Amy Mackelden is a writer who recently detailed her long, frustrating journey of trying to date and find a boyfriend as a Christian. Interestingly, Mackelden did not have a particularly religious upbringing, and her parents and siblings did not attend church. So while she's the outlier in her family, it's not the typical arrangement, like the non-religious girl who had to reveal all her secret tattoos to her super Christian parents. Mackelden leaned into evangelical church activities in high school with her friends, and maintained her faith through college, though that's when the frustration kicked in:
So when I moved away to college, I kept going to church. My boyfriend at the time was super-religious, and we’d go to church together. A Sunday morning lie-in was not an option. He was pretty into Jesus, so much so that he wouldn’t kiss me with the door closed. His idea of a romantic gesture was committing to read the Bible in a year with me, which ,for some people, would be total love, right?
But I just wanted someone’s tongue in my mouth. I was 20 and horny.
Ah hah! The true trouble is revealed! Mackelden began to realize in college that she had stuck with church for social belonging, but in reality the life she'd chosen wasn't the right fit. Specifically because like many college students, she was hoping for a fun game of ass-grab:
The trouble was, I’d have been fine with a little under-the-clothes action. Although I wouldn’t have been able to vocalize it at the time, with my mind very much indoctrinated in godly ways, I really just needed to get laid. Even though I didn’t believe in sex before marriage.
Her attempts to find a committed boyfriend at church proved to be just as difficult. To make matters worse, she watched from the sideline as others members of the congregation found significant others:
My brain kept telling me I didn’t know God the way I should, and that maybe if I was a better Christian, I’d find a man. After all, church teachings often dictate that if you pray for a husband, wife or partner, God will bestow one upon you when it’s meant to happen.
But literally nothing was happening for me, while everyone else seemed to be meeting the loves of their lives over post-sermon biscuits.
Ultimately, Mackelden realized that waiting to have sex until marriage and trying to find a romantic partner solely through church wasn't for her. And while that makes the most sense for her, she still understands and supports those that choose to save sex for marriage:
I mean no disrespect towards those who wait for marriage. I believe everyone should have the chance to follow the religion of their choosing. But since I quit Christianity, I feel like I’ve been living a completely different life. It’s strange leaving behind such a long list of rules you’ve had your whole life, and untangling the guilt involved with every thought you have and action you carry out.
It's encouraging that she still has a positive outlook on dating and her future. She's stronger for not viewing her past with regret, but rather as personal growth. She'll have plenty of time for regret one she tries dating apps.