Please welcome my #BeReal Relationships guest today, Amanda Eifert.
It was along time before I had my first ‘real’ relationship. I went on Plenty Of a Fish, a dating site, because my friend had met her husband there. My now ex-boyfriend, was not like the other men I talked to on the site. He didn’t ask me what my job was or about sex. He asked me about my religion. He was Muslim and wanted to date a nice girl with morals, with ethics, and who was close to her family. I was reluctant to date him because my ex’s religion is Islam and I grew up with Christianity. I had never dated any guy long term before. My ex-boyfriend was attractive and fun so I began dating him.
My ex worked up North, where people in the oil fields lived in camps. My ex worked three weeks on and one week off. I saw him once a week when he was home. My ex was accepting of my unique situation. He didn’t mind that I lived with a mental illness which caused me fatigue and limited how long I could be out with him. He seemed quiet but eventually opened up to me.
Our relationship functioned for awhile. My health improved so we were going out three times a week when he was here. Often, my ex would take an extra week off at times. My ex was gentle and he listened well. He also gave good advice. But there were some issues in our relationship which became apparent.
The biggest issue was my ex staying in contact while working up North. Eventually, we were texting once or twice a day and I would call him every couple of weeks. It took three years to get to this point and a lot of hard work on my end. When my ex was home we were together. But I had to be diligent about making ‘talking’ and ‘getting to know each other better’ happen.
My ex would also come back from work and go on a trip without telling me where he was going. Suddenly, there was no way for me to talk to him, sometimes for two-weeks. I learned he was seeing friends or had gone off on a road trip for awhile with his cousin. At first, I worried a great deal when all communication was cut-off. I often thought early on, he had decided not see me anymore. He had accused me of seeing other guys when we started to date.
Ramadan was an extremely difficult time for our relationship. For the first couple of years we were together, my ex went to visit his friends in another province, to do his fasting there. Almost the entirety of June and July would pass and I barely was able to talk or contact my ex because the cell reception wasn’t good, and he didn’t have good internet access. I’m not sure why, but he didn’t often call me on his phone.
It was along time before he talked to me during Ramadan and an even longer time before he would go out with me in the daytime. Males can’t touch a woman they’re not married to during Ramadan, before sunset. Muslims also spend a great deal of time studying the Quran in the day during Ramadan. I had no problem with my ex practicing his faith during Ramadan, it was the fact he barely paid attention to me. Later, when my health became worse it was a challenge to see him at night anytime before 11:00 pm. It also took my ex an eternity to meet my family. He was scared of my Dad. He met my Mom a couple of times but not my Dad until the fourth year my ex and I were dating.
The issue that finished us was me. I didn’t find the relationship to be fulfilling. I never felt secure. When I didn’t hear from him for awhile or he wouldn’t listen to me, I would break up with him because I couldn’t handle it. I broke up four more times with my ex because I felt he was ignoring me and he wasn’t giving time to our relationship. I didn’t hear anything from him for a month one time. He wanted to get married but he valued all the activities he wanted to do above his time with me. My family is also special to me and so was my ex becoming apart of my family, which he never did.
I went the last nine months without breaking up with him. He wanted to get married. I attended a friend’s wedding ceremony at her church. She was walked down the aisle by her Dad and my friend and her husband, made their wedding vows before God. At this moment, I knew something was wrong with my relationship. I wanted to be like my friend and walk down the church aisle when I got married. I believed in a Jesus who wasn’t merely a prophet, but God’s Son. If I ever had kids, I wanted them brought up with The Bible and Jesus’ promise of salvation.
My ex hadn’t even told his Muslim family back home about me, even though Muslim’s are allowed to marry Christian girls. I knew his cousin because he lived with him and had been introduced to the odd friend of my ex’s at the bar. But after four-years dating him, I had no idea who the majority of his friends were. Some of our problems were due to my health. I became worse for awhile and it became too much to date him often because he usually wanted to get together at night.
Mostly, I needed a fresh start. I needed to develop myself as a person on my own. I needed freedom. It was hard letting go of my ex but the religion issue finally pushed me over the edge. My family is extremely Christian and I couldn’t deal with relatives who I knew wouldn’t think our relationship was right. I wasn’t into my ex anymore otherwise I would have stood up for him. I wanted a guy who involved himself in my family, friends, and life — who could relate to my lifestyle more.
I’m busy in my single life. My ex was a good boyfriend but he was not the guy for me. In a relationship that is the right relationship you want to be with the other person exceedingly. You want to be with the other person so much because you love them and can work together to build a life sharing similar values. I wanted freedom and a chance to see what the world outside of “us” offered; for this reason my ex is my ex.
Amanda Eifert (Mandibelle16) is from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. She spends her time writing and blogging, using her artistic skills to draw and paint, taking courses on writing and various other topics, going for walks, and doing yoga. Amanda loves dogs, the Edmonton Oilers NHL hockey team, and the Edmonton Eskimos CFL football team.
Her blog is mandibelle16
You can find her on Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr: @mandibelle16.