I’ve never been much for relationships. It’s not that I don’t want to, it’s just... well, I’m not very good at it. For a proper romance, you need to be at least superficially intimate. That’s tricky with an outsider, because we have to keep our secrets - and that’s hard to do with someone who knows you really well. So, generally, I just make sure that nobody knows me really well.
Some of us - Billy, for example - solve the problem by dating other believers. It works for him, and I’ve done a little of that myself: a couple of casual encounters, and a two-year cohabitation which was easily the longest relationship I’d had. That one ended when I found her in bed with a... well, again, I’d better not say. At first she didn’t even realize I was upset; she invited me join them, as if it were the most natural thing in the world. But even if I hadn’t felt betrayed, slime and tentacles just don’t excite me - and I did feel betrayed. Her partner might not be human, but it was intelligent. So however she thought about it, she was cheating on me.
Billy got lucky, I think. He met... let’s call her Crystal... at a rather memorable Walpurgisnacht ceremony. They had so much fun they decided to make a regular thing of it. And unlike my Ex, Crystal isn’t crazy - or, more accurately, her particular insanity suits Billy just fine.
Another of our friends, Mbata, doesn’t worry about these things at all. He dates (if that’s the word for it) other believers, and at this point I don’t even bother to keep track of who he’s with. By next week, it’ll be someone else. It probably helps that he travels a lot. In any case, that seems to work for him.
It doesn’t work for me, though. I’d like to have someone I’m comfortable with, someone I can spend time around. I’d like to have something like what Billy and Crystal have.
...Which brings me back to Claire. We’ve been seeing each other for three weeks now. It started with coffee, advanced to dinner, and finally moved to drinks and dancing. She’s never even asked about my religion.
I think I can actually make this work.
Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction. In keeping with the spirit of the thing, if anyone wants to direct questions to the Deranged Cultist, feel free to leave them in the comments. He may answer there, or they may become fodder for future posts.