Relationships: Being an individual in a couple

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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!

Long Distance Love: When They Come Back

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Today marks a week since Ali got home from tour and he’s already been back out at work again today! It’s been a really busy and weird week for a few reasons, mostly because I got quite sick on his second day home and had to go to the hospital. That was a homecoming he wasn’t expecting!

But how does it feel to have him home? Well, a mix of feelings. I’m so happy he’s home and that it feels like home again. Relieved because now I have someone to talk to again and cuddle when I need it. Also, weird, I got so used to just doing my own thing and not having anyone around that the first few days felt strange, almost like we were both being too nice to each other.

It was definitely an adjustment, for Ali, having time to chill out and not having a strict time plan for each day like he had for a few months (as well as not going to bed at 2am every day) and for me having to think before I put my speakers on in the morning or just came home and went straight to my computer.

Overall though, I think it was good for us. We both had our own lives for the past 2 months and were forced to be without each other. I realised that I can manage on my own, he seems to have realised he’s not as introverted as he once was.

As much as I think it was a good experience, I’m so, so glad I have him at home for a few weeks before he goes off overnight again. Sharing the bed might be a pain, but it’s worth it for the cuddles in the morning!

Long Distance Love – Visiting on Tour!

 

Sunday night I got to experience a bit of what has been Ali’s day to day life for the past month. I finally got to visit and see the tour, because it was finally in a venue close enough for me to drive down and watch. Sunday night it was at the Hexagon in Reading, about a 40-minute drive for me.

It’s been a while since I’ve seen Ali at work and I’ve never seen him doing something of this size so it’s a totally different situation to when I normally hang out at a venue with a cider and just chill. I got to the venue about 5pm to catch sound check and see the rest of the crew. I’m slightly embarrassed to admit I was so amazed by Natalie Lowe’s dancing I just stood and couldn’t take my eyes off her (yep, I looked like a weirdo).

I got to go on a little tour of the venue before going to sit on the Tour Bus and hang out. It felt so strange seeing Ali’s bunk and his life when he’s not with me and knowing we had about an hour to chill out, talk and get tickets before he went off to work and I found my seat.

I’ve never seen a show like it. Just the energy, the music, the happiness from both the performers and audience. It made me want to learn to dance and made me appreciate how hard everyone on that tour works to make it happen every night. So, of course, I was proud, hell I was bursting with pride, my boy is a part of this incredible show! I even saw his dancing at the side of that stage.

It was hard, at the end of the night leaving him to pack up and get on a bus while I went back to my car to drive home. There were a few tears as I drove home. It’s tough, no matter how much I know he loves it and is having a great time, there’s a small part of me that wishes he was coming home too.

Now that’s it, I’ll see him in 3 weeks! Let’s see what the final 3 weeks hold!

Long Distance Love: 28 Hours, 22 Days.

I haven’t seen my boyfriend in 22 days, 3 weeks and a day. Now, I know there are people who go without seeing their partners for even longer than that! That said, this is our first go at having a long distance relationship while Ali’s away touring with Rip It Up as a Sound Engineer. So when on the first day he told me he would have one day to come home I booked it off immediately, he was mine for a matter of hours.

So, I did what any girlfriend would do, I got up and went to get him in the pouring rain at 3.30 in the morning. I couldn’t stop smiling from the second I got in my car to when I fell asleep an hour later. The best part? We spent most of the day doing nothing. We slept until 11am, cuddled together. We got up and had breakfast, watched Rick and Morty, sat together. I baked while he used his computer. We napped together.

We had 28 hours to make up for 22 days of each others company. I know for a fact I am way more soppy and sentimental about all this, he will admit that. Ali is a lot more chilled and laid back than I am, he always has been. Do I get insecure? Yes. Do I miss him like crazy? Of course. We spoke about this, I told him how I was dealing with it better than I thought, he told me that he was so busy all day he didn’t have much time to think about missing home.

It’s something I didn’t expect us to be doing so soon but if yesterday made anything clear to me, it’s that we’re very much in love. Despite the fact we can only really FaceTime once a week, we can text, call and just know the other one is there. I didn’t think this experience would make me love him more, somehow it has. Wow, how soppy is that. We need to get back to our mocking of each other soon!

