“If there’s one thing life has taught me,” he says, “is that we should be agnostic to experiences.”
We’re sitting on his couch drinking a couple of IPAs. I’m not much of a beer person, but he is. Drinking someone’s favorite beer with them is like going on a journey. I’ve packed my bags and hopped aboard.
“Agnostic to experiences?” I say.
“You don’t know how you’re going to feel about things until you try them,” he says.
“That’s why my motto is ‘try everything twice.'”
“Twice?” he says.
I nod. “Try everything twice…because the first time is awkward.”
He laughs. “I’ll drink to that.”
The Downside of Being Agnostic to Experiences
We start out so well, but we don’t end well.
I am conflicted when we start dating. He’s a person with a lot of interesting stories. We play music well together. Subscribe to a similar flavor of low-key Buddhism.
He’s an experience I’m agnostic to, and when I try it, it just isn’t what I want it to be. We make a lot of sense. And yet… I’m not physically attracted to him.
My body just isn’t into his. I want it to be. I try to force it, but it only backfires. Instead of connection, I feel revulsion. It’s heartbreaking.
So I tell him as directly as I can, while still being gentle. He’s an intelligent person with a complicated past. I figure he’ll get it.
But in a strange twist of fate, the person who introduced me to agnosticism for experience can’t grok it when dating him is the experience.
“I feel like you lied then or are lying now, and that frustrates me,” he says. “You seemed so into me.”
It frustrates me, too, but it’s the last thing he wants to hear.
More Informed Consent, an Impossible Dream
It would be so much better if we could know going in how relationships are going to shake out. If we could see the breakup before we got there. If we knew the myriad ways we would go on to annoy and disappoint one another. Foresee the fizzle of chemistry. Give more informed consent regarding what will eventually befall us.
But we can’t. We never really know until we get there.
My book is out!