Quinn & Asal – With Love Series

G: How did you both meet?  

Q: Dating app
A: We met on Hinge.   

G: Is that a new one?

A: It is kind of new. I think Tinder is older. When people would first ask us how we met, we would lie and say abseiling. I’ve never abseiled in my life. We thought it would be funnier.

G: So, you didn’t say that in terms of being embarrassed? Lots of people I have met say, “we didn’t want to say that we met online” but everyone meets online, don’t they? 

Q: It’s also the situation we’re in, cause Covid, lockdown, how else are we supposed to connect with people? 

A: Because you can’t go to a bar or pub to meet. Especially at that time, you couldn’t go out or anything.
Q: Yeah, our first dates were like, we’d go out –
A: – in a field or pavilion, walking around the beach. 

G: You met during Covid, so what year was this?  

Q: It was last year 2021. I think it was the last proper lockdown, so we were just coming out of that.

G: And who text who first? Is that how it works on Hinge? 

Q: Basically, I’d say I did most of the, you know – 

A: – You popped up to an image of my cats. I honestly can’t remember how we even got talking.
Q: Either way, I remember I saw you and I thought, ‘wow she’s beautiful’, then just kind of pushed towards an ‘I need to see this person’ and then after that we went on our first date. We wanted to see each other. 

G: So, did you spot each other or say, ‘I’m wearing this?’ 

A: We were like, ‘Ok, we’re going to meet at the Pavilion and so you know how there’s two benches far away but parallel to each other? We were both sitting on the benches for like, five minutes and we didn’t realise that we were next to each other! 

G: Were either of you early? 

Q: I was early – she was late.
A: I was a little bit late and then we were like, ‘oh that’s you!’
Q: And then, that day ended, I messaged you and you didn’t see the message for about a week.
A: And I was upset, because I thought he wasn’t messaging me and he didn’t like the date and I was literally, to my friend one night I was like; ‘oh I don’t think he’s going to message me back and she said, ‘are you sure, have you checked messenger?’ I thought that he was going to message me on Instagram. And then I checked messenger and you had replied. 

G: You were left unread! Oh No! So, the date went well? Did you both think ‘yeah, this is a good date?’ 

A: Yeah, it went really well.
Q: Yeah, because there was constant talking for about four hours.
A: Yeah, and it was all interesting conversation as well.
Q: Yeah, and you were a very open person. 

G: How long have you been together now? 

A: Coming up to a year so nine – ten months. 

G: What are you plans this year?

A: We are taking our SATS to go to America, because we want to study in America. The rest of the year is just planning and prepping for America.
Q: And gaining experience for moving to America, bigger city and in our careers. Because I’m a musician and you’re wanting to get into the film industry, so that kind of thing. 

G: You’re both creative, how do you find that? 

A: I really like it. For example, if we’re watching a film, we’re both on the same page and some nights we can talk more in depth about things to do with the film. Or, if we’re listening to a song, or just generally talking about any kind of creative aspects of things in our lives, it’s nice to have someone who is on the same page.
 Q: Yeah, there’s a lot of talk about decorating now, because of apartment hunting. It’s like ‘oh, we could put this there and even, like, finding the cat litter –
A : – yeah why don’t we buy pink cat litter to put in the living room and then have plants on top of that! 

G: It must be nice to be at that stage of being together a little while now, where you clearly connect and that you can move forward. It’s another step, isn’t it? 

Q: I’ve never been with someone where I’ve had a – it doesn’t feel like fantasy, it doesn’t feel that I’m tricking myself like, ‘what about this?’ You know, it’s tangible – we’ve booked our SATs, we’re talking to people about getting visas and moving in and everything.
A: I completely agree.
Q: And even down to languages etc, we’re learning languages together. I’m learning your family’s language…
A: Spanish…
Q: Yeah, so I think that’s our plan basically just self-improvement and getting to America
A: To America! 

Brighton wedding photography

G: It sounds like you both really bring something to the table and that you’re making it happen. So, as you say it’s not a fantasy – it is happening. 

Q: It makes it more stressful
A: Yeah, because at the beginning of our relationship we didn’t have that many plans. I think we mentioned going on holiday together and that was it. Then in the Summer/ August time, we were like: we want to go to America, we want to go to Spain, we want to move to London, and it really started to feel like real life. I started to feel more like an adult and more mature and just more fulfilled, knowing that we have all these plans in the future. It’s not just stagnant and staying in one place not really doing anything. 

G: Do you think marriage today is relevant or necessary? 

