Stick with who you know
Aspiring writers are often advised to “write what you know.” And lately, I’ve been thinking, though it’s 2019, it seems many people still apply the idea of sticking to what you know to dating.
Singles themselves, mothers, friends – there are still a lot of people out there encouraging the world’s romantically unattached to find someone like them.
Fortunately, my parents and close friends have never said to me: “B, you have to date a Christian, a writer, someone with a college education, a musician, an [insert other quality here].”
Until recently, I really didn’t date people like me at all. Mr. I-Don’t-Do-Long-Distance and I were good friends and we enjoyed certain similar pastimes, but we weren’t fundamentally all that alike. Mr. Undecided and I were about the same, though we – at least for most of our relationship – had the same end goal.
Until Drummer Boy, who I’m still not seeing exclusively, I haven’t dated anyone who was Christian, which is the quality some would see as most important. Religious similarities.
Being fairly liberal and of an open and rather intellectual faith, I haven’t really seen the need when searching for a partner to have the same religious views.
I think comedian John Fugelsang put it best when he said: “If you wanna be a believer, great. If you wanna be an atheist, great. Just don’t be a dick. It’s really simple.”
For me, my greatest concerns are that the person I’m with be respectful of women’s rights, not anti-LGBTQ, and just an overall decent person.
I don’t believe God nor any ancestors’ spirits would smite me if I marry a well-intended agnostic. And my kids will be free to determine their own beliefs, regardless.
Though this is my story, I do know not everyone feels the same liberty when it comes to who they romantically entangle with.
I began talking to a guy in Seattle about three months ago. We’ll call him Bollywood Casanova. He was interesting, into politics, he followed the news, and has told me most of his childhood crushes were on female journalists – so I guess I’m just his type. Besides one major quality.
He wasn’t looking for anything serious, and since at the time I wasn’t either, I decided to see how things went.
Though there has been some definite flirting, we have agreed to be just friends. Partially because, as he said: “you deserve something with a future,” and partially because he’s Indian. And I’m most obviously not.
To his mother, that’s problematic. It wouldn’t matter if I defected and converted to Hinduism and shared her every interest. I’m white – and that’s not alright.
This is not to say I hold this way of thinking against his mother. It’s a cultural norm she’s been surrounded by her whole life.
Do I believe we should only get serious with people exactly like us – no. Given my blonde hair and blue eyes, that’s probably for the best.
Fortunately, Bollywood Casanova doesn’t plan to pass along that thinking to his children. So, maybe there’s more hope for the next generations.
And, like I said before, the idea of pairing off into some race, religion, [insert trait here] isn’t exclusive to India nor Bollywood Casanova’s situation. And I find that extremely odd.
Connections surpass race, age, gender and sexual orientation. You can really connect with someone on an intellectual or even spiritual level regardless of background.
That’s why when Bollywood Casanova said one day: “If only you were Indian” I didn’t immediately ghost or cut ties. There is a connection, regardless of religion (he’s actually atheist), ethnicity or views on relationships.
We’re human, sentient, feeling – and that’s all that matters.