“When we’re together, darling, every night is Halloween…”

Hey guys! Long time, no speak!! I know it’s been a long time since I posted, but I’ve really missed you all, so I wanted to make sure that when I came back to blogging it was with a post that is really meaningful and special to me.

Naturally, I couldn’t think of a better or more… “on-brand” date than Halloween! Since I got married TWO YEARS AGO today, this is probably going to be quite a mushy ‘open letter’ type of post, so if you’re not into that type of thing, please feel free to check out some of my older Halloween content, such as this last minute “vampire” make-up tutorial! That being said, to my readers: I thought for this post I could formally introduce my husband to you, along with our love story so far. I hope you enjoy it, or at least find some comfort or joy from it in some way! To my closer friends and family who have probably heard lame renditions of this story a thousand times, I’m sorry!! 


Dear Austin,

Growing up, as a chubby, bespectacled girl with THICK, frizzy Hermione-esque hair, a massive beauty mark, no top lip, and eyebrows the size of the sun… I got bullied a lot. I never felt like I was much to look at. Even as I hit puberty, got some contacts and discovered tweezers- the effects were lasting. As I grew into a young woman, I put up with a lot from boys, because I was grateful and flattered that anyone could see me as attractive at all. Some of them treated me abysmally, and totally skewed my opinion of love. Until, as I hit 18, I had a very real doubt that it existed at all.

In actuality, I liked being single. Naturally fiercely stubborn, wildly independent, and a true introvert- being alone was familiar, and comforting. No one to disagree with me, smother me, control me… or hurt me. By 21, I had almost completely absolved any expectations of finding “the one”, or realistically, any kind of long-term romantic partner.

The day I first talked to you (I think) was the 2nd March 2016. Shortly after you sent me the first tinder message, I’d just walked into the theatre to see the film “How to be single” in the cinema with a group of girls I was close with at university. The film basically is about a girl who was so “in love with the idea of love” that when she leaves her long term partner she doesn’t know how to function alone. I related to her a lot in the way that she actually found solace and adventure in being alone. Overall, the film left me feeling fulfilled, and confident in my singledom. As I left the theatre, you had hunted me down and messaged me on all my social medias, panicking, thinking that I had gotten bored of talking to you. Luckily for you- that wasn’t the case, and I found your pursuit endearing as a pose to creepy… (haha!).

Soon, I found we were talking all day, almost every day. I remember finding out you were American, and worrying that I’d find you obnoxious, loud, or that your accent would annoy me to tears. The first phone call we had, being the romantic I am, I said “Oh, your accent doesn’t actually piss me off”. Instead of finding my frankness rude, you found it hilarious, and I felt comfortable talking to you almost instantaneously, which is extremely uncommon for me. I remember thinking, “I could actually really be friends with this guy!” every time you hung up the phone.

The next week, returning from a night out early, as one of my girlfriends was too drunk to get into the club- I was complaining to you when I accidentally dropped my location pin on messenger. I had no idea that from that, you would get the idea in your head to spontaneously drive over to see me in the middle of the night. You arrived at 4am, I was still a touch under the influence and had no makeup on but the remnants of alien themed fancy dress, my hair was in a messy bun, and I was wearing my PJs under a big coat so that you wouldn’t get lost in the city. I told you “you shouldn’t have come”, and that I looked like a toe. You said I looked beautiful. I didn’t believe you, but then you came back, and you said the same thing every weekend thereafter.

I told you I didn’t want a boyfriend. That I didn’t have time while I was finishing my Bachelors. I was too career-oriented. Too perpetually single and selfish. You knew I was lying. I remember the way you refused to take my crap “You’ve been hurt before, I get it, but I won’t stop trying”. I thought you’d looked right through my soul to pull that out of the bag.

Within a month, you told me you loved me for the first time. I thought I’d misheard you because you were drunk, and laughed it off awkwardly. The week after, you left a post-it note on my ceiling saying the same thing- only this time, I couldn’t ‘mishear’ it. I slipped a similar note into your pocket as you left my flat the next weekend.