A: I’m 50/0
Q: Yeah
A: I don’t think it’s as necessary as it was maybe 50 years ago. In my parents’ generation it was a lot more.
Q: Yeah, and culturally my parents are English and haven’t gotten married and they’ve been together for 28 years. There’s some financial benefits and legal benefits, but I feel like for your parents it was probably more important for them.
A: Yes, especially emigrating from Iran to Europe. If they weren’t married, they would have had a harder time staying together. They probably would have been given separate housing as well. I’m not 100% sure on that. For me, I would like to get married in the future. I think it would be nice and it would be a nice experience. I think it brings families together as well.
Q: Yeah
A: But I don’t see it as something you have to do. If we don’t have the money for it, it’s not the end of the world if we don’t get married.
Q: I would probably do it tactfully anyway; If I did get married, I would do it for some sort of legal benefit like citizenship or –
A: – Visas.
Q: Visas, tax reduction, stuff like that – and a big party as well.  I wouldn’t be like ‘ooh I need to get married.’  

 G: So, it’s more of a piece of paper, tactical thing? 

A: I think, you know, if you truly love someone, you don’t need a slip of paper to prove it. I think your parents are a good example in that they’ve been together so long, and they’re probably one of the healthiest couples I have as an example in my life, and they’re not married and they’re doing completely fine. On the other hand, my parents are married and are also really happy. 

G: On that note, do you have any positive or negative role models in your life as to what marriage looks like?

Q: I don’t to be honest.

A: Growing up, I knew a lot of friends whose parents got divorced and that was kind of negative in my mind. I’ve seen things online about the negative sides of marriage, but I don’t really know anyone in my life right now who isn’t married and happily married.
Q: I don’t think I’ve had any direct effect from divorce or an unhealthy marriage.  I think I’ve seen weddings that have stressed like how important a wedding is and how much pressure there is on the family.

G: I suppose you wouldn’t know too many people who are married at your age, too?

A: I think if any of my friends got married at this age, I’d be so shocked.
Q: I wonder if we would be one of the first to get married?
A: Yeah, I don’t know because, I mean we’ve talked about it, and we’ve decided that it’s something that we would want to happen later down the line.
Q: Yeah, it’s like the house and the dog first, it’s not that important yet.

G: Do you think there’s a right age to get married?

A: Not really, I mean as long as you’re not a child

G: What’s a child?

A: Under 18 but it just depends on people’s maturity levels, I guess.
Q: Yeah, and financial stability and an awareness and the relationship itself. If you’re going to marry someone, you should probably have some history with them.
A: I think if you’re together for less than a year then probably not. Just because you never know what’s going to happen.

G: Do you think marriage would change you?

A: I hope not. If it does change me, I hope it changes me for the better. I’ve heard a lot of horror stories about women – its more online – where I’ve heard women say they’ve lost themselves. This is more to do with having children than being married. But I hope that if I do change, I change for the better.
Q: I think it would probably change me, I’d be like ‘oh my god, I’m a fully grown man now, there’s a wife’, I think it would freak me out a bit, because a lot of the stuff would coincide with ‘being married.’
A: House, job, kids…
Q: Yeah, cause looking at my dad and your dad, there’s such a gap between me and them and I think marriage would bridge the gap there.
A: I love my dad, and your dad, and the people they are and when they tell stories from their past, it’s so interesting to hear. Such old, wise, dad stories like, ‘when I was younger, I travelled the world! And I saw this!
Q: Both of our dads have travelled a lot. Yeah, I mean even your dad saying, ‘he’s reminding me of an old friend’
A: He’s not even met Paul! He just saw a picture of him and was like, ‘Oh I think I’ve seen him before, in a past life or something’

G: How do you both manage conflict as a couple, is it something you’ve experienced together?

A: Talking
Q: Talking
A: Honestly, we just talk a lot, we talk until it’s been solved, because I think I notice with some other couples – like my friend who had a partner, instead of talking, I would notice that they would ignore each other and then instead of talking it out, it would turn into this waiting game to see who would message each other first. I feel like we talk until we’re certain that we’re not, none of us are upset.
Q: I also think with any sort of relationship, it needs to be – like, you know, with father and son or a relationship, like ours you know, even people who you don’t know, just understanding and try to look at it from the other persons opinions and point of view. Just an equal footing, I think that’s how our arguments are resolved. And time: you don’t need to resolve everything as soon as possible; you can still feel hurt or frustrated, but as long as you know that the other person is willing when you do need the reassurance, that that person is there for you to give it to you. Or if you need the space, I don’t know I think just an understanding and love and appreciation.

