It’s freezing cold outside and the world is basically imploding, so it felt like the right time to ignore scary reality and get well and truly NOSY again.
I’ll let you in on a secret: I’m an ambitious person and there are lots of things I want to achieve professionally, but if I am truly honest, my main goal in life is to find love. Real, empowering, steadying, exhilarating love. I think being in a relationship is one of life’s great privileges and if I am lucky enough to experience a lasting love, I will be A Very Happy Little Clam.
As established, I’m nosy about a lot of things, but the one that takes the biscuit is hearing how people met their partners – I just cannot get enough. I always end up with that warm and fuzzy feeling inside and my faith in humanity restored. And so, a few weeks ago, I found myself sending out a little tweet asking if anyone had met their partner over Twitter. The response was amazing – so many people tweeted back saying yes. And so, in an effort to spread a little love in the lead up to Christmas (the most magical time of the year!), I am doing a series on people who have found love in unusual places. The first being Twitter.
First up, I thought I’d go straight to the modern day fairytale. Not only did this couple meet on Twitter THEY NOW HAVE ACTUAL CHILDREN TOGETHER. This sincerely blows my mind with delight. Introducing Elliott ( @ElliottClarkson ) and Leigh ( @LeMencs )
So, who made the first tweet move?
Elliott: I’m going to say Leigh. We’d been following each other for a while and I was going in for a knee op and she sent me a DM with some cheesy knee pun like “take it kneesy, yeah?” or something like that. I don’t think it was *meant* to start anything but we started DMing each other EVERY DAY after that.
Leigh: That would be me, yes. Although (**revelation alert**) not by DM. I actually tweeted Elliott publicly in reply to something he’d said (probably a joke) but missed one of the Ts in his name, so he didn’t get it. And yes, I thought he’d ignored me at first so this whole thing ALMOST NEVER HAPPENED. Top tip: Always check your spelling.
Gosh I feel positively SWEATY at the thought this almost didn’t happen. And also thanks for the tip *installs spellcheck*.
So … what were your thoughts on each other – did you fancy the others’ online personas?
Elliott: I fancied her persona, yeah. She came across as really smart and cheeky. Plus there were loads of pics of her getting drunk and dancing with old Sikh guys. Which was awesome.
Leigh: I thought he was funny. He has a warped sense of humour and that works for me. He only had a picture of his feet for a profile picture so it was definitely a personality thing first! And he had a link in his bio to his old Flickr account which showed me how creative he is. Oh and he doesn’t use text speak or LOLs which gave me the idea he was a proper grown up. I was wrong about this.
Hahaha. It’s weird how much text chat can influence whether we fancy people! So moving on, what circumstances did you first meet in real life?
Elliott: Well, our *first* actual meeting was when she was paying for a ticket in a car park and I was walking past. I recognised her and said hello. I also told her she looked like a ninja because nerves.
The first time we properly met was at a beer festival on a Thursday night. I was there with my mate and we’d kind of agreed to meet there but it was more of a “might see you there, yeah?” rather than a date.
We ended up taking pictures of drunk men’s arse cracks, pouring beer over each other and then she disappeared. I later found out she’d got so drunk she didn’t even make it work the next day so I didn’t hear from her until Monday.
I was petrified I’d done something wrong.
Leigh: Yes – the car park thing. It was really awkward but classic Elliott. He will go up and say hello to anyone he recognises, which happens all the time as he has a scarily accurate memory for faces. I’m a little more reserved so had I spotted him first, I probably wouldn’t have approached him, but Elliott is much more outgoing. Thankfully.
Did you feel paranoid about your tweets after that first interaction? If you think about it, it’s like the online version of your date following you round all day and you wanting to look cool!
Elliot: Yeah, I did. For sure. I felt like I was on show a little bit and if I ever talked to another girl on Twitter in public I was more careful about what I said. Y’know? That makes sense right?
Leigh: I didn’t? Honestly, I think I’m probably more paranoid about my tweets in general than Elliott is, maybe because I was initially using Twitter for work purposes, so I probably over-think before I tweet anyway. I didn’t really think about what tweeting another fella might look like to Elliott. Because it was just Twitter and I really wasn’t looking for anyone.
That does make sense, yes. From both sides! Okay, slightly awkward question… was it an instant attraction IRL or a slow burner?