Loving you was easy. It wasn’t scary, intense, suffocating or anxiety inducing like it was with other guys. It was natural, easy, free. Like coming home after a long day. You never let me doubt you, never let me feel insecure, and never gave up on me when I was difficult. Most amazingly of all, you made me believe in love again when I was so adamant that wasn’t on the cards for me. You made me realise how much I DESERVED to be loved.

Finishing my degree, moving back home and becoming your girlfriend felt like a whirlwind. You were spending all your free time staying with me, until my grandma’s tenant moved out and she offered to let us stay at her empty property until it was filled. Deep down, after our first weekend there, I think we both knew that this was how things were meant to be. After about a mere month of staying together, we talked about how we would love having this house to be a reality. Tentatively, with the threat of you being deployed/stationed back in the US, or someone else moving into this house, you suggested that if we got married, the military would make things easier for us to make that happen. Again, I laughed it off. In the grand scheme of things, we’d been dating roughly half a year. “He must be crazy!” I confided in my Grandma. But after talking to her, she suggested that I was afraid of the wedding, and what people would say, and not the commitment. We soon realised that while this was true, I was never afraid of a marriage with you. Living with you and being with you felt so natural and normal- and I just knew.

Not long after, we were discussing moving in together more objectively. I was upstairs in front a mirror next to our mattress on the ground, dying my hair “boring poo brown” for a job interview, and you suggested it again, this time a bit more certainly. “We could get married?” I laughed… “Yeah, we could”.  There was a lot of “WAIT WHAT?” and “Oh my god are we engaged?” before you immediately ran downstairs to ring your parents and let them know. My hair hadn’t even finished developing.

At the tender age of 21, despite our parents knowing us well enough to understand, and though they wished we’d had a longer engagement, they understood why we were rushing. Other people however, besides a select few, thought we were insane, or that I was pregnant. (Two years on and still no unplanned offspring, just a healthy relationship and too many cakes thank you very much lol!). It’s really uncommon to get married so young in the U.K, outside of religious groups and cults- so I can understand why, but I became hyper-aware of people discussing my relationship, doubting our sincerity, and being pretty negative. I’ve always been way too concerned with what people thought about me, but you helped me to realise that nothing mattered outside of our happiness. If anything, it became “me and you against the world” very quickly. It made us stronger where a lot of couples might have waivered. I knew then, that your loyalty would almost be able to rival mine, and that we would be able to tackle anything together.

We knew what we were signing up for. We knew we were young. We knew we were stupid and giddy and in love. But we also knew we would be able to grow together, to change together, to choose to love one another even when it was hardest. We’ve had times like those. But in a much greater quantity, we’ve had the best time of our lives.

We brought a fur baby into the house, and argued a great deal about parenting the most obnoxious kitten ever, but we managed so well that we have the most confident, affectionate and dog-like feline dude I’ve ever known. We’ve struggled through finances, through my battles with employment and career stability, through arguments about washing up and even Mental Health.

Through it all, I’ve never doubted your love for me. You’re my rock, my team, my player 2, my support, my lover, my best friend and my biggest fan. We are so vastly different, and yet, you compliment me in ways I never knew possible. Your extroversion, your confidence and your Labrador-like zest for life makes me smile every day. You know when I’m too shy or uncomfortable in social situations and take the focus easily and subtly (or not, as the case may sometimes be). You lift me up and try tirelessly to lift me up when I’m low. You cry enough for the both of us. You put up with me when I’m feeling sick and sorry for myself. You think I’m pretty even when I look like I’ve been sleeping in a bin for a week and a day.

