by Patia Braithwaite
Have you ever felt something so strongly – convinced of it with every ounce of your being – yet you were unable to adequately articulate your truth? I find myself in this predicament over and over again in my dating life. I constantly find myself standing in a truth that I don’t yet feel comfortable enough to convey.I should amend that, I find myself standing in a truth that I don’t feel confident enough to explore with men…
Let me be more specific…
I have this theory, right? I am writing a book around the theory that how men see God can give us insight into how men will react in their romantic relationships. I have pitched this theory to agents, I have discussed it with strangers, I have sat with interesting men I didn’t know in an effort to fully explore this thought.
It would seem that I stand firmly and authentically in this idea, but here’s the confession: I don’t ever really test this theory in my dating life.
Over dinners, during happy hour, or while cuddled in bed, I am unable to push myself to “go there” with men I’m interested in. I may ask my potential suitors how they feel about God, but it’s as if my brain cannot dissect the answers with the same skill that I use when interviewing for the book. I have a BA in print journalism and years of professional experience, but it’s as if the journalistic part of me shuts off when I’m talking about God with someone I want to be with.
Why? I suspect that the dreamer and the journalist cannot live at the same time. If a man I’m dating tells me he is very confused about his ideas around God, it becomes fairly obvious that the conclusions I draw might be detrimental to our budding relationship. How can I dream about this new man coming to Christmas dinner or backpacking with me across Europe when my journalistic side is wondering about the implications of his “God confusion?” One side of me has to shut the hell up, and most often the writer gets shut down.
And so, the truth is, I ignore the topic all together. While nibbling on a breadstick or sipping a martini, I remark that I’m working on a book about men and God. I expound on the theory and almost always the man across the table from me his interested. When he says, “You should interview me?” (and he almost always does) I smile and nod, but I never actually do.
There’s a song called “Lotus Flower Bomb,” and at the beginning the rapper Wale states, “I want to enjoy the luxury of not knowing each other for real…”
I want the same thing Wale wants, but somehow, wanting that seems counter-productive…