In a recent interview with The Guardian, Perel opened up about just how significant the pandemic has been for relationships. “We know that disasters and crises often function like relationship accelerators,” she told the publication. “A disaster heightens our sense of mortality, of precariousness, of ‘life is short’. And when life is short, you may say suddenly, ‘Let’s move in together, let’s have a child, let’s get married.’ Like, ‘What am I waiting for?’” But you might also say: “If life is short, I’m not doing this for another 20 years.”
Perel refers to eros, a term she doesn’t simply use sexually but rather one that encompasses a “feeling of curiosity, aliveness, exploration - the happenstance, the chance encounter.” For Perel, she believes that as the pandemic begins to subside and more people get vaccinated, we’ll see a return to connecting to a healthy relationship with eros.
While some suggest that the post-Covid era will be a time of great hedonism, Perel is more cautious, believing it will be more complicated than simply giving in to all forms of decadence. Having worked with people around the world during this time, she believes people will once again seek spontaneity and surprise, but need to learn to trust again. As she suggests, we’ll come out of Covid with varying degrees of risk tolerance and each of us will be psychologically changed in different ways.