His freckles were specks of perfection, and his eyes spoke only of kindness. He was taller than I had first imagined him to be, and his smile was full of mischief. After day one of just texting I knew The Atheist was not my soulmate. He had told me he was talking to another girl, and right from the beginning made me feel as if I had to compete with her. I had learned this lesson a long time ago thanks to The Psychopath and The Mad Hatter. If I’m not enough for you in the beginning…I never will be.
(In case you missed it, The Atheist wrote a guest post for me which you can read Here)
So I left my heart out of his game. But at the same time, I knew he had come into my life for a reason. And I was willing to stick around to find out his purpose.
If I may be vulnerable for a moment, I’ve had some pretty awful luck when it comes to men. Shocker right? My dating mishaps and adventures are really just new additions to a long legacy of failures when it comes to the opposite sex. My father was a free-loving hippie who never wanted children. He was a “whenever I feel like it,” kind of dad; not a bad person, just not a father. One month we would be speaking several times per week, and then for the next three years I would have no idea whether he was alive or dead. In addition to my father’s intermittence, my mother was always dating someone. Men came in and out of my life like busboys in a restaurant. I loved some of them, others I was extremely apathetic towards.
As a child, and all the way through early adulthood, I was extremely uncomfortable around men. I would actually avoid check-out lines at the grocery store if they had a male cashier. Making eye contact was difficult, and speaking to anyone with a penis felt like having a root canal done. It’s only within the past few years that I’ve completely overcome this debilitating fear.
Hopping into The Atheist’s car that night felt a bit surreal. Here I was…in a car…alone with a man…and I felt completely comfortable. I wasn’t nervous because I had already let my guard down, and since my heart wasn’t involved, I knew fun was the only agenda that evening.
The Atheist had gotten stood up that afternoon, and my adventures with Ollie had just begun. Needless to say there were plenty of hot topics to discuss. Since he doesn’t believe in soul-mates, or “souls,” in general (hence his name), I think rejection is more difficult for him. When he began speaking of how he missed his ex-girlfriend my heart ached. As a friend I wanted to make everything go away, but as a therapist I knew better. So as The Atheist talked, I listened and ate some guacamole.
We finished dinner and traveled to a few bars. I got drunk and asked him to dance. He declined. Yep, ”definitely not my soulmate,” I thought to myself. That’s a deal breaker for me. If a girl gets up the courage to ask you to dance, you better oblige her for at least one song.
As the bar began to close, the alcohol penetrated my frontal lobe and my thinking became cloudy. On the way home I decided I hadn’t had enough fun, so I asked The Atheist if he’d like to hear me sing.
Playing my guitar to someone is not something I take lightly. I had joked with The Atheist earlier in the month that it’s my way of seducing men, but let’s be real here…men don’t need seducing. I’ve only played for two men in my life. One of them just happened to have a classic guitar I was longing to strum, and the other I had fallen madly in love with (key word there was “madly”).
Deciding to sing to The Atheist was a combination of the alcohol, and a way of proving to myself I could do it. I wanted to be absolutely open with a man I had no romantic interest in.
So I played, and I sang, and he smiled.
Walking him to the door I felt an overwhelming sense of warmth. So I kissed him. While there was no spark, it was a good kiss. Which is why things led to where they did…aka…the stairs.
The Atheist is my friend. He is my first male friend whom I can completely be myself around. In all actuality, he is the first man in my life to take an interest in me that has nothing to with what I can give him. He isn’t my friend because he thinks it will lead somewhere. He doesn’t talk to me because I show him attention. And he’s willing to come and rescue me from a flat tire in the middle of a dangerous ghetto.
The Atheist reminds me there are good men in this world, even when everything in my life is telling me otherwise. He’s upfront with the women he dates and never strings them along. The dedication to his sons should be respected and repeated by every man in this world. Plus, he’s pretty damn funny.
He recently met a girl who makes him feel like he’s won some kind of prize. Her intensity matches his and she shows him all of the physical affection he’s been missing for the last year. She fits perfectly into his little box of life, and since he doesn’t believe in soulmates, I’ll just say: Here’s to another Great Love friend. May it be long lasting and never end.