In my previous post I alluded to the fact I am somehow entangled in a sort of romantic relationship with a never-Mormon male. And by “somehow entangled in a sort of romantic relationship” I mean…I’m dating someone. I know, shocking! How could a girl raised to believe her main purpose in life was to avoid fornication until marriage, then get married within 5 months to someone she sort of likes so she can go to the beautiful temple (which turned out to be a creepy cult temple,) and spend the rest of her life caring for her 9 children… *Big Breath* ever date a guy who was not raised Mormon? Well I’ll tell you how…by being herself. Sound cliché? Yeah, like who else would I “be being”?
I used to live a double life. There was Emma the irreverent, loud, South Park watching, guitar playing, “move to NYC just because” Emma. And then there was the Emma who would go to church because boys want me too, fake cry at testimony meeting so the RMs would see how obviously spiritual I was, and the “I want to have sex so I better lock one of these suckers down for eternity” Emma. Ay caramba! I can’t believe I kept this act up for so long. After being so completely confused about who I was it was impossible for me to find someone and like them for who they were. Looking back, I get the feeling many of these men were fighting the same battles.
I met Alex at a guitar open mic. I was looking forward to an evening alone with my thoughts. I even left my guitar in my car because I decided that night I would just observe. While I was observing the music Alex was observing me... note I said observing me…not enchanted by me.
“Wait you left your guitar in your car? You know it’s like -15 outside right now?” said Alex sort of amazed by my stupidity. I then spent the better part of half an hour begging him to take a look at my guitar to make sure I hadn’t ruined it; after all, the thing had already been in a car wreck.(see: Car Wreck) Alex knows a lot about guitar, and that is sexy. We hung out quite a bit that week. One night I realized I really like this guy…hold the applause. Later that same night he told me he was still living with his Ex-Girlfriend. Ouch…. Not only was I crushing on a never Mormon with a beard but I picked one that appeared to be taken. Like any rational person I thought this would be the perfect place to bow out.
But, my friends, there are two sides to every story. Alex’s situation is weird especially to a Mormon girl who could not image sharing a stick of gum with a man much less an apartment. But after he explained how he was in the situation and I decided to treat it like a yellow light instead of a red light. I assure you, reader, the situation is not as bad as it sounds.
When I first met Alex he did not fit my “list.” He is a year younger than me, quieter than me, knew nothing about Mormons, and drinks a fair amount of beer. (To be fair any amount of beer to me is a “fair amount.”) May I just say something about the list. It’s stupid! Throw it away. Relationships really can be fun without all of the DTRs. (Define the Relationships) I can date Alex and I don’t have to know where it’s going. I’m enjoying the ambiguity. I’m learning to just relax and not put the cart before the horse…or should I say handcart before the exhausted dying pioneer.
When you leave the church it is important to expect and accept outliers. People outside the church not "normal". Relationships are not "normal". They have kids with people they used to date, or live together for years, or have “open relationship.” Casual sex, and divorce is not as common as you think. People outside the church take their time getting to know each other. They live together and share everything before they share a last name. When you are in the church that sounds so awful. It’s actually wonderful because the pressure to get your rocks off is not there. The relationship is really just about you two and not your need to fuck balanced with your need to please God.
If there is one piece of advice I can give to you, poor frightened Mormon girl or boy, on dating outside the cult it is this. Focus on you. Don’t prowl like you surely have been. Go out and try new things. Get involved in activities you like. Find that part of you that you have been ashamed of and test it out with people. You will be surprised at just how likeable the natural man is.