Dating with Religious Differences

Discussion in 'Religion and Ethics' started by Adam's Apple, May 12, 2005.

  1. Adam's Apple
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    Adam's Apple Senior Member

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    Dating with Religious Differences
    By Margot Carmichael Lester for msn.match.com
    May 12, 2005

    You attend religious services and observances regularly. Your new partner does not. Does this situation spell the end of your budding relationship, symbolize a gigantic hurdle to be gotten over, or create an opportunity to strengthen your bond? And how can you make the choice to take option number three when it’s so easy to fall into serious conflict over devotional differences?

    The key is taking a positive and constructive approach. If you feel your partner’s decision not to attend services puts distance between the two of you, it probably will. But if you look at your differences with openness and curiosity and use them as an opportunity to understand each other better, you’ll be well on your way to feeling closer than ever.

    Size up services vs. spirituality
    Don’t be too quick to judge your partner’s choice. As with most complicated parts of our lives, there’s often more there than meets the eye. Rabbi Jan Goldstein of Los Angeles explains: “There are rituals in our lives (secular and religious); peak moments in our lives. Some may get them from observance, some from hiking on a mountain. But the ‘A-ha!’—the emotional high or meaningful sacred moment—is an experience of the soul. Both people need to make an effort to find and celebrate that experience and honor it.”

    The bottom line: Focus more on your partner’s spirituality than on his or her attendance at religious services. “There are couples who find in each other’s differences the inspiration to grow as well as openness for enrichment,” Goldstein points out.

    Talk it over
    Start by assessing what spirituality means to you and your partner, counsels Les Parrott, author of Love Talk. Share what moves you, what rituals you observe, and look for common ground. He suggests these tips for having a successful discussion:
    --Clarify your beliefs by charting each other’s spiritual journeys and values.
    --Give up the idea of “conversion” dating (changing him or her after you marry).
    --Recognize whether your spirituality is one of the most important aspects of who you are and that it’s important to be with someone who shares it.
    --Talk about how you can respect each other when it comes to issues such as how to spend the holidays, interact with in-laws, and so on.

    Blending and bonding
    If you two have discussed all these facets of your relationship and are ready to move forward, consider ways to merge your spiritual traditions. Payal and Mario Cudio of Boston have dramatic religious differences. She’s Hindu; he’s Catholic.

    “We probably began discussing our religious backgrounds as soon as we started talking about marriage,” Payal recalls. “We talked about how our religions were different and how that would play into our relationship and someday marriage and children.” By discussing these issues, they realized just how many of the same values they shared. “It is great to see the similarities between the two religions,” says Mario.

    Knowing when it’s not going to work
    But for some, there is no common ground. “That too is a gift,” Rabbi Goldstein says. “It lets you know pretty quickly this may not be the relationship you want to invest in.” Such is the case for Rosemarie Jaszka of Patterson, N.J., who’s decided to only date men who share her faith. “To date outside one's box means to cross over from many things you deem sacred to many things you never even considered sacred. I found that I was the most content when I dated men who really understood my opinions and decisions.”

    Remembering the one key success secret
    If you do decide to date someone who’s non-observant or of another faith, remember that it’s not about your giving up services, or your partner becoming an active member of your congregation. It’s about being together. After all, that’s why you’re dating in the first place.

    http://msn.match.com/msn/article.aspx?articleid=3936&articleSrc=2&lid=159
     
  2. Nienna
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    Nienna Senior Member

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    Depends on if you are just dating to have fun or dating looking for a spouse. Getting married to someone with faith differences would be tough, depending on how serious you are about your faith. If you want to have kids, it will definitely cause problems if either of the people is serious about their faith.
     
  3. Hobbit
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    Hobbit Senior Member

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    I date exclusively to look for a spouse and won't date anyone with significant religious differences.
     
  4. Avatar4321
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    Avatar4321 Diamond Member Gold Supporting Member

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    Just dont act like there is no problem with it before marriage when there really is. because that can cause some major conflict.
     
  5. deaddude
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    deaddude Senior Member

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    The only problem I would have is if the person tried to convert me twice. The first time I can sort of understand, but I would ask her to drop it and not try to convert me again. The second time I would be angry, and the third time I would probably dump her.
     
  6. Markainion
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    Markainion Member

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    You don’t want to live in Utah then!
     
  7. 5stringJeff
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    5stringJeff Senior Member

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    Yeah... I doubt that two people who were both serious about their faiths could ever really settle that issue, especially if their religions were mutually exclusive.
     
  8. JOKER96BRAVO
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    JOKER96BRAVO Senior Member

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    Me and my wife have different religious views .
    Different because I strongly disagree with Christianity.
    It hasn’t affected us in any way what so ever.
    We’ve even agreed to let our kids choose
    their own path with no influence unless they ask for it.
     
  9. Joz
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    Joz Senior Member

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    How upset would you get with me if I said I think you're lying?

    If your wife holds her religion near her heart and you donot agree with any of it, there is no way she is happy in your home. I'm sorry, there's an undercurrent.
     
  10. NATO AIR
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    NATO AIR Senior Member

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    If a person is strongly religious and holds many of those values near and dear to their heart, it depends on whether the person who is not so relgious (or of a different religion) holds those similar values.
     

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