This year has definitely presented us with a lot of challenges. The global pandemic has forced a lot of people to question what they really want in life. Whether isolating alone or quarantining with others, this new experience of living has affected people in many different ways.

In late July, Félix & Lucie French wine commissioned a study to understand the impact that COVID-19 had on romantic relationships in Toronto and Montreal. Based on their findings, 69% said that they’ve been spending more time with their partner over the last four months. Couples have done everything from working together at the kitchen table and catching up on their favourite shows to setting up virtual dates and doing online yoga classes together via Skype.

Among respondents, 40% claim that wine has been essential to setting a romantic mood during COVID. It's been declared a must-have as it helps couples relax (59%), enhances the taste of meals (54%), and helps put them "in the mood" (34%).

Another interesting fact: millennials are nearly twice as likely to show their partner how much they mean to them, compared to baby boomers. Over one-third do this by preparing a special meal with wine; 44% express their love verbally whereas 27% regularly checked-in on their significant other digitally or in-person.

The study even found out which activities couples are most looking forward to now that restrictions are lifting: 52% can't wait to meet up with other coupled friends; 51% are excited to go for a romantic restaurant dinner; 42% hope to take a trip together for some more alone time. 

Some Canadians have shared their experiences with the pandemic and how it has impacted their love life*. Each story helps us forget about the fear that COVID has imposed on us, and serves as a reminder that there is always a silver lining.

1. Making The Best Of A Bad Situation

Due to the pandemic, Emma Harris's fiancé had to postpone his big move from the UK to Canada. Anxiously waiting to get married in October, the long-distance lovers now stay connected by texting, calling each other and sending video messages, voice messages and endless GIFs, of course. Over Skype, they sometimes have dinner dates or even do mundane things together, like ironing. They look forward to their weekly games night and regularly check in with each other. Even though it's a tough time for both, they wouldn't want to go through it with anyone else.

2. Newlyweds, A New House & A Whole New Appreciation Of Love

Two months into their marriage and move from downtown Toronto to Hamilton, Chantel Powley and her husband found themselves quarantining together in a new city and struggling to open up a business. While he got promoted and worked nearly 24/7, she was stuck at home alone, basically trying not to curl up into a ball and cry on the floor or drink all the wine in sight. Instead of taking their stress out on each other, the couple became much closer. Chantal's husband handled her mental breakdowns with tenderness, constantly checking in and offering her support. They also made sure to let loose and have fun together as often as possible. The entire experience taught them that they can tackle anything together and it deepened her love and respect for him. 

3. Breaking Rules In The Name Of Love

Manu Sharma only had the chance to go on two dates with his now-girlfriend before lockdown began. When his university and her workplace got shut down, the couple used that free time to get to know each other. Like 6% of study respondents, defying social distancing rules was a risk they were willing to take. Finding themselves together every day meant that their relationship progressed quickly. In fact, they moved in together after just one month. Now happily in love, the couple's friends and family have teasingly nicknamed them "COVID lovers."   

4. The Hardest Thing We've Ever Done Together

Kate Radu-Serio and her husband welcomed their newborn during the lockdown and spent four months at home together. Without any outside help for the first month, they navigated this new reality and had to figure out how to take care of their bundle of joy. This experience didn't only leave Kate in awe of how attentive her husband is to her needs but also showed her what an incredible father he is. Though it's the hardest thing they’ve ever gone through, she couldn't be more grateful to have married her best friend.

Among its sample of 500 adults who are either married, common law, or in a romantic relationship, the Félix & Lucie study shows that 22% of people are even more in love with their partner now — and these sweet stories definitely reflect that. 

Sure, the pandemic has done its damage, but at least we can give it some credit for bringing more love into the world. Félix & Lucie are no strangers to love — they're known to be the wine for lovers. Their goal is to help Canadians set a romantic mood with their partner and to live passionately. 

Nothing says “romance” like a beautiful bottle of French wine, such as Félix & Lucie's Sauvignon Blanc or Cabernet Sauvignon, but imagine actually being able to enjoy it under the Eiffel Tower with your loved one? Félix & Lucie is giving you the opportunity to strengthen your love and win a trip to France (or somewhere that feels like France) through one of two $2,000 travel vouchers (no expiry date). All you need to do is fill out this contest form, and wait for a winner (hopefully you!) to be picked.

You can purchase Félix & Lucie in the French wine section of your local LCBO. Be sure to enter their contest to win one of two travel vouchers worth $2,000 each!

*Responses have been edited for clarity.
THE CONTEST: No Purchase necessary. The contest will run from August 31st at 9:00 AM until September 14th at 9:00 AM. A total of 2 winners will be randomly on September 14th at 9:00 AM, at 1 Westmount Square, in Montreal. Selected winners will have to answer a skill-testing requirement question in order to claim their prize. Contestants will have until September 21st, 5:00 PM to claim their prize. Otherwise, another winner will be randomly drawn.
CONDITIONS TO PARTICIPATE: Participants must be Canadian residents and must be of legal drinking age in their province of residence. Winners cannot be employees of Narcity Media Inc. or Narcity Media Quebec Inc.
PRIZE: A total of two (2) $2,000 Travel vouchers will be drawn, for a total prize value of $4,000. Winners will be contacted through email. The travel vouchers will have no expiry date.
 
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