Internal Struggle: What It Was Like Dating An Atheist

{I wrote this post in late August/early September last year, we aren’t dating anymore, but I wanted to share what I felt at the time. I should have known then this would be the reason things changed.}

He looked over and told me the three words that completely changed me: “I’m an atheist.” My world went into slow motion as I tried to comprehend what I just heard. God is the most important person, concept, believe, everything in my life; how was I supposed to accept the fact that one of the people I’m closest to doesn’t even believe that He exists? Thousands of questions and comments filled my head….How do you explain babies? What happens when you die? What’s the point of life? How do you explain the beauty in the sky right this very second? You don’t have God moments every single day? I wanted to ask them. Every single one of them. But I couldn’t. I couldn’t open my judgement, I couldn’t scare him away from opening up to me for the first time ever. Other than the repeated “wow” as I thought, the one solid phrase I knew was true was that I was so sorry. I didn’t know how to respond to anything, but I knew I was sorry. Sorry that he doesn’t feel like he is loved SO MUCH by God every single day. Sorry that he doesn’t know that God grants even his littlest desires – like the surprise tomatoes in his garden that satisfied the craving he didn’t even know was there. I am sorry that he didn’t have something he could really believe in, someone to comfort him when no one else could. I am sorry that he didn’t think life really had a purpose and that it just seemed so sad.
He feels like his questions don’t have answers that can be explained. He doesn’t think people have souls. He thinks that when you die, the world goes black and it’s all over, there’s no point in anything. You were dead before you were born, and you are dead afterwards. Emotions are just different nerves and chemicals inside of your body and the colors in the sunset are just gases and pollution in the sky. It just sounds like an awful way to view the world, and it’s so hard to try to see his perspective on things.

Everyday is a battle for me. I’m the kind of person who likes to argue until her point is proven, but I know I can’t do that with him. I’m not sure why, but there is a reason this is all happening. I struggle to avoid topics I know will make me upset and I try to not come off as too strong in my faith. I would be lying if I said there weren’t days where I find myself deep in thought about him and struggle not to cry while thinking about it all. I just wish he could see. I wish he didn’t think that his doubts about some things completely shut him off from everything else.

Occasionally, he goes to church with me on Sundays. He’ll ask questions and really challenge me in my faith. I know that I’m the only really religious person he has in his life right now, but I can only do so much. I never want to force him into doing something he doesn’t want to do, but I wish that I could at least plant the seed. Sometimes people can’t physically do anything to help others, but I’m slowly learning that prayer is so powerful. This is a constant burden on my heart, but I do know that God is looking out for me.

Prayers are always appreciated.
~E