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There sort of is. I’ve taken a wonderful young lady out on several dates in the last month and a half or so. I enjoy being with her and she seems to enjoy being with me. She not only endured watching Metropolis at my house a couple months ago–she actually seemed to like it. (Artsy and fun? Whodathunkit??)

I want to do right by her. I want to see if my affections continue to grow. She loves Jesus, is really smart, sensitive, sassy, and seems to be able to shoulder my opinionatedness. (I don’t think that’s a word, but if the Germans can take a bunch of words or word parts and string them together, I can too.)

I got a text message from a good friend of mine who has liked me for a very long time. I’d lay odds he is waiting around for my theology to change so he can date me. I told him that I was dating a girl and that I needed to explore this relationship. The response I received was something along the lines of we both know how this will turn out. I replied, Do we? I’ve been in love with a girl before…why not again? I didn’t get a response. I’m not here to psychologize why I did or didn’t get a reply to that; instead, I’m here to say that I’m getting some push-back from my gay friends now that I’m considering seriously dating a girl.

At the same time, some of my straight friends have really encouraged my dating this girl, including her brother. In fact, it almost seems like to several of my friends, this makes me a little less…intimidating? Scary? “Other”? I’m not sure what the adjective is there. Maybe I should say it makes me more accessible. I get that. That’s nothing terrible or strange. After all, I have another friend that told me that he’d had a physical relationship with his best friend a few years ago. That instantly made him more accessible to me, in terms of being able to relate.

Somehow, I’ve always wanted to fit into the ‘straight world’ anyway. Not that I don’t have many straight friends–most of them being straight guys, no less–I simply don’t feel like I really belong sometimes. This is a way to feel less strange and and more normal. But I don’t want to mess with a girl’s emotions and life just to feel more normal. I think my previous dating record bears out my good intention in these matters…I’ve only asked out two girls prior to this one, and one from college was a consistent, three-time “no” during a five-year friendship. (The other resulted in two dates in 2007 and then just never went anywhere.) But, dating record aside, I think it’s important that I be honest about the fact that dating will open up relationship doors with straight friends of mine that might otherwise be closed.

I don’t know where this journey will take me. I don’t feel pressured to date her; quite the contrary, I want to date her. She’s great. I wish my physical attraction would get in line, though. I’m hoping it will grow as I get to know her since that’s the way it happened with the girl from college. Most relationships carry with them a measure of heartache. Maybe all. Does the Gospel speak to my need–the need for reconciliation to God and to others–and answer it with the permission to date and succeed or fail? Is that too much of a stretch?

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