Settling down without settling: Perceived changes in partner preferences in response to COVID-19

Cassandra Alexopoulos, Elisabeth Timmermans, Liesel L. Sharabi, David J. Roaché, Alyssa Croft, Elizabeth Dorrance Hall, Laurie James-Hawkins, Veronica Lamarche, Maximiliane Uhlich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


The goal of this study was to explore the positive association between concern related to COVID-19 and single individuals’ perceived changes to their partner preferences. In addition, we investigated the mediating role of fear of being single. Results indicated that people with greater COVID-19 concern perceived an increase in the importance of stability, family commitment, and physical/social attractiveness, as well as fear of being single. Fear of being single only negatively predicted the importance of physical/social attractiveness, whereas it positively predicted the importance of stability and family commitment. Thus, in most cases, people with a greater concern for COVID-19 perceived themselves to become more selective, even when they exhibit higher levels of fear of being single.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1901-1919
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Social and Personal Relationships
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2021


  • COVID-19
  • fear of being single
  • mate selection
  • partner preferences

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Communication
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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