When I was little, I believed that my mother was the most beautiful woman in the world. From her impeccable fashion sense, to the way she drove, to even her penmanship, I believed everything she did was perfect.
When I was little, I also believed in organized religion. I was Catholic and believed in God. I believed in heaven and hell. I believed that one should always do the right thing even though no one was around, because He was always watching.
When I got older, I believed in spirituality. I believed in karma: good, bad and in between. I believed in the law of attraction and read The Celestine Prophecy (twice). I believed in affirmations, meditation and yoga – oh my!
Now? Now I believe that shit just happens. Good things happen to bad people, and bad things happen to good people. I believe that (for the most part) your life is the way it is, because of the decisions you made. And while there may be someone out there for everyone, I believe that not everyone gets to meet them.
You know what else I used to believe? I believed that love was enough. Then, I learned that while it is absolutely necessary, there are still so many other factors to consider. Why do you think dating websites ask you 1,384 questions just to create an account? It’s so everyone knows up front what you are looking for, what you will accept, what your preferences are, and what you will absolutely not tolerate. A few years ago I was on Match.com for 72 hours before I was reminded of why I was so turned off by online dating to begin with. Still, I answered each profile question with the greatest of intent.
Smoke – Me: No way My date: No way
Relationship – Me: Never married My date: No preference
Have kids – No My date: No preference
Want kids – Me: Someday My date: Someday
Income – Me: $50,001 – $75,000 My date: $50,001 +
Those answers came easily for me. I knew that I would never date a smoker (unless he was going to quit while in a relationship with me), wanted someone that was open to having children, and could at the very least take care of himself financially and partake in a similar lifestyle of traveling every now and then, trying out new restaurants, attending concerts, and participating in new activities that cost money once in a while. However, I was hesitant to answer “Political View” and “Faith”.
I want to say that I don’t care what my significant other’s political and religious views are as long as they aren’t a bigot. Whether or not I agree with them, I will gladly listen to their opinions and welcome their insight as long as they don’t try to enforce their beliefs upon me. But I know it’s not as simple for everyone, and political views and faith (or lack thereof) can be deal-breakers.
One of them was a man I met not too long ago. We were from two different worlds, but got along great. There may not have been fireworks initially, but there was definitely a spark of potential. Except. It was dimmed upon hearing that distance and religion were two concerns for him. The distance was not an issue for me. Hi. Remember the one time I up and left to move across the country with no home, no job, and no money? I’m a flower in the wind. I do what I like, and have nothing tying me down. For the right job or right person, moving somewhere I could still drive to without having to take a pee break is cake. The religion isn’t as easy.
He believed that it was unhealthy for kids to see their parents disagreeing on something, and not good for one to instill a belief while the other nullified it. While I definitely saw the validity in what he was saying, I believed it was inspiring for children to see their parents not agreeing on something yet still loving and respecting one another, and not letting it get in the way of being good parents or partners. I wouldn’t mind my children learning about religion, however, I would want them to make decisions on their own.
I, myself would LOVE to believe in something. And with someone I trust, I may even be open to delving back into it in the future. But to have it forced upon me with the assumption that I will magically turn over a new leaf? The odds of me moving are greater.
I’m not going to lie. With the risk of sounding more into this man than I actually am, I’m pretty bummed. Since losing my faith, I’ve forgotten just how important it is to some. So when he told me it was a concern, I initially wrote it off as an easy way out – a way to not hurt my feelings by simply saying, “I don’t like you like that”. Blasphemy! As soon as I thought that, I felt ashamed and embarrassed and took it back. Because I get it. I really do. In actuality, I have nothing but respect and admiration for those who stand by their beliefs and refuse to settle for anything less. DUH.
I may not believe in much, but unless it’s an absolute deal breaker ,I do believe that some things are worth trying for. And I do have faith that if the common goal is the same and two people care about each other enough, things will work out. Whether it’s God’s plan, the universe’s plan, or that of your own.