Look, I'm not denying that there was probably a really nice guy named Jesus who said a lot of things that sounded prophetic. He was in our history books along with a bunch of other people. But I just don't know how somebody from more than 2,000 years ago can have such a huge impact on my love life, which has already been riddled with mishaps.
Yet we all know rule #1: You can't change a person. You have to love a person for who they are and not who you want them to be. To be honest, five years ago, I would have said: "This guy is too religious for me. I've waited this long for love, I can wait a little longer." But as the years fly by, I realize how hard it is to come across a good guy, one that checks all the boxes. And as Dr. Phil says, we should all be willing to settle for our 80 percent man, because, let's face it, nobody's going to be perfect. He does say, however, that we are entitled to some deal-breakers -- we just have to know what they are. For me, provided the guy is nice, employed, and not an addict of some sort, the deal-breakers have always been mainly physical: I don't like shorties, thin lips, or hairy ears.
But I never thought about religion as being a deal-breaker. A voice inside me says a similar worldview is important, but it's not like my guy doesn't also wish for a humane world. And he's not a weirdo -- he engages in normal male activities like beer-drinking and obsessing about football scores. He doesn't file his nails or anything. But he wants to go to church, with me, on Sundays, just like he used to with his father (a pastor) and his siblings when he was a child. I tell him to go on his own, because I'd rather practice my crow pose at yoga class (that's spiritual), but he gets upset. One day, he went to church (by himself) and said he screamed at God for all the pain and complexity in our relationship, and asked him why it was so difficult, why he had to fall for someone who did not share his beliefs.
Well, what did He say? I asked.
Look I'm not saying that proves anything, but what I do realize is that it is a lonely, frustrating experience -- for both of us. I don't understand how he could be the way he is (what do he and God talk about all day long anyway?), and he doesn't understand how I can be so nebulous when it comes to spirituality. I think it's a deeply personal thing; he believes it's a shared, communal experience that should be discussed regularly at church and at the dinner table.
Maybe Alain de Botton is right: Instead of ignoring religion, perhaps I should steal from it. I do enjoy watching religious ceremonies and ancient tribal rituals on the Discovery Channel, though I'm not sure how I would go about incorporating any of them into my workweek. And I did love watching Kate and William get hitched in Westminster Abbey last year, though I really only remember the dress and the kiss, not the talking bits.
But nonetheless, here I am, wondering, should I just be a little less picky and let this one slide? Or is religion going to be a deal-breaker for me? The older I get, the fewer deal-breakers I want to have, because it's not like it gets any easier.
But if I decide not to be a part of this holy threesome, I could risk ending up on my own.
That doesn't sound like a very good deal to make. In fact, that sounds rather like a deal with the Devil.
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