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Relationships and Religion

Religion can be a very sticky subject for a lot of couples that date inter-religiously.

I know many women who will only date Jewish men if they are Jewish, or Catholic men if they are Catholic, but personally, I think it's more important to date for love rather than religion. I have never been one to think that religion mattered much, as long as both people's values were respected and celebrated. Compromise is key when people come from different religious backgrounds, and as long as both people are open and communicate their needs in a sensitive way, I think it can totally work. It can actually be really amazing to mesh your two cultures, family values, and holidays.

So what do you think? Does the religion of your significant other matter much to you? Is it super important to your family to marry someone who shares the same religion? Or does religion never even cross your mind?


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Ra'anan3340336 Ra'anan3340336 4 years
Dating IS marriage! Marriage doesn't come out of a vacuum! I know many times that hormones initially overcome religious affiliation, but when babies start to come, suddenly a Jew remembers that for 3600 years males in his family were entered into the Covenant of Abraham via circumcision & HE'S not about to break that chain, though he can't really say why. The same thing happens when his son is 13 or his daughter is 12 & he suddenly wants them to have a bar or bat mitzvah! Or one of his parents die & he RUNS to say kaddish for them. Funny that birth & death have a funny way of sobering up people's religious affiliation. Does a Jew REALLY want his kids to have a CHRISTMAS TREE? How about going to a CHURCH? How about dragging a PARENT to church for a church wedding? How about a spouse who insists on BAPTIZING the child of a Jew? One of the hardest things I've ever done was break up from my GORGEOUS & SWEET Indian girlfriend in college. I had simply seen too many friends & their parents who had intermarried with gentiles & were paying a HEAVY price years later. The State of Israel didn't recognize the children of Jewish fathers & gentile mothers as Jewish. They had to run & find a reform rabbi to say that everything they did was okay, but outside of that reform temple they were in a category by themselves, on the OUTSIDE. That initial, beautiful love for one's spouse was ravaged by the distress of their children who don't have the more stable identity that even their parents had. You may think I'm exaggerating, but I know Jewish fathers who are almost suicidal over having children from gentile women w/all of its issues. There is also a 75% divorce rate in Jewish-gentile marriages, why start a relationship w/only a 25% chance of survival? As far as respecting religious choices, Christian theology says that JEWS are going to hell for not accepting Jesus as their savior! Who needs to marry someone who believes or will LATER believe that they are going to hell? And why wouldn't a Christian try & save their own child from hell by converting them to Christianity even though the other parent is Jewish? So many mixed couples start out with "as long as he's a good person," but when someone gets sick or someone dies these same people suddenly remember the religion & CHANGE! THEN WHAT??? It's better to avoid all the heart ache by marrying someone of the same religion.
GScott86 GScott86 8 years
This is how wars start.
handbagbride handbagbride 9 years
For me it was a huge consideration when beginning to date someone. My religion and culture has become increasingly important as I have grown up. I have seen a few friends marry those of different faiths and they are ALL struggling now to see eye to eye on the topic of children, even though they made concessions/agreements when they were dating and engaged. Even when people say, religion doesn't matter, I have seen otherwise. So it is no surprise then that I married someone with the same religious beliefs as myself.
gingirl gingirl 9 years
My boyfriend and I have been together for over a year, and he's Jewish and I'm Catholic. We've had talks about this many times. I think as long as you are both open with each other about it, you can work it out. For example, I'm not too religious and neither is he, but his family is. So I know, that when we get married, I'll be converting so our children can be Jewish. To me, this isn't a big sacrifice, because I've never really agreed with the principles and such of my religion. He's told me that I don't have to convert, but I know it would go a long way with smoothing things out in the future. I know he's gotten pressure from some members of his family to "meet a nice, Jewish girl" but he tells them time and again that as long as I'm a good person, what does it matter? And I appreciate that so much, that he sticks up for me, for us. So it can work out if you want it to.
