Alexis Bellino Shares Engagement Plans With John

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Alexis Bellino is revealing her and John Janssen‘s plans to get engaged and denying she broke girl code with Shannon Beador.

Ahead of her highly-anticipated return to The Real Housewives of Orange County, Alexis, 47, is opening up about her and John’s plans for the future, explaining the start of their romance, which began shortly after his split from Shannon, 60, and offering an update on where she stands with Heather Dubrow, 55, and Tamra Judge, 56.

“We have looked at engagement rings,” Alexis told E! News on July 8. “We are talking about the future for sure.”

As RHOC fans may recall, Alexis and John shocked fans when they went official with their relationship in December of last year, causing many to accuse Alexis, who never starred alongside Shannon on the show, of betraying her fellow reality star.

“I didn’t know Shannon so I did not break girl code,” Alexis clarified. “I didn’t owe anyone anything and I wasn’t doing anything to rub anything in anyone’s face. It was literally timing and that’s why it’s reality TV, because you cannot write this script.”

“I’m excited for everyone to honestly understand that it is organic. We’ve had backlash consistently since the time we met,” Alexis continued. “People think we’re doing this as a facade and it’s like no, this is reality and we are in love. Our kids are a group now, our dogs are acclimated, so we’re moving forward … It gets better every day. We both are kind of like ‘pinch me’ in the fact that we truly found like a best friend and someone that we want to ride the rest of this life out with together. It’s pretty amazing.”

Although she and John are “amazing” today, Alexis admitted she was “very nervous” to return to the show and take on a role alongside Shannon.

“I contemplated not even going back because [I] knew what I was throwing myself into. But also I thought to myself, ‘Why am I not going to do something I want to do just because I’m dating somebody else’s ex-boyfriend?’” she reasoned.

Meanwhile, in another interview, Alexis confirmed she and John are nearing the one-year mark of their relationship.

“We were friends, we fell in love, and that’s what it is,” Alexis shared with OK!. “By the time the season ends, we’ll have been together for a year. Then it’s like, ‘Okay, will people just finally let us be?’ Maybe then we’ll just get a breath and be able to live happily.”

Since the start of their relationship, Alexis and John have faced backlash. But it’s nothing they weren’t both expecting.

“It’s exciting, but it doesn’t go without also understanding that this isn’t the easiest path that John and I decided to take,” she noted. “We could have dated anybody else. We tried to keep it like that. That’s something that I’m excited for everyone to understand. We tried to keep it as a friendship only because we both knew. We’re not stupid. We’ve both been in this industry. We both know what this is going to look like and what could be said about it. We’re going be scrutinized, we’re going to be shamed, we’re going to be cut down. But at the end of the day, our feelings were too strong to not move forward.”

Speaking of her return to RHOC, Alexis said it’s been “so fun” to be back with the ladies, especially now that she has more allies.

“When I was on years ago, there were a lot of friendships that ended up strained. I was trying too hard. I was not myself. You’ll see a different version of Alexis this time. I’m more mature. I’m a woman now, not a girl anymore. I was a girl back then. A lot has changed in that 14 years. But I think that you will get to see a strong, independent woman this time,” she teased.

As for her friendships with Heather and Tamra, Alexis confirmed she’s mended things with both.

“I left the show with broken relationships with Heather and Tamra,” she recalled. “Tamra and I had been friends off and on when I was filming. Heather and I started as friends — but that was severed during filming. Then Heather went on an apology tour with me when we weren’t filming.”

“I was off the show. She was off the show, and we were running into each other around Newport, Calif. She was just so apologetic about the whole season,” Alexis continued. “She’s like, ‘I’ve learned a lot. I’m so sorry. I want to try to be friends.’ I eventually forgave her. It took a while. I was kind of snarky. I had to apologize to her too. But enough time went by and I started to see that she was true.”

Alexis also said she’s in a good place with Tamra but noted that their relationship may be on shaky ground.

“We really do adore each other, but that could change tomorrow,” Alexis stated. “I’m sure there’s going to be some turmoil or something that’s going to tick me off or her off. But the friendship is real.”

The Real Housewives of Orange County season 18 returns on Thursday, July 11, at 9/8c on Bravo.

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