Relationships: Being an individual in a couple

couple-relationship

I have been part of a ‘we’ for almost a decade, for new readers, yes, I did meet my boyfriend at the age of 13. We’ve grown up together and have come to be ‘the couple’ in most situations. We’re often addressed as  ‘Chloe and Ali’ or ‘Ali and Chloe’, even at uni when we tried to lead lives that were separate we were ‘the couple’.

So, how do you be an individual and not become completely co-dependent? Sometimes, it’s difficult. Over time you’re often seen as a two and this isn’t a bad thing, it can feel quite nice, but, being your own person is important too.

Personally, I’ve found that once you’re out of education it’s a lot easier. And I mean a lot. Even when Ali and I studied at different campuses it was a community and if you didn’t know one of us, you normally knew the other.

As you all know though, these are two people with their own ideas, experiences and interests. So, what can you do?

Try to have at least one friend who isn’t a mutual friend 

We grew up together so we had a lot of the same friends but we’ve also found it important to have some friends we don’t share. I have a few girlfriends that are my friends, while Ali has friends from working and tours. It’s healthy to have your own relationships!

Invest time in your own interests and hobbies 

There are things that Ali and I do that the other isn’t interested in. I read books for days and collect Harry Potter & Funko pops. Ali goes Airsofting and loves looking at recording methods and how albums are put together. While we try to take an interest in what the other is doing, it’s really important to have your own things you enjoy!

Do things alone 

I recently spent two months living alone while Ali went on tour , which meant for the first time in years it was just me. That wasn’t a bad thing because I got used to my own company. It wasn’t always nice, but I definitely think it made me more confident.

Embrace your differences 

If two people who were exactly the same were in a relationship it would be boring as hell. I’m quite loud but also bookish, Ali’s quiet and would rather do things to learn. We’re different people, we were bought up in different ways and had different experiences but you know what? That’s what keeps it interesting.

Know you’re not going to agree on everything

We disagree on a lot of things, a lot. And this stems from the about point above. Personally, I don’t want to agree on absolutely everything. I want to be able to have discussion and debate with the person I love!

How do you stay an individual in a couple? Let me know in the comments below!

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