HB HB 9 years
I could not imagine dating someone of a different faith. My faith plays such a large role in my life that it would be really hard if I could not share that with my boyfriend. I go to church, bible study, and I volunteer for a Christian organization that reaches out to high school kids (takes up about 3-4 nights a week); I need (have actually) someone that I can share all of that with. My decision making, my reasoning, may character, all center around my faith. Without sharing God with my boyfriend I could not share my whole self.
minaminamina minaminamina 9 years
Spyglass - that's really sad, and this guy shouldn't consider himself a Muslim at all. The basic tenent of Islam is that all people of the book are equals and should be treated equally - hence the relatively peaceful Ottoman empire of most of Europe from 711-1492 A.D. Your ex should be ashamed that you were so mentally manipulated by his false interpretation of his religion. It's always important that, in a dual-religion relationship, both faiths are considered equal between the two people involved. If you harbor (or your partner does) any subconscious notion of superiority because you consider your faith to be the "right" faith, then you should never pursue a relationship. THAT is a scenario where two faiths cannot meld well together. It's kind of like this one time I dated a white man and after three awesome months together, he drops this bomb - we were walking through Harlem and he said something like, "Christ, these people are just backwards..." and then revealed his complete ignorance of the racial and social construct of America. Needless to say, he had to find his way out of Harlem by himself - I was in Queens before he figured out I broke up with him because he was a racist, and didn't even realize it himself.
thisbulimicwar thisbulimicwar 9 years
im jewish and my boyfriend is catholic. i practice my religion and he doesnt except for christmas and easter. we've been together for over 3 years and plan on staying together. its important to me for my children to have religion in their lives and he agrees and its important for god to b present at our wedding. so wer just celebrating both. my kids will be primarily jewish but im not going to ignore his religion, theyl undertsnad and celebrate it too. love comes first in my book, everything else will work its self out after that
estoiles estoiles 9 years
this is something that's coming up in my relationship. i am not religious - raised by "agnostics" i guess you could say - i'm from alabama, the bible belt, and my parents rebelled against that. bf's parents are very religious and he was raised as such - his father's family is catholic, and his mother's presbyterian - when we started dating a few years ago, he was agnostic, like me. and now he's "religious" but not in the conventional sense of the word. he agrees wit me on the specifics of things, but is MUCH MUCH MUCH more spiritual than i am. having not been raised in a religious household of sort, it's very hard to find my way - he has always been very spiritual and is pretty much buddhist now - which is fine with me, i love that about him, it makes him much more compassionate - except for one thing, he is always pressuring me to meditate - with him and in a group - which i really just am not comfortable with. i tried it once because he wanted me to and i wanted to see if i liked it, i didn't, and i figured that would be enough. now he's upset because i don't want to go to guided walking meditation - says i don't ever want to do anything he wants to do (he has only asked me to meditate with him and exercise with him - two things i look at as personal time) which i think is completely untrue. i don't know how to get him to understand that no one was in a religion they liked and appreciated if they were pushed and guilted into it. sometimes he understands this, but seems to forget it. i understand he wants me to be part of this with him, but i haven't had the same experiences as he has to come to this...i guess it'll just take time? and for kids, we've decided to go to many different churches and let them decide.
sparkle-sugar sparkle-sugar 9 years
of course religion is important or whatever your belief system is because ultimately when you settle down with someone you need some common ground on whats right and wrong especially with raising kids. spyglassjenni thats really sad but i guess people have to decide how they want to live their lives. sacrifices are hard to make, especially if your heart isnt in it. islam does not condone forcing anyone into religion and if your heart isnt in it, you will never fully embrace the way of life, or be happy. that's why we should all live by what we truly believe and not do things half-heartedly for the sake of others. just my opinion guys :)
spyglassjenni spyglassjenni 9 years
YES!!! Let me tell you right now. I used to think it didnt matter, then i fell in love with a muslim [im christian] and i thought everything was perfect. As long as he supported mine, and i supported his, i thought everything would be ok. Let me just tell you... i fell in love LOVE with him, but something was always off. It tore at me everyday i was with him. He treated me different because of his culture and i respected that, but then i started doubting everything i believed in and let him control me and tear at everything i believed in in my life. I was even willing to move to saudi arabia and wear a veil for him. I used to be the most independent girl you had ever met. ...thats when i knew i had to end it, and the past 3 weeks of my life have been hell for me because I just broke up with the guy i loved. But it couldve never worked... it just starts amazing but it wont ever work in the end. Not unless they are similar cultures. PLEASE learn from me... you dont think it could happen to you but it can
californiagirlx7 californiagirlx7 9 years
Oops I need to clarify my first sentence. You are supposed to marry someone who has the same religion (according to the Bible). Sorry I didn't make it sound clear the first time.
californiagirlx7 californiagirlx7 9 years
In the Bible says you are not supposed to be "unequally yoked" and marry someone who has the same religion. I think it really matters if you're going to have kids because some people have disputes over what religion they want to raise their child in. My best friend's mom is a strict Catholic and she married a semi-practicing Buddhist and although they have raised all of their kids Catholic, my friend's mom sometimes feels horrible because her husband may not go to Heaven (according to our Catholic beliefs). As for me, I probably would have marry someone is Catholic or Christian, or at least believe that God and Jesus (as God's Son, not just a man) exist even though they may not practice an organized religion.
