How do you break it off when you know it’s not right, but you really like him? How do you say “It’s not me, it’s you,” when you don’t want to hurt him? How can you be honest with yourself and him at the same time, when it means telling him that even though he makes you laugh, even though you feel your hard edges soften when he takes your hand, that it’s not a good match, you can’t see a future?
He’s wrong for me in 17 different ways. I’ve talked to him twice about places we diverge and both times he’s said, “Yeah, that’s reasonable, I’ll work on that.” Way to suck the self-righteous wind out of my sails, thanks a lot, pal.
There’s a new issue though. For argument’s sake, let’s say he’s an Creationist and I’m a dyed in the wool athiest. I’m not going to talk a grown ass adult out of being a believer, after all belief systems aren’t based in fact, they’re based in faith. Carbon dating has no special powers over fundamental beliefs.
“God made the world in seven days and sent his son Jesus to save us from our own sins. The planet is 2000 years old.”
“The universe is ancient as fuck. We’re made of star stuff. Carl Sagan said so and he would know, what with the science and all.”
I went to the Grand Canyon a few years back and in the magazine in my hotel room — you know, those tourist rags with coupons for 20% off all the things — there was an advertisment for an organziation that ran creationist tours.
You read that right. Creationist tours of the Grand Canyon.
The next day I asked a park ranger about her thoughts on this take on her territory. She looked at me for a long time before answering.
“I guess I would say that we may not agree on how this place got to be here, but we can agree it is valuable and we should care for it.”
I think about this park ranger as I listen to my guy tell me his view of the world, of how we got here. I look at him for a long time.
“The universe is vast,” I say, “and there are many things we do not know about it.”
I tell a few friends about how the guy I’m seeing, having such a great time with, is a Creationist.
“Oh, no, you have to break up with him,” they say. “It’s like you’re dating a Republican. You also have to wait until after Valentine’s Day because otherwise, you’re a dick. Sorry.”
I think my friends are right on all counts. I spent Valentine’s Day with my guy. We talked, went out for a nice meal, watched some Star Trek, as one does on the holiday of romance. It was nice. We did not discuss Creationism.
Later, I was on the phone with my best friend.
“It sounds like you don’t want to break up with him,” he said.
“I don’t,” I whined. “But I have to, it’s the right thing to do.”
“Okay,” he said, “just checking.”