Opening The Vault: Part Eighty One

When you’re in the throes of new romance, you can’t help asking yourself – could this person be the one? And does having doubts mean the answer is no, or just that you’re afraid to entertain the possibility?

Not long in to my romance with England-born Riley, I was grappling with this uncertainty. As Riley pushed to intensify our relationship, I found a big part of myself holding back. I now Open The Vault and take you back to February of 2004…

The night Riley and I went to see “Chicago” marked a major turning point in our relationship

February 16, 2004
New York, NY

Dear Diary,

Riley and I spent our first night together after he treated me to dinner and “Chicago” the musical. As always, he was warm, witty and affectionate. That didn’t stop me from a painful reality rearing its ugly head – I don’t think Riley is my soulmate.

Up until last night, I felt open and optimistic about what we could share.  Until he revealed that he doesn’t believe in God. As he described his philosophy on religion – including objections to the God-centric culture of the US – I felt a wave of uneasiness in the pit of my stomach. Though none of the men I’ve been involved with were particularly religious, they did have some level of spirituality. I know in my heart I could never be happy with a partner who is devoid of any faith.

Riley asked me if I was okay with his views, but I was evasive. What could I say? That his admission had sealed his fate as another man whose heart I’m destined to break?

I know Riley and I have only been out a handful of times, but it feels like we’ve been dating a lot longer – that’s how big the comfort zone is with us. Rationally, I know it’s way too soon for me to thinking of anything serious anyway with Riley. Everyone says I need to just relax, see what happens. But I’ve never been good at doing that, even less so now that I’m 30.

* * *
February 24, 2004

I spoke to Riley the other night about taking things slowly. He agreed, but then in the next breath said he wants me to meet his mother and asked me what sort of a future I see for us. I don’t know if he’s the one, so how can I give him false hope?

He got endearingly defensive when I brought up the topic of religion again.

“I’m not morally bankrupt, you know,” he said.

“I know that,” I reassured him, and indeed I do. In the month that we’ve been dating, he has been nothing but loving, kind, supportive  and gentlemanly.  I feel like I can talk to him about anything and everything.  I want so much to just enjoy Riley and let the future take care of itself…

* * *
I tried to put my fears on hold about what lay ahead for Riley and me, not realizing that much more than my anxiety would come between us.

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