Debbie and Robert: How They Met

New Yorkers Robert and Debbie found a love fueled by fun, and created a happy, blended Scottish-American family.

Robert Buchan, 54. Debbie Guirand-Buchan, 42. 

Where are you both from? 

I’m from Peterhead, Scotland and moved to New York City in 1998. Debbie is from downtown New York — the East Village, and Lower East Side.

What is your work?

My job is photographer/digital tech/artist. Debbie’s: digital producer.

“My first impression was she was really fun”


How did you meet?

We first met in 2008 and dated for six months or so. We met in a bar in the East Village where we both hung out at, St Dymhnas. We were just hanging out and having fun. I think we must have seen each other 4-5 times before we started hanging out. 

My first impression was she was really fun. Then we didn’t see each other again till the summer of 2014 when we randomly ran into each other in Soho. Serendipity wins the day.

Where were you married?

We were married in Scotland in Urquhart Castle on the banks of Loch Ness, 2015, in a small family get together. We then were legally married in City Hall, NYC on Christmas Eve 2015.

What were you thinking before you met? Were you looking for someone to be with?

I was married and had a kid really young so I never really had much of an expectation of who I wanted to be with, just a good person who understands other people. I never thought I would have a 19-year-old teenage stepdaughter, but that has been really refreshing.

How are the two of you different?

If you look at race, yes, that makes us different, but we don’t look at each other that way. The only real difference is that I’m Scottish and she’s American. I grew up in a small town in Scotland, with fishing boats, oil rigs, and very harsh weather. Debbie grew up in NYC, a very lively place with so many different kinds of people, and, of course, a party scene. It really is the city that never sleeps. 

“Most of the time we’re just cracking jokes and having fun”

What is the best thing about your relationship?

Most of the time we’re just cracking jokes and having fun, not all the time but mostly we don’t really stress too much. Life’s too short to freak out or get involved with something you have no control over. Look after your family and friends first and if you still have energy then go for it the rest of it.

How do you spend your weekends together?

Weekends are cooking, cleaning, watching the Glasgow Rangers football game with my son on FaceTime. Debbie likes brunching but I don’t have the patience for all that chitter chatter. We often go to galleries, sometimes The Met, and the free Fridays at the Whitney. Her teenage daughter hangs out with her friends in Chinatown. Sunday we try to have a proper Sunday sit down dinner, roast beef or katsu chicken and ramen. I love to cook and the girls love to eat — it’s a win-win situation.

What is the best relationship advice you have received or given?

Best advice: if you are not happy, do something about it. Don’t expect others to figure it out.

What would you say are your vices?

Whisk for me. Debbie has tons of tattoos so that’s probably her #1 hobby. 

How do you keep your lives separate, while still being together?

Debbie hangs in the living room watching tv, I hang in the kitchen listening to music and cooking. Her daughter has her own room — we overlap when needed, normally when someone is hungry, ha ha. We have a small study where I draw and mess around and stuff. Debbie uses it as an office since working remotely so we have places you have to interact in.

Do you have different cultural backgrounds that may add to your relationship? 

I don’t think we are that different, we are just here to love and enjoy life as much as possible. 


See medical disclaimer below. ↓


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