • Whether relationships move too quickly or not is not an issue, because the speed in relationships can be conditioned by so many factors – the parties involved, their cultural and religious beliefs, their social and financial standing, environment etcetera. The only thing I can say is that when a relationship feels right, you will know. It is something everyone has and when a relationship finally ends, we can say that we knew even from the start that something was off and something didn’t feel right. It is what prevents us from putting the blame of our failed relationships entirely on someone else.

  • I have to say that I’m enjoying and learning so much through the Love.Life membership, listening to the podcasts, viewing/reading posts, experiencing the virtual retreats and each experience has been healing me, growing me, preparing me for the next chapter in my life. Thank you to the whole Hussey clan and team :) I think the vibe of the relationship will set the pace. Maybe different speeds. People who are attracted to each other are naturally interested in the other person and will move the relationship at a pace that creates comfort, excitement, happiness and trust between them. I think right relationships will work at any pace

  • I think modern relationships move to slowly. I think people are too cautious and afraid, but personally I think we should just go after what who we want, having in mind that this person is good and good for us, and not hold back.

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