*Coming to terms with one’s sexuality is at times a long and exhausting process. It took me many years to completely accept myself, and try to venture into the dating world. Over time, I have ended up collecting stories and lessons learned from my dating life, which I will now be sharing every month for roughly the next year. All names will be changed to protect the privacy of everyone mentioned, as they deserve anonymity and respect- no matter how bad the stories may have ended. Instead of telling these stories in chronological order, I will be telling them in order of importance of their moral.*
Now, straight or queer, it is impossible to date someone who doesn’t have a few issues. I myself have issues. Issues could be anything from social anxiety, or arachnophobia, to some repressed parental issues, etc. These aren’t the kinds of issues I will be referring to in today’s story. This girl had less mental/past issues, and more like… situational and very relevant issues. So many, I had to rename the title of this article seven different times.
First, it was When You’re Out but You’re Still in the Closet. The second was Why You Shouldn’t Date a Coworker. Third: When She Isn’t Over Her Ex. Fourth: When You Have Chemistry but are Incompatible. Fifth: When Neither of your Families Approves. Sixth: When She Won’t Make a Commitment.
Eventually, I managed to sum it up with “Too Many Issues To List”. This is because most people, in general, have that one person that no matter how much we found them attractive, no matter how much we liked their unique personality, and no matter how exciting it may be, this relationship was doomed from day one. Everyone, meet Faith.
Faith was my Manic-Pixie-Dream-Girl, always changing her hairstyle, driving around all night taking pictures, and getting spontaneous tattoos. She was also very, very gorgeous and had a cocky attitude.
My poor naive nineteen-year-old-self didn’t stand a chance. At the time I hadn’t had any interaction with another queer person my age aside from my friend Karen and my online-long-distance-girlfriend for a year, and hadn’t been on a real date in three years. I was working all the time and barely saw anyone, aside from my roommates, Mark and Anne, who were quite frankly sick of looking at me by that point.
I don’t blame them since I needed some space from them as well sometimes. I had also recently just broken up with my online girlfriend and was back on the market again. I met Faith at work because she was a new fellow employee.
Don’t date a fellow employee. It will almost always end badly. Everyone and their mother knows this, yet we all still somehow end up making this mistake anyway, thinking maybe we’re the exception to the rule. I knew this, and I still did it!
It was obvious to everyone I had a crush on Faith because I don’t do subtlety well and I don’t pretend to. I didn’t plan on doing anything about it though, because aside from her being a coworker, there was another big issue right off the bat.
Faith’s family didn’t approve. Now, it isn’t uncommon for queer people to have family members disapprove of their relationship, but it’s an issue when it’s a family member whose opinion you value. Not having that kind of support can easily rip any chance of a relationship apart.
When Faith and I eventually did engage in our fling, she was very upfront the entire time. I finally admitted to myself and to Faith directly how I felt and asked her out. She didn’t hesitate to let me know that while she didn’t have any issues with me personally, she wasn’t going to set out to upset someone she loved.
“I won’t lose my family over some girl,” she told me in a serious tone, and I knew she meant it. So, we tried being friends instead.
She also became quick friends with Anne, who also worked with us, and eventually came over to play Cards Against Humanity with us after work. We all had a great time, and by the end of the night, we made inside jokes that I still think about sometimes.
The next night, we tried playing again, but Mark and Anne went to sleep early. So, Faith and I went for a drive together, and by four in the morning, we’d ended up having our first kiss. This was the true beginning of our “relationship”.
This is why I’m using the word “relationship” very loosely. Calling our fling a relationship is like calling a hotdog a sandwich. The technicalities could be debated all day long, but when people hear the word “sandwich” they don’t think of a hotdog.
This, of course, leads to why you shouldn’t date someone who won’t make a commitment. You will literally never be happy. If someone tells you how they feel about you or relationships, believe them.
Faith had just gotten out of a toxic relationship with an ex-girlfriend who did every negative thing you could do to your partner in a relationship. This had left Faith with no interest in starting another relationship anytime soon. Especially with me.
Faith admitted that I was attractive, but we had almost no common interests. We worked together, and her family would’ve wanted both our heads on a stick so we tried just being friends.
We would drive around all night together, and she would take me to see some of the most beautiful sights in the local area. There was one place in particular that has now become my favorite looking view in the area at night. Eventually, we ended up kissing a couple more times.
It was always at four in the morning, hiding inconspicuously. Yet it didn’t stop all our coworkers from gossiping; words can spread like wildfire. It even lead to our supervisor lecturing us about it, but not quite outright, it seemed more implicit, which resulted in the most awkward conversation with an authority figure that I’ve ever had.
I felt awkward about the whole thing, but Faith was steaming angry, and yet there still wasn’t really anything to tell. We would just drive around, would hang out, and occasionally make out in secret. It was like we were both out as gay, but we weren’t out as doing whatever it was we were doing. It was exciting, but also sometimes shameful.
My roommates knew what was going on, and Anne, ever the one to give tough love, would repeatedly tell me I should just get out while I still could.
“She’s using you because she likes attention. She doesn’t like you, and she’s not ever going to. You need to see this for what it is and move on. I love you, and you don’t deserve to be treated like this.” Anne told me once after seeing me smile while texting Faith. While I knew on a deep level Anne was right, I was trying to keep myself in it and hope that just maybe it wasn’t true.
It dawned on me about a month and a half into all this, that if we ever did decide to be together, we would have so many issues. Specifically, other than our somewhat tragic backgrounds, we had nothing in common. I mean, nothing. Faith hated movies, books, politics, TV, conventions, school, my friend Karen, and literally anything else I loved. I mean, she hated them.
Despite the fact we had chemistry, we were definitely incompatible. There were even times if I used a word that she felt was too advanced, she would tease me. It left me quite literally nothing to talk about except my childhood, which was admittedly sad because that was all we could talk about.
In hindsight, I can see that entering this relationship with Faith may have been subconsciously hurting myself. I guess I started to believe it was better to be in an unhappy union than to be without it. I can see now, in hindsight that isn’t true, and I’m in a way thankful for the ending of this story.
It didn’t feel good at the time, though. By now, we had spent about three months together where she talked a lot about how her ex-girlfriend was a bad person and she was glad to be free of her. Which is why it came as such a shock to me when the very next day, after once again swearing to me that she’d never go back to her ex, she posted online that they were back together.
It was quite painful, and I was furious with her. I got in a fight with Faith and my roommates and would spend the next two weeks trying to get myself back in order. During that time, Faith quit her job and continued to flaunt her renewed relationship online. Well, before blocking me, anyway.
Which brings me to the last major issue: never date someone who isn’t over their ex. Settling for bad attention isn’t better than getting no attention, and you should take that at face value as well. I wish I had more to tell about my fling with Faith, but this is as deep as it ever got.
I’m telling you this because you need to accept it when there are just too many issues with a person to make something work. It doesn’t mean you’re unworthy, it just means you know there’s more to dating than trying to ignore constant warning signs that you’re just not meant to be together.
The thing about Manic-Pixie-Dream-Girls is that they’re fictional and unrealistic, for good reason. In the end, you don’t need them. It may have taken some time, but eventually, I dropped some bad influences in my life, such as Karen, and went back to school. I was reconnected with a longtime friend, and eventually, I met Big and entered my first meaningful relationship. You don’t have to settle for fiction, you can go find something real.