I guess I’m writing because if you’d told me 5 years ago we’d be making this work while he was away on for chunks of the year I wouldn’t have believed you. I would have screamed and kicked and said we wouldn’t do that, we couldn’t. The thing is we’ve grown together and as Ali said to me, I’m not 16 anymore, I have my job, my friends, my own life and hobbies at 16 he was absolutely everything to me. Don’t get me wrong he’s still my best friend and my world but he needs to do his thing, I need to do mine.

All in all, I miss him while I write this but when I dropped him off at 7.30 this morning I didn’t cry, I smiled cause I just felt pretty lucky. Those 28 hours will do for now, I am looking forward to getting him home for a bit longer than that though!

Long Distance Love.

It’s been a week and a half since Ali packed up and headed off on a tour bus for two months. This is our first experience at long distance, it’s never been something that we actually had to do and while we were expecting it to happen eventually this came around a lot quicker than we initially anticipated.

So, what’s it been like so far? I think it helps that Ali’s been working a lot of lates and has been away over the summer. That said, it’s definitely not easy. We don’t get that long to talk on the phone which is tough, thankfully we can text and on his day off we can Facetime. We’ve been side by side since we were kids and I think the longest we’ve gone without seeing each other is a few weeks, it’s odd.

There’s definite loneliness and I think the thing I miss most is having everyday access to hugs. Which wasn’t something I thought I would be bothered about, but there we are! This is definitely a learning curve and every day I am so proud of the great job he’s doing, but at the same time I’m definitely looking forward to having cuddles when I next see him.

My Boyfriend’s Leaving Me For Two Months?!

You may or may not know that my lovely boyfriend Ali is a Sound Engineer. Last year he graduated with a first in Creative Music Technologies and he’s been working various sound jobs ever since. Over the summer he’s been off all over the country doing live sound from our local Basingstoke Live, to Brighton Pride. Things have been going well, but we thought it would be a little while before he headed off on tour. Not so much.

On Sunday I’ll be waving him off on a tour months as he prepares to tour the UK as an engineer. Living his dream. We’ve been busy the past few weeks getting everything ready, replacing some of his equipment that was stolen and generally just spending time together.

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The weird thing though, people keep asking me if I’m ok. I understand it but I just brush it off. You see Ali and I have been together for nine years, in those nine years the longest time we’ve been apart is 2 weeks. We have our own lives but I like knowing I get to wake up next to him every morning. So the fact I won’t for 2 months is very weird to me.

It’s going to be a new challenge and adventure for us. I do get to visit the tour and see what he’s up to and I have a lot planned, especially on my birthday! I’m excited for him, nervous for me. I’ll be blogging throughout about my long distance love, so let’s see what I get up to…

Any tips for long distance? Let me know in the comments below!

Nine Years, New Adventures

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I’ve been thinking about what I’m going to put in this post. A long post about the love I have for my boyfriend, something funny and quirky, just a simple I love you and a few pictures? Nothing seemed right. Even as I write this, I’m not sure. If you’ve followed this blog go

If you’ve followed this blog for any amount of time, or any of my Social Media channels you’ll know that he’s a big part of my life. It’s too simplistic to say he’s my best friend and leave it there, because it’s more complicated. For the past nine years, Ali has brought out the best in me time and time again. Without him and his gentle nudging I probably wouldn’t have even considered University or been in a band or even been in the job I am today.

It’s not that he makes me who I am, we’re both our own individual selves, it’s more that he’s been a good part of the growing process. I mean he’s literally seen me as a slightly awkward teenager to a less awkward and more confident adult. He’s carried me to the bathroom when I couldn’t walk. He’s cleaned up after me, cooked for me. Most importantly he’s told me no at times and not just instantly agreed with everything I say (although that’s a whole blog post in itself).

Now we’re at the nine-year mark, we’re finding new challenges and adventures. In a few weeks he will be going on his first tour for work, all over the country. This means he’ll be away for two months. It’s a huge opportunity and I’m so proud I could burst, for our relationship though it’s going to be new. I think the most we’ve ever spent apart is two weeks. So it’s a bit of a jump.

With each year that passes we’re going to take on new things as a couple and by ourselves. This time last year we didn’t think we’d both be doing so well at work that he’d be going off touring and I’d be so happy working in design. In the next nine years we’ll probably get married, we might start a family or move. We might be thinking about getting a mortgage or we might be doing something completely different.

Either way, I didn’t know when I fell in love with him at thirteen years old how our lives would map out. I still don’t. I’m pretty sure if we’ve got each other though, we can make anything into an adventure.