The Girlfriend Zone

So I have been debating on whether or not to share this with you guys for a while. Maybe I felt kind of shy telling the whole world about the man that completely changed my whole world. Maybe on some level I am superstitious and did not want to jinx it.

This is basically what convinced me to write about it: The Friend Zone. It’s a post I wrote on February 2, 2012. Exactly one year after I wrote The  Friend Zone, I met Allister on February 2, 2013.

*Author’s Note: It just occurred to me that this was post I wrote on February 2, 2012: Reality check: Why I’m going to be the next Bachelorette. Either post works really. They both speak to my hopeless humorous situation at the time. 

As a lot of you may have come to know about me, I had my own views of what relationships should be like. I had never been in a serious relationship but I had a lot of friends who were in a lot of serious relationships and observations taught me many things.

People in average relationships seemed happy enough. People in great relationships, however, seemed…quiet. People in great relationships knew what it took to make it to where they were. I always wanted a great relationship. I knew it would take work.  But that’s okay…every great thing takes a lot work to obtain, right?

Against all the odds that I imagined there to be in this world, I actually found someone that also seemed to want a great relationship.

I am by no means an expert in relationships. I could have somehow gotten away before by telling you guys I was an expert at being single. But to being relationship-savvy I have no claim to fame.

As practical as I would love you guys all to have believed, I had very skewed, Hollywoodized ideas of a great relationship. Things were really not what I thought they would be when I finally got into one. Unlike what I imagined real relationships are like, there was no drama, no waiting by the phone and there was no sleeping around with a million people until one of us had life-changing epiphanies.

Allister and I met at a dinner arranged by a couple of girlfriends a year ago. He thought my plans for starting a business of writing online dating profiles was preposterous. I thought he was hotter than two rabbits in a wool sock. He offered me a ride home that night. I invited him to my place for house party the week after.

Three weeks after Allister and I started dating, he told me point blank that he wanted to be my boyfriend. Had I been the practical person I wanted to believe I was, I would not have wanted run for the hills. After years of being single, I had almost developed a Stockholm syndrome towards the Friend Zone. But he saw that. He told me that when I was ready, send him a postcard and he’d be there…still wanting the same thing. (All paraphrased)

Eventually our first major fight happened four months in. There was a lot of crying on my part and a lot of listening on his before he addressed what bothered me.  Contrary to how great I thought I was at being reasonable, he was better at deflecting fights before they escalated to destructible levels.

That was also the night he said I love you for the very first time. He told me later that it may have been the least romantic moment to me, but he never meant it more.

I turned 27 last September. He celebrated it like he was making up for for the last 26 birthdays he missed. That was when I knew that I would never ever be able to celebrate another birthday without him.

Everything about dating Allister was unexpectedly alarmingly easy. I was not sure if it was because years of failure had lead me to believe relationships couldn’t be drama free but I would always wonder if we were going wrong somewhere.

Where was the downside of being in a relationship that everyone talks about? People always told me to enjoy my single days. Being in a relationship has its rewards but it is SOOO MUCH WORK.

They were NOT lying when they told me it would be a lot of work.

Over the past year it took a lot of arguments, heated discussions and flat out fights with each other for me to realize that relationship are a LOT of work….on myself.

I learned just how blinded I am to my own faults. I pout, I fight, I bitch and I yell when I don’t get my way. Oftentimes, I found that the arguments we have had were born out of a sense of injustice I felt when someone else failed to do things my way and when I assumed the worst of my partner not realizing that having two people in a relationship ALWAYS means there are two sides of a story.

It took a lot of work for me to admit that I am a far cry from the perfect person I thought I was. And it takes a lot of work to fix it.

At the end of it all, the paradox of happiness that I stated in The Friend Zone remains true:

In order to be happy, you have to make someone happy.

In order to make someone happy, you have to be happy yourself.

If at all somehow by some fluke of the Universe, the fates are kind and bless you with someone that makes you happy, you best do everything you can to be the person that makes them happy. Even if it means you lay down your pride. Especially if it means if you have to lay down your pride. Because according to the paradox, that’s happiness.

And as someone who strives to make this guy happy, I can definitely attest to that.

PS: You can’t see her in this picture, but there was a thousand year old woman sitting on the side who came up to us with these pearls of wisdom for Allister: 1) Always wash your hands. 2) Never be mad at each other

So I will ask you this: What have you learned from your relationships? Here’s a  poll to help, but I would love to hear from you as well!