We all know how the story goes: a man and a woman meet, there is undeniable chemistry between them, and they decide to date! In a perfect world, this is a fairytale love story… but then reality hits home! What if you don’t share the same religion? Is it such a big deal?
Religion is a topic that should be addressed at the very beginning of any relationship. An open and honest conversation with your partner might help you discover where exactly you both stand when it comes to religion. Is your partner a staunch Christian? Maybe you are grounded by Buddhist beliefs. Or maybe you are an atheist. Whatever the situation, is it a problem for either one of you?
If your family is deeply rooted in a different religion, it could affect your relationship with your partner. What about if you get married and become parents? Will your children have a religion chosen for them, or will you allow the kids to decide on their own?
To begin with, it is important to know and be aware of your personal attitudes toward another religion. This will help you make the choice on whether you are able to accept your partner’s religion without asking them to convert, or if it is something you are not willing to compromise on. Would you accept their religious value system if it didn't go hand in hand with what you believe in? For example, are they against the use of contraceptives in a relationship or marriage? Do they not want to engage in sex before marriage? Will they have a problem if you eat your bacon every day? It is easy to see how even the choice of a meal can cause issues between two partners of different religions.
The consequences of not having a conversation with your partner at the beginning of the relationship are obvious. It can be the source of arguments and may brew resentment between two people who care about one another deeply. And where children are involved, it will cause even further confusion for the young ones. Will you go alone to church with the kids every Sunday? Will he want to take them to his place of worship another day of the week? You will have to decide if it matters to both of you where your children worship.
The question you will have to answer eventually is whether you are willing and ready to overlook your partner's religion for the greater good of your relationship. And eventually, the family you create together.
Will you be willing to stand your ground against it all?
If religion is indeed a deal breaker, then find someone who shares your faith. Otherwise, your relationship will have its share of challenges, especially if you don’t address the issues you feel strongly about.