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This Woman's "Other Woman" Became The Love Of Her Life

How We Met

How We Met is a series where xoNecole talks love and relationships with real-life couples. We learn how they met, how like turned into love, and how they make their love work.

Imagine falling in love with the infamous "other woman" in your relationship.


What seems like a recipe for a Love & Hip Hop brawl, was actually the start of a beautiful relationship for Devri Velazquez and Allex Dean. This fairytale ending was years in the making, but both Devri and Allex have very different versions of how their unconventional love story all began.

Related: This is What Self-Care Looks Like to Chronic Illness Warrior Devri Velazquez

According to Devri's recollection of their first encounter, which she affectionately described as a "hot mess", the lovebirds first met when they were just teenagers. Devri and Allex were both dating the same girl, at the same time, resulting in the same tragic ending. As for Allex, her first recollection of them meeting came much later, during Devri's college career. Allex coincidently got her hair braided by someone she would soon find out was Devri's neighbor.

The couple has now been together for two years and their love story continues to blossom by the day. Although the origins of when their love story officially began is still up for debate, there is no question on where their love story is going. "We both want to work hard to be happy and successful. We want to raise a family, own a home, and travel as much as possible," Allex explained.

Here's their story:

How They Met

Devri: She says we met when I was 17 in my first year of college, but I don't remember that. We were actually dating the same person back in high school, ironically enough, but we didn't know each other personally. It was a hot mess. We first officially met two years ago while I was at a work event and she came to meet me.

Allex: The first time we first officially met was in college in Devri's on-campus apartment when I was getting my hair braided by her neighbor. She says she doesn't remember the interaction but I definitely do.

First Impressions

Devri: As an adult, she was super different from anyone else I had dated. She was into fitness and I am not; she didn't have a same appreciation for the arts the way I do. I am creative and methodical, while she tends to go with the flow and think reactively. I only really knew her in passing during the high school years due to us dating the same girl (we had no idea until almost 10 years later when we reunited for our first date).

Allex: I was interested, but I wasn't sure of who she was or what I should have expected. Something about her drew me in.

Instant Attraction

Devri: I was intrigued. I liked her arms and her unique eye color.

It developed quickly into something beyond the physical, especially once I learned how much of myself I could trust her with.

Allex: I definitely thought she was cute before I knew her, but I became more attracted to her the moment we had our first conversation.

First Date

Devri: I was trying to kill two birds with one stone by inviting her to a work event and not feeling bad if I had to bail because I was bored with her company. It turned out to be interesting, though. Afterwards, we went to a bar and talked for hours and then spent maybe another hour trying to locate where I parked my car. She stayed with me until I found it, which was a good sign.

Allex: It was nerve-racking because it was the first time I would have seen her in almost 10 years. Once we started talking, it was informative. She was very open with me -- she let me know exactly what she had going on and what her plans were for the future. I felt like she wanted to put everything out there.

Making Things Official

Devri: I like to get straight to the point about my feelings, so I remember initiating the conversation after a date, laying everything on the table. There was no pressure, but I just wanted clarity so I could let the prospects know that I may be going on a hiatus until further notice.

Once I let her know what my intentions were for my future, I knew I could trust her with the plan, so I didn't hesitate to be exclusive. It might have taken me about three months before I was certain.

Allex: I think it was mutual and we were on the same page. We were both very open and did not hesitate to tell each other how we felt along the way. We moved slowly; we dated each other for a while before jumping into something deeper. We do our fair share of talking things out; we didn't move too fast and we communicated a lot along the way.

The more I got to know her, she was someone I could definitely see myself growing with. We shared a lot of the same values so I wanted to take the next step. Month one, I knew.

The One

Devri: I realized I didn't want to go more than an hour without hearing from her. Each day, I grew more interested in helping her see her potential, and I invested my time and energy in becoming an accessory to the dream.

Allex: I knew [she was the one] from the way I felt after our first disagreement.

Best Part

Devri: She is extremely supportive and is a great listener. She tries hard to not interfere with me fulfilling my desires, even if she disagrees with me.

Allex: I like how silly she can be with me at times. I feel like I get a Devri that not everyone gets to see. I admire her drive and her honesty, most of the time.

Love Lessons

Devri: I've learned patience above everything else. That's something I've been working on my whole life, but she makes me work twice as hard because her habits require a lot of it.

Allex: If I didn't try to love myself, it was going to be extremely hard to love someone else, that's for sure. Devri is always pushing me to be a little more selfish and pay attention to myself, so I know now how important that is.

Overcoming Odds

Devri: Like I mentioned, being patient with her. I encourage her (as I do with everyone else) to unpack her childhood traumas and baggage, and it can take a toll on my energy sometimes. But she's worth it.

Allex: Devri and I are definitely two types of people, so it's a huge challenge. I don't mind going home and relaxing and I like being quiet, but she just keeps going. She's a particularly busy body.

Our differences within our personalities have been the biggest challenge.

Baggage Claim

Devri: I had to unlearn my sense of selfishness. I like to move in silence sometimes, I have a lot of emotionally intimate connections with friends, so it took me a huge revelation in losing her to come to my senses to want to be completely transparent particularly about that, even if it wasn't with bad intentions.

Allex: Devri is very particular and likes things her way, so I had to learn to change some things around. For example, making my bed in the morning wasn't such a big deal before I met Devri, but for her, it's important. Also, I haven't always been the best at managing my finances, so she has stepped in to keep me on track: different apps and practices that may have slipped my mind or I didn't think about.

Making it Work

Devri: We spend a lot of time with each other, mostly being foodies and searching for the next best almond milk mocha.

Allex: We wake up early in the morning to go on a walk with our poodle, Coco. After work, we share a meal together and talk about our days. We also watch a lot of movies together.

Common Goals

Devri: We put a lot of emphasis on family and love. We both work from our hearts. I have always been determined to create a strong bond that resulted in success, whatever that looks like for us.

Allex: We both want to work hard to be happy and successful. We want to raise a family, own a home, and travel as much as possible.

For more of Devri and Allex, follow the two lovebirds on Instagram here and here. Click here to read past How We Met couples.

ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.

Reparations

We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
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Featured image by Shutterstock

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