Inter-Faith Relationships

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 13, 2009 5:12 PM GMT
    What are your views/experience of dating someone of a different faith? As an atheist I've been in a lot of heated discussions with partners when we had different views. My last bf was Muslim. We often would really going at it when issues of religion came up. The Danish cartoons, Minn. Airport Muslim cab drivers, treatement of gays in muslim lands, etc would really get us going at it. I don't want to limit myself to only dating guys who totally agree with me (no one anyways will agree 100% unless one isn't having their own views), but it is also is major challenge to avoid arguments when both of you have such different world views.

    Do you limit yourself to dating guys with similar religious views? If you have dated guys with different views how did it go?
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    Jul 14, 2009 12:08 AM GMT
    valuable is the man who learns to keep his mouth shut
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    Jul 14, 2009 1:21 AM GMT


    ZZZZZZZZZinggggggg! Good one lilTanker!


    ...or failing that, at least knowing how to be tactful and respectful of each others' opinion and being able to state your case in a way that's not offensive.

  • DCEric

    Posts: 3713

    Jul 14, 2009 1:23 AM GMT
    As a Jew (that is sort of agnostic), in the US, I have spent my whole life dealing with people who have radically different opinions about religion and world politics. In addition my partner is Hindu- so this crosses the Abrahamic-Dharmic divide.

    Each person (you included) construct their own reality of the world. I believe what I believe, and you believe something different for you. After a person has acknowledged that the other person is entitled to a different opinion- and that they can and will act on that different opinion, then you are set. You have identified other people as having different beliefs and that you cannot understand them, because you have your own beliefs clouding your abiliuty to comprehend their reality (because fo them it is real.

    You accept them for who and what they are, though you do not believe in them, nor understand them and cannot hope to without abandoning your own reality.
  • Delivis

    Posts: 2332

    Jul 14, 2009 1:24 AM GMT
    I'm an atheist, no belief in any gods, no religion. My boyfriend identifies as Roman Catholic, though i would describe him as a deist, and does believe in a god.

    We have long many-hour conversations about every topic you can think of, including this one. Have absolutely 0 trouble disagreeing about this or anything else.
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    Jul 14, 2009 2:35 AM GMT
    my long term ex was a humanist

    sometimes sex was really really good after the arguments.

    hmmmmm he's now more of a christian than a humanist - my job is done!
  • Delivis

    Posts: 2332

    Jul 14, 2009 2:38 AM GMT
    Blackguy4you saidmy long term ex was a humanist

    sometimes sex was really really good after the arguments.

    hmmmmm he's now more of a christian than a humanist - my job is done!


    That's ok, i'll deconvert him later..icon_smile.gif
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    Jul 14, 2009 2:42 AM GMT
    Delivis said
    Blackguy4you saidmy long term ex was a humanist

    sometimes sex was really really good after the arguments.

    hmmmmm he's now more of a christian than a humanist - my job is done!


    That's ok, i'll deconvert him later..icon_smile.gif


    as long as you don't make him take me out of his will - we good icon_biggrin.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 14, 2009 3:42 AM GMT

    For me religion is connected to very real abuse and degradation.
    When I hear about it, I'm a little boy again.I can't have it round.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 14, 2009 3:52 AM GMT
    as long as he let's me be who i am and believe what i believe it doesn't really matter to me. i'd rather dates someone that believe in something though, but only if they didn't try to discredit what i think
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    Jul 14, 2009 4:00 AM GMT
    There is nothing wrong with choosing someone you can agree with more than not .. that's called compatibility. It doesn't just have to be about religion either .. it can about how you do things, what you like to do, how you brush your teeth. All those little things add up. We are all limited so it is best to understand your limitations and work with them.
  • offshore

    Posts: 1294

    Jul 14, 2009 4:01 AM GMT
    Funny reading around atheist forums this tops comes up amonst straight couples too.

    Most seem to deal with it with some break ups.

    Funny how some atheist use the term 'come out' to their religious families.




    Offshore - Anti-theist and insulting gods since 1974
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 14, 2009 4:02 AM GMT
    DCEric> In addition my partner is Hindu- so this crosses the Abrahamic-Dharmic divide.

    jprichva> I thought that was a mountain pass somewhere around Kyrgistan.

    Thankfully not one of those mountain passes that requires chains, even in summer.


    I'm an atheist Jew, my partner is secular Catholic, so it works pretty well.

    Briefly dated a guy from the Bible Belt, and it was a bit freaky when he'd talk about Jesus like he was there in the room with us (sorry, I'm not into three-ways. (: )
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    Jul 14, 2009 4:31 AM GMT
    Most of the guys I date are Muslim - kinda goes with the territory living here - most are non-practicing Muslims, but have their core beliefs and values from their family upbringing and culture. For me an open discussion about any issue where we can explore differing points of view is a way to learn, broaden myself, understand others and where they are coming from and deepen my self knowledge as well.
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    Jul 20, 2009 12:09 PM GMT
    My boyfriend is an atheist.

    I'm very undecided. Part of me thinks that faith is somewhat hoaky, but my mom spent so many years drilling her christian views in my head that when I get really really scared I still pray like once or twice a year.

    And we seem to do just fine. We accept that our views are different. That when I die I hope our souls we're travel together

    And when he dies he expects there to be just... nothing.

    Its very scary for me. I don't wanna die. I wanna live for ever and If I can't do that believing and hoping in an after is all I have to look forward to. the thought of dying can't even be described. You can't call it black because you can't see, you just simply cease to exist and you'll never even know you're dead.

