I’ve dated on nearly every point along the Western religion spectrum from atheist to spiritual-ish to Jesus freak. In theory, if a guy hates Jesus, it should be a deal breaker for me. But I’ve blurred the lines on that rule, probably one time too many. For the most part it hasn’t been a major problem in the early stages. Mostly due to a mutual respect for what the other individual believes. Healthy conversations can be had without turning into conversion attempts or all-out arguments. Much like a friendship on the same plane. Except, unlike friendships, you may have to raise a child with this individual so that can be a problem down the road.
Anyway, that’s beside the point. As I said, in the past these relationships have functioned on respect and understanding. Until recently, I’ve never encountered a situation where someone has actively tried to change my faith. We went through a great debate when things finally came to a head. Well not so much a debate as a berating of my faith. I was denounced as a little fool for believing in a joke of a religion because I was “smarter than that.” After this encounter I’m thinking it might be too dangerous to dip into those waters.
I was floored that someone I cared about could belittle something that is at the very core of who I am. I couldn’t reconcile the idea that someone who thought me to be such a wonderful person could implore me to change the very convictions that made me that person. It was a rather eye-opening conversation. He couldn’t have meant all the things he had said about caring about me or liking me because he basically loathed everything I stood for. So often Christians get pigeonholed as this hateful, judgmental bag of tricks. But even in my stalwart faith I have never launched a vicious attack of this nature on a non-believer.
I know that our life paths all take very different turns and that the curves in my road have made it easier for me to land on the proverbial straight and narrow than if my life was dealt from his deck of cards. I recognize that our unique trials and moments of peace shape our dogma. This outlook is probably one of the main reasons I get involved with the wrong people. In addition to the fact that I don’t fall into the pit of butterflies and giggles very easily anymore, so when I get that twinge from someone, I revert back to the stupid girl who loves (likes) blindly with no regard for the logic that guides someone out of unhealthy relationships before they can start.
I’ve been able to erect a boundary in certain situations before that feeling germinates, but if it takes root before deal breakers are uncovered, I’m basically screwed for the duration. I was able to extricate myself from this particular situation a month or so after the fact. But it required much more power of will than it should have. And I’m still left reeling more than I expected.
He actively hid his feelings about my faith in an effort to keep our relationship going. I’m not sure what he hoped to accomplish long-term with this. He could only keep his disdain from bubbling up for so long, and then what was going to happen? He shared that he was ready to settle down and could see doing that with me. So how could he marry someone who he couldn’t possibly respect on the basis of her faith? Whatever, that part of it was somewhat irrelevant to me because of the multitude of other reasons he wouldn’t make a good life partner for me. I was trying to be casual and aloof about the whole situation because since getting a taste of it, I was craving that connection. But that was never going to work.
The end game for me is always going to be love, marriage, baby carriage. I need to recognize that I can’t be easy and breezy when I feel a connection with someone. I can’t even claim I was trying to change this one’s mind to make him into the husband I want. I know he is where he is going to be and I didn’t suffer from any delusions that would suggest otherwise. In high school I might have thought, “all he needs is to be loved in the right way.” But not with this one. I figured I could just dabble in him until I got him out of my system. Unfortunately, I wasn’t going to get him out of my system without removing him from my life. Spending time with him was only weaving him more intricately into my life and my nature.
Ultimately I learned something about myself I should have always known. No matter how unsuitable an individual may be, even if the thought of him being a long-term solution to that love problem is a damn impossibility, I can’t remain detached. I was designed to feel and feel deeply. Because I’m emo like that. By the time the hook is set, it’s too late for me to not become immersed in the elements that make him who he is.