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Handle This: He Wants You to Convert

You’ve been with your boyfriend for a year now, and things are pretty serious but he's recently mentioned some concerns he’s having about the differences in your religious upbringings and beliefs. His family is both traditional and dedicated when it comes to their religion, whereas you're open and uncommitted to anything.

In an effort to lay everything on the table before things get more serious, he lets you know that you’ll have to convert to his religion in order to marry him. You’re more than willing to learn more, but you feel unsure about a full conversion. You love him so how would you handle this?

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lyobovnik lyobovnik 8 years
Perhaps the guy's request is only disrespectful if your "religion" slot is already full. Since yours is not, perhaps it's something worth trying. Nonetheless, it is silly to convert to anything only for the sake of dating/marrying the guy, especially if you do not believe in his "faith" after giving it a chance. But refusing to at least trying it out when you haven't got anything of your own is also an act of "faith". I was a die-hard atheist until recently, when I realized it was an act of faith to so ardently believe that there are positively no supernatural beings or gods. Disbelief in the Thing is often just Belief that the Thing Is Not. Since I don't want to exercise any faith, I realized I can't personally be a true atheist until I can positively prove the non-existence of supernatural god(s) on any plane of existence. Which I can't. So I guess I've become an agnostic, because I still do not feel that faith is useful to me. As far as demanding conversion/concession on grounds of faith, I have to admit some atheists/agnostics do the much the same thing... albeit more indirectly. We just don't like to admit it because it exposes our atheism as a means to elitism. Being perceived as an elitist can be inconvenient. I did it by believing in and emphasizing the superiority of my association with atheists above that with non-atheists. All the atheists I've known have at various times stated or supported an idea resembling, "we're better than the poor, swindled, deceived masses". It makes the impossibility of marrying one of these "sheep" almost a foregone conclusion for those of us who can't stand the thought of being in an "unequal union" with "one of Them". Regardless, there are also many of us who relish being the wise and liberated partner to our clumsy religion-blinded sidekick. There are different brands of elitism. Personally I'm done with all that. Either we're all spawn of some creator or we're all equally spawn of that first prokaryote, so no more of that self-righteous "mine is better than yours so by extension I am better than you" for me. "Can't we all just get along?" :)
ninjastarlett ninjastarlett 9 years
This would pretty much be a deal breaker for me.
plasticapple plasticapple 9 years
I just don't see myself getting serious with a man that was that religious. Now, if it's just his family that's religious that a little different.
michelle-c42934 michelle-c42934 9 years
I think it depends which religion When I was a child I was christened, my mum is a non-practising church of england, my father is an atheist, my grandmother is a buddhist and my aunt used to be a catholic nun. I've never really been pushed into religion, so I'm currently courting 4 different religions. I'd definately make the effort to find out more about the religion in question, but if I didn't agree with the teachings and my partner did, there would probably be a lot of clashes and a marriage might not work in the long run. I don't think I could marry a devout catholic or a mormon.
foudini foudini 9 years
Deal breakers from day one: anti-abortion anti-gay (there is no such thing as separate but equal) organized religion of any kind (spirituality with respect is a maybe) parent gene (personal preference; conversely I wouldn't want to mislead anyone either)
piesecki piesecki 9 years
Total dealbreaker. I'm an atheist, I could put on the hat and dance the dance but at the end of the day I still wouldn't believe in God so what would be the point? Besides, it seems pretty selfish to ask - what would the person asking their partner to change religion do if the partner turned back round and said 'no, you convert to *my* religion.'?
darkangel2305 darkangel2305 9 years
So happy both my bf & I are very much atheists... I couldn't handle someone forcing to belive in *their* faith in order to be good enough to settle with... ridiculous!
MartiniLush MartiniLush 9 years
