True Life: How I Got out of the Friend Zone

Dating is tough, especially with all these dating apps and sites making you feel like you’ll find the one right away. What they don’t tell you is that it’s never that easy. I personally chose to wait until I got into a relationship with someone I could consider my best friend.

Make dating easy for yourself. Try and have fun! Meet lots of new guys and put yourself out there! Once you let go of all the expectations, you might find yourself meeting that special someone out of the blue and it’ll all be worth it.

Try and keep your cool - unlike my friend Chandler here.

Try and keep your cool – unlike my friend Chandler here.

I’m not here to say I’m an expert on relationships, because Lorde knows my boyfriend and I pick fights over the dumbest things. Mostly this is a “this is what I’ve learned/what I wish I would’ve done instead” type of post.

Living in the Friend Zone: I used to live in the friend zone and I was totally okay with that. The thought of dating boys terrified me because I had no idea how to be someone’s girlfriend.
I grew up in a single-parent household where it was just my mom and I – very Gilmore Girls, minus the witty banter because Hispanic mothers are not about that.

I got my tips on dating from movies and shows, which we all know is a huge letdown because I never had a guy write me a letter every day or play a boom box outside my window (granted I grew up in the Walkman/iPod era, so it would’ve had to have been on a speaker system.)

hlosUPWThe most attention I ever got from a guy was if I was helping him with his homework (i.e. let them copy, but joke was on them because I was not a straight A’s student) or if I quoted some song or movie the certain person liked. Even if I got attention from a guy, I had no idea how to handle it – I feel like I self-sabotaged lots of potential relationships because I was so awkward.

Tip: If you ever feel/have confirmation from a friend that a guy likes you, seize the moment. You’ll look back on this and regret you never said anything if you don’t.

If you don’t care about rejection, then tell him yourself! Make sure you’ve talked to this guy long enough to where you know you want to pursue something and mention you’d like to go to dinner and a movie sometime. If he’s interested, he’ll be all for it. If he’s not, hopefully he won’t be a jerk about it and let you down easy. If he’s an ass, then GOOD RIDDANCE. (Please make sure to give me his address so we can slash his tires while blasting some Carrie Underwood.)

The one that got away:
I was in the fifth grade and I was head over heels for this boy named Jorge.
From what I remember, he was tall (for a fifth grader), Hispanic, played sports and word in the hallway was he liked me too! I’m pretty sure we never dated because we were waiting till we went to middle school in order to feel more ~mature~ about it.
Then, I switched middle schools the summer before 6th grade and I never saw him again.

More than “Just Friends”:
EVERYONE KNOWS WE’RE MEANT TO BE, FALLING IN LOVE JUST YOU AND ME TILL THE END OF TIME.” If you can name that song, then you and I should be best friends forever.

Picture this: You and your “friend” have been hanging out for a couple of weeks/months/years now and you both can feel the chemistry. You are constantly hanging out with this person and you would love to make this official. When do you jump into the relationship? My experience was definitely different from your average, “Hey I like you, and we should date” scenario.

319329_4421027604187_1444885954_nI knew my boyfriend for a full year before we started dating. We were introduced to each other my freshmen year of college and we spoke/hung out occasionally until the mid-way through the fall semester of my sophomore year. Since we lived in the same apartment complex, this made it super easy to call each other up and say “Hey, wanna study?” or “Hey, wanna go out to eat?”

I didn’t think anything of it until we had a fall out with a mutual friend that turned out to be a scum-sucking road whore that tried to ruin our lives. We found comfort in each other as we both ended up losing friends and were both embarrassed we let this person into our life.
Months later, we were definitely hanging out more often than normal friends do.

I think the moment everything changed and went into this “soooo, are we dating?” situation was when he kissed me during SXSW 2012 while we listened to that “Young, Wild and Free” song by Snoop Dogg. Yes, this was my first kiss song and it was very romantic.

Months followed and he still hadn’t asked me to be his girlfriend, but we were “technically” dating.

Tip: This is what I meant by, “If you have confirmation someone likes you, then bite the bullet and ASK THEM OUT.” Do NOT wait this out. Boys can be clueless and assume you’re dating without having to ask you.

It wasn’t until one evening in November (yes, I waited this long) when we were working out that I finally got clarification on our relationship status. I was telling him this story about how a guy was trying to ask me out earlier that day on the shuttle to school.