Elliott: Instant. For me, anyway.
Leigh: Instant to his personality, yes. When I actually saw Elliott I thought he was good looking but too young for me.
Ahh I know that feeling… although I also kind of like a younger man. OKAY ENOUGH ABOUT ME… what’s the status of your relationship right now (ooo DEEP question, sorry!!)
Elliott: We’ve got two kids and we just bought a house together. No big deal. We hooked up pretty fast. First proper date was in June 2010 in Reading and we’d moved in together in Birmingham by December 2010. We didn’t fuck about.
Leigh: Yep, in it for the long haul! And honestly it feels like we’ve been together longer than six years. I think my memory is trying to rewrite itself because I often think Elliott’s been with me (holidays etc) at times when he couldn’t have, if that makes sense? It’s like I’ve known him my whole adult life.
My god guys, this is making me almost cry it’s so delicious.
Do you ever get jealous now if you see your partner tweeting other boys / girls (delete as appropriate!)
Elliott: No. Yes. No. Yes…I think so? (I know exactly what you mean….)
Leigh: Only Lauren Laverne. Because she’s lovely. (This time I know exactly what you mean!)
Is there any competitiveness between you guys in terms of the #numbers?
Leigh: Nah. I think Elliott has always had a bigger following than me and most of my followers probably connected to me through Elliott. He’s just that kind of guy.
Have you ever asked your partner to RT one of your tweets if you feel like it’s killer content that’s just not getting the love?!
Elliott: I don’t think so?!?
Leigh: No, I don’t think so. We joined Twitter in 2009 (within a week of each other, spookily enough), at a time where it felt like a big room full of people chatting. It’s changed a lot since then. That said, Elliott was and still is really impressed when one of his tweets goes mad. The first time it happened was a picture of a puddle that looked like a ninja. Elliott is much more likely to create killer content.
Has your partner ever posted something about you (pics or content!) that you weren’t happy about?!
Elliott: Yeah. ALL THE TIME. Pics of me looking like a fatty. I reckon she does it to put other girls off because I’m quite a catch.
Leigh: Yup. He once tweeted a picture of me half-dressed for some hilarious reason I can’t recall and I went bonkers. Oh and he has been publicly critical of my employer which I’ve asked him not to do again. I think it’s fair to say Elliott tweets from the heart whereas I tweet from the head! But it’s one of the things that I love most about his Twitter persona.
Do you ever get annoyed if your partner is ON TWITTER when you’re hanging out together?
Elliott: If we’re watching telly then I do get pissy but I’m usually on Twitter too so I’m a proper hypocrite.
Leigh: Oh yeah. Although we’re both guilty of this, Elliott is on his phone much more than I am. It bothers me more when the boys are around and wanting Daddy-time.
What’s your favourite quality in your partner?
Elliott: Her unknown levels of sympathy. HA! I joke. No, not that at all. Best quality? She’s passionate about everything she does and it’s infectious. She’s like a British version of Leslie Knope. It’s awesome.
Leigh: His sense of humour, for sure. Those first real-life dates were full of laughter. Nowadays we still laugh hard but it’s when we can steal some time alone i.e. when the kids are asleep! I also love how outgoing he is and hope the boys get that from him rather than my shyness.
If you could give me one piece of advice on how to meet a new love via Twitter, what would it be?!
Elliott: I guess from our situation, send DM’s to test the water if there’s anyone you’re keen on. And keep it private. Don’t let anyone else in on it until you’re ready.
Leigh: How to meet a new love… hmmm. I would say don’t go looking. Just concentrate on filling your timeline with people you share humour/philosophies/interests with. If there’s new love to be had, they’ll appear there. Once somebody’s caught your attention, definitely test the water with a DM or two, and see how they respond in other conversations – you can tell a lot about a person by the way they treat others. If you’re going to meet up IRL, do it in a public place where you can slip off if necessary (!!!!) but ultimately, be yourself.
And that’s that!! Elliott and Leigh, thank you SO MUCH for sharing your love story so honestly and with such humour and happiness. It gave me the warm and fuzzies for sure.
If you enjoyed this piece, stay tuned… I will be sharing more love stories in the lead up to Christmas. Now pass me the mistletoe ❤