Should I Date Outside My Religion?

Religion
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Religious beliefs are an important consideration when it comes to partnering with the right person. If you're dating someone with strict religious beliefs, regardless of whether or not you share the same religion, there could be challenges. For instance, let's say you are both Christian. He attends services every Sunday without fail and is active in his church, but you prefer a more personal relationship with God. Is this going to be a problem down the line?

It's important to decide for yourself if religion will play an important role with the people you date. Are you looking to have some fun or for a short-term relationship, or something more substantial, like marriage? If you're looking for fun, then it's not so important to find someone who shares the same religion.

One of my readers recently asked me how she should meet men. She is a devout Mormon, and got out of a three-year relationship with a man who was not Mormon, and not particularly religious. Their relationship came to a point where she couldn't see it moving forward successfully, so they broke up.

She told me that she preferred to date outside of her religion, and that she was most attracted to men who weren't Mormon. "But I really want to marry a Mormon!" she added.

This isn't unusual. Many people are attracted to others who don't share the same faith. And it's fine to pursue relationships in these cases, as long as you are both on the same page about the future.

If she was looking to just have fun, dating outside her religion wouldn't hinder her search. But this isn't the case - she wants a husband, a partner. So it is important for her to make some tough choices.

When you date someone outside your religion, ask yourself if you are hoping to convert him/her. Some people are open to learning about other faiths and pursuing a religious practice in their lives, and others aren't. If he seems open to attending church or religious classes with you, great! But don't press the issue. It's important in matters of faith that each individual pursues what feels comfortable to him. It's a mistake to try to convert someone who isn't curious or interested in your religion for his own sake.

And if you are willing to date someone outside your religion, it's good to honestly look at the future. How will each of you spend your free time outside of work? Will he get resentful of the attention you give to your religious practice? Will he expect you to participate in his services? If you have children, how will you raise them?

These are all important questions in deciding how to pursue potential dates. While you might be attracted to people outside your religion, they might not be the best option if you're looking to marry.

Don't be afraid to be honest with your dates about where you stand. It will serve both of you in the long run.