Part 3: Just Friends

The morning after our first date, there was a service project hosted by the Institute. We were to go and glean chilies from a farm, and later donate the baskets gleaned to a charity (or something. The details are foggy).

Tanner had told me the night before that if I decided to go to the service project I should text him so he could come too, so I shot him a text saying I was gonna head over to pick chilies. I was looking forward to spending a morning getting to know the other members of the Institute, hang out with my new friend Tanner, and, most importantly, keep tabs on my crush. It would be a good day, I could tell.

I got to the Institute parking lot and immediately found Tanner. We chatted and waited to hear about what we were supposed to do from there. Soon, we loaded up into various vehicles and headed out to pick chilies. I didn’t get to be with my crush, but I DID get to be with Tanner, which was very fun. That boy was hilarious, and I could tell we would have a fun time that day- as long as I could balance my time between joking with him and flirting with my crush, that is. A girl’s got priorities, after all.

The chili pick went about as I planned- splitting time between Tanner and my crush, and getting sunburnt, which was an addition I didn’t necessarily plan for. Either way, I finished the day exhausted and happy. Exhausted because picking chilies isn’t exactly easy breezy, but happy because I’d spent the day with two wonderful gentlemen. Gosh, that Tanner kid was funny. I just knew he would be the kind of friend I could go to with just about anything. So I did.

Ever since the chili pick, we had been texting back and forth, and since we were such good friends (I even dubbed us “twins” because we were so alike), I decided to ask him for some advice, involving my crush. I just HAD to know whether or not he liked me; or at the very least, if he was displaying possible signs that he might like me. I had done all I could do to figure it out, and I needed a boy’s opinion. So, obviously, I asked Tanner. We were friends! I could totally do that. He gave me the best advice he could, and we continued from there.

We texted back and forth almost constantly, and the more I got to know him, the more I liked him. But not- I assured myself- in a romantic way. We were JUST FRIENDS, and it was going to stay that way, dangit. I was not interested in him, and he was not interested in me. We were f r i e n d s, and that was wonderful.
Granted, every so often I would think about it and I figured that if we did end up together, we would be ridiculously happy together. I could actually be fully myself around him. I didn’t feel self conscious, and I felt like I could hang out with him dressed nicely, or in sweats with no makeup on, and it would be totally okay. Every so often, he would even tell me I was beautiful- which was huge. Nobody had told me that in a long, long time, and it was wonderful to hear that, especially from a friend I trusted as much as Tanner.

The delusion of being “just friends” didn’t last all that long, however. My roommates started making comments about how much Tanner liked me, how much we hung out, and how late I stayed out with him all the time. Despite my protests to the contrary, I began to wonder if Tanner really DID like me as much as everyone else thought he did.

One night, Tanner took me out for a drive (something we did quite frequently), and the subject of who-likes-who came up. I complained of how frustrating it was to like someone so much, and trying to show them how much I liked them, and have them be completely oblivious to it all. Tanner agreed, and we continued talking.

 Looking back on this it’s actually almost painful how blatantly obvious it was that we were talking about our own relationship, and how completely oblivious I was to it all.

Apparently Tanner thought the same thing, because he started laughing and wouldn’t stop. I tried to figure out what I’d said that was so funny when it suddenly clicked: I was being the stupid girl who couldn’t figure out that I was the object of someone’s affections.

“Tanner?”
“Yeah?”
“I’m being the stupid girl, aren’t I? I’m the one who’s being completely oblivious, huh?”
“…….I wouldn’t say stupid…. Just unobservant.”

Oh wow.
Oh my goodness.
Oh gosh. He liked me this WHOLE TIME and I had been completely blind to it. I had friendzoned him, and I’d friendzoned him HARD. I wanted to crawl into a hole and die of embarrassment right then, knowing I’d been such a numbskull.
But I had to know why. Why would he like someone as neurotic as me? So I did what anyone would do and asked him why he would like me.
Apparently that’s a nerve-wracking question to be asked, because he got all flustered and set off the car alarm. In the middle of my apartment complex. At midnight.
After laughing it off and speeding out of the complex, he explained why he liked me.

He was completely honest, and tender, and sweet in his explanation. He also said he didn’t want this to change the dynamic of our friendship, and he was completely content with just being my friend, which is what I needed to hear at that point in time, because this was still news to me, and I needed time to process it and decide how I felt.

Confusing times, indeed.

~Haeley

(click here for part 4 of the story)

The hard parts.

I’ve been engaged officially for two weeks now (holy crap, only 2 weeks? I could’ve sworn it’s been longer…), and in those few short weeks I have done a LOT of growing up. These two weeks have held some of the most wonderful, exciting, stressful, and terrifying experiences I’ve had in my life.

I’ve always dreamt of how great it would be to get engaged, thinking nothing of the immense amounts of planning that actually has to happen between the “yes” and the “I do”. Really, I had no idea how much I would have to do. So many decisions have had to be made that I haven’t even considered (what are we drinking at the reception? I have to plan that?!), it makes me very happy that I am only going to be engaged ONCE, because dang. This is stressful stuff. But you know what? I’m marrying the most perfect boy for me, I get to start living my lifelong dream of being a wife come May, and I am gaining some seriously amazing family.

But the learning curves, guys. The learning curves.

In an attempt to calm myself down enough to sleep tonight, I’m just going to do some serious word vomit and then post it for the world to see, because that’s my style.

