Does Atheism Complicate Dating, Romance and Love?

I am looking to establish a dialog about people's thoughts on discrimination or complications that Atheism has caused in your love lives, or the love lives of people around you. I have heard many stories of people who have had trouble finding that special someone and even people who have had marriages fail over this issue. In my own life, since I have "come out" as an Atheist... I have experienced a lot of let downs in my love life because of people that cannot seem to accept my lack of belief.

One particular instance was the most frustrating because the woman I was dating was an Agnostic who didn't really have a solid stance one way or another on anything spiritual/religious... but she still just couldn't accept the fact that I didn't believe in some kind of higher power. She claimed that she couldn't trust anyone who relied so heavily on logic to guide their life. She somehow felt that I was cold, overly logical and rigid simply because of the fact that I didn't believe in a higher power. The weird part is that I was constantly making her laugh and that I am in fact a very silly person. When I told my friends all of this after she broke things off with me, they were all very confused as to how she could think of me this way. This lead me to believe that it was solely some kind of preconceived notion within her mind that anyone who doesn't "believe" is somehow a bad person.

That isn't the only problem that I've had in this capcity... I've had Christians who refused outright to get involved with me because of their faith... and we all know that the majority of people out there are Christians and Muslims, both of which have strict rules on faith in this regard. I've had Pagans (two, in fact) get into arguments with me that were started by them and that lead to a falling out. It just seems to me that finding love as a non-believer is much more difficult than for the broader spectrum of people out there. It was very disheartening to see that even an Agnostic, who openly admitted that they didn't know what was "out there" would abandon a relationship based solely on this aspect of someone else's life.

So I turn the idea over to you all... do you have any similar experiences? Do you think that it is reasonable for people to be so discriminatory in selecting their partner? I'd love to hear what everyone has to say on this subject, no matter if you agree or disagree with my stance on the issue. Is there some kind of solution to this problem? Do we just not discuss our lack of belief with anyone except for our own kind? Do we only try to date our own kind? Do we continue on as we always have and just hope that some day the barriers that separate us come tumbling down? It is a very tough issue to handle...

Tags: Atheism, Christianity, Dating, Love, Religion, Romance

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"Sorry to admit this, but in university I used to seduce Christian boys to see if I could make them break whatever vows of chastity they were forlornly clinging to."

Damn, that's hot!

Ok, so I'm a little twisted. That's what happens when you stray from god's flock you know. Without the protection of the sky daddy, I am helpless to satan's influence and am now a slave to such perversions. It's not like it's a bad thing though. I seem to be enjoying myself.
there is nothing wrong with being a little (lot) twisted.It makes for a good life, and if your lucky enough to find someone as twisted, then your ready to lead a long happy life with someone.
I think religion and non-religion both make dating more difficult. People tend to cling to beliefs, and with a belief that's as important as religion, sometimes people lose sight of each other and only see how that could potentially make the relationship incompatible.

Where I live, since I'd guess 99% of people are the same religion, it's not a huge issue... unless you're like me, not truly a part of that percentile. Then it becomes a lot harder, because it completely isolates you.

Of course, I'm not dating, and I may never do so, even outside of any conflict in religion. I can say, however, that knowing I believe the things I do would change the way people think of me, and I think this is one of the greatest challenges some couples face.

When it comes down to it, though, I think I'd be okay with a religious partner, as long as he or she were accepting of me. I think I'd have a harder time accepting a partner with the same religion I was raised with, since it's become a very personal issue in my life.

But in the end, while having similar ethics and beliefs is important, love is love. If you're lucky enough to find it, realize that destroying a worthy relationship over a trivial fight of religion is idiotic. If it's worthwhile, chances are you can find a common ground.
I think your reasoning is, for the most part, accurate with regard to love and the like. However, I do feel the need to add that generally speaking... people of faith take their religion pretty damned seriously (which is part of the problem here)... and you and I might consider it to be trivial, but they certainly do not. Not to be trumpeting my experience from high, but I've seen this first-hand... this mentality of being torn between faith and love. A very special and meaningful relationship I had a few years back was destroyed by her church and her family over the issue of faith. They were Calvinists... I was/is an Atheist. They discovered this through me being direct, open, and honest... how'd they thank me for being open and honest? They put their hooks into my ex to reel her back into their fold before the horrific Atheist took her away... it is sad that they had such a grip on her that the dictates of her faith caused her to surrender someone that she cared deeply for, I know this... because I spent 7-8 hours on the phone with her... crying and pleading for me to forgive her. Which I, of course, did... but I told her that she really should re-evaluate her faith if it is causing her this much hardship.
It's true. On the one hand, I don't want to attack someone's beliefs, but how do you deal with different ideologies when they're threatening to destroy something special? You can't choose for them. You may not care that someone else is a Lutheran or Catholic or Budhist, but you cant stop them from caring that you're an Atheist.

Luckily, I haven't had any truly heartbreaking story of my own similar to yours... It must be awful.

