updated 10/24/2013 AT 12:45 PM ET
•originally published 10/24/2013 AT 12:10 PM ET
When former Beverly Hills 90210 star AnnaLynne McCord accepted her award for her anti-human trafficking efforts at the Unlikely Heroes Award Gala in Hollywood over the weekend, there was someone missing by her side – actor boyfriend Dominic Purcell.
“My darling,” McCord told PEOPLE at the event. “He’s in Australia with his darlings. With the kids.”
Although the couple have been a serious item since 2011, McCord admits she is in no rush to walk down the aisle.
“Everybody else is doing it. I got to go against the grain. So I’m holding off,” she said.
McCord, 26, who recently joined the cast of Dallas, also said that although there are no wedding plans, she knows that U.K-born, Australian-raised Purcell loves her.
“I was listening to Bryan Adams’s ‘Have You Ever Really Loved A Woman’ on the way over here,” she said. “And I thought, ‘Oh my God, I think he listened to this song and that’s how I know he loves me!’ ”
And while the pair are often in different places of the world due to their conflicting schedules, McCord acknowledged that absence can indeed make the heart grow fonder.
“We have the excitement of being away from each other then coming back together. So when we’re together, we’re literally on the couch watching Pawn Stars or Counting Cars.”