Dig Baton Rouge

The Bitter Lemon

By Holly A. Phillips — @OrangeJulius7

A few weeks ago, I got a Facebook message from my uncle, my dad’s brother, saying he read my post about my nonexistent relationship with my father.

He told me it was obvious that I was leading an unfulfilling life, and the only way I would ever be satisfied is if I consulted Jesus.

This is the same Uncle who called me a bitch years ago for daring to be a liberal.

What would Jesus do?

Nonetheless, his message got me thinking about religion. I’ve never been religious, as I feel I don’t know enough about different religions to pick one that suits me—although Buddhism sounds appealing.

According to Google (the highest power there is), a religion is an organized collection of beliefs, cultural systems, and worldviews that relate humanity to an order of existence.

So, really, that could be anything.

A few weeks ago, a coworker was telling me that she got married just three months after dating her now-husband because there were no “questions.”

They are Mormons, so they don’t smoke or drink. To her, she said that made it easy.

“I didn’t have to wonder how he would be if he got drunk, because we don’t drink,” she said.

Having dated an alcoholic, this did sound rather appealing. But it’s impossible to say that any religion is just going to make a relationship perfect.

After all, I’ve had an affair with a man who had very large religious tattoos. Supposedly, he was a strict Catholic. Still a cheater, though.

I recently joined “Coffee Meets Bagel,” a dating app that looks through your Facebook friends and tries to set you up through mutual people.

On my profile, it asked about religion. I put the usual: not religious, but spiritual.

What does that even mean? I do believe in an afterlife, a higher power, reincarnation, and karma.

Most of the men I’ve dated have been Catholic, but I’ve never been with someone serious about it.

In college, I dated a guy who would say he felt guilty after we had sex. He would say, “Ugh, I regret that,” right after we finished. It did wonders on my self-esteem.

I suppose that since I’m questioning where I stand on the religious front, it’s directly related to the types of men I date.

I don’t think I could date someone who was hardcore into any religion, since I wouldn’t understand it. I like brunch on Sundays, not church.

I’m not against religion at all. But I’ve never met someone that was really true to his or her faith. Any religious person I’ve met is filled with just as much hate as the next person.

Call me a hippie, but I’m a firm believer in love and kindness. I may skip out on Sunday service, but I’m a volunteer and a donor. I smile at strangers, and when I can, I pay it forward, Starbucks style.

I want to date someone who’s equally kind, and who won’t lie to me.

I appreciate my uncle looking out for me on the religious front, but I’m pretty sure he cheated on his wife, so there’s that.

He can keep Jesus, and I’ll just go with love.

Read more about religion and relationships on Holly’s blog, TheBitterLemon.com.


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