  • I have been dealing with some killer self-confidence issues as of late. I’m starting to realize just how very oddly I am proportioned, and I can’t seem to get myself to be satisfied with my appearance. I keep finding flaws I need to “fix” before my wedding, which I hate, because I can’t afford to be worrying about that. Back when we were dating, I wasn’t ever worried about my appearance. Tanner has never failed to make me feel positively gorgeous, but I think the key problem is I knew I was going to stay fully clothed around him. Now that we’re engaged, however, I know that those days are over. Once we’re married, I will be completely his, and there won’t be anything to hide- and honestly, I wouldn’t want it any other way. But for now, I’m having a hard time accepting myself and believing the fact that Tanner is still going to think I’m beautiful with or without clothes on. I know he’s not expecting perfection, but I can’t stop worrying about it. Especially with my legs. Real talk: I will do literally anything to avoid shaving my legs. I HATE it. I hate taking the time to do it, I hate how dry and itchy it makes my skin, and I hate dealing with… Everything involving dragging small knives across my legs. So I just don’t do it. And because of that, I’m super self-conscious about my legs. So dealing with THAT will be an adventure.
  • Adjusting to spending the majority of my time with another person has been hard on me as well. I’m not used to being with people very often, especially since I spent the majority of my first semester alone. This has been such a wonderful, wonderful adjustment, and I wouldn’t change it for the world, but it is still an adjustment. So making sure I have time to give to my sweet Tanner, and not being alone as often has been an interesting development. It’s so interesting to watch how your life adjusts once a person goes from being a convenient, cuddly happiness to a priority who you will someday wake up next to for the rest of your life. 
  • I absolutely adore the new family I am acquiring, but it’s come at the price of constantly worrying I’m going to do something wrong and offend them. I know I shouldn’t be scared of that, but I just am. I like impressing people and making sure they like me. I’m trying to loosen up, but it’s not easy. I’ll get there eventually though. 
  • I found my dress today, and I am so very happy with it, but… I didn’t go with my mom or my sisters. I went with my mother in law, sisters in law, and grandmother in law, and it was SO FUN, but I can’t help but feel like I missed out on an awesome experience. I’ve always dreamed about dress shopping with them, and even though I am so happy I found such a perfect dress, I’m sad I wasn’t with my mom, Like, really really sad I wasn’t with her. 
  • I basically just need my mom with me 24/7.
  • Since becoming engaged, I have had countless offers from people who just want to help, and I can’t adequately express how appreciative I am, but I also feel bad that I can’t have everyone help. I just don’t have that many things I need, so some people are going to have to be satisfied with knowing I love them, and emotional support is really the only help they need to offer.
  • I don’t have all the answers. I have to remember that and be okay with it. 
  • This is only going to be a few more months and I can MAKE IT.
  • I’m not alone. Millions of brides have come before me, and have had to deal with more than I have. I can make it.
I just needed to get that all out, and I totally don’t expect it to make any sense. I’m just dealing with a lot right now. 
~Haeley

Part 2: First date.

The closer Friday came, the more I panicked.

I had been on many a date with guys I knew even less than I knew Tanner, yet for some reason I was still nervous. I didn’t want our instant connection the night of Fall Sing to have been a fluke, and I didn’t want to deal with the awkward silence I was sure would happen. Nevertheless, I had made up my mind to go on this date, and who knew? It could turn out to be fun after all. He had managed to make Fall Sing less dull, and that was saying something. Waiting backstage is SO boring.

We had decided on getting pizza and watching a movie at the park. Since it was October, I’m a valley girl who has no experience whatsoever with chilly weather, and I was fighting a head cold, I decided to bundle up way more than was necessary, so I wouldn’t have to freeze myself.

I got ready quickly, and had some time left to kill, so I puttered around my apartment looking for something to do. Suddenly, I heard harsh knocking and rushed to open the door. Tanner sure was…. Not here yet. It was my crush instead, coming in to do some homework and hang out. I chatted with him for a little bit, then told him I was waiting for my date to pick me up, hoping he would get the hint and head home. But he didn’t, so I continued entertaining him until Tanner came my way- after all, what kind of hostess would I be if I sent him out? Plus, he WAS my crush, and I wasn’t about to say no to spending a little bit of extra time with him.

Tanner arrived right on time, and we left, to some teasing on the part of my crush. After some semi-awkward small talk in the car, we got to the restaurant where we ordered our pizza and sat down. Within minutes, he had me laughing again, and we hardly had time to eat our food! We exchanged stories, talked, and laughed until the restaurant closed and we had to leave. Giggling, we drove to the park in order to watch our movie, where we interrupted a group date. We watched them from the car, which reminded one of us of a funny story, which reminded the other person of a funny story… And so it continued until the park closed.

I thought that would be the end of the date, so I reluctantly put my jacket on and got ready for him to drive me home, but Tanner didn’t take me home. Instead, we drove around aimlessly for a few hours, making a circuit of the small town over and over again. He told me his eyes were each a different color (one green, one blue), a detail I had never noticed before, and I told him about my petrifying fear of throwing up. We talked about so much that night. We even told each other the story of our first kiss, and about dating and how weird it all was. That right there is where I determined that we wouldn’t ever become anything more than really good friends. I mean, we’d been talking about kissing other people and totally dissed the dating game- automatic double friendzone, right? I thought so.

Eventually, we turned into the WalMart parking lot, where we sat and talked until well after 3:00 AM. I know it sounds cheesy, but time really did fly that night. I’m sure we could have easily talked all night long, but the single’s wards had a service project the next morning at 7:00 AM, which I was determined to go to, provided I was awake enough to do so. We said goodnight, and exchanged phone numbers so I could let him know if I was going to go to the service project after all, so he could come and we would hang out some more.

As I lay in bed that night, I thought of how easy he was to talk to. I could very easily see myself becoming really good friends with this boy.

~Haeley

(click here for Part 3 of our story)