G: How do you encourage time and independence to focus on yourselves individually?  

A: For example, if we’re in the room together, you’ll usually go off and do your guitar or music and I’ll be doing whatever I’m doing, watching TV or on my phone. Recently I’ve started doing an online course thing so we’ll both sit in the room, and we’ll be with each other but doing our own thing. That’s one example I can think of. Q: I remember you saying, ‘doing separate things still means that we’re doing things together.’ It just means that we’re occupying the same space but doing something else.
A: It’s not something we really talk about its just something that happens
Q: It’s sometimes a question of, ‘oh I’m going to go and do this’ and that’s normally how it goes. 

G: It’s interesting you say about ‘being in the same space but doing your own thing’ I remember, at a wedding speech recently, a bride was saying this about her husband in her speech. She said, ‘my favourite thing is when we’re both in the same room, but I’m doing something and you’re doing something else.’ I thought that was really sweet. 

A: That is really nice. It’s just being in each other’s presence.
Q: I do feel bad a little bit because everything I do is pretty audible
A: Piano, singing, guitar, bass…
Q: Or languages or whatever. I’m not really quiet ever –
A: – I don’t mind it, it’s nice
Q: Sometimes I wish I could do something I don’t know…
A: I like it, it’s nice to have a little tune in the background! 

G: A tune in the background! I love that.  What are you goals together, as a couple? 

A: Travel! Travel the world! See new things, meet new people.
Q: Cultural integration – that’s my thing. If you can get to the core of a culture that isn’t like your own and be in it and fully enjoy it. Things like, enjoy it more than people who regularly enjoy it, you know? Like, that you put 110% into the whole thing. I’m seeing you spend a lot of time with my family and now I get to spend a lot of time with your family, and hopefully we’ll get to go on holiday with them!
A: Yes, to Turkey!
Q: Yeah, but again it’s that thing of enjoying each other’s family and company still. I don’t ever want it to get to the point where it’s like ‘oh, we have to go and see whoever.’
A: Yeah, I always enjoy it every time. Your mum visited my family for the first time, and it was so lovely!  

G: Over Christmas? 

Q: Four days ago. And hopefully it becomes more of a regular thing because my family – my mums’ side and my dad’s side never got on with each other. They’re so different.
A: Same with my family. My mum literally never sees my dad’s side because they just don’t like each other.
Q: I hope that we can have a family that enjoys each other’s company. I can’t see why not.
A: No, I can’t see why not I think they’re all going to get on.
Q: I was joking about it, like, us all living in a big house and just put all the money together and all live in it. And I thought, that is just so nice. And again, marriage came up and we’re basically just marrying two families together.
I could imagine – I don’t want to go too far – this goes into fantasy, but like, I could imagine both our parents, grandparents, and grandmas. Cause your neighbours’ son came over and he’s what? Two? And just hearing your mum shouting his name when he was running away, I just could imagine her doing that with our kids. 

G: Here’s a good one – what are your favourite things about each other? 

A: That’s a nice question. A deep thinker, this one. Well, I like one thing. 

Q: Just one?
A:  Well, no, but this just popped into my mind. How safe I feel around you. I just feel so comforted and just happy and content. Anything we do, even if it’s going for the toilet, brushing our teeth, whatever menial tasks we have to do during the day, is made a lot better being around him. Try and beat that answer!
Q: Likewise. I’m just sort of left with the regular ones… You’re really funny. You’re very funny and sweet, and you are really rude but you’re just… you have a willingness to do just about anything. You’ll joke around with me, and you’ll embarrass me in public, but in the best way possible.  Again, it’s the same with you, you make me feel really comfortable, and the fact that you do these kind of things makes me want to do them. We can joke around in public and not really care about other people. A willingness to talk to anyone and enjoy life. 

G: Was there a moment that you fell in love? 

A: There’s been loads of moments like that. When we would go out during the summer, I remember, one day, we went to the marina.
Q: – Oh my –
A: Yeah! Do you remember!? And the whole day, we were just, the whole day just goofing around. What we were wearing was –
Q: Awful!
A: It was just awful! It was just not us at all and then we had a moment, where we looked at each other like, why are we dressed like this? We started taking pictures of each other and joking around the whole day and when we came back it was like… the sun was going down, and it was just a really lovely day. I always think back to that day.
Q: Yeah, that was a perfect day.
A: Perfect day.
Q: The kind of most boring, worst thing to do in a day – just going for a mediocre meal with no purpose and we were just dressed awfully. 

G: What were you wearing? 

