How to Date Someone of Another Faith

Love & Learn 13

Every time you turn around, there's another layer of complexity surrounding dating. Online dating. Personal ads. Families. Being a single parent. Wondering if he is, in fact, the one. Wondering what's wrong with you if you're not the one for him.

One of the most important components to a functional relationship is sharing the same values and beliefs. This can include religious beliefs as well. So how do you handle it when you fall in love outside your faith? How do you handle interfaith dating?

Here are some tips.

First, and before things get TOO complicated between you guys, you're going to have to have a more serious discussion, which can be really scary when you first get together, because that's generally the honeymoon phase of a relationship and you're both all over-the-moon about each other.

This discussion should include how strictly you both follow your faith and how you feel about dating someone of another religion. You should also talk about how this difference would change the future - should there be one - as in, would one of you convert? How would you raise your children?

Knowing how much these issues affect you and your partner is key to interfaith dating.

Another thing to keep in mind is that while many people have been raised in a certain faith, they do not necessarily practice that faith. They may simply identify themselves that way because it's easier than saying "Lapsed (insert religion here)."

After speaking with your new partner, it's time to do some soul-searching. How do you feel about conversion to another faith? Do you feel strongly that you (or he) should have to convert to make the partnership work? Can you live and let live?

Basically, you're going to have to figure out if you can allow your two different religions to co-mingle and create new or separate traditions, or if being with someone of another faith is unacceptable to you. If it's a deal breaker, it's a deal breaker.

But if dating someone from another faith is NOT a deal breaker, talk to your partner about his religion. What does he believe? Learn more about each other's faith. It can be very eye-opening, inspirational, and educational -- and can lead to an even fuller, richer relationship.

What do you think about interfaith dating? Could you date someone outside your faith? Have you?


Image via aflicio/Flickr

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jhslove jhslove

I married someone outside my faith, and it's working out great. But when we had been dating for a few months, we had a very honest conversation and I told him that having an exclusively Jewish household and raising my children Jewish (to the exclusion of all other religions) was a non-negotiable for me. I was nervous that he wouldn't be comfortable with that and it might be the end of our relationship, but he was great and is hugely supportive of and involved in our family's Jewish life.


The situations I've seen where it works out poorly usually involve couples not talking about the religion issue and just assuming that it will sort itself out, or where one (or both) bank on the other changing his or her mind. That almost never happens.

Blues... Blueshark77

I personally made it a point to only get involved with atheists or agnostics to make it easier in the long run. Being from the south it wasn't easy. Eventually I met someone online on the west coast and we've been together over five years and we're expecting our first child. It was very important to me to be on the same page as far as beliefs (or lack of) go so it wouldn't be an issue when it came to raising a family. 


A friend of mine who wasn't really a follower of any religion converted to Orthodox Judaism for her fiance. At first I kind of felt bad for her because she was having to change so much of her lifestyle and her family was not supportive, but she seems to be happy and doesn't have any regrets. 

Vegeta Vegeta

My boyfriend used to be a devout bible-thumping god warrior, cause that's the way his family and community is. But after being around my family for a few years he's mellowed out. He now believes that dinosaurs existed. So there's hope for everyone.

Venae Venae

Yeah, until you (oops) have a baby w/them and their religion dictates how that baby will be raised - your opinons be damned.  

early... earlybird11

My husband and I had this discussion. Our child was baptized in my faith, but we teach both since mommy and daddy r different religions. He attends christian school but he is not to believe that is the only way. If he chose judism as an adult, that woulf be his choice .. we chose his foundations based on many things. We discussed wayyyy earlier then engagement

poshkat poshkat

Dh is a non practicing catholic and I am a non practicing Jew (or as I'm known in my family, the worst Jew ever. Lol. Family joke). We never really had a talk, we just kind of slid into things. Each of us is in charge of religious things that have to do with our religion. I was in charge of the bris, Dh is in charge of the baptism (which has still not happened almost 6 years later, so I'm guessing it's not important to him). It should not be Hard to date or marry someone out of your faith unless you make it hard. We are very laid back about it.

kelly... kelly24019

I'm an atheist and my husband is a Christian. We've been together 7 years and have a 4 year old. We are just fine.

4cadi... 4cadillac

I have no religion & the s/o is christian & that is not a problem n our relationship. He does not impose his beliefs on me & doesnt seem 2 mind that i dont believe. If a certain religion is such a deal breaker then just cut ties OR dont deal with the person from the start.

SaphireH SaphireH

I'm wiccan and my husband is Irish pagan and it works perfectly for both of us and our 3 kids will know both

mommy... mommytojack0524

My Christian faith is very important in every part of my life. To not have that key component in common would be a non-negotiable deal breaker. When I was dating,  I didn't just want a man who said he was a Christian, I wanted a man who was growing spiritually on his own. I met my husband online and the picture he posted was him on a mission trip. That was very attractive to me.


I didn't date non-Christians. I knew I would not marry someone without having faith in common. I knew I wanted to be married (not just date), so what would be the point of dating outside my faith? Friendships, absolutely. Dating or marriage? No.


 


 

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