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!

7 years, 7 facts

I’ve been lucky enough to spend the past 7 years with a wonderful human called Ali 🙂 He features in my posts quite a lot so for our anniversary I thought I’d put together 10 random facts about us! Oh and dont forget the cute  embarrassing pictures to go with each of them! I promise this won’t be too sickly sweet!

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Fact 1: We’re in a band together! Yes, Ali is one of the members of No People Club. We write a lot of songs together and have been in various bands together for the past few years. Before I was ever in a band with him I used to help out with his band at school.

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Fact 2: We’re both perfectionists in very different ways. Ali will spend hours over a mix (he’s training to be a sound engineer), like I will an assignment. If we both have something to do in the same week it can get a little tense.

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Fact 3: I have never and hopefully will never see Paramore without Ali. We both absolutely LOVE the band and have been to a show every time we’ve known about it. This is a picture of us from our first Paramore show in 2010!

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Fact 4: There is no shame in this relationship. One of the pros and cons of being together since we were young teenagers is that we’ve seen each other go through the awkward teenage years, there’s not much left to be embarrassed about. 406334_10150721436408206_1359220205_n

Fact 5: I’m the crazy one, he’s the quiet one.

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Fact 6: There was a huge group of us who would count down for Ali’s house parties when we were teenagers. They were awesome with the best memories we could make(some of which I can’t share on here because they’re pretty awesome but we would not like to reach the parents of the people that went). It was like a classic ‘high school’ american party but with better music and ordering domino’s pizza. The picture is of us from his 16th birthday party.

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Fact 6: After getting me to look into uni, Ali then had a gap year so we could start at the same time, even though at that point we weren’t sure if we were going to the same uni.

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Fact 7: Ali missed his prom, instead he say at home with me (I was a year too young to go)  watching TV, building lego and eating pizza before going to a friends afterparty. He was the first person I told when I got accepted.

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Happy Anniversary Ali, I love you! 

P.S I’m totally not sorry that I posted these pictures, you’re welcome 😛