Photography: Kaye Ford | Words: Zoe London
Romance and love is a totally new ball game in 2018 and I reflect on five years with the man i’m about to marry.
I don’t wanna be cliche at all, I really don’t. And I didn’t genuinely look at George the first time I laid eyes on him and go ‘i’m gonna marry this man’ but it did become very apparent to me even after a couple times of meeting George that he would really be in this for life, and so would I. Knowing you’re about to get married is a really strange – exciting – but strange feeling. I think as products of the generation before us, who were set in routine from young ages, bought houses for peanuts and were sorted with the life path they chose, things like getting married or having children or even buying a house to our generation feels alien and grown up – because it always looked like a target we could never reach. With divorces higher than ever before, getting married is never a decision you take lightly in this day and age, and it is an overwhelming feeling for both of us. We’ve both been spending a lot of time talking about modern dating and how much our personal world has changed – for the better – in the five years we’ve known each other.
I met George just pre Tinder and dating apps, so am totally out of the loop with the modern dating scene myself – but I see it from my friends. It’s hard, you know. You can’t just judge someone on one photo and then swipe to send them away or to message them without finding a real connection. I know a lot of people then go on to meet in real life and soon know whether it works or not, but I really am a huge advocate for just going out and seeing where life takes you. I wasn’t looking for romance when I met George – George found me, life found a way. We met entirely by chance and I do genuinely think that while I know it’s not the easiest method, it’s still one of the best ways to find someone. I do worry our younger generations become too wrapped up in their online life to find someone with a honest and real connection and a lasting relationship. With Tinder, you can not only judge on their photo, but you could find them on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc and judge their entire life whilst simultaneously knowing every single thing about them before you’ve even met. You’re also starting off a potential relationship with numbers and letters on screen rather than the initial meet. Call me old fashioned – I mean, I am now, technically on the wrong side of my 20s and about to get married – but nothing beats initially meeting someone off chance and getting the time to meet them, see their quirks and their mannerisms.
I also think there’s tremendous pressure to not only portray a perfect relationship online but to flaunt every aspect of it. From selfies and holiday snaps to tweets proclaiming love at all times, it’s become second nature to the latest generation of potential daters that a ‘relationship goals’ feed is really the perfect cornerstone of a relationship. It’s not that easy. George and I have learned so much along the way, not only about each other but about ourselves. We are both entirely different people to the people we met five years ago, because we both saw the best in each other and did what we could to make it shine brighter. It was never about relationship goals or posting all our holiday selfies on Facebook (although I do like to share a holiday snap or two!) and this was never a priority. You’ll probably be familiar with George, aware who George is but not really know much about him if you’re a longtime reader or watcher of my channel. George has never wanted to really be on camera, nor be prominent in my content – if I really want him to do something i usually have to drag him/persuade him with Rolos (he loves Rolos ha) to do it. What George has done from the day I met him to now is he’s believed in my business, despite not wanting to be a face of it himself. I think whatever career you have, and whatever job you do even if it does put strain and sacrifice on the relationship, you’ll know within weeks probably if they’re the right match for you. I was quite poor when I met George, struggling to make ends meet after quitting my job and doing it alone with the blog and he believed in me from day one – the fruits of both our labours behind the scenes on this are now apparent – i’m able to give back to him what he gave to me. The ultimate keystone of a relationship – working together.
So many women and men put pressure on themselves to find somebody not only quickly, but to try and keep up with the Joneses’ of social media as it were, to keep up with those portraying their relationship online a certain way and I really think it’s damaging. It doesn’t matter how old you are or how far you are into your life career, when you find the right person you find them. You can’t force swipes on Tinder or relentlessly scour Facebook in an attempt to find someone quickly. I learned this, back in 2012 when I was always putting pressure on myself. By early 2013 I had totally taken pressure off myself and wasn’t at all actively looking, but instead working on myself, on my own personal growth and happiness. It was then that I by chance met George, who was also in a similar position in life. I know we are probably very lucky / got some good karma that day and this isn’t always how it works, but I know that in this day and age it seems like modern romance isn’t always something that exists. It does, i’m here to prove that to you.
It’s definitely a bit scary to think we will be married, joined forces, a team, a family. But both of us have never been more ready, and trust me that when I say when you know – you know. I’m looking forward to basically continuing life as normal with George after the wedding buzz, but knowing that we have each others back for life. We’re not private as such, nothing about my life is private really is it ha, but we don’t go to efforts to flaunt our relationship online or feel like we need to fit in a little box to be considered ‘relationship goals’. We’re there for each other and we support each others careers as much as we would if I still worked in an office. Really, that’s all you can ask – and by lifting that pressure off yourself, you’ll be happier either in your relationship or in your quest.
Lastly, my tips for pre-married bliss based on what i’ve learned over these five years…
Buy a house with two bathrooms or at the very least two toilets.
Never miss any family engagements.
Allow each others personal space as much as possible. This can be sat right next to each other. George plays Playstation, and I blog. It’s harmonious.
Prepare to share everything. Clothes, hairbrushes, skincare.. nothing is off limits. Everything belongs to both now.
And lastly, embrace everything about them and their circle from their friends to their family. Even if some family members are… questionable. (none of ours are if you’re reading, by the way. I mean in general…)