The 7 percent that matters

There’s a lot of things to be learned when taking risks. Sometimes it’s reminiscent of an after-school special. Sometimes it’s an epiphany. But mostly, it’s skirting the line between “I think this might work” and “I’m fucked.” At least that’s been my experience. So, while the wound is still fresh and it pains me to admit it, Smarty Pants and I wouldn’t have worked out. I took a look at the seedling of our incompatibility 3 weeks ago and chose to go forward anyway. It was mentioned, but no explicitly explained. I’m human. Hope is my super power. Next to overthinking of course.

And of course this all on the cusp of America’s favorite hallmark holiday involving a naked homicidal cherub because why the fuck not. Yes, I had a pretty cool Valentine’s planned for SP and me, but alas, that’s not going to happen for obvious reasons. I really, really liked her and it’s weird for me to feel this way about somebody I’ve known for less than a month, but this time was different as I alluded to in the last post. The chemistry, the attraction, our minds, they were all on the level as far as I was concerned. It seemed as though we were on the right track toward something more.

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Look at bae covered in snow. HAWT!

But that seedling I chose to ignore grew into a shrub of reality that ball-checked me. As I put my bid in for a more serious dating scenario after our downtown adventure this past weekend, we both realized what needed to happen. The potential impasse had to be addressed, which always seems to be in my car. I don’t know why all my romantic encounters end up this way, but I suppose that’s just my schtick. Fine, I’ll own it.

Wanting to take things to the next level was mutual, which was awesome, but one thing had to be addressed. Our spiritual (religious) dispositions. Now, in the archive of my posts on this mess of a website, I’m sure I’ve spoken about my stance on this topic. As a refresher, I’m agnostic for the most part. I believe there’s something out there, but I feel largely disconnected from whatever that is. My “religion” can’t be attributed to an institution; it’s about how I live, not about how often I go to church and to subject myself to set of arbitrary doctrines set by some being that is allegedly outside of my comprehension unless I have some book allegedly written by it or something authorized to write it, yeah you can miss me with that.

Don’t get me wrong, I have 0 issue with people getting on the organized religion train and believing whatever they want to believe. Humans crave explanation of things they can’t understand and that’s where belief in something bigger than ourselves comes in. Attaching a why to the happenings of this mad world makes it easier to cope with the bullshit we all go through on a regular basis. And some choose to only believe in their own strength and existence. Still, there’s a belief in something.

Organized religion is for some people and I’m not some people. I can go on for days about this, but suffice to say, this was my answer (a lot nicer though) when SP asked about my religious leanings. Details aren’t important, but she’s on the other side of the coin on this; she’s fairly devout and her faith means a lot to her. By extension, this means that whoever she is going to be with for a while and eventually marry, has to be on that same path, which makes sense. She was looking for someone that would be a leader in her faith and a focal point for all things spiritual in that aspect. Again, totally fine. Unfortunately that’s not me and never will be.

What really sealed the conversation, in retrospect, was how music is undefeated in these situations. I had the Black Panther album by Kendrick Lamar in the background because I stay lit fam. The song King’s Dead comes on. The first line goes “Miss me with that bullshit.” So, as she was explaining why we won’t work out, that line blares and I frantically turn it down, trying my damnedest to stifle a laugh. What the fuck K-Dot, come on. Man wasn’t wrong though. I don’t think her beliefs and religious faith in general is bullshit per se, but I would be lying if I said I didn’t feel vindicated.

What’s worse is that there’s literally nothing either of us can do to “make it work.” It’s doubly shitty when you got feelings for somebody and you just know that the shit isn’t going to work out unless you’re into being frustrated on a regular, of which I’m not a fan. So, despite being boo’d up the whole day prior, the reality set in: we’re on two different wavelengths spiritually and that can’t be reconciled.

Ultimately, I didn’t want to get in the way of her faith, what she believed in, and her practices etc. You don’t get in relationships with the intention of changing somebody. You get into one because you share the same values and want to build each other up. While this was most likely going to be the case if we did get together, I don’t value faith as much as she does. And for her to compromise her faith or me to compromise my code wouldn’t be beneficial to either of us. These are core to our identities. It’s way deeper than not eating onions as much or going outside more (the horror). These were, in effect, non-negotiables.

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One of my non-negotiables is sex, as it’s an important part of a relationship for this guy. I make no judgment on those that would like to save themselves for whoever they marry and I respect the decision. I feel the same about people who can do the nasty without much emotional collateral. More power to you.

Logically, for me, it doesn’t make sense to wait until marriage as sexual compatibility is a thing.  I’d be mortified if I married somebody with a drastically different sex drive and sexual affinity than I did. I wouldn’t buy a car blind folded and without a test drive. Gotta make sure the pedal is good for my metal.

Shitty metaphors aside, the night ended on a pretty somber note and while we agreed to remain friends, I’m definitely going to need some time to detox from being vulnerable. Outside of my woes, I learned some valuable lessons. Under all this faux apathy and aloofness, there is a heart that’s capable of caring about somebody other than itself. It’s a defense mechanism that I’ve honed over a decade plus. I know, impressive right?

Second, there are non-negotiables that I have to stick with for my own sanity. I spent the better part of my early 20’s trying to mold myself around people and romantic interests, only be left bitter and resentful when those eventually ended or I was kicked to the curb. Even in this situation, I considered breaking my code. As soon as that thought arose, my whole being, body and conscience, said  “No the fuck you ain’t.” I had a legit visceral reaction to going against my own grain. Proof that I’m getting to that “Everything you see here, that’s it. I’m def not a Wonderball” point.

Lastly, connections are fluid and don’t have to be broken based on them not going in the direction that I wanted them to go. The shift from potential mate, to friend, and maybe even pseudo-sibling can happen over time. Sometimes they revert and skip stages. The important part is that they’re positive influences, regardless of stage. So, while I have to revert to my original plan of #sitback2018, I can do so with another friend and another set of connections in this crazy city.