A: I was wearing these black leggings, but it was, like, a leotard I was wearing underneath. I looked sporty – and I’m not a sporty person, I don’t like exercising! And you were dressed like a frat boy: baseball cap and weird colourful adidas jumper thing, it’s just not what we would wear. It just wasn’t us.
Q: And it perpetuated and became funnier. So that was a lovely day and the fact that we enjoyed ourselves so much, where there was nothing to be enjoyed. And it was really early one, that was in the first couple of weeks. 

G: That’s when you fell… 

A: Deep.
Q: Yeah.

G: Both of you?

Q: Yeah.
A: Yeah, honestly both of us.
Q: I was infatuated from the start. But then you know, slapping my wrist like, “I’m not in love, don’t tell yourself.”
A: And then I would try to convince myself ‘no, it’s just a couple of dates’
Q: And then after that I was like, no, I’m madly in love with this woman, and also the fact that you’re just so beautiful and holding yourself in the most jokey, falling to the ground with laughter. I think that was the first time I felt really in love.
A: Same.  

G: That leads me to the next question which is, do you both have a favourite memory together? Which, I suppose is that one? 

A: Yeah, and Spain… the theme park Isla Magica in Seville. I felt like a kid again, going to a theme park. We got so hot, we would stand under the water rides and get splashed with water. And there were loads of kids around us and they were all naked, running around and we were just under there with them like, please, water! Q: And also, the first day when the landed in Madrid, the sun was setting. We would go and sit in the park eating and there was dew on the grass it was really lovely.  And again, in Madrid, when we were paddling around one of the parks.
A: And there were loads of people dressed as cartoon outfits, so there was SpongeBob, Transformers and they were all surrounding the pond and it was just ridiculous because it’s just this beautiful, scenic place and there were all these characters, it was really funny!  

G: I guess it’s that feeling of being young and carefree? 

Q: A lot of seems to be in a park or by water. We’ve also been to places in Lewes, walking along the river. It’s a mixture of lovely scenery and delusional hunger.
A: It’s always when we’re really, really hungry.
Q: The perpetuating being hungry and tired and then you get past that point. I don’t know, there’s a beautiful chemistry to it. 

G: Do you think there’s a secret to a good relationship? 

A: A secret sauce? I mean maybe not a secret but being open with each other, always. I think that’s a given in any relationship. Making an effort to understand each other better and have a sixth sense in the back of your head. Always trying to understand each other better.
Q: I don’t want to be negative but if you’re not conscientious about your own self-worth or health, you’re not going to have a healthy relationship. I think we’ve only gotten to this point where we like each other, because we like ourselves, you know? And our relationships helped with all those things, but I think if one of us wasn’t conscience about ourselves, then it wouldn’t work. It’s sad, but nice because it’s in your hands. 

G: What do you think you should prioritise in a relationship? 

A: I’d say both of our mental wellbeing and checking up and seeing how we are. If one of us is down, or not feeling very good it can affect the other person as well. Making sure we’re feeling ok and if we’re not feeling ok, then being there for one another.
Q: We never talk about this stuff, but I totally agree – checking up on each other. And that you’re moving on the same kind of rate. One of you doesn’t get left behind, while the other is flourishing or the other way. It’s like you’re both moving forward, checking up one another and if one of us is feeling down, or the other one hasn’t noticed that you’re feeling down, then it’s just a case of talking. I know a lot of relationships where people, they don’t talk to their partner about how upset they are. Or if they do, their partner doesn’t do anything to change it and that isn’t a healthy relationship. If they really cared about their partner, they need to address that. I know people who have neglected their partners and they get broken up with and they’re like, ‘why have I been broken up with?’ and it’s like, ‘well, because you haven’t been looking after your partner’ 

G: Do you have any advice for other couples? 

Q: There’s moments of being reminded how much you love that person? I remember sometimes, you can get so used to being with that person all the time, you take them for granted. There was a time where you went off to get your eyebrows threaded and your nails done. I was with my cousin, and we were going rock pooling and you just came into the car, and I was like, ‘wow, that is a beautiful lady’ but we’re going to be slipping over muddy rocks and everything. Little moments like that, like, ‘wow’- it’s like a reprise of love.
A: After a certain while, you’re so used to the love that you forget to just remind each other. So definitely, try to be conscious of that. If I think in my head, ‘I love you so much’ I try and say it instead of just thinking it.’ 

G: How to people meet in 2022? 

A: Dating apps… online… bars, clubs
Q: Yeah, most people I know are already in relationships from knowing each other. I think online and the classics, bars, and stuff.
A: Abseiling. 

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