Do not convert. My husband and I are different religions and his family was a bit put-off at first, but he knew there was no way I would convert. It has all worked out great for us in the end...it is all about mutual respect. If he tries to force you to convert, he doesn't respect you.
omlove omlove 9 years
No I wouldnt convert. I think he should accept you the way you are. My boyfriend and I have agreed to participate in each others rituals. Our relegions aren't all that different except that his relegion has certain restrictions but we have agreed that those wouldnt be applicable to our children.
kikidawn kikidawn 9 years
Deal breaker. My religion is very important to me and I'm not going to change it for a guy.
PJ-PJ-PJ PJ-PJ-PJ 9 years
Conversion to his religion should not be a necessity in order for him to marry. That would be a huge deal breaker for me. I would be so insulted. My husband is Catholic & I'm Pentecostal. Our religions are vastly different. We never even once thought of changing religions for the other. I guess i depends on if she would feel comfortable with his religion & all it entails.
DarlingDA DarlingDA 9 years
I wouldn't convert, but the boyfriend and I have agreed that the kids will be raised Jewish. Since I grew up with two parents that were raised in then rejected the Catholic church, so religion doesn't really have a place in my life. We celebrate Christmas (or at least my version where Santa is the main character rather than Jesus) and Hannukah. I actually have Hannukah tree ornaments that have Kyle from South Park holding a menorah and getting angry over his present of a dreidel. I think the bf would be frightened if I offered to convert. I told him I'd be drinking rum and Cokes and watching bad TV on Saturday nights while he and the kids are at Temple.
Jinx Jinx 9 years
I think it is a mockery that someone would convert just to marry someone, if they weren't sincere about it. :shrug:
bengalspice bengalspice 9 years
I'm with most people here. I wouldn't change just for a guy. In turn, I would never want a guy to change for me. I also don't appreciate how people try to meddle with my beliefs like it's impeding on their lives.
Karma87 Karma87 9 years
One of my best friends was raised Epicopalian, but married a Roman Catholic. She converted, but there isn't much difference (she says) from one to the other. She and her family are fine with it. For me it would be a relationship killer. I married an athiest, we're 2 peas in a pod.
Jinx Jinx 9 years
Not going to happen here. I think it's an unreasonable request.
bigestivediscuit bigestivediscuit 9 years
As the majority of people have already stated, it's also a "dealbreaker" from me. Actually if he sat me down and said that, it would be such a turn off that I wouldn't mind walking away from that relationship!
xoxoxx xoxoxx 9 years
If he isn't willing to accept me as I am, then I don't see the point.
princess_eab princess_eab 9 years
I'm open to converting as long as it's something sensible and mainstream (i.e., not cultlike or harmful to women). I'm honest in that I haven't made a choice yet about religions, but it's something I would seriously consider and study. However, unless I committed fully (it was also the right choice for me) I would not go down that path.
austerity austerity 9 years
Whoever asks that of you is a real retard, and is not able to accept you and your beliefs for what they are. If it requires some silly ceremonious conversion for them to believe you're a good person...well, enuff said.
snowbunny11 snowbunny11 9 years
Don't do it. Just because you're "open and uncommitted" doesn't mean you should be the one to change for him. Either you both agree that you like each other the way you are, or you split up.
MisterPinkNoTip MisterPinkNoTip 9 years
Adios amigo...
maze1 maze1 9 years
I know people who have done this, but they don't practice, so what is the point? For me, thus would be a BIG question and I would have to wonder why you would pursue a relationship if you this was in your mind in the first place. I do not think that you can be religious and date outside of your own faith, and expect to get two bites of cake.
Nyrina-Windu Nyrina-Windu 9 years
I wouldn't go along with him at all. You have the right to your own religion just like he does his own. Many married and non married couples out there enjoy having separate religions. They find a way for two religions to work in their household. If he cannot do that for you then forget it. You should not feel unconfortable just for him. He'll be fully happy but you won't be. I mean after marriage what else is he going to make you feel uncomfortable about. Move on if need be. Good luck.
gossipqueen gossipqueen 9 years
dealbreaker...I wouldn't go out with a guy that was so focused on religion anyway.
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