Maybe its just me but "LOVE" seems to be very hard to find and elusive moreso in my view for Atheists than alot of the groups out there. Maybe it's simply the product of having been alone for the past 5 years. I just find it harder more and more that it feels like I have to compromise between my views and perhaps finding that special someone that may be out there. I feel this constant at times suppression of myself and these feelings because things just seem much more complex in this department. What do you do when you constantly have feelings of being alone? But ever moreso when you feel like the beliefs that you have don't certainly help the situation? I sometimes feel pushed to have to compromise what I believe simply because the lonliness in some aspects is truly killing me. The on the other hand I realize that if I do compromise on this what will it say about myself in the long run?

Tags: Love, relationships, single

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You have been very active lately and have posted some very interesting ideas. I want to take the time to read,reflect, and respond to all the great philosophical posts you've made. So don't disappear on me, I'll be keeping you busy real soon.

(And to start off, my current and only relationship is going on year 10 and I've been married 6, so I'll be biased no matter how hard I try to be objective on this particular point on interest)
Hi Dre. I sort of responded lightly about this subject to you in a different thread (the one about raising children), but I'll ask you again here. Do you believe that you have to date another atheist for you to find happiness? If that is the case, that notion is a lot like the fundamentalist Christians who exclude others based on their beliefs. Would you require someone to have the exact same taste in movies, books, foods, activities that you do before you'd even consider befriending them? I have my immediate family (my husband and kids) and only have a handful of very good friends (that I'd consider doing anything for) and NONE of them are atheists/agnostic (save my husband). And he has moved into the 'agnosticish' category only recently - the last five years or so (we've known each other almost 19 years, married for 13). My lack of belief in mysticism/mythology has never kept me from making friends, but I also don't wear it on my sleeve like a badge either. Of course people have (and always will) make assumptions. I was at a dinner party recently and talking among a group of about 10 people, when one of the ladies in the group (that I had just met five minutes earlier) asked out of nowhere, "So Tamara, what church do you guys attend?", to which I promptly and bluntly responded, "We don't" (with a big smile). After a few moments of awkward silence and nervous glances from her to her husband and others, the conversation continued and nothing more was said about the subject for the duration of the evening. I probably won't be invited to any of her get-togethers, but I don't care as she's not someone I'd want to befriend anyway. These moments will come and go - it's inevitable. But occasionally, you'll get the person who's genuinely interested in your point of view and will engage you in a respectful and intelligent discussion (kind of like on these forums). And sometimes, that person can become a very close, dear friend (or even lover) despite your differences. Theists who are respectful to your (dis)belief, are likeable and take a genuine interest in you as a person - I know it seems unlikely (especially if you've never met one before), but they do exist. We as atheists/agnostics are supposed to be the open-minded, free-thinking ones...part of that means being inclusive of those whose ideology differs from our own (as long as they are mutually respectful).
Typically, most theists aren't hung up on religion. They may give lip service to it and attend the occasional wedding or funeral and become slightly more active during that time but you being atheist isn't necessarily a deal breaker. Obviously, if you're open about your worldviews, etc. then you won't be able to date a fundamentalist since they'll reject you outright. Don't waste your time there but instead focus on meeting women who are more secular though technically deist or theist. Also, to this I would add that you shouldn't tell someone that you're atheist as soon as you approach them. Better to put it off until they know you better and until you decide that they are worth sharing the real you with. This sounds a little dishonest but the truth is most relationships don't last, and the ones that do typically don't depend on whether you agree on everything.

If I meet a woman I'm attracted to I won't bring up the fact that I'm an atheist. I'll dance around it and won't give a straight answer to give the impression that I haven't really made up my mind what to call myself. I will even tell them that I am "spiritual" though I won't tell them that I define spirituality as a reverence for the natural world rather than the mystical, magical ghost-clone nonesense that many theists buy into. Do NOT become Mr. Atheist to them. Focus on the things that bring you together not those that pull you apart. It really isn't that tough when you approach women with a much more liberal view of the world.
I'm a hopeless love myself. I believe in love and want to experience it, but I think my skeptic thinking gets away with it. I've never really been in love, though, and I'm generally bad at being single.
It's not that I wouldn't date or be with a woman who was a theist. But I'm not stupid. I don't like a alot of conflicts in my relationship. I want the smoothest sailing that is humanely possible, I do not realistically see that happening with a woman who is a believer. Simply put. Yes opposites do attract but in relationships the more you have in common the better the relationship is bound to be, it's just the way these things work out in the end and for the best. I don't want to clash, nor will I ever conform. I have to be reasonable in trying to find a person that is best suited to my harmonies as I their own, and theism constantly being poked or alluded to by my partner for me knowing my nature would be a problem. It's not an issue of exclusion, but realizing your common sense of whose more likely for you get along with. But to be fair I am not certain a theist would be the most suitable partner for me. I do have a streak where I admit I just don't want any religious nonsense around me to be perfectly fair.
I don,t know why idea of being an ethiest doesn,t support the Love. For a person not believing in life after the death, life becomes more precious. Purpose of life is personal happiness instead of making Gods happy.
Your other problem is also not a big one too. It only matter of getting a bit more relaxed and adjuting. I belong to religious society where finding an athiest wife is almost impossible. It dosent stop me and my athiest friends from being happy. I am married with a thiest spouse for thirteen years, have three wonderful kids and believe me very loving and happy life.
One got to be honest, loving and little tolerant. Every one got a right to think his own way.
Dre, don't compromise.

