Keeping the flames of love burning isn't always easy - even in a world where candlelit restaurants are open and couples can stroll the beach at sunset.

So how are New Zealand couples keeping their passion afire in Covid-19's world under lockdown?

Here new flames, newlyweds, young parents and those with more than half a century together tell the Herald on Sunday how they are keeping love alive in the age of the coronavirus.

Kersti Ward and Justin Spick: young couple apart

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Kersti Ward and boyfriend Justin Spick have made a commitment not to Netflix cheat while kept apart by the coronavirus lock down. Photo / Supplied
Kersti Ward and boyfriend Justin Spick have made a commitment not to Netflix cheat while kept apart by the coronavirus lock down. Photo / Supplied

Kersti Ward, 22, and boyfriend Justin Spick, 21, made an important commitment not to cheat on each other while in lockdown, hundreds of kilometres apart.

Netflix cheat, that is.

"We made a commitment to not watch-ahead the shows that we've been watching or were gonna watch together," Ward - who is in lockdown in Taranaki with her family - says.

"That is something I get pretty grumpy about when we promised to watch something and one skips ahead. There is a lot of trust in that," she says with a laugh.

With Spick staying in Auckland during the lockdown because he wasn't sure whether his building project would be classified as an essential service, the couple have each installed a Google Chrome internet browser extension called Netflix Party.

"It means that if one person pauses a movie, it pauses it for everyone and makes a little chatbox so you can type and talk," Ward says.

Aside from Netflix, they have also been talking and eating lunch together on FaceTime video calls.

However, it can be hard to find new things to chat about when both are locked indoors all day, Ward admits.

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"It is important to check in and make sure each other is okay, but also understand that you are both going to be quite stressed," she says.

"There is no pressure to be in each other's face, but also we need to balance that with not neglecting the other."

The couple were also more grateful for the little things, with Ward vowing to spend fewer nights lazing indoors.

Her ideal first date night back after lockdown would be to reunite with Spick over their shared passion for Dominion Rd noodles.

Katie Mattice and Ryan Minett: young couple together

Ryan Minett and Katie Mattice's whirlwind romance has left them cooped up together during the coronavirus lock down. Photo / Supplied
Ryan Minett and Katie Mattice's whirlwind romance has left them cooped up together during the coronavirus lock down. Photo / Supplied

Canadian Katie Mattice, 31, and Brit Ryan Minett, 26, set off on a crazy, whirlwind romance in February before the lockdown cooped them up in the same flat.

"It was supposed to be a casual thing and now we're stuck together," Mattice said.

If that wasn't complicated enough, Minett is Mattice's ex-boyfriend's best friend.

"We are having fun, but also some days, you're like: what is happening with my life - this is a lot so fast," Mattice jokes, while Minett watches Married At First Sight on the television in the background of her call with the Herald.

The pair first met as friends three years ago on farms in Australia as part of their working holiday visa requirements.

Recently, they had been living separate lives, with Minett working as a tradie in Auckland, and Mattice as a hairdresser in Wellington.

Then Minett planned a road trip to the South Island in February with another girl, but first made a fateful stop in Wellington to catch up with Mattice.

"A few glasses of Canadian Club changed everything", Mattice says.

Having fallen in love, Minett aborted his South Island trip.

"I was like, 'it is cool, we can do this, but let's not jump into it'," Mattice says.

"You need to get your own place, and I'll keep mine and we'll date like normal people."

But the lockdown hit before Minett could get a flat and job, so he stayed put with Mattice and her flatmate.

Now the couple are having fun, but also trying to give each other space.

"Sometimes he sleeps in a different room to so we can feel like we have separate houses," Mattice said.

They planned to reassess whether to live together or move into separate houses after the lockdown and "date like normal people".

"You still want to enjoy the honeymoon and the dating side of things, you've got plenty of time to settle down and do crosswords together and die," Mattice says.

Lizzie and Rob Lee: young parents

Lizzie and Rob Lee with sons Spencer and Harrison are enjoying extra family time during the lock down. Photo / Supplied
Lizzie and Rob Lee with sons Spencer and Harrison are enjoying extra family time during the lock down. Photo / Supplied

High-school sweethearts and young parents Lizzie and Rob Lee, both 34, have been spending more time together than usual during the lockdown.

But - as it's filled with nappy changes and arts-and-crafts lessons - it's not exactly the romantic kind.

