Religious views and beliefs are cited as one of the most important factors single people look for in a potential mate and this holds true for Same Gender Loving couples as well. So what happens when the two of you share different views and beliefs? Is it a deal breaker for you?
Growing up in the church and coming from a family of ministers, many of the men I first grew to respect and admire were men with strong religious convictions. So when I first began to date men it was almost a prerequisite that he was deeply rooted in the church and had a close relationship with God. It felt weird to be with a guy who didn't want to come with me to church didn't understand why I was praying all the time.
As my views on religion changed my views about dating and religion evolved as well. The more I studied about different religions, the origins or religion and those that don't practice religion at all, the less religion matter to me and thus the less it mattered that my partner was religious. It also opened me up to dating men that were of different faiths and seeing spirituality through a new and different pair of eyes.
Across sexual orientation, countries and cultures, people tend to date mates whose spiritual beliefs align with their own but often we find ourselves paired with someone with different views. While denomination is not necessarily the most important thing — we rely more on what the core beliefs are future partner holds, we tend to want someone with the same set of values and morals and principals.
Here are some tips on dating a person with whose religious views may differ from your own.
If you're in a relationship with someone of different religious views to your own, always respect their faith, even if you don't agree with it. Even if you think that yours are the correct views, they have different opinions. Each of you needs to respect and acknowledge that the other has the right to their views.
2. Don't Try to Convert Them
Your faith (or lack of) is obviously important to you. But however much you wish that your partner would share your views, you shouldn't try to convert them to your religion. They may decide to do so, but it has to be in their own good time and their own decision. Equally, if you are an atheist you shouldn't denigrate your partner's beliefs - if you're that against religion, you shouldn't be with someone who has a faith.
3. Having Children
If you decide to have children in an interfaith relationship, you will need to discuss how you want them to be brought up. Will they be raised in one religion, or learn about both and decide when they're older? Again, it is important that they are brought up seeing that both parents have respect for the other's faith.
Since faith can have a major impact on a relationship, it's essential to the health of the #relationship to talk about the issues involved. Don't ignore them and hope it will all resolve itself. Talk about how your families react, where you would get married, and how you will raise your children.
5. Keep An Open Mind
Always keep an open mind about your partner's religion or atheism, even if you don't understand why they feel the way they do. If you have a strong faith, or no interest in religion at all, it can be perplexing or upsetting that your partner feels so differently. But accept that they have the right to their opinions, and that nobody is 'right' or 'wrong.'
6. Educate Yourself On Your Partner's Beliefs
Try to learn something about your partner's faith or lack of. That doesn't mean you have to change your views, just that you should try to see things from a different perspective. It will also be interesting to learn about a different faith; every religion (and atheism) has its merits, but should also be open to questioning.
7. Support Your Partner
Finally, support your partner and their right to hold different views. It can be very challenging if your family dislikes you dating outside their faith, but if you want the relationship to last you will need to defend your partner. If they face hostility, and you don't speak out, it will undermine the relationship.
Dating outside your faith is a challenge, but can also enrich your life. More interfaith relationships could actually be a very positive thing - we shouldn't forget that we're all human! Have you been in an interfaith relationship, and what were the challenges?
How big of a role does religion play in your quest for a mate? Would You Date A Man With Different Religious Beliefs?