Things I have learnt from dating Non-Christians.

Over the past 6 months I started dating again. I wasn’t looking for a specific type; I kind of just went along with the flow, going wherever felt right. If you have read my other entries, you probably know all of this already and none of this is a surprise to you. It has definitely not been the easiest of times and at times, I have doubted myself so much and have gone through some of my lowest lows. I don’t think I had a specific goal that I wanted to achieve, it was more of the need to move past feeling stagnant and doing something about my feelings of loneliness rather than wanting to ultimately marry someone some day.

 

Since I do live in a pretty secular city and the avenues of which I chose to meet people were pretty secular too, most of the people I met were Non-Christians. As a Christian girl who has numerous staunch Christian friends who have in the past with other friends discouraged the dating of Non-Christians, I knew dating them would be an issue, but I did not really care. I guess that speaks volumes of where I am in my walk with God. I got to a place where I felt quite distant from him. This could be attributable to a variety of factors of which I don’t care to list. All the same, I went ahead to see what was outside the realm of evangelicals.

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my friend over dinner so rightly put it, some boys so skilfully cling on in the most charming of ways that even when you continuously chuck them aside, they manage to hold on long enough for you to realise just how adorable they are (or have become).

He describes me to his friends as weird because he can’t see how I would like him. I guess it’s because he doesn’t see my odd and strange behaviour as anything else but charming and delightful and never makes me apologetic for the such. But more than just making me feel accepted, he’s so easy going that he perfectly compliments my uptight nature, making us get along so well. He’s always so polite even when nobody else is to him and always tries to do the proper thing regardless of how he comes across. He’s the first to offer his help and knows instinctively when to step back and lay low. He never feels like his masculinity is threatened nor does he feel the need to threaten others. He never played games with me, he knows what he wants and is decisive about it. And he is Oh-so-funny.

There have been a few hiccups, which made the past week a nightmare. To be honest, it isn’t fully resolved, but he promised whatever happens, he’ll be okay with it.

On some levels, I don’t believe he fully gets me. But that’s to be expected and really isn’t a big deal. There’s just one issue which I don’t know whether we will ever get over, he knows it and I know it. Sometimes, I just stare at him and tell him how afraid I am of the future and of the outcome of our relationship. He becomes sad at that point too and we just quietly allow our minds to race with the most painful scenarios playing out vividly. We try to snap back to the present and enjoy the moments we have together. I try my best to remain as unemotional as I can, yet the wall I’ve so deliberately put up, has been unknownst to me hacked away quite quickly. I’ve been unconsciously falling for him.

So yes, I tried so desperately to chuck him aside, but this boy has held on so tightly to be, that without his stubby fingers wrapped around the nape of my neck and his kid-in-a-candy-store smile, I’d be so miserable and quite lost.

i’m seriously quickly falling for this guy. at first i did not understand why, but it became so obvious when every date we’ve had had both of us laughing hysterically. i was at his dinner party yesterday and it was so great how he just instinctively knew how made me feel comfortable with his friends without ever mollycoddling me. i really really like how easy going he is and how that’s so different from me, it made washing the dishes with him quite fun. i asked him the other day why he liked me, he said, my glasses. (i don’t wear any) i absolutely loved that response. i can go on and on about him and how great he is. but there’s also a lot i’m not saying. i’m leaving soon and it’s breaking both our hearts. as much as i’m trying to keep my feelings to myself and not let this get out of hand, he’s constantly on my mind and i always want to see him. i want to do everything with him, i want to watch the state of the union speech with him. it’s going to be so hard. but isn’t it far better to throw yourself into it and hold back and regret? i really really don’t know. i already really miss him.

how things change

I was meant to be a stepford wife. I was meant to be with one man, love him, respect him and cook for him and bear his babies. That was what I thought my future was meant to be like, clean, straight, narrow and singular. Everything has changed.

At the moment, I’m hanging out with two vastly different boys. I like them both so much and don’t ever want to hurt either of them. Cuddles, the first guy I started hanging out with, is brilliant, so kind and nice and we get along so well. We have the same nerdy humour which makes talking to him effortless and interesting. Because he was the first guy I went out with, there was nobody to inform him of. Also, we never really defined what we were, so the issue never came up. Cuddles and I just talk, laugh, drink beer and eat, uncomplicated and simple.

Then there’s SS. He’s the skinny jeans, black boots wearing, bearded boy who rides motorcycles and is terribly attractive.  When we met, I remember just wanting it to end, to go home and run away from him, because I thought he was just too much for me. Somehow, instead of going home, we (probably because he’s ridiculously smooth) found ourselves doing much more than I had intended, in the rain for a couple of hours. Once my guard came down, I realised, he is actually nice and isn’t the bad boy he looks and says he is. I remember saying to him that if we were in the park and someone wanted to get us, he’d probably trip me and save himself. He responded with annoyance, saying that if that’s what I thought of him, we should just leave. His response made him become exceptionally endearing to me. It’s odd, we don’t talk for hours, we don’t even text much because neither of us are keen texters, yet he’s always on my mind. We talked about what we wanted from each other and I told him I was also going out with other people, we talked about our expectations, about us not playing games, it was surprisingly open, honest and mature. Though, at the moment, I do feel like flinging everything to the wind for him.

