It all started a week before Valentine’s Day. I was approached after my legal studies class by a cute guy who asked me to dinner after the lecture. I’ve always noticed him in class, as we often got into some conversation about how sex-based law is written in Pennsylvania. He was smart. He was a D1 athlete. What more can a girl want?
The first night we went to Chipotle. And yes, he extra for the guac. We sat and talked for a bit, but unfortunately, we had to cut it short because he had a swim meet that weekend and needed to get ready to travel to Baltimore. I found out we went to rival high schools, so there was a chance we were at the same basketball games without even realizing it. Small world, huh? We both have also been swimming since we were young, so I understood the challenges of practices and trying to balance school. We also shared big dreams of someday being on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, which was amazing to hear.
Personally, I’ve always wanted to date someone as ambitious as I am. I do have big dreams that I want to accomplish once I’ve completed school entirely, and I want someone who is going to support me regardless. With that being said, I also want to be able to support someone in whatever his or her passion may be. I want someone who I can learn and grow from, while bettering myself in the process. I mean, we should have stuff in common to share a connection, but I also don’t want to date an identical copy of myself.
What really got me going for this guy was he said he was attracted to the way I think. Being in the same class, he said he likes hearing what I have to say even if it might challenge him. I’m so used to guys wanting girls because of their bodies, which makes me feel unsatisfied. However, this guy comes in practically being my prince charming and says he’s attracted to my intelligence? Oh yeah, I was definitely falling hard.
Now, we continued texting over the next week. After dinner, he asked if I wanted to go out to dinner for Valentine’s Day. I’ve never been on a Valentine’s Day date before. I still remember excitedly texting my mom telling her all the details because he was unlike my exes or any other guy I’ve been on a first date with. He gave me the same rush of emotions I felt with my last partner, so I had a good feeling about this.
Fast forward a week to Valentine’s Day. We had been texting all week, even hanging out in the Hillman Library for what he called “a pre-date to the major date.” I wore my best outfit even though we were going to eat fried chicken.
On this date, we got to know more about each other on a more personal level. He asked about where I lived, the things I’m afraid of and what I believe in. And then, he asked about my religion.
I grew up Catholic and even attended two different Catholic elementary schools. However, being queer and with everything that has come out about sexual abuse in the church, I no longer feel safe. I also had issues where I was bullied in school, and I was told that I needed to forgive them “as God would.” I do believe in faith, but I just don’t believe in the practice of conformed religion. To be honest, I’m still trying to figure out what it is I actually believe in, but this guy wasn’t okay with that response. I still remember him saying, “Oh, if I would’ve known that, I wouldn’t have asked you out. I feel like I led you on.”
He had a problem with the fact that I wasn’t Jewish. He has never brought a non-Jewish girl home to his parents, and he doesn’t have plans to do so anytime soon. I didn’t care that he was Jewish. He was cute, had a good heart and was everything I could dream of. Religion to me has little importance because it is not my place to judge what someone believes and doesn’t believe.
I was crushed to say the least. For the first time, I found a guy who I believed had the same morals as well as the drive and motivation I strived to look for in a partner. Yet, the one thing that stands in our way from dating is my religious beliefs, or should I say lack thereof.
I also know it’s not the end of the world. Yes, it sucks that we didn’t even technically date. Still, can you imagine what would’ve gone down if he brought me home to his mother? All I can imagine is running into someone who embodies Beverly Goldberg off of ABC’s The Goldbergs. I’m a believer that sometimes thing happen for a reason. It might’ve just been a curveball. I also may have cried over this guy and drank some wine with friends, which helped ease the temporary heartache. I am and will be okay though.
In the words of Ariana Grande – thank you, next!