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Ask a Party Planner: Should I Date Outside My Religion?

Conventional Wisdom is a different kind of advice column. Your questions will be answered by people from all walks of life rather than by advice experts. If you have a question you'd like answered on Conventional Wisdom, you can submit it here.

This week, a party planner offers advice to a woman unsure about a new love interest. After you read her answer, be sure to check out our Group Therapy group where I found this question.

Today's Question:

I'm a single 32-year-old woman and I am under immense pressure to get married from my family and community. I have been single for two years since my last relationship, and four months ago I met this guy and started dating him. We quickly got close and we really care for each other. He wants me to be his girlfriend now, however there a few issues with us — he is only 28 and from another religion. If this goes anywhere, then we are sure to face opposition from both our families. We are from cultures where our families mean a lot to us.

We have talked about this being a long-term relationship, but we have yet to figure out if we will end up married since it's obviously too early. I'm wondering if I should date other guys while we figure this out. I really don't want to, but my friends warn me to not put all my eggs in one basket, especially when he is four years younger than me. I also worry that our religions will come between us in the future. 

What should I do? Date other guys, or be his girlfriend and see this through?

Signed, Unsure

To see the party planner's answer, read more.

Dear Unsure,

It seems like there are two issues here: first, his age, and second, your religions. Let's discuss.

I think you should not worry about his age. Twenty-eight is old enough to be in a serious, committed relationship if that's what he wants. Like you said, it's early in the relationship, so you can't predict whether you two are going to get married. But there is only one way to find out — by dating him exclusively.

As for the religion issue: this is something to seriously consider. But I think you need to figure out if you're willing to date someone with a different background — is it worth it to you, not your family, to work through the inevitable obstacles (like choosing how to celebrate holidays, or how to raise kids)? As for your family, I think that they will be more supportive than you think. If you're happy, they should be happy for you too. And you say this guy really values his family, so I think it's great that you found someone who thinks his family is important — just like you do.

If you really like this guy, it's worth giving it a chance. Good luck.

Signed,
A party planner

Source: Getty
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