MamaD MamaD 9 years
My husband and I are both former Catholics who were beaten up by the church due to our divorces. In both cases we were the Catholics married in the Catholic church to two non-Catholics. Our two ex spouses cheated on us and caused the divorces. Since our own faith and church turned their backs on us we both have the same beliefs in regard to our former religion. We both consider ourselves spiritual and not religious. We will never practice an organized religion again.
aaaudri aaaudri 9 years
I think compatability is deeper than just the label of a religion. People are going to like each other because they have the same beliefs and ideals, not because they are both catholic or jewish. You have to think that many people within a religion are still completely different. I'm agnostic but it doesn't mean that I don't share values with other religions and can't be in love with someone of a different religion.
demeter demeter 9 years
Definitely, religion and politics are very important. Though more so politics. I like to have something to talk about.
nessabum nessabum 9 years
I'm not a practicing Catholic, but I do appreciate it when other people respect my religion, although I didn't choose to be Catholic. Having little or no respect for other people's religions/beliefs is the root cause of why so many bad things happen in our present world. I think as long as a couple have the same values and have respect, then religion doesn't matter too much. To me, it matters a bit because then I when talk about things in regards to Catholicism, I would get an understanding. Which is how it works with me and my boyfriend.
veronicaraye veronicaraye 9 years
Its tough only b/c my boyfriend's parents are Jewish & think I should be too. Even though they aren't religious at all, they still hold that against me.
RockAndRepublic RockAndRepublic 9 years
I'm athiest so i feel more then partial to that.
mrspiven mrspiven 9 years
my dad was catholic and my mom was jewish when they were married. they've made it work for more than 30 years, but my mother's advice is to date people within your religion. i was raised jewish, but as an adult my beliefs have changed. i feel that a person's religious beliefs are not my main concern in deciding whether or not to persue a relationship.
SusanTeufel SusanTeufel 9 years
My boyfriend and his family are very catholic, and I was raised Christian. We both believe the similar things, and have agreed if we have children to raise them catholic. (I have no problem with catholic. Christian is just how I was raised) I think it matters on the partners. We have similar values and virtues.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 9 years
Whatever peoples beliefs are, are very important to me. Especially in a partner. I would not have married my husband if he didnt share the same beliefs, because in the long run its what is at the core of our values, morals and futures. I wouldnt want him to be embarassed if i prayed before a meal, just like i wouldnt want to worry that things arent kosher.
juliemyjewel juliemyjewel 9 years
I am not religious, and neither is my BF. I wouldn't be able to date a very religious person, because I don't share the same beliefs.
bellanatella bellanatella 9 years
It has never really crossed my mind as I haven't really met someone I liked of another religion yet. If I ever did, I don't think it would matter much.
Nitrobezene Nitrobezene 9 years
No it doesn't matter to me in any way whatsoever.
jadorechaussures jadorechaussures 9 years
Like most people stated it depends on how much religion is a part of your life. For me (Roman Catholic) it's huge. I'm a full-fledged practicing Catholic (church every Sunday, pray the rosary daily, no premarital sex etc). Anyway I have found dating to be self-selective meaning guys who won't respect my religious beliefs tend not to date me. I have dated an atheist who thoroughly respected my beliefs. I also believed in the "love can conquer all scenario" but when I would envision the future it just wasn't going to work. I do not believe in converting someone, but strongly believe in raising my children with the my same convictions. Just thinking of going to church as a family without my husband (I wouldn't force anyone to go) was horrifying. Or thinking about not praying together or thinking about how for him marriage is "just a ceremony" and not a unification of souls ordained by God etc. Well you get the point wasn't going to work. So for people with strong religious beliefs I don't hink it works. For people who believe in God, go to church sometimes and aren't associated strongly with a faith..totally fine.
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