    And sometimes when I see a dead body, at a funeral, or animals on the side of the road and they are rotting I think. I don't know what I think. I freak out.

    I guess for the most part my boyfriend being an atheist has helped me find some peace because he's all about living in the moment and enjoying the now because when he dies thats it. And so I find myself not worrying about it as much as I normally do enjoying the happiness that we share. But I still obsess over dying.

    No we rarely argue about religion. Mostly politics and our opinions of friends and or strangers and stuff.
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    Jul 20, 2009 4:14 PM GMT
    Meh, my boyfriend is a fervent roman catholic, and I couldn't give a damn as long as he doesn't make me go to church on Sundays
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Jul 20, 2009 4:26 PM GMT
    lilTanker saidvaluable is the man who learns to keep his mouth shut


    enomine biscum & Ahmen icon_cool.gif
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    Jul 20, 2009 4:28 PM GMT
    phemt saidWhat are your views/experience of dating someone of a different faith? Do you limit yourself to dating guys with similar religious views? If you have dated guys with different views how did it go?


    It's interesting to see this from the other side since I dated an Agnostic. Spiritually I am a Muslim leaning more toward Sufism. My Agnostic LTR was my longest LTR actually - so it can work - but I realized a few years after the LTR was over that I wanted someone at least more spiritually centered. So perhaps you need to seek someone with at least some of the common beliefs that you consider important.

    Well at least with both of you - you didn't have to worry about giving each other xmas gifts LOL - Thats always a problem with me dating someone from a Christian background. But I learned to be clear about my comfort and ability in how I observed any holiday outside my faith.

    So perhaps the best thing to do is write out your feelings about what is comfortable for you to participate in a LTR with someone of a different faith. And then you can see how that evolves in your dating life. And one last thing - its not always clear - my Agnostic ex was so serious about his belief in NO GOD - but He was also just as serious about observing XMAS - in fact he broke up with me the day after XMAS because he was mad at me for not giving presents and observing the holiday like the rest of his family.
    Later on I learned from his family he had issues he was dealing with that he didn't tell me about. So really learn to be very HONEST - CANDID about your needs, wants and comfort level with someone from a different faith/culture.

    Good luck!
  • outdoorjunkie

    Posts: 118

    Jul 20, 2009 4:33 PM GMT
    We're both atheists, but even then we still find plenty to argue about on the basis of life in general!

    I don't think having a bf of a different religion (or faith, spirituality, what have you) is the crux of any problem, it's in each others ability to see past that when the debate gets going. Some people cling more closely to their belief and when challenged, get authentically hurt in the process. I'd stay away from those, in general, whether religious or not (PLENTY of Atheists fall under this category!).

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    Jul 20, 2009 4:36 PM GMT
    So TRUE Outdoorjunkie!
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    Jul 20, 2009 4:56 PM GMT
    Being accepting of the opinions of others, and respectful, is a noble position. What do you do when HE is not? When his fundamentalist beliefs, of whatever faith, aren't so flexible and tolerant as your own?

    Are we obliged to keep being a passive doormat for him to run over? I think there are some faiths where this is much more common behavior, virtually a requirement.

    As a result, I tend to be cautious as soon as I meet them. Open to being proven wrong, but on my guard.

    I would even extend this approach from religion to politics. It disappoints me when I read gays bending over backwards to be the accommodating good guys, when dealing with people who are inflexible bigots committed to our gay destruction.

    I consider these matters a 2-way street, but if I find someone trying to have a head-on collision with me, I will flatten and roll right over them. I accommodate, not abdicate.
  • jarhead5536

    Posts: 1348

    Jul 20, 2009 5:09 PM GMT
    "Partner" is a recovering fundamentalist "Christian." He wouldn't set foot in a church for anything in the world, yet still wonders aloud if we are damned to hell for being gay. I am a liberal Episcopalian. We just don't talk about religion. EVER...
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    Jul 20, 2009 5:44 PM GMT
    I am an atheist; I have been in relationships with people who believe in various different kinds of deity. I view religious faith as a personal matter, and would not see theological agreement as an essential or even necessary component of a relationship. I would not attend religious services regularly, as I consider that would make me hypocritical, but I would be happy to attend to support him in something major.

    I think I would be more likely to understand and relate to someone from an atheist or liberal religious background since my views on morality and humanity are deeply important to me. I have found few conservative religious people who share them.
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    Jul 20, 2009 5:52 PM GMT
    My first partner was a Catholic priest; I was a former Roman Catholic turned atheist. We got through four and a half years without any arguments of religion or faith. The only problems came from outside our relationship (from his family and friends and from some people in the gay community).

    We each had our beliefs and felt no need to convert the other to a particular way of thinking. Mutual respect. Without that, a relationship is destined to fail.
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    Jul 20, 2009 6:08 PM GMT
    How that discussion carries out would definitely be a sign of the type of person I'm dealing with. If we can't talk about it without arguing hardcore (and I'm not talking just lightly debating) I would see that as a red flag, or at least to me I'd rather not deal with someone who is not mature enough to have a discussion on religion acknowledging the end result does not have to be one person 'converting' or one person being right.

    If the conversation didn't go down the tubes, as I have had mature conversations about religion and similar traditionally sensitive subjects that didn't have fiery endings, then, uh, green flag? icon_wink.gif