Wow, what a great discussion, sorry I missed it.
Gwen, so sorry for your pain. I hate when people say there's more fish in the sea, there's someone for everyone, keep looking and you'll find the right one and blah blah blah. None of the above are guaranteed or even necessarily true, but what you do have to hang onto is you -- being cool with, if not happy with, being by yourself. You seem like a fun, sensuous, funny, sweet and intelligent person and you certainly deserve someone wonderful in your life.
I was 37 when I met She Who Agreed to Wed Me, and I was astonished to find that over time she came to love me unconditionally and unequivocally (and undeservedly), for reasons which I cannot fathom but for which I am knee-tremblingly thankful. Plus, she takes none of my crap. Our big cultural difference is that she is a deeply believing Christian, belonging to what I consider one of the more whackier sects out there, while I am a culturally laissez-faire liberal and big fan of Evolution who doesn't know if there is a God but thinks there probably isn't. Somehow, we have made this work: she doesn't proselytize or lecture, and I try to be patient and listen and show respect when we read scripture together even when I think what we're reading is a total crock. Plus, there's the fact that without her religious beliefs to anchor she'd probably be all over the map, emotionally and mentally speaking, and not at all in a healthy way.
I would never have chosen this situation, and going in I tried to do what your guy probably should have done, which is try to tolerate and live with the religious stuff (in his case, the body art) because being with her is so richly rewarding and life-affirming. He may even have found, as I did, that the cultural differences can be more than just tolerated but can be shared in a deep and meaningful way. I now have a decent context for contemplating Scripture and other religious matters, which only adds to my intellectual cache. Your guy may have learned to be not only tolerant but appreciative of your body art, if he had given it half a chance.