One year ago I walked into a bar alone. I had just moved out of my parents basement and out of the Mormon church. I was starting my new life, new job, my whole new world! Mentally my mind was still a mess of Mormon phobias. But determined not to fall back into the "loving" arms of the Mormon cult I pushed myself to participate in non-Mormon activities. This bar was doing a musical open mic night. I was to nervous to actually get up in front anyone so I had planned to just sit and listen. Thats when I met Alex. The rest is history....History?....
Alex and I have history. One whole year of history! I am freaking out. When I was Mormon I was always very judgmental of the non-Mormon tradition of dating for multiple years before getting married. I really thought less of the women who allowed this to happen. In Mormon culture 6 months is really all you need to know if he is the one. Maybe one year if you are "taking your time". God! I'm hunted by the numerous condemning conversations I have had with Molly Mormons about this. One story in particular pops out.
Mandy is getting married? But she has been living with her boyfriend for like 3 years...So then what are we celebrating? She has already had sex with him. They are acting married. Honestly I thought less of her for "giving it up" without a ring on it. What an idiot she was. Its so funny how she is excited to get married. As if it even matters.
Well now I'm a little Mandy in the making. I feel a tightness in my chest Just saying that. I can't help remember my one year rule. If I didn't know I wanted to marry a guy after one year I would be done. Engaged or it's over.
When you leave the church you have to replace so many old thought with new one. But some of the ideas you held on to subconsciously don't spring up until you are smacked in the face with them. Alex and I have been dating a year and I don't have a 100% idea of what our future holds. I simply can not comprehend a relationship past a year.
Every day closer to the one year mark brought me more anxiety. I felt I was supposed to do something. But then I had a moment of clarity. This is a problem I can not think my way out of. 20+ years of conditioning does not fade away. How did I undo my fear of Non-mormon men. I got to know them. How did I get over my fear of sex...I had sex. How did I learn to break out of everything. I tried new things everyday. Dating someone for a year is a new thing.
So I guess I have to lean into it. I'll admit the thought of dating someone for a year sounds like death. I hate the feeling. But I love Alex.