Is religion important when dating?

– Posted in: dating, sponsored post

Religion is a make-or-break topic for many relationships. Personally I believe in the church of faith and the importance of being a good human being above all else. Though religion might not factor in to my daily values as much as I believe it might some day when I am a mother (so I’m told at least), I respect and recognize that for some, it is incredibly important to find someone who shares the same religious beliefs.

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Although not much of an issue in the early days of dating, religion and your individual beliefs have a big impact on any long-term relationship. Faith is an important part of who you are. However, when you have another person’s thoughts and feelings to consider, trying to keep everything on an even keel is difficult–especially if the teachings you abide by conflict with theirs.

Even if you both belong to the same faith, your opinions on important matters–such as whether there should be female bishops–might differ. Here are a few situations religious couples might encounter.

Views of family members

Faith is important to many families. Parents who raise their children to follow a particular religion and uphold tradition usually expect their offspring to do the same. If you fall for someone with a different religion, it can create a difficult situation between close family members.

Sound familiar? It’s likely you want to respect your family’s feelings and not alienate them. However, your new partner needs to feel accepted. The last thing you want is future family gatherings to be frosty, or worse: non-existent.

Try to calmly discuss things through with your family. They want you to be happy, so explain how your new partner makes you feel. Ultimately, it’s down to you as a couple to decide the best course of action, though.

Same religion, different levels of observance

When it’s important to have a relationship with someone of the same faith, online dating websites like eHarmony will match people with the same beliefs. However, while sharing beliefs eliminates some problems, there’s still the chance one half may not be as strict as the other. While major religious holidays may be observed in your household, your thoughts on everyday life might differ, such as the role of women in the home.

It’s important to be understanding of one another’s thoughts and feelings. An honest discussion can lead to a compromise you’re both happy with, which won’t impact too much on your individual beliefs.

Converting to a different faith

When religion is integral to a way of life, it’s possible one of you is considering converting. When converting to a religion such as Judaism, this doesn’t just involve following the Jewish faith but accepting its history and culture. This is a big commitment and needs to be discussed openly and honestly.

If you find yourself in this situation, think about whether you’re converting to please your other half, doing it for yourself or working with your partner to build a future together. A rash decision based on blind love alone won’t bring you happiness in the long run.

Having no faith

There are plenty of options to finding religious partners. For Muslim dating, eHarmony will find the perfect match with the same beliefs as you. However, it’s still possible to fall for someone with no religion. Even if they’re not against your personal beliefs, it can be difficult for them to understand how important your faith is to you. From your point of view, this can be very frustrating. Help them to understand your religion. A great place to start is by taking them to your place of worship.

Have you ever faced a situation where your religion has impacted your dating life? What advice would you give?

6 Comments… add one

Nicole December 10, 2012, 11:28 AM

It’s such a tricky situation, I think. When I got married, everyone but me wanted a church wedding. My ex, my parents, his parents… I went through the motions because I thought I didn’t really care. But then I felt guilty going through the motions. I lied. I lied in Pre-Cana. I think a lot of people do because Pre-Cana is really out of touch with our current society/lifestyles. I lied in my vows when I swore to raise good little Christians. It all seemed so contradictory. And what’s funny is that the only person of all 6 of us who went to church every week was my ex-mother-in-law. Silly.

It’s important to not compromise beyond your own comfort level, and when strong faith is involved, it’s probably more helpful to be cut from the same cloth. It’s a very difficult force to fight, and it can definitely wedge itself between partners.

keishua December 10, 2012, 4:12 PM

I think that religion can matter. or rather thoughts about practice. i dated someone who was much stricter in observation and it was a constant issue for us because we wanted to change each other rather than accept our differences. it can work if you are okay with difference.

Krysten December 10, 2012, 4:46 PM

For me, I’ve never really been with anyone whose faith has different a whole lot from mine. Whether that’s because I just tend to be drawn to people who don’t regularly attend church or that’s just how things rolled out, I don’t know.

Izzy was raised Catholic but isn’t practicing. We’ve discussed marriage and I basically told him that because I don’t really believe in organized religion I’d feel really uncomfortable if we were to get married and he wanted it to be in a church. Luckily, he doesn’t feel that that’s important to him. If it was there’d probably be compromise.

The same goes when it comes to kids. We plan to raise them and let them know of our beliefs and when they’re old enough they can make their own decision.

Girl with a New Life December 11, 2012, 12:06 AM

I can’t say that I have experienced religious differences, but I have experienced almost every other kind…even having lived through the experience of someone telling me I was the wrong race.

I believe open and kind communication is so important while dating, especially when it comes to expressing your differences. The first year of marriage is such a challenge, you want to go in with as much understanding as possible.

Kristiina December 12, 2012, 4:24 PM

I think it really depends on the couple. Neither my boyfriend or I is religious but we are both vegan and I definitely could not be in a relationship with someone that wasn’t. I think about when we have kids and it would tear me up so much to be with someone who wanted to give my kids meat.

Before dating my current boyfriend I went out on lots of dates with non-vegans but never got serious.

Gia December 13, 2012, 3:36 PM

I think interfaith/religion in relationships is such a personal preference. Some people like the uniformity of a united family and others like the melting of different perspectives. For me, I’ve just found it easier to fall for someone who believes similarly to what I do. That doesn’t mean that I’m closed off to interest in people who have different faiths — the heart wants what the wants afterall. :)

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