Hi again, sorry for the late reply. Was on a bit of a vacation and didn't get a chance to check back on the forum. Thanks to everyone who took the time to post, I have read everything and will do my best to respond to all of you with questions/further comments. :)
@jgnat: She has two elder sisters as well. One of which is two years older than myself and is not married. What age are we talking here? 25 or younger? It seems interesting to me because of how she plays it off. They way she speaks to me is that she has no intention of rushing into anything revolving a relationship, and instead would much rather wait and take things slower than I could've even imagined. Is it perhaps that she's saying one thing and doing another?
@nonjwspouse: I definitely know what you mean in regards to the complete 180. I've experienced a few of those with this girl, and it's not something I keep returning to voluntarily. She seems to be the initiator when it comes to rekindling our relationship to anything more than friends (this is the hot and cold emotional side of her that I've spoken of). Perhaps I haven't really seen the bible-thumping side of her, just given the medium that we commonly speak over. Our conversations have never lead into spiritual beliefs or anything of the sort, and she doesn't seem to have any intention of making a topic out of it. This cruel personality you speak of seems to be a commonality... I think this girl suffers from it too, but for the wrong reasons. Sad to see someone with such a good heart turn so evil, so quickly. Might I ask how you overcame that stretch with him? Is he still a JW?
@Fernando: (Un)fortunately I care enough about this girl to have invested so much time in understanding the way she thinks and why she thinks it. I like your advice, it's rather different from what others have suggested and even seems a little more up my alley. I didn't speak with her continuously for close to eight months, and came back to find that she's virtually the same girl I left (given, a bit more mature), which was great to see. Do you think a few years apart will allow her to make the decisions she needs to make within the religion allowing us to confidently decide on whether or not there is a future for us? Thanks for your insight!
@Witness My Fury: You make a few great points, particularly your final point about fearing her overall reaction. I don't think I fear what she would think, but moreso be uncertain as to how she would take it (is it possible that she may take personal offense to the fact that I reached to an online forum for help with my situation? Or rather that she feel invaded that I've shared things about her to an online community?). Those are moreso my fears, not so much my questioning her religion. I believe that if it was ever TO work, she would have to be understanding of me having questions and being uncertain when it comes to her religious involvement, possible consequences, rules, etc.
@Quandry: Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't JW's against the idea of post-secondary education? There is something about her family as a whole that doesn't strike me as being all that different. From my perspective, it appears as though they try to stay very close knit as a family in order to avoid living under such heavy restrictions (what I mean by this, is that they put on one face to outsiders and are completely different people to members of their family, if that makes sense?), almost to the point where they are living double lives. That might sound quite confusing, but in all honesty, from the way they've been described to me, they don't seem all that different from the rest of us worldly people.
@OneEyedJoe: Thanks for your reply, I will certainly look into it. Perhaps I can find a copy online and have a read through it. :) This would likely be my biggest fear of her leaving the cult. At the end of the day, she relies on her family day in, day out, to the point where I don't think it would ever be an easy thing for her to leave on her own. Not saying it won't happen, but from the way she speaks of them I'd be very hard pressed to think that would be an easy decision. So I propose a question -- what are the odds of a whole family leaving at once? Lets say her father lost his position or resigned, maybe because he stopped believing or something happened within the organization that had him removed from "power", would it be possible that they all leave together? If the father is truly the head of the family, if he ever had doubts against the religion would that be a plausible course of action? That's great to hear that a lot of kids choose to leave... I'm sure it's a lot tougher given the size of the family, but anything is possible. Something inside of me tells me she won't be involved in it forever, I've just got to live my life to the fullest and let it play out however it's meant to. After all, if she won't let me do anything, what other course of action do I really have?
@Vivere: Let me just start by saying I've been hoping for so long that I'd come across someone like you, who has been in a situation so similar to mine. Hopefully you do get to read my response and I hope that we can be in further contact so we can discuss the topic further. ...Here goes.
You have given me possibly the most in-depth and lifelike example I could've asked for, which realistically has left me asking no questions. At the end of the day, I completely agree. I see the light at the end of the tunnel, meaning that I recognize there isn't really anything I can do to lure this girl out of the religion she was coincidentially raised into. I suppose that's like taking an individual like myself and telling them they can no longer celebrate any holidays or speak with any of the people that they've grown close with their whole life. I personally cannot imagine doing that, and at the same time I cannot imagine asking this girl to leave her religion. It needs to be a decision she makes on her own, regardless of my wishes or hopes to spend as much time with her as humanly possible. I've learned a lot about this girl in the past year. Not just her, but all girls in general. I've learned that at the end of the day, if they can't accept you for who you are and everything you stand for then you simply cannot be in a relationship with them. Loving someone unconditionally is being able to look past all of the things that "erk" you or make you cringe and seeing the person behind them. I've seen this girl for as much as shes shown me, but I'm not sure I've seen the real her. If the real her is the cold, cruel sided person who can't act or think for herself, then that completely changes my perspective on her. I've always looked to spend time around people who I view as mature and independent, and if she can't show those qualities without the guided lanes of a religion then I'm not sure I'm all that attracted to her. That really gets me thinking into various aspects of her life and certainly forces me to take a few steps back. I would still do anything for this girl, but my emotions towards her have been put on hold until she shows me who she really is. I don't truly know what it is about the religion that she finds appealing. Perhaps like you, she fears armageddeon and sees it as the only way to be saved. I've joked around with her about "death" and "dying" and she doesn't seem to like the idea of it, especially when I ask her "what if it happened to me?" She quickly dismisses the thought and doesn't like to think about it. Could this be a sign that had the same fear you did?
Overall your situation sounds striklingly similar, except for a minor difference in age -- hey, I guess we'll find out in a year! -- but otherwise, this girl is a mirror image. She too made the same excuses to avoid me meeting her parents. Lied on multiple occassions about where she was, where she had to be, etc. to avoid telling me the truth about her beliefs. The similarities I share with her are what drew us together in the first place and it's something we still share to this day. I've never gotten to the point where I'd ever receieved closure with this situation, and I think this might be the missing piece to the puzzle. Combined with what Fernando said earlier about giving it some time to develop and then making a final decision later on, I think this might be the answer I've been looking for. Hey, what are the odds she meets a JW guy, gets married, realizes she's unhappy and then leaves the religion and comes running back my way? ;) I don't presume I'd be waiting for something that to happen. I've got a career ahead of me that I'm very interested in succeeding in, so I'd be hard pressed to think I'd ever sacrifice that to "wait around" for some girl who provides me with an uncertain future. Thank you again for sharing your story and insights into the crystal ball. So glad that I was able to find someone who can relate so well to what I've been going through. You've got no idea how much closure you've provided me with and I thank you very much for taking the time to post.
@steve2: When I mentioned "the religion" not being for me right now, I meant religion as a whole, not specifically one or another. Being as young as I am, I'm not really all that interested in it at this point in my life. I've always seen religion as a very mature, guided topic that allows someone to take the time to learn about the beliefs of people who lived before us. As far as MY interest in the JW religion, I can't say that I'd be interested in joining at any point in my life. ;)
@zeb: Interesting thought, might be cool to see where this girl ends up in five years. Maybe she'll be worth dealing with then? Ha!
@Black Sheep: Great point, I think I touched on that a little earlier in this post so I won't repeat myself, but thanks!