Guest Post: Claire at Claireabellemakes

The ‘Different’ Couple

Hello! I’m Claire from Claireabellemakes and I usually blog about crafty goings on in my life. However, I’m thrilled to be here today to share with you my relationship advice whilst our lovely ShinyPigeon is off sorting out her final wedding plans – exciting!!!

G and I have been together for 10 years. Boy does that make me feel old. We met at university living in the same halls of residence. My interest was in the performing arts (much like ShinyPigeon herself) and G was studying computer science. Our groups of friends socialised together and we ended up becoming a couple and living together for most of our university life.

We soon realised we didn’t share any interests. ANY.  I like going to dance shows and crochet groups and G plays and develops computer games, watches sci-fi movies and lifts weights. We don’t like the same films, music or TV shows. We eat different things and have different opinions on all sorts of topics.

So how have they bloomin’ lasted 10 years you think? Over the years we have discovered some simple ideas to keep us strong.

Coffee Shop Dates

Claire coffe

Some weeks we are both so ridiculously busy we can’t find time to plan a ‘date night’. We often end up with 10 minutes before we go to sleep to ask how the others day was.

We make a point at the weekends of grabbing a coffee together, even if it is just for 20 minutes. We are lucky enough to live a stone’s throw from a Starbucks so it’s quick and easy and means we don’t feel the whole weekend has passed without any us time. I think I’ll call them Snippet dates.

Once a month we also attempt to have a more substantial dinner date in a restaurant we haven’t tried.

Cultural exchange

This one is important for us as we don’t share any interests. Throughout university, G sat through countless dance shows and art thingmejigs and I spent time trying to be interested in his latest computer creations.

Every now and again we make sure we participate in what we call the ‘cultural exchange’. G gets to pick something he loves that he wants to introduce me to i.e. Star Wars movies. I clear my evening/day to make the effort to enjoy the thing he has chosen to share with me. This one did result in a Star Wars quiz for me where I promptly forgot all the spaceship names and we laughed a lot. But now I understand his geeky sci-fi film t-shirts and get the random film references!

It works both ways. G sat with me and let me teach him how to crochet one evening and was patient, interested and very sweet. He now shows enthusiasm when I gush about my finished granny blanket as he knows what went into it.

You may even find a hobby you can enjoy together. I never ever thought I’d enjoy golf!!! (For giggles – here is a cheesy pic of me in my skinnier days larking about on the casual golf course).

Claire golf

Compliments Board

This one came about by accident really. We put a chalkboard in our kitchen for meal planning, but when we didn’t get around to doing that, it became a message board between us. Then it evolved into a compliments board and we would leave each other nice messages to brighten the other person’s day. I can’t tell you how excited I was to come home to a hug message and a bag of cheese and onion crisps taped to the board when I had a migraine.

But seriously, if someone you love takes the time to tell you that you look nice after 10 years together – it’s good. We like the board as it works for us (and we now use a notepad on the fridge for our meal planning).

Claire board

Now this all sounds like we have this weird structured relationship, but I can assure you it’s much more organic and enjoyable and in no way forced!

Clearly I’m no agony aunt or relationship specialist, but I thought it would be fun to share our ideas and see if you have any tips for me and perhaps for ShinyPigeon as she enters married life!

I’d love to hear your thoughts below.


Claire signoff


2 responses to “Guest Post: Claire at Claireabellemakes

  1. My and my OH have been married for 21 years, and for most of those we have been very skint. However, what keeps us strong is that we both have a warped sense of humour and always agree if laughs and giggles were ££££ we would be very rich indeedy. So, my advice is, laugh with each other lots and lots and never go to sleep on an argument. :o)

  2. Love the idea of the compliments board – we also have a big chalkboard in the kitchen which is usually blank as we forget to write up our meal plans for the week. I’m definitely going to copy your idea!

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