GROWING UP WITH YOU

I recently read Chloe Plumstead’s post about her relationship, and it echoed so many of my own thoughts and feelings. Like queen Chloe (I mean, please go and read her blog if you don’t already because it’s a breath of real fresh air), I’ve also been in a relationship since I was eighteen. Sam and I met at freshers week whilst studying in Leeds – perhaps the worst possible time to bump into the love of your life, but looking back, I wouldn’t have it any other way…

I wanted to discuss being in a relationship with someone from an early age – a long term relationship, and with someone who’s only a couple of months older than I am. That sort of dynamic means that you if you don’t grow apart from each other, you pretty much grow up together…

We definitely had times in university where we drifted onto slightly different paths – the overstimulation of a new city, and constant new people is enough to test any kind of relationship. What always stuck out to me with Sam was just a feeling that we were meant to be in each others life somehow. That we were best friends, and everything else was kind of an after thought. We have been through pretty much everything a couple can go through, yet we still laugh like idiots and want the best for each other. Don’t get me wrong, we fight like idiots too, but any couple who doesn’t kind of freaks me out? It’s normal to clash sometimes, and you definitely don’t have to agree with the person you love on every single matter. The fundamentals definitely help though, I couldn’t be with anyone who was a Trump supporter, but that’s a topic for a whole other blog post…

To me, a relationship is something you keep watering – it needs constant nurturing in order to keep evolving in the right direction. I’m also a strong believer that you have to understand when to give the person you love the space they need to do some growing of their own. Something I never really understood when I was younger, was that you have to be happy alone in order to be truly happy with someone else. You have to have something that gets you up each morning and  keeps you motivated – for me it’s being able to create. Whether that’s writing a blog post, or styling outfits for a shoot, I’m addicted to the process of imagining something and then bringing it to life. 

All of the relationships I had when I was younger fell apart pretty quickly because I didn’t have a strong sense of who I was or what I wanted out of life – that’s not to say that I wasn’t happy, but I never really felt content. It’s only as I’ve gotten further into my Twenties that I’m able to look back at every relationship (and every romantic encounter) and see them for what they really were. Retrospect has to be one of the weirdest things that we experience, sometimes it arrives in the form of a sigh of relief, other times it’s exhausted regret. How we wish we could have been a little smarter, a little wiser, a little bit more together

Looking back at moments we wish would have panned out a little differently is totally normal. Learning from them is where the real magic happens – if we can look back and analyse situations of high intensity and make positive changes going forward, we are doing the best we can as humans with emotions that we don’t always understand. We aren’t perfect, and we don’t have to be, but we can try and be better – we can make our relationships better, we can make ourselves better, and we can also leave at any given moment and start fresh too…

Something changed in my relationship when I realised that I didn’t need anyone to be mine – I didn’t have to exist as part of a relationship, I didn’t have to have the nuclear family and do the school run in order to be happy and accepted. I could exist however made sense to me, it was my life to live, and anybody who was by my side would be a bonus.

I was a bit of a disaster of teenage girl before this point – I thought that everyone would leave me, and so I always left before they had the chance. I now see that everybody loves in a very different capacity, and falling in love is never the same feeling twice. Sometimes it’s butterflies, sometimes it’s just intense infatuation mixed with sheer delusion (we have all been there).

I feel very lucky to have had a relationship that has lasted so long – it’s something I feel proud of, and I’m proud at how much we have grown up together, whilst allowing each other to grow into separate people. As much as I value being an independent person, Sam has helped me when I’ve needed it most – he’s been there to help me with my blog, to make me laugh when all I’ve wanted to do is cry, he’s sat beside me at every Doctors appointment, and bought me flowers home when I least expect them… 


Photographs taken on my Olympus MJU II, Times Square NYC 

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12 Comments

  1. Loved reading this Alice! I’ve also been in a relationship since 18 and wouldn’t have it any other way, if it works, it really works! Relate to everything you e written here ❤️

  2. One of my favourite things to do on a Sunday morning is to read your blog posts with a coffee cup at hand. It’s always so honest, relatable and beautiful… I have lived long term relationships and I couldn’t agree more with you on the fact that you grow together, shaping the people you are supposed to become, and if you are lucky, you stay together trhough all that change. But it’s important to learn to love yourself as well, cause your happiness should not depend on anyone else but yourself. Sending massive hugs, Alice! xx

    1. Thank you so so much, really needed this comment today, and it means a lot that I could be considered part of your cosy Sunday routine! xxx

  3. I love this. You’re funny with the trump supporter bit. My parents are trump people, but that’s a story for another time.

  4. Love this post! As someone who’s been in a relationship for 6 years now, I totally get the grow apart or grow together bit! I also had the same epiphany about being whole without anyone else and that changed me completely, in a good way.
    Brilliant pictures as well, you both are too cute.

    Camilla xx

  5. Your words truly spoke to me, especially when you talk about being okay with ourselves alone to enjoy a true relationship. If I had met my boyfriend before being able to fully embrace my independence, I don’t know if it would have worked the same way. It’s like loving yourself first so that you can love other people. Anyway, I love this post so much!

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