Things being in a relationship taught me

You know that quote/phrase that ‘Every love story is beautiful, but ours is my favourite’. Well without sounding like a total sap, it’s true. I was approached by Creative jewellery brand Savvy+Sand, to talk about our love story. Savvy+Sand are all about love stories, as it’s their inspiration – real stories of love – that they use to create beautiful handcrafted engagement rings and unique jewellery.

It’s funny to even think of myself as having a love story, as when you’re in it it’s not how you look at it really? It’s just life – but when you look back and see how in a moment when you met someone your entire life changed. That’s pretty crazy to think about. So over this post and next week I’m going to be sharing a little about how we met, some snapshots of my favourite memories with Ollie and things being in a relationship has taught me. In essence, I guess I’ll be sharing a little peek into my own love story. Starting with the things I feel that I have learnt through our very own love story:

Skiathos, Greece – September 2009

Things being in a relationship has taught me

Playing games sucks

You know that whole ‘wait 10 minutes before you text back’ sort of approach to a relationship. It’s rubbish. Ok, so it means you get that little buzz of adrenalin in that moment. But the uncertainty and the reading between the lines is exhausting. Sure, I’ve been there in the past and the game playing just leads to more game playing and layers upon layers of so many games you don’t even know if the game is any fun any more. The thing I learnt very quickly when I met Ollie is that there wasn’t any game playing and it was lovely.


Cromer, Norfolk – August 2014

Lafayette, Louisiana – April 2011


You need to learn how to argue

No, I’m not saying you need to know how to win an argument or how to throw the best one liners in to floor your other half with your clever words. But in all honesty, being in a relationship can mean it has it’s moments where arguments happen. That’s life and be it about who last did the washing up or something bigger, you need to realise that arguing doesn’t always mean that the relationship is doomed. I really do think there’s a huge amount of strength in a relationship when you know both your own and your partners approach to arguing and being able to recognise and respond. I’m very much an ‘I’m fine’ whilst slamming doors/stomping around person… who is clearly not fine. Ollie is the type to more bottle it up and not say anything. So if I say I’m fine, he’s like ‘cool, ok – you’re fine’. Which of course is even more infuriating than whatever I wasn’t find about in the start. Over time we both learnt a little more about how we each react and get better at resolving stresses and upsets by knowing this. That’s not to say we don’t still have those niggles or argue over the little things. It just means they don’t tend to blow out of proportion quite as much!

It’s not all love hearts and butterflies

As much as I wish I was living in a Disney movie where it was all sweeping dresses and love ballads. I’m not, and frankly that would get irritating after a while. Those first few months/years of being together are just magical. Everything they do is wonderful and the novelty of just going to get milk with them has you skipping down the street. But over time that naturally changes and what started as love hearts and butterflies at the simplest things maybe comes a little less often. That’s the time when some people can question it, maybe they don’t feel the same and maybe the little things that were seen through rose tinted glasses fade a little and the little romantic gestures might be less frequent. But what ends with the ‘honeymoon period’ leaves behind something special – the butterflies might not be as constant but they’re still there. Then you get to have a new thing, a sense of comfort and contentment that for me is how I know I feel like I’m home when I’m with Ollie. I’d take that any day over constant butterflies.



It takes effort

It’s funny in a way to say this as one of the things about Ollie and I that I knew was really special was how easy it all was. But we both also learnt that it does take effort. One of the biggest reasons being that we’re both so independent and very much have our own lives that it can take effort to make sure we spend proper time together. Not just those lazy evenings watching trashy TV on the sofa (NCIS Los Angeles FTW) but doing nice things. When we can both be so busy with work or social things that can often be separate it’s so easy to just want to crash at the times we’re not doing those things. Knowing the other person is at home means it’s easy – you can crash and spend time with them. Win-win. But you don’t talk if all you do is slob in front of the TV and then you end up just living in separate bubbles. It can be as simple as making a nicer dinner and sitting down to eat it together – with no phones/distractions. Or to doing nice things for each other that maybe mean going out of your way or just doing something special for each other. This is probably one of the biggest lessons I’ve learnt so far, that you can’t ever stop making the effort for each other.

Central Park, New York - Feb 2012

Central Park, New York – Feb 2012

When it’s right, it’s simple

This sort of ties in to the whole ‘playing games sucks’ thing. But the thing that I think I have loved most about life since I met Ollie is how un-complicated it’s all been. Minimal drama and even big life decisions have been easy. This comes from one of the most indecisive people you could ever meet (me). But from meeting – more on that below – to being ‘official’ – to moving in together – to buying our first home together – getting Monty and beyond. It all seems remarkably easy when you find that person you trust and have so much faith in that you just know whatever decision you make it will be fine. We make a good team and make each other laugh along the way and that’s why for me I knew he was ‘the one’ and why I’m every bit as happy eight and a half years on from the moment we met.

Which leads nicely on to a little about how we met and the start of our little love story…


Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt – September 2014

How we met

Well, Ollie and met in a wonderfully romantic place tucked away in leafy West London…. Erm. Kidding. We met in a place called The Redback in Acton, West London. Now if you know the Redback, you will know what I mean. If you don’t, then maybe think a Walkabout bar… that’s maybe a little run down and a little over crowded? But it’s not all as bad as it sounds, we actually met through friends. I was on a girls night out with two fab girls I used to work with (shout-out to Emma and Grace!) and Emma was dating (now married to) the captain of a rugby team based in Chiswick. So as a result some of the rugby boys cam and joined our night in The Redback, where we basically danced like idiots all night. This is where I met Ollie, and I can still remember the first moment I saw him. It was a definite 😍 moment (before emojis were event a thing).

We spent most of the night laughing and dancing together and at the very end as we were leaving he asked for my number… To which I laughed and said you probably don’t even know my name. To which is replied it’s Jen. So I gave him my number and that’s when the butterflies really started, when he text me before he went to sleep and then again the next day to arrange an actual date. Our first date was for drinks at Crazy Bear near Goodge Street then dinner at a little french restaurant around the corner. And the rest they say.. is history. Well, not exactly. But I knew from our first proper date laughing over our shared love of fish butter (anchovy butter that came with the bread) to where we are now, it feels like it’s not all that long since we met, but then I can’t imagine life without him in it.

It’s been so fun looking back through old photos and selecting which ones to share in this post. These are just a few snaps from our various travels and things we’ve done together over the years. I’ve put captions on each one for where it was & when. Next week I get to share some special snaps from a little photo shoot that Ollie and I did with Savvy + Sand – I love the photos and can’t wait to share them next week!

Post sponsored by Savvy+Sand – creative jewellery designers based in Hatton Garden. Savvy + Sand are inspired by stories of love to make beautiful jewellery pieces.



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