To this he simply went, “Why didn’t you tell him you were seeing someone?”
Me: “Because I didn’t know I was seeing someone? Am I seeing someone?”
Boyfriend: “Yes!”
Me: “Then why haven’t you asked me to be your girlfriend??”
Boyfriend: “Because…” he paused, “I haven’t asked someone out in a long time!”

He said this all in one breath and quickly went back to working out. Turns out he was too nervous to ask me out because he didn’t want to lose me as a friend/girlfriend. (Even guys get shy about asking someone out.)

unnamed (1)Now, I tell you this story because if you have the same awkward situation going on in your life, make sure to clear things up immediately!
I wouldn’t change my experience for anything in the world. I think it’s hilarious and now I’m head over heels for this goofy, talented guy that makes me feel like it was all worth it.

This week’s post is dedicated to a certain special someone to celebrate our three year anniversary.
You’re all I need, and I love you and I like you, B!

Letter to My 16 Year Old Self

Dear Alli (you will change the spelling of your name to “Ale” soon enough),

199776_1002191510105_9147_nI am writing to give you some advice, my delicate flower. I know you are going through a little bit of a crisis at the moment. I am here to provide some insight, some guidance perhaps.  With this foreshadowing I am going to give you, I want you to remember one thing; Everything happens for a reason.

First and foremost, be yourself. Through and through, 100%, be true to who YOU are. Don’t be afraid to want to listen to screamo and rock out in your room to System of a Down and Fall Out Boy. Identifying with Peyton Sawyer is okay because even 8 years later she is still your spirit animal. Stop trying so hard to get the coolest jeans from Abercrombie & Fitch, and attempting to pop your collar, it’s never going to be you. Understand that some of your friends truly aren’t meant to be your friends. You will find the best group of people in life who will truly get you on so many levels (Pam & Kristen *hint*hint*). I know you’re not happy right now and feel trapped, but this is all a big chapter in your life story, I promise. (Side Note: Get closer to Cristina, when you meet her grasp onto that friendship and hold it tight, she will be one of your best confidants in life).

300x300Second, be nice. Be compassionate. Think before you speak. You are a very unhappy young girl right now and you tend to take that out on everyone around you. Stand your ground, but understand that people have feelings, and they will get hurt by your judgement on their life choices. They didn’t ask for your opinion, don’t give it. You will learn how to handle these situations better when you sit in your first communications class at JJC. (SIDE NOTE: Sorry to tell you, but becoming the next Atoosa Rubenstein, is unlikely to happen. But you will get a chance to have a lovely email chain with Jodi Picoult and it will be one of the best moments in your life). At 24, you will pride yourself on positivity and it’s the greatest feeling in the world.

Next, forgive. Stop holding that grudge; that demon will break you down. Stop bringing it up every fight. You will look back on it and tear up at the fact that you broke her heart with every offensive name you called her. You love her. She will be your biggest cheerleader, best friend, and favorite drinking buddy. The light you see in her eyes when you walk across the stage at Texas State, and the tears you shed when you have to say goodbye, will eliminate the hate you have for her now. And don’t blame him for his actions. He’s hurting just as much as you are. He loves you unconditionally and will be the first person you call when you learn to cook. Appreciate them. It’s a struggle, but they love you, so very much.

Finally, stop fighting for their attention. They will make you second guess your beauty and confidence. You know exactly who I am talking about in reference to changing everything you believe in to make them happy. You will be disgusted with your actions when they repeat itself with someone else. At 24, you will not need that reassurance to be happy. You will be so content with who you are as a person, that the acceptance of them is not needed.

full-1You will grow to love music even more than you do now. And attending concerts will be your favorite hobby.  Don’t fret that you failed the drivers test once, Mom will call you a great driver eventually. You will still love collecting magazine covers and Gilmore Girls. When Midnight passes be ready for this little pup named Spike to show up and steal your heart. Soak in your trip to Italy in the back of the van; Florence is not as scary as it seems. Myspace is a thing of the past, and Mom will join Facebook. This thing called Netflix will come and rock your world. And remember being a  Zia will be the  greatest title you will hold in life, be proud of it.

All in all, I hope this finds you as you are riding on the bus to the next football game, or in the basement with BAANgkok. Take a shot of cheap vodka and listen to Party Like a Rockstar, and cheers to your future self for understanding what it truly means to live.

xoxo

Your future (grey-haired, vibing, pop-punk princess, tattooed) self.

P.S. When Sabrina yells at you during labor, know that when you leave that delivery room, your life will change forever.