You know those relationships you see glimpses of on Instagram, and then just really hope that what you think you’ve spotted is the truth? That’s how I felt when Zander Hodgson first began making little appearances in Troy Pes’ Instagram feed. Fast forward a few months, and there was definitely no denying that my possible favourite new couple were indeed a couple.
And am I right that these two make the cutest duo going around (and we’re not just talking about looks here)?! Just read their Insti captions to see what I mean…
Desperate to get them on Husskie to tell their Love Story, I am so beyond thrilled to have this interview go live. From sliding into DMs to being their true selves, read below to find out just how Troy and Zander’s relationship unfolded.
How did you two first meet?
Troy: Zander sent me a DM on Instagram. Just a little “hi” from him was enough to get my whole attention…
Zander: I found him on Instagram and was like: ‘Is this guy even real?!’ I did the usual like a few photos and then slid into his DMs, hehe. I was so excited when he messaged back.
Did you know straight away that you liked each other?
Troy: Definitely. It’s a feeling that’s hard to describe. It goes beyond physically liking someone – there’s some sort of witchery that takes over and then you know.
Zander: Yeah, it’s one of those things you know when something is special because it doesn’t happen often. I couldn’t work him out straight away though, he held back a little.
Did you think it was going to be a long-term thing?
Troy: It’s hard to predict it, but you do get a really good feeling about it. We are adults now and our expectations on a relationship are different than 10 years ago. You look for certain things in someone that can give you a glimpse of a long term relationship.
Zander: I was kind of scared to get into a long term thing for a while. I liked the idea of doing my own thing and not having to answer to anyone, but then it just naturally progressed that way. Everything felt like it happened in the right time.
Which one of you first asked the other out and how did it happen?
Zander: Troy wasn’t in LA when we first messaged on Instagram. He planned a trip and I picked him up. I gave him a big hug like we knew each other because we had spoken so much already. We went to Veggie Grill… really, nothing fancy at all, but super cute and special for the time being.
How did the relationship go from the first hook-up to properly dating?
Zander: I think we both knew we were invested in each other. Troy came just before New Years’ and we were getting invited to a few parties – I didn’t know what he wanted to do, but I wasn’t feeling a big party atmosphere. I didn’t wanna hold him back. In the end we stayed at mine and went through pictures of me as a kid, listened to music, drank wine, and ate ice cream. I don’t even know if we had the conversation that we were exclusive because it was pretty much assumed and felt like we were on the same page.
What has been your most romantic date?
Troy: We love Joshua tree and we have been there plenty of times but one time, we rented out a 1950s airstream decorated with Moroccan and Americana vibes… basically our dream house. We grabbed some dinner and enjoyed our time alone away from everything. We really just enjoy everything simple and connected to the desert.
Have there been any obstacles along the way in your relationship?
Zander: Not at all. We are very open to saying what we feel and how we feel about things and we always listen to each other without prejudgments. Nothing has been too hard to deal with. However, we had a few conversations about coming out publicly on social media. We were both such a big and important part of each other’s lives – it was hard to feel like you couldn’t show things. Also, I was so proud to have Troy as a boyfriend. Troy was really supportive with allowing me to take my time and come to the conclusion it was something I wanted to do.
I believe this has been a bit of a step for you, Zander. Can you talk me through this?
Zander: Yes, I was always out to my friends and family – just not on social media. As my social media grew, I wanted to be more authentic with my followers about my life.
What’s been your favourite memory together as a couple?
Zander: So many memories together. My family came to LA to visit at Christmas. Seeing Troy with my family and my sister’s babies made me so happy. We were so excited for them coming, we did so many trips to Target making the house all “Christmas-y” because we have literally no Christmas decorations. Then driving the babies around before Christmas and listening to Disney songs in the car.
Why do you think the two of you make a great couple?
Zander: I think because we both want the best for each other. There is no competition at any level. We always talk about things and how we’re feeling and are empathetic to the other person. We both want to grow and see the other grow too and are interested in similar things. We like to explore new places, do things that challenge us, look after our minds and bodies.
What’s one of the favourite activities you like to do together as a couple?
Zander: Go for a drive to Malibu or to Joshua Tree or finding new coffee shops that feed our tastes.
How would you describe each other?
Troy: First thing first, Zander is the hottest guy I have ever seen, but more importantly, he is the greatest guy with such a big heart. He is willing to go through hell with you just to make sure you are safe and protected. He is extremely funny and adorable and super smart and intuitive.
Zander: Troy is such a sweetheart. He’s more sensitive than people know. He’s goofy and doesn’t mind showing it. He is committed to the people he loves and generous, he likes to take care of people.
What was it about each other that made you fall in love?
Zander: The simplicity of it all. How easy is to communicate, to read each other’s minds, and to be just us without pretending.
How would you sum up your relationship?
Both: Genuine, fun, natural and chill.