Neither here nor there

What bothers me is my adverse reaction to it. And it happens all the time.I meet someone— a girl. I get to talking to her, and we have some things in common. Or at least there's something about her that interests me. And there's attraction.Like there was tonight.When I first saw her, I thought she was cute. We later would talk for… half an hour? More? The conversation goes on, and it goes okay. Not great, but not so bad, either.Then, suddenly, it slips out in the course of a story: she's done drugs.She says it casually, like it's not a big deal.It's not a big deal, right?Wrong.And it's there, always, that my interest in her plummets… as if it dropped off a cliff.Sure, this girl and I talked some more after that. But my reaction to her was very different. Not a feeling of hope; not a sense of desire…No, those had to be replaced by a buffer layer of coldness.For protection.----I wish I could live like my ideals have it: Feel good about how I am and accept people the way they are. No resentment. No aggravation; frustration.After all, this girl's having done what she did is no threat to me now. It's not like she's forcing me to do it. Or is doing it near me now. Or that she even wants me to share her opinion on it (at least as far as I know).The difficulty is that I need… very, very badly… camaraderie. I'm in such a minority, to one degree or another, when it comes to drinking, sex, and (to a lesser degree in our society) drugs. It's hard to find people who feel as I do.Then again, I don't identify myself with the other end of the socio-religious spectrum (would that be the right way to put it?). I don't abstain from drugs, and from sex, and even from drinking for religious reasons. I'm not conservative Christian, or conservative Muslim, or Buddhist, for example.I believe in G-d but live on the whole a secular lifestyle. I do curse; I do sometimes talk about people when they're not there (though I'm working on this); I don't follow my religion's dietary laws. I wear street clothes or dress clothes if the occasion calls for one or the other.So, I can't take refuge in religious doctrine for these life choices.It would be easier if I could. Much easier :-(.----Why do I have to feel so alone? Isolated?Sure… I can wait until I meet another girl. Someone whose feelings on issues important to me are in line with my own. But that's what I've been doing… year… after year… after year.There's always something. Some of these things are worse than others. Some girls are so obviously not who I'm looking for that it's clear that I need to move on. But when someone comes close…My insecurities, sadness, and/or strong feelings bring down the possibility of intimacy.That loss is what hurts so much.