But most of all, you love me for my truest, most vulnerable and natural states. I used to worry about marriage, because I thought I’d never be able to truly be myself around someone else. But the fact is, I’m more myself with you than I was before, and I don’t know how that’s possible. So that I don’t ramble on any further, I just wanted to say that I love you. It’s been two years and I’m still not over the novelty of calling you “my husband”. I don’t even mind being that 1% gross statistic that actually married someone from Tinder anymore! 😂 This piece is a testament for you, the incredible man that I’ve come to know and love on a level I never knew possible. I’m so damn grateful that it’s you that I get to grow old with. I can’t wait to annoy you for the rest of my days!

Happy Two Year Anniversary!

I love you always.

Francesca.

X


morticia addams quotes

Dear Readers,

I hope that If you’re reading this and you’re feeling lost, un-loveable or down about love, the best advice I can ever give you is to love yourself. Appreciate yourself. Meditate, look inwards and learn about what you need or desire from a romantic partner. Remember you deserve happiness, and until you find someone worthwhile, don’t give up your singlehood, because actually, it can be great. You’ll know when you find ‘your person’, because it will make your life even more fun. I promise. xx

We should all put our phones down sometimes


I’d like to talk a little bit about the damage that the overuse of smartphones has in general. Not just for dating, but for all relationships, and for yourself.
The first time I ever realised how reliant my generation had become on social media was at a fireworks display around New Year’s Day. As I snapchatted a video of the beautiful seaside display, I looked up and noticed that not one person stood around me appeared to be present. Every. Single. Person. There. appeared to be watching the display through a lens of some description. As a media graduate, I adore expressing myself through photography, but at that moment I realised how often I would forget to open my eyes experience things first hand. No amount of megapixels or panoramic view will ever surmount to the beauty one can capture in their memory with their own eyes.
As a millenial myself, I’ve often been guilty of spending far too much time on my phone. I am aware I’m extremely active on social media, I probably spend a great deal of time laughing and sharing memes my Facebook friends have shared. My mother always upheld a strict “no phones at the dinner table” rule. As a moody teenager, this was an abhorrent concept to me; recently, however, I’m beginning to think she might have been onto something.
The idea for this blog came to me while I was sat in a coffee shop waiting for my friend, observing interactions between three sets of two people. Two of the pairs consisted of a young man and a young woman.
The first pair consisted of a man and woman, probably about my age, if not a little older. The conversation seemed to have many awkward lulls. While looking down, they would look up occasionally, laugh, and then their head would be pulled back down, almost as though it were drawn by a magnetic force.
The second pair were talking enthusiastically, smiling and using exaggerated hand movements. It was pleasant to witness two people enjoying each other’s company like that. From observing the way they looked at one another I would guess that they were in the early stages of dating. By contrast, I realised I couldn’t guess at the relationship between the first pairing at all.

Then, I noticed the one difference between the couples. The first pair had no phones on the table.
I wanted to say that the second pairing was a first date going badly, but as a millennial I am all too familiar with the concept of smartphone addiction. I’ve seen couples I am friends with myself, sat at dinner staring at their mobiles and forgetting to speak to one another. Some people almost look as they are on different dates.
The third couple, and perhaps the most tragic of all, appeared to consist of an elderly woman and a young man. Perhaps her son. The older lady appeared to make several attempts at initiating conversation with the gentleman, whom unfortunately seemed all too concerned with the device in his hand. This genuinely upset me a little. How rejected she must feel, I thought, to be sat opposite someone who seemingly appreciates your presence so much they cannot take their eyes off an LCD screen long enough to engage in even the smallest of conversations.

Basic manners aside, you may argue, how else are you supposed to stay on top of a constant flood of emails, social media updates, texts, and calls?
For the next fortnight I’m going to experiment by making a small step, nothing too drastic, but I’m going to implicate a no-phones-around-others rule. Notwithstanding small exceptions for occasional messages to my husband if I am engaged for extended periods of time, and of course the occasional commemorative selfie. I’m hoping that by putting my phone in my bag that bit extra I will be able to show my loved ones how significant they are by giving them the most important thing of all. Time.