Why I Will Not Write Back: An Exploration of Faith in Relationships

This is going to be a horribly honest writing, and I am not sure what the results will be. People will either think I’m crazy or they will think I’m crazy. Either/or, I will be crazy. So why not? Here I am offering up myself to the public again. I really don’t like making myself vulnerable, but it is what it is. Whether the girl—or should I call her my muse?—reads this or not probably will not matter, since most women with whom I have any sort of correspondence with lose their interest in me after (usually) two weeks. Okay, so this one is for her—that girl who will never read my writings. That girl whom I will make famous one day when I’m dead and people read this. Well, they won’t know her name but I have my ways. I am encoding it into this paper as I write this. Her name in its entirety. I’ll let future generations decipher this.

Like most men, I am normally heavily invested in my ladies. Very much so. I like to know everything about them before I approach them. At first, all my initial attractions are very reason-driven: does she enjoy things you enjoy? is she interested in your pursuits? are you interested in helping her in her pursuits? So much of my initial love is logically coherent. There is no “faith” involved—I give it no room. Most relationships are like that—actually, all are like that: we start from reason and move towards faith. A husband who lives with a wife for a number of years will first use reason to establish that his wife is not committing adultery. Then he will move into faith as he holds on to that which he first knew and/or experienced. A woman who reasonably could not commit adultery will not leave a man faithless in the end. So I, too, move from reason to faith in my relationships.

I have always been somewhat of a “clingy” guy in virtually all of my relationships. Like most men, I focus my energies on the object of my pursuit. Moreover, I also have a one-track mind when it comes to initial attraction. I waste no time in trying to absorb as much information as I can about a particular girl that has caught my eye. I normally spend several weeks trying to talk to her and figure her out. I will usually try to be interesting and stay interested in her. I have trouble sometimes with making other people sound interesting in comparison to me simply because my personality is one that is weird and interesting enough that it makes all other personalities look uninteresting and rather boring. That’s not to say that I am a bad guy when it comes to relationships, it’s just that you realize really fast that not everyone can do what you’re doing. When talking to a girl, for example, it may be hard for a girl to sound interesting to me—in her own eyes—by telling me she likes to sing when I could reply that I’m recording my next album with Taylor Swift. In some ways, what you accomplish in life is actually going to (potentially) destroy you and work against you. I have recently talked to one girl who later confessed to me. She said that in her dialogue with me, anything she did, I did better. I didn’t take that as a compliment—and she hardly meant it to be taken in that way—but as a critical statement. She felt that my presence was a threat to her survival in some ways. Instead of seeing intelligence as an asset (or whatever you want to call it), she viewed me as a threat. And, frankly, I felt bad for myself but more for her: she was the one who was making other people look bad for no practical reason! (All this time I never pontificated my accomplishments or anything like that, so she had no real ground to build her case on.) I was, in her eyes, “the enemy” simply because she thought that I was “better” (whatever that means). I learned not to take such things personally.

Learning to live with yourself is quite a difficult process—one spends an entire lifetime doing it. I have tried my best to live with myself and I have tried to accommodate to others whenever possible. Despite all that, most people do not see me as a threat to them. I, personally, am terrified of threatening anybody simply with my personality! On the contrary, I have a personality that generally inclines me towards helping others whenever I can. I prefer to be the helping hand in society—whether that is done by writing essays on improving marriage and romance or simply by physically helping someone does not matter to me. (I try to do all.) Now, back to my original point: when I meet a girl I like, I normally spend days reciting potential dates with her. I mean, I’ve just met the girl and am in the process of figuring out if I like her, but in that very moment, I am entertaining the idea of courting her, potentially.

You see, people like me are strange for a number of reasons, but most importantly, I am way too future-oriented. I live in the future. I may be here with you now, but my thoughts are 10 years from now. And I believe that is both a good thing and a bad thing. It is good because it allows me to see my life as a narrative (which allows me to focus on the “big picture” in life). The bad thing is that it steals so much of my time and steals away my actual life. Moreover, most of that which I dream about and create never happens. Like the things I am imagining right now. I am sitting at a café and in walks this gorgeous girl. She looks at the title of the book that I am reading and is immediately interested in the man reading the book. Moments later, she finds out that the man reading the book is the author himself, so she is momentarily swept off her feet and wants to know what inspired me to write certain passages. We fall into a passionate discussion and before long it seems that we have really understood each other. Well, that’s just one of my many fantasies. I could go on and on with them…

People realize at some point that life is to be lived moving forward and to be understood by looking backward, to paraphrase Kierkegaard. You see, I have trouble with always focusing ahead of me. Light years ahead, I should say. I meet someone and am immediately analyzing, logically, whether or not she and I would be compatible 5 years from now on when I’m writing my dissertation. Would she put up with a husband who is in school full-time? People like me are sometimes stuck living a life that doesn’t exist outside of our heads. But that’s not what this paper is about.

On the contrary, this paper is about faith. Once your rationality stops; once that girl that you like—and really sense you “get”—has been over-analyzed, you come to a halt in your research. We all do.