"Physically we are spending more time together, because we are in the same space, but it is not really quality time," Lizzie says.

"I am on a computer or in between work phone calls and trying to spend time with the kids."

The Auckland couple are parents to 2-year-old Spencer and almost 5-month-old Harrison.

Both boys would normally spend four days a week in childcare and one with their grandmother due to physiotherapist Rob owning Form Physio in Auckland city, and Lizzie returning from maternity leave to her marketing manager role with fitness chain Les Mills.

However, now Rob's business has temporarily closed, he is on fulltime "daddy daycare" duties.

Rob Lee on daddy daycare duties. Photo / Supplied
Rob Lee on daddy daycare duties. Photo / Supplied

To cope, the family decided they needed a routine. It involves waking early with Rob and Lizzie taking turns to work out before both get the kids ready and go on a family walk.

By 8am, Lizzie is working, while Rob entertains the boys. At 3pm, Lizzie puts her tools down for a dance workout with her sons, then she's back at work until 5.30pm.

Next she and the boys call a different family member on Skype before the next few hours are taken up with bath, dinner and bed duties.

"Then finally my husband and I get to talk to each other or watch Netflix," Lizzie says.

The family are grateful for the extra time together and have made a rule of no work in the evenings, but Lizzie admits this needs attention.

"We still need to get better at phones down after dinner," she said.

Emily and Luke Orr: newlyweds

Newly weds Emily and Luke Orr married in mid-February, just before the coronavirus ran rampant across the globe. Photo / Black Robin Photography
Newly weds Emily and Luke Orr married in mid-February, just before the coronavirus ran rampant across the globe. Photo / Black Robin Photography

Everyone tells Hamilton couple Emily, 29, and Luke Orr, 34, they married just in time. They tied the knot in the middle of February, meaning all their guests could attend.

Yet their Japan and Bali honeymoon sadly fell victim to coronavirus.

"This is like a little honeymoon - but just a really boring honeymoon at home," Emily says about spending extra time locked down together.

Emily runs group fitness classes - and has now taken to live-streaming a free class every day from her home to the public before sending it to paying clients - while Luke owns a painting business.

Covid19.govt.nz: The Government's official Covid-19 advisory website

They have also made a rule to not put the TV on during the day so they can hang out more and get things done.

Luke is now repainting the house, while their border collie-cross-retriever, is "loving life" with two walks a day.

Luke's 14-year-old daughter from another relationship is also set also spend two weeks with the couple, which they are eagerly looking forward to.

And though the busy couple normally eat similar meals each day, they have found one way to spice up their lives - heating things up in the kitchen.

"We decided each night we are actually gonna become MasterChefs, so right now we are being more creative cooking, which is lots of fun," Emily says.

Rae and Gavin McGregor: older couple

Gavin and Rae McGregor panic-borrowed from the library rather than panic shopped from the supermarket. Photo / Supplied
Gavin and Rae McGregor panic-borrowed from the library rather than panic shopped from the supermarket. Photo / Supplied

Authors Rae, 78, and Gavin, 82, McGregor didn't panic-buy at the supermarket before the lockdown.

Instead, they panic-borrowed from the library.

The Auckland couple - who have been married for 58 years - haven't had as much disruption from the lockdown as some others.

Gavin has been kept apart from his beloved sailing - including his role as skipper of the Maritime Museum's heritage sailing ship the Ted Ashby - and the couple have had to suspend their many voluntary roles.

But with Gavin researching a book about the MV Kaitawa - which disappeared near Cape Reinga with all hands in 1966 - and Rae writing her own novel, the pair have plenty of hobbies to keep them busy and in each other's company.

They are getting My Food Bag deliveries - although Gavin is making some visits to the supermarket, which he describes as a worry.

Another older couple from Albany, who did not want to be named, have described learning a new skill because of the coronavirus - ordering supermarket shopping online.

However, after accidentally clicking to collect the shopping rather than get it delivered, they have had to seek help from Age Concern, who sent a volunteer to drop it off for them.

The woman notes that it is not just love between couples but family love being affected by the lockdown.

"I have one little granddaughter who is 5 years old, I'm so close to her and she broke her arm a few weeks ago in a playground," the woman says.

"Normally, I'm the first one to help but it is so frustrating I can't even give her hugs and cuddles anymore."