Most of us have had some sort of bubble throughout the pandemic: a small group of people we limited ourselves to seeing while a novel virus spread among the masses. For some of us, that’s been the family members we already live with. For others it was a few, select friends we gathered with— many of us call them our “pods.”

So what happened over a year of being cut off from a larger, more interactive group of humans?

Did families draw nearer? Did romantic relationships fall apart? Did pods or bubbles of friends become stale and show signs of fatigue?

Amie Gordon is an assistant professor of Psychology at the University of Michigan and director of The Well-being, Health, and Interpersonal Relationships Lab. She released a survey in April asking couples how they navigate stress throughout the pandemic. The survey, which was originally intended to collect six months of data, has now been active for almost a year.

They have been surveying specific couples once every three months. Gordon said one of the factors playing into couples’ stress is the feeling that their goals or schedules were thwarted by their partner.

“So that idea then that you're sort of around each other and your partner can walk in and, when you're in the middle of work, can distract you or you think you're going to get something done in the day, but you have to negotiate that with someone else,” Gordon said.

Read the full article and listen to the interview at Michigan Radio.