This really happened.
Four or five months ago I joined Flagstaff Freethinkers Meetup Group. I was interested in meeting fellow atheists. It was the closest group to my residence until just last month when an offshoot group nearby was formed.
Anyhow, before the group in Sedona came into being, the Flagstaff Freethinkers group offered the promise of meeting like-minded folks in northern Arizona. I was hopeful. It isn’t easy to come across other godless people—especially intelligent ones. Through the Flagstaff Freethinkers Meetup website, I came across a couple of people who lived in my vicinity. One man became a facebook friend. We corresponded online, and shared writings and eBooks. He was new to atheism and freethinking in general. He was a seeker from early adulthood, dabbling in various religions and eventually moving to Sedona to be a part of the new age movement. Now he was claiming to be jaded with those ideas and has thus adopted skeptic and atheist identities. I wasn’t convinced. It seemed to me that the freethinking community was just a stopping ground until the next thing came along.
Anyhow, he quickly became intrigued by my confidence, intelligence, and commitment to my ideals. He had never met an atheist in person. He soon became obsessed with the notion of meeting me in real time. I was open to the idea but made it clear I was only interested in friendship. I think he had a case of “I want to sleep with godless people like you.” (Think Pulp’s song “Common People.”) I was a novelty to him. He was entertainment for me—someone to amuse me with his crazy online rants against god and irrationality. He claimed to be irreligious and godless. But I saw right through the façade. He is never going to be free of god and religion. And really, I could care less. No sweat off my back. I had nothing invested in our friendship. I wasn’t emotionally connected to him in any way. My survival did not depend on him. And honestly, he didn’t need to change in order for me to be his friend.
Although he was a nice enough guy, he was never going to become prince charming. He wasn’t convinced. He started asking me out. I declined, making it clear that I did not want to go on a date. But, I did tell him that I would like to meet one day soon. And that he seemed like a cool person to hang out with. I bet we’d make great friends. We started talking on the phone, and sure enough, did have a nice rapport.
I was happy to have a new friend. He was not satisfied. Obviously he subscribes to the maxim that women and men cannot be friends. He continued to ask me out for Thai food. I continued to decline. He persisted. He let me know that he wasn’t happy with the terms of our friendship. This was a mistake. When I feel pressured or cornered, I push back hard in the other direction. I told him to “Take it or leave it.” He said, “I think I’ll leave it.” I told him, “Fine by me.” He promptly deleted me from his facebook friends list then sent me a message explaining why:
“I just want you to know that I have no hard feelings at all....I removed you from my friends list so I wouldn't be tempted to continue asking you out. It is totally fine where your at and I need to let it go....I was trying to make a friend outside of my Sedona group and I got stuck in my persistence to make that happen. Thanks for all the interaction on FB....kind regards and I wish you well...”
Is it just me or do you also think that this is pathetic? I’m good enough to be his lover/girlfriend, but not worthy of friendship. Of course I realize that he showed his true colors. And that was a good thing. I got a window into his character early on. Nothing lost. I’m not sad. No man, no cry. Not a real friend, so goodbye.
I guess some people think facebook is a dating site. I was never under that impression. It's all so new—social networking technology. What are the rules—the parameters? Looks like I'm having a little trouble navigating.
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