I spent new years eve with Cuddles and his friends, which I was really dreading and wishing I could be with SS instead. Cuddles’ friends were so incredibly nice and I had such a great time with them. Never have I ever jumped into a group this easily and felt completely comfortable, to the point of even dancing with them. The most difficult part of the entire night was fending off Cuddles’ advances. I was his guest, with his friends and we were at his house, how do you gently reject someone over and over and over again without spoiling the party and then trying to leave without getting killed by his friends? His friends hinted in not the most subtle way possible about him liking me, all I could do was helplessly laugh. Also I was trying hard to subtly text SS without looking too sus. Anyway, at the end of the night, Cuddles had passed out completely and we dutifully cleaned up his house and quietly left. I was secretly quite glad that he did pass out because the advances stopped and there wouldn’t be any need for awkward goodbyes. His friends were so great and I’ve been invited to their party in a couple of weeks time.

Everything’s sort of crazy different from how things were a few years back. I keep looking back because I can’t help stare in disbelief at the disparities between the two. I feel somewhat glad that I’ve changed and living this different life. I guess a part of me always felt boxed up and judged that I found being in the box, safe. Now that I’ve ventured out, I’m the first to testify that all this scares the shits out of me. But what’s my alternative? Go back in the box and live my life and die quietly?

I’m different now. I’m happier. I’m not bored out of my mind. I’m excited.

Truth be told, this is going to bite me in the arse, I know. But nothing ventured, nothing gained.

 

to my future boyfriend*

*obviously, you might not exist rendering this post moot.

To my future boyfriend,

a part of me feels sorry you got stuck with me. You’d probably know by now that I can be slightly erratic and terribly emotional at times, I’m sorry, I hope my mood swings and sharp tongue dulls over time but I never make promises I can’t keep. At this point, I obviously know nothing about you but I do hope that you espouse the qualities in a man that reflect God’s love to the people around you and to me. I don’t have a long check list of characteristics I want you to have because I know what draws me to someone isn’t how many boxes they tick, but rather how the person makes me feel and our ability to understand each other without having to continuously and painfully articulate each feeling we experience.

I love God though sometimes my actions reflect otherwise. I’ve changed so much from what I was before and I do like how I am now. I’m slightly more liberal with my thoughts and actions, but the values I hold still stay firmly rooted in what Jesus has done on the cross for me. I love Jesus and you have to love Jesus too. How that manifests itself, I really don’t know. But I do hope that our relationship first and foremost be one that is established deeply in what Christ has done. For without Christ, our relationship will fail.

I don’t wish you to complete me nor fill any holes in my heart I believe are missing because I truly believe that this is a whole lot of crap. With that, I hope we will be able to hold on to ourselves as we walk through this relationship together. You might not love the things I love and that’s alright. I probably will not be interested in any video/computer game you are obsessed with, don’t hate me. Obviously, being in a relationship means sharing our lives and allowing our worlds to collide in the most dramatically beautiful way possible, but that doesn’t mean we need to be sewn together. I want you to have the freedom to be yourself, to go out with the boys and then come home to me with the biggest smile on your face. In the past, I was never able to do this, but with time, I’ve learnt much about independence and have not just appreciated it but started to want it for myself too.

One of the things I’ve been told is that I love to go on and on about how great my friends are. I talk at length about how they have dragged me through my exams and put up with so much of my crap with nothing in return. I do sincerely hope you love them just as much as I do. I cannot imagine a scenario where I come out alive without them, they mean the absolute world to me, please do not ever make me choose between our relationship and them. And just as I love my friends, I hope to love your friends as just much. These are the people you choose to keep around you and though you might not be cognisant of it, they shape you and are partly responsible for you being the way you are. I’m dating you and therefore want to get to know the people who are a part of making you you. I might be extraordinarily shy at first, but that’s because I’m probably incredibly afraid that they might hate me, but I promise, if you love them, I will too.

Families can bring the largest amounts of happiness into one’s lives but also an enormous load of grief. I know this well. Whether we are serious enough to make it to meeting each other’s families will remain unsaid but I hope that if we do, it would be just a gush about how our parents did a great job in bringing either of us up. I hope your mother likes me. I hope my father likes you.

We came together into this relationship has individuals and as such, we both have our own hopes and dreams. We don’t need to have the same dream but it would be incredibly hard to move forward together if our steps cause us to walk to separate directions. Do we give up our dreams for the other? I hope not, because all I can see is resentment following. But, you are not my husband and as such we can be independent in some ways. Does this mean we will be doomed? I’m not sure.

You probably will know that I have been hurt deeply before and bear the scars across my heart to show for it. As I wear my heart of my sleeve, if you have gotten this far, I’m probably enamoured with you, fully exposing a heart that isn’t fully perfect. As much as I would like to ask of you not to break it, promises have not been made, vows not taken and therefore you can break my heart and I yours. If we aren’t meant to be together as fearful as I am of going through another breakup, I hope that we do part ways, sooner rather than later. Though there will be yet another scar, I would rather this than a painful marriage.

But, if God wills it, we do stay together and love each other enough to want to be married, I’ll need to write another letter ;).