Religious beliefs put terrible restraints on relationships: something that you and your partner/s should have complete control over. It hampers honesty, since you have a false notion of what your relationship is "supposed to" be. In some instances, religion has dire consequences for relationships and individuals in them. Even for people who seem to "not care so much" about religion; they are more likely to harbour strongly held beliefs about relationships and family that can keep them from expressing the truth about their needs and their intentions, which is the killer of relationships.

I met my husband on another AN message board: the Atheist Network. It took so little time for us to connect that I was in almost shock. Here he was, all this time, and he lived 2000 miles away from me. But if that's what you want, you put up with some garbage--not for everyone, but we managed to do it. We didn't even have the same initial attitudes about everything, but what we discovered, in a very short amount of time, was that our ESSENTIAL worldview was right in synch. What we wanted in life was there. It wasn't ANYTHING like a romance is "supposed to" be. WE aren't anything like we're "supposed to" be. But I couldn't be happier.

I didn't meet him until I was 35 years old. Yeah, I really had to wait. But I managed all those years to not be alone by finding friends I could rely on for emotional support. Short-term dates that were just casual, just to get rid of that hormonal nag. People from work, friends of friends. I think that, because there was no pressure for any of those people to be "the right one," it was easier to have a good time. And it was better for a woman in her 30's, let me tell you, to not be settled down yet! I mean, I am essentially terrified of social situations. I'm not a beauty either. I just, well, really was able to enjoy being alone, because I'm incredibly self-obsessed. Maybe that was the key to me not going bonkers (because I had my depressed moments)! In those depressed lonely times, I found solace in self-reflective movies and books, and a little zen Buddhism. For real. I think the movie "American Beauty" managed to drag me out of one of my most lonely moments I can remember in my life, when I lost a best friend in a bitter fight. I watched the movie, cried, thought about it, and immediately a great weight lifted off my shoulders--it was about life, and one individual's purpose...it's hard to say because it means something different to everyone.

Another important thing to keep is PASSION. Have passion in life for something; ideas, artistic endeavors--have a bliss that's not about being one half of another person. I guess it's sort of like being in love with yourself without feeling fucking guilty about being "selfish." It's about doing something meaningful while making yourself better.

If you treasure your passion and then yourself, in the end you can't compromise your deeply held values in order to be part of a couple, like they tell you you're SUPPOSED to be. Being an atheist is not what your'e SUPPOSED to be, is it? You don't want to be a boring slob, do you? Of course not! If you're gonna be something, as Bob Dobbs says, BE THE HELL OUT OF IT!!!

Enjoy!


PS:

BTW, Dre, if that's you in the pic, you're cute as hell.
when i was going through this problem i was about 22 or 23. i realized that being so serious all the time was not only a downer for people i could have gone on dates with or befriended but it was a downer for me as well. i wasn't happy then being so ridged and stuck on my beliefs.
why don't you just casually date more? in general when a person only wants a serious relationship and nothing else they start to get that air of desperation about them because love is a lighthearted and fun emotion. there isn't a special someone out there since someone becomes special to you when you make them so. my advice is to lighten up! have a few glasses of red wine at the bar and some condoms if things go well.
lastly look for personality traits you have in common not just interests. if you find someone who is an atheist and is a couch potato and you are the type of person who needs to be out all the time then atheism won't be a strong enough bond to keep that relationship going long. unless of course you're that couple who doesn't want to spend a lot of time together.
Very sound advice! Sharing a lack of belief in adult fairy tails isn't going to make anyone fall in love with anyone else anytime soon. There is so much more involved and certainly wine and condoms can be a good start. LOL!!!!
Yes that is my actual photo in the picture and thank you for the compliment. I'll give loosening up a try, certainly couldn't hurt my chances now could it? I tend to just be a simple guy I know what I want and I go after it, done is done. My friends are good to me can't complain on that front but I tell ya it sucks to be around them in their relationships just want to pull my hair out. I guess it's latent jealousy if I had to call it anything at all. I feel alot of pressure to be in a relationship even now at 25. I mean im 25 and still single, I have no children, I'm college educated and I work. Around other people my age whom are already on that path of "that one" relationship I feel alot like more of an outcast than I already am, and it is damn frustrating. Gets me to thinking perhaps there is something wrong with me, not that I am perfect either but just a bit more wrong than the next guy.
There are a number of us who testify about loneliness, if not in the present, then in our past. It's a price one has to pay, especially when growing up. It is generally worth paying, if one is fortunate enough to emerge just in time to find some positive social environment or at least other people to connect with. You seem to be quite fortunate: you're young, and you have the Internet with which you can seek out people worldwide, which gives you quite a head start until you can get what you're looking for in the flesh.

Of course, there are others who must compromise, too, and sometimes it's not that much of a compromise. For example, if you're interested in black women, you have probably already had a hell of a time, but I can tell you that there are several nominally or even seriously religious black women--at least in large cities--who don't care if you are an atheist or even badmouth religion, and many of them are disillusioned with a number of things even if not with their religion proper and have readjusted their priorities accordingly.
First, is Batman and Bruce Wayne still fighting? Is so, who's winning and why are they still fighting?

Secondly, and you are already aware of this, I believe. There are no soul mates, "The One" is just an idea, nothing more. Anyone can become "The One" if so desired. Fate and Destiny are just myths (with the latter being a popular name nowadays)

It would be marvelous if two people could meet and spend their entire lives together without compromise. But this is as close to impossible as it can be. We may all be of the same species but we are all different animals. No one is us but us.

Maybe dating should be like Science. You have ideas and you experiment with them. Some are wrong and need to be modified or forgotten all together, still others are correct and the data proves it.

Granted there are only so many "test subjects" of love...but perhaps an openness without assumptions,good or bad, will prove your theories in the end.

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