Dating a really religious girl

More than one dinner out ended with me crying at the table in frustration, so we started eating at dimly lit restaurants. It was my family, the only community I had known, my education, and my profession, but it simply wasn’t for the person I loved. Luckily, Adam’s patience was just as strong as his stubbornness, and he put up with Sunday services, my parents prophesying over him, and the celibacy that I had committed to as a 13-year-old (despite the fact that I’d lost my purity ring, oops).

He tried to explain to me that maybe, just maybe, our differences had more to do with rhetoric and semantics than actual value disparities, but I couldn’t accept that. As we passed milestones in our relationship and continued to circle the major issues dividing us, other problems arose — namely, our different cultural expectations.

But after three weeks, Adam knew things couldn’t stay that blissful.

Sitting quietly by my side, the doctor-to-be stated his prognosis: He said that though things might seem great, we believed differently, and ultimately, that would tear us apart.

The only thing they could agree on was that we should care for the poor — to do this, though, was another minefield of ideological differences and presuppositions about who was to blame for that poverty. He would scoop me up on his black motorcycle and whisk me to the best restaurants on the island, where we’d discuss our mutual love for travel and the family legacies we both shouldered.

All the while, fireworks literally exploded above us.

But in the end, it felt phony, and even morally wrong, to him.

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A week after he had shed one of his rare tears kissing me that final goodbye, he stood outside the crappy Italian restaurant I was working at and asked if we could "try." And so began the most difficult journey of my life to date.

Dating someone from a different faith can be incredibly rewarding or a disaster of biblical proportions. After dedicating six years to Evangelical Christianity, at 24, I decided to venture into the "real world." I landed on the densely populated isle of O’ahu, Hawaii, where I met a striking doctor-in-training with bone-dry humor, a motorcycle, and a Fu Manchu mustache (it was Movember).

I had recently left the mission field, where my job was to convince people that Jesus loved them.

I started mumbling under my breath during the Sunday sermon, balking at the opinions of my hardcore conservative friends, dating Christian guys that were threatened by my "alternative" beliefs, and questioning the validity of many of the points I’d spent three years trying to hammer into Adam.

It turned out, after three years of trying to convince someone to join my tribe, I’d turned around and realized that Evangelical Christianity wasn’t my tribe anymore.

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