Interview by Emma Malefakis. Written by Mary DeMaio

Everyone experiences loneliness at some point in their life. Loneliness isn’t just something that happens when we are physically separated, but can also arise in the presence of others when we fail to build strong connections. The new self-help book by certified relationship coach Kira Asatryan, gives readers relationship advice on how to create closeness to fulfill human interaction. Her book, Stop Being Lonely: Three Simple Steps to Developing Close Friendships and Deep Relationships suggests many helpful approaches for satisfying long-term relationships, as well as casual companionship’s through knowing and caring for others. In this exclusive author interview, Asatryan talks about how closeness is established on a deeper level to understand people from their own perspective. 

Author Opens Up On Best Relationship Advice When Feeling Lonely

To start, we love the premise of Stop Being Lonely. Can you give us some background on what inspired you to write this book?

I have been interested in the topic of loneliness for years because I have experienced a lot of it myself over the course of my life. I found it really frustrating and confusing mainly because I have always had relationships with people and always had people in my life, so I didn’t quite understand why that wasn’t enough to make me not feel lonely all the time. That is why I wanted to explore the distinction between having people in your life and having a certain quality in one’s relationship.

Related Link: Kate Gosselin Reveals She’s Lonely on Dr. Drew

What do you feel the primary cause of loneliness is in our culture?

There are a number of things that have made it so that people are becoming lonelier. The trends say that the amount of people feeling lonely is increasing. It is up 30 percent over the last couple of years. One thing that is sort of crazy to me is that we have more and more access to each other than we ever had before through technology specifically. It is an interesting counter-intuitive thing that we have more access to people and yet loneliness is increasing.

How would you say online dating impacts loneliness in a relationship? Can you explain if it sets a precedent for communicating only via email/text?

Online dating is starting to be studied in depth both how people use it and how it is affecting people. At this point, the results are that online dating is just really complicated. Both men and women are struggling with how to interact with each other over these mediums. I think you are right, it does set a precedent of leading these relationships through text, email and messaging. One thing we do know is that you cannot get very close to somebody unless you interact with them in person.

Related Link: Relationship Author Daisy Buchanan Shares Her Dating Advice For ‘Meeting Your Match’ Online

You mention that the cure to loneliness is closeness. Can you explain how closeness would cure loneliness in a romantic relationship?

In the social science world, people tend to typically say intimacy when they are talking about romantic relationships. To me, intimacy encompasses what I define as closeness and also the sexual component. I talk mostly about the closeness component because it applies to more relationships than just your sexual relationship. Closeness, as I define it, is direct access to another person’s inner world. I say that it is the antidote to loneliness because the kind of loneliness that we are experiencing these days is not really a lack of people, it is a lack of feeling like we can really understand each other and that we are really valued by the people in our lives. So closeness kind of minimizes that internal distance that we are feeling, which creates the feeling of loneliness.

What advice would you give to a couple who has relationship problems and is struggling with loneliness?

Loneliness in romantic couples is challenging because if you are already in a committed relationship, say a marriage, you have to start at a different place than you would if this was a new person that you just met. In general, I say people should create closeness by knowing and caring. Knowing means getting to know the person on a deeper level and understanding them from their own perspective. Caring means showing them that you are interested and that you matter to them. For couples who are already married or in a committed relationship, I would start with the caring part because the couple that has been married for 10 years would typically say we know everything about each other. Whether or not that is actually true, that is what they believe. Caring and showing the other person that you appreciate them or support them can really diminish quickly in a marriage, so bolstering that side of it up can make a huge difference.

What dating advice would you give to someone who is holding out and not dating because they haven’t met anyone who has all the criteria on their checklist?

I would say that there is value to taking that step to meet someone in person if you are at all interested in them. Don’t go into a date prepared that the other person might be totally terrible and you might regret doing it. My relationship advice is to view it as an opportunity to get to know the person, especially if this is an online situation. It is basically impossible to know if someone is a good fit for you on deeper level through the online stuff. So as painful as it can be, if you can get yourself out there to meet them, I think that is the right thing to do.

Stop Being Lonely: Three Simple Steps to Developing Close Friendships and Deep Relationships is available now on Amazon. For more on Kira Asatryan visit the Stop Being Lonely website and check out Kira’s twitter at https://twitter.com/kiraasatryan.