Like it or not, you are no longer operating according to reason. Love is not reason. It may be initiated by reason, but nothing more.

You see, I have this horrible habit of writing people letters and messages and stuff. Don’t we all? I do this and hope for the best. I always do. I have this uncanny ability of being content with all that I do, in some strange way. I am content when I talk to a girl and later find out that she was a horrible person. I just am content with my decisions. Whether I talk to a certain girl or not does not matter; either/or, I probably will regret both decisions. (Thus far I have “regretted” all my previous relations to the opposite sex.) But I don’t spend days mulling over things like that. I spend my days fantasizing the future. If I am in the process of ending a relationship, I look at all the things I had learned about the girl, I look at all of the things I had taught the girl (whether or not they were of any existential value), I look at life in its entirety. Then I tell myself: This too shall pass. Whether I marry this person or not does not matter, what matters is what I do to this person in this single act of my life and whether I learn more about myself from this other person. That’s all.

Virtually all of my relations had revolved around my gibberish words. I have a habit of using words a lot. I write lyrics for songs (with hidden messages—aimed at certain women of course!), I write essays, I write books, I write an awful lot. All of this writing revolves around my ability to use words. I like words. Moreover, I try to communicate as much as I can with words. I don’t like to do things super personally, only with very close friends. An intimate lover may get a whole lot of my personal words too!

Anyhow, the point is this: I use language/words as a tool to communicate. I have also obtained this horrible habit, from Kierkegaard, for basing my life and works and actions on faith. A whole lot of faith. I am as you, my dear readers, already know, quite fond of faith. I believe virtually everything is an act of faith. Love is an example of faith at its best.

You see, once you figure out whether you and another girl are compatible with each other, you pretty much go into the flames of faith. I have become quite fond of this girl that I have recently been communicating with. She is a very interesting person on several levels. Now, to keep her identity safe, I will not dissertate much about her life and goals. Needless to say, she is quite lovely. I have spent several weeks now talking to her off and on and I think our characters may have something in common; that is, she may be able to tolerate me as a human being in intimacy. We have, in some respects, much common ground to stand on.

And it is for this reason that I have chosen to take an Abrahamic leap of faith. I have this awful tendency to write people. I can’t help myself. And so, because I knew that I kinda-sorta liked this girl, I decided to take a leap of faith and give her completely up. I deleted all of my connections to her—burned all of my bridges, so to speak—and have erased all information tying me to her. I am, currently, unable to reach her in any way. I’ve done this to myself for several reasons, some which I can make public but probably will not—at least not at this very moment. I did this because I believe in faith. In giving everything up to chance. Kierkegaard suggested via the pseudonym “A” that in order to find pleasure, people should receive letters and leave them unopened for three days. During the three-day-period people should imagine what the letters contain. Why? Because there is more pleasure to be found in imagining the contents of the letter than in the letter itself.

I have received this “letter.” It has come from her. I have deleted all access to her so that, now, I could not remain anxiously restless about what could be in reality. While I sit and wait for her to write me—wait, but I am not waiting for her to write me. I have done away with that. What I am doing is simply imagining the contents of our letter: what we could say to each other if we meet, what we could like about each other or dislike… Everything is possible right now. It can all turn out well or it can all end up nowhere. Having my sort of obsessive personality is not good for the average human being; one has to learn how to deal with it somehow. I deal with it by burning bridges. I burn everything and let go. Why? Because I have a tendency to care and worry too much about what could be. I worry about other people and this is why I do not become attached. Attachment was not made for me. Well, in theory, too many attachments are detrimental to my health, to say the least. By letting go, I make it easier for me to continue existing. This does not make me perfect, it only points out my flaws. However, it can be useful, too.  With my personality, this means that I am a relatively “loyal” person; I tend to have few close friends, since they consume so much of my time. I am a quality versus quantity type of person—I focus on the quality. I don’t have many relations, neither do I seek out a multitude of meaningless and superficial so-called (modern) friendships. I am too covenantal for that. I like contractual friendships and love. Something that is more existentially appealing. Everything is in the hands of faith right now. You may believe that I am the only one that is relying on faith—but all acts of love rely on faith.

It takes faith to believe that the person you love will, in some ways, love you back. It takes faith to believe you will share another day with the person you love. It takes faith to believe that you will not divorce. It takes faith to wake up every day and claim to love another human being who is constantly changing and growing as an individual (in communal relationship to you, of course). It takes faith to believe that you will someday have children together. It takes faith to believe that love between you and your spouse exists; only eyes that have faith in love can actually see and believe in love. As Isaiah  once remarked, “Unless you believe, you will not understand” (7:9), so it is with those who love. Unless they themselves love (and believe faithfully in it), they will never “see” love. All of my life has been an act of faith. I am alive today and typing because, whether God willed it or not, of faith. Chance. I am one heart attack, one car accident, away from death. And yet, I walk in faith. I have faith that love exists and this is my tale told faithfully.

12/1/2013

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