"Okay," I said, sitting in the hallway. Then I began putting my boots on. I wasn't going to cry and this was not going to be one of those 5 hour break-ups. He wasn't worth it. When he dropped me off at my apartment I told him to wait, I ran into my apartment and grabbed our book. It was our fairy tale. The book he had driven 10 hours to deliver to me. It held the story of our relationship spelled out in hand-drawn pictures and inside jokes. I had continued the story with pictures of of my own and together we built our enchanted romance. It was the cutest thing anyone had ever done for me. I had felt like a princess and he had been my prince charming.
"Take this. I don't want it." I said, throwing it at him. He protested but I gave him no choice.
As I turned to leave, a thought struck me, "You know what Aaron? I'm so glad that this is done because I don't have to pretend anymore. I'm so tired of always acting. So tired of hiding"
I don't think I even knew what I was saying on that very late October night. Only months later did I realize how dedicated I had been to the role of Molly Mormon. So much of me was an act to impress these priesthood holders. That was the last time I saw Aaron and I have not missed him once.
Now here we are, about 70 blog posts later, and I'm living in a different world. A newly minted Ex-mormon! I have a steady job and a stable self-reliant life. My life is my own. I'm not the slave wife to my “prince.” But I have played the part of a Mormon princess for so long it is hard for me step off my pedestal. As I mentioned my previous Mormon love stories were whirlwind romance. When you have post Mormon romantic epiphanies they hit hard and fast.
Alex and I have been dating for a while….and guess what? We just keep dating. How can we still be dating you ask? It's been 6 months, you say? By Mormon logic we should either be broken up or engaged…right? Strangely enough, I don’t want either. This concept of dating someone longer than 6 months was in conflict with everything I've ever experienced. I still can’t quite comprehend it. It is kind of like trying to understand how the universe is infinite and it is also expanding.
Eventually my uncomfortableness of our situation started to show, and my inexperience in non-mormon dating started to bubble to the surface. I started thinking irrationally, trying to find problems in our relationship and exploding them in my mind. One night, Alex sent me a smilie face emoticon :) instead of a winky smilie face ;) I used this textual symbol as fuel to exacerbate our clearly failed relationship. Unfortunately Alex is way to cool, collected and sweet to let me imagine problems. We talk and I soon realized I was just freaked out. Scared that i was prolonging something only to watch it burn in a year or three years. How can anyone take such a big gamble on love.
Love isn't a fairy tale anymore. Now I realize that you can't just marry someone and be done. Even after you get married you have to still work at it. What "it" is I’m not entirely sure. I'm frustrated and disappointed. I don't want dating to be a slow and carefully thought out process. I want it to be fast and exciting…What happened to my whirlwind romance where you meet and you just know? I have been dating Alex for over 6 months and I feel like there is so much I don't know about him. When I look at him I don't just see a perfect man with no flaws. Where is my prince charming? Where are those rose-colored glasses the church gave me? My fairy tale life is ending. I've lost the ability to mindlessly go through a romance with only the end goal in sight.
OR… Maybe I’m coming to the harsh reality that love is a journey not a fairy tale. :(