I have had a guy who once liked me tell me I'm going to hell because I don't attend church, but that was only amusing. And just in general, people pretend to care about me so they can lure me to church. That hurts. I'd be happy to attend another social function with them, and I know they mean no harm, but it's always about converting the shy, sweet girl with "God problems".
I think that discrimination in the religious field in love life is crap. I mean, as crap as discriminating for your family's social position or...whatever. I am in a relationship right now, and though he is a believer, everyday I discover that he's "Less" theist than I thought. I think he actually doesn't care much about it; the other day he told me he just "can't get away with the idea that nothing supernatural started the big bang" (is he a deist??), but that he believes when you die you just turn off like a candle of sorts (just as I do). He supports me in my stand and has hear every questioning I've had with atheism, agnosticism and paganism. The spiritual part of our lives has nothing relevant to do with our relationship, is a very personal thing :D Other guys that I've been too haven't been discriminatory with me about that, at all.

So no, religion shouldn't be something relevant within a relationship, unless you're too fanatical. Other than that, it doesn't have anything to do with love and dating. NOTHING. You can make love and feel your lover very deeply without believing in something spiritual either; I think the act of sex within love is something amazing, but very human...sometimes people think that sex requires spirituality, which is bullshit too D:!
I forgot the stand up comic (anyone who knows please help me out) said something along those lines "when i grew up it was in a mixed religion house, my dad would say 'there is no god' and my mom would reply 'there might be'
I was pretty close to being involved in a long term relationship with a guy friend of mine but our religious (or lack thereof) differences were just too much and got in the way too often. (He's a a reformed Jew, leaning toward Orthodoxy). We're still decent friends but we have a rule now that we aren't allowed to discuss religion and every time it naturally comes up in conversation we scramble for different topics. We both know that that argument, played out fully, would come to no good end and possibly even ruin our friendship. I won't change my beliefs but I do wish we could have managed somehow anyway, even for a little while.
Yes. Absolutely.
For both parties.

I've had great first dates end badly and abruptly on more than one occasion when my bible-belt born-and-raised date just couldn't deal with the idea that I don't believe in "something". I consider that a blessing that it didn't come up later, after I was emotionally attached.

Strangely enough I've had similar reactions from Christians, Pagans, Jews, Former Catholics and even an Agnostic who was particularly insistent that he was NOT an Athiest. So there you go.

Frankly I'd like to say a person's religion makes no difference to me because I'm such a caring and understanding person, but the truth is that I believe all religious beliefs to be basically extreme fandom for fictional stories and that I just have trouble taking anyone seriously who really thinks there's a big old man in the sky watching over them.

I guess you need to look at it like other weird habits like setting the alarm clock ahead 5 minutes or leaving the cabinet doors open. Strange things they do that don't really make sense to you but you can work around it.

Problem with that is that this 'weird habit' of Religion is the building block for that person's entire being.

I liked your post cause the Pagans for sure are the ones that get most angry. Which seems somehow contrary. I think Christians see non-believers as people who they can eventually talk into conversion. So they're always happy to discuss. Pagans get angry and won't talk to you anymore cause they think their view is so much broader than Christian's because they accept so much more and think of themselves as so open... the idea of not believing anything really frustrates them entirely :)

I've always felt like religion is not an important part of my life. Since I have none. Relationships that I have been in that worked just basically didn't include religious things. There's so much more to life. It's possible to love people of different faiths for sure, but the relationship will no doubt be unconventional.

I'm good with that.
I was married to a Lutheran for 11 years. It was an issue. It caused him a great deal of grief "knowing" that I was going to hell. Also, every time we had a disagreement he'd say things like, "Well that makes sense from someone like you. You might as well just do anything if you think we're just a bunch of sacks of meat." He often treated me as if I were stupid and he often put me down for not sharing his religion. He seemed to think I was completely amoral, just behaving myself out of common sense or something.

He also tormented himself a lot. He felt his homosexual urges would send him to hell so he lived very, very deep in the closet.

I'm in a relationship with an agnostic. I don't think I could ever be in a relationship with a strongly religious person again.
well im only 19 so not much to go with but this is how things could unfold...
fall in love with someone, if they love you enough they wont really care about what you believe in, because point of the matter is if someone loves you and then ditches you just because you dont believe in something they do then they dont love YOU, they love thier belief more.... so better to date someone that you have to pay for....
I was REALLY jaded about religion and was questioning everything when I met my (now) wife. She is Catholic by definition. She calls herself catholic and believes in something (I think more leaning deist). I told her that I was an atheist a couple months ago and aside from the initial shock of it we are back to normal and doing great. The only issue that we discuss is what kind of school to put our future kids into. She went to parochial school up till high school and is heavily leaning that way. I thought public high school worked well enough for me. We have compromised to reevaluate when we have kids and depending on what they are more suited for. She also wants them to go to church to "learn morals" while I am not really for any early indoctrination (for obvious reasons). But our only issues are what will we do with our future kids. I think I lucked out.

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