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Lockdown Love Survival Guide – Expert: Dr. Patricia Celan

Tell us about yourself and your work

I’m Dr. Patricia Celan, a Psychiatry Resident at Dalhousie University in Canada. I completed my M.D. at the University of British Columbia. I completed a B.A. in Psychology prior to that.

What would you say makes your dating/relationship expertise unique?

When I was studying Psychology for my Bachelor of Arts, I was also a Research Assistant in a Close Relationships Research Lab. This involved assisting with research projects on couples – especially marital couples. I received training and learned extensive information about relationships at the time. I have maintained my interest in interpersonal relationships and continue to be drawn towards such topics in my present post-graduate studies in psychiatry.

Our Thoughts

It can be easy to forget that difficulty in a relationship, such as a forced switch to long distance, can have a profound affect on our mental health. Being apart from our loved ones, especially during such emotionally taxing time, can easily cause anxiety, stress and depression.

The professional help that experts such Dr. Patricia Celan offer is invaluable in times like these. Be sure to check Celan and her work to learn more.

With so many people unable to see their other half during lockdown, what three things would you give to those in a relationship to help them get through this tough time?

  1. Dr. John Gottman is highly respected in the field of relationship research, after 40 years of meaningful contributions to the available literature. His website features an online course that includes many of his useful research findings and can help couples improve their relationship. https://www.gottman.com/product/the-art-and-science-of-love-online/
  2. Maintain your relationship during this tough time by taking advantage of everything technology has to offer. From texting and calling regularly, video chat dates, to romantic encounters on Snapchat, you can keep your relationship going with just a bit more effort than usual. Try playing games together on video chat or going through a questionnaire together, such as the 36 questions to fall in love, in order to maintain your connection.
  3. A retired man recently told me that when he was in his youth, he was in a long-distance relationship. At that time, technology was not as advanced as it is today. Keeping the long-distance relationship going involved writing a daily letter to be sent through snail-mail, once a week phone calls, and once or twice per year reunions. He kept that up for a few years. He has been married to that long-distance partner for over 50 years now. If he and his partner were able to handle such difficult conditions for a long-distance relationship and succeed, then with a little effort, patience, and understanding, your relationship can make it through this time too!
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