A little faith? Nah, prove it.

Faith. I always thought the only thing a lack of it deprives you of is a Sunday morning trip to your chosen place of worship. Now I'm wondering, is faith something you need in order to believe in more than just God? Is faith something you need in order to survive your relationship?

As a standard courtesy, do you owe your significant other a little unconditional faith? Or is it fair to demand proof? Proof that they're loving, loyal, kind, and dependable. I say bring on the incontrovertible evidence. I like proof. But I wonder if I'm not missing in my relationships the same thing I'm missing in my search for God - a little of the F word.

So really, what's at stake here? Say you have faith in God and you're wrong. The apocalypse comes, hell descends on earth, and God forsakes you despite your devoted servitude. What do you lose by having faith, even if it's misplaced?

Unfortunately, I say you lose a lot. Because you get let down. And getting let down is just an awful feeling. I'd do almost anything to avoid it. I hate to be disappointed. I've always tried to keep my hopes low so that they don't get dashed. Life is full of so many disappointments (especially for us idealistic types - the road from childhood to adulthood is just littered with crushing realizations about how life really is once you lose the rose-colored glasses). It seems a shame to set yourself up for any more.

I'm not sure what's worse - the strain of not having faith in someone or the vulnerability of having faith in someone who you aren't quite sure of. Faith is a tricky thing, in any aspect of life. You have to completely let go, and give in, to believe in something or someone. You have to abandon rationality and offer up your trust, blindly.

When I was pledging Alpha Phi, my college sorority, we went away for a weekend retreat up in the mountains. While there, we played a bonding game where you form a line, put your hands in the air, and then pass people back through the line over your heads, to foster teamwork and build trust. I got dropped. I don't weigh a lot, but I was the first to go and everyone had been drinking (a more commonly accepted teambuilding and bonding exercise).

My point? Having faith is hard, and sometimes maybe it's not the smartest bet to place. Is it reasonable to expect a little bit of proof once in a while before trusting in someone? I mean, I had faith in a bunch of drunk sorority pledges. Was that brave? You might say so - I exposed myself and was willing to be vulnerable. But probably, you'd just say it was a stupid calculation, and in the end I deserved what I got: mud on my ass and a bruise that healed eventually, but really stung.