Dating a Theist
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22-09-2014, 08:13 PM
Dating a Theist
I guess I'm looking for some insight, wisdom or similar experiences from fellow atheists. I'm in a new relationship with a wonderful woman. We're both in our early 30's, have careers and are fully functioning, independent, successful people. She's incredibly beautiful, exceedingly smart, funny, sarcastic and classy. One of those dream-sequence-in-movie type girls. And.... she's Hindu. Her grandparents were born in India, her parents in Guayana and she was born in Toronto moving to the States when she was 4. She's very Americanized I guess you could say. She has no accent, she's into all the typical American woman stuff and if it weren't for her looking Indian, complexion etc, you'd never know.

I digress. The issue is that she's a practicing Hindu and I'm atheist. I'm also an anarchist and voluntaryist so I really have no problem with her believing her religion. She doesn't push her faith and it really has no bearing on our relationship from my perspective. However, my atheism has been a bit of an issue from her perspective. I originally described myself as "having a sever lack of religion in my life" knowing she was Hindu and that atheism can carry a certain stigma with it depending on people's experiences with other atheists etc. It wasn't until I actually claimed atheism that she took issue with it. It's not a deal breaker as we are still together but I could tell that her perception of atheism was "you're one of those militant, godless, faith haters" which took me some time to dispel. The subject has only come up twice and the discussions have ended well but I know it bothers her on some level that I'm a non believer.

I guess I'm just in search of insight from people that have been in similar situations and what trials and successes you've been through.
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23-09-2014, 04:42 AM
RE: Dating a Theist
Well, you can't "make yourself" a hindu, so she's kinda stuck with you being an atheist, it's not like you'd be able to change to acquire a believe system for her sake if you wanted to. The only thing you can do is show her through your actions that you are not a negative, angry, mean person who wants to put her down. Be an example to her of how atheists normally are nice people. Have a talk with her about how, if you're going to be together, you need to be respectful of each others believes or lack thereof, you need to be protective of each other and you need to not make assumptions about what the other persons belief or lack of belief means. If she cannot defend you, protect you and generally be on your side, also when her family is concerned, then you wont thrive in the long run. Your partner needs to be the one who respects and defends what you are about, who has your back and supports you, even though they don't always agree with you. If your partner wants you to change into someone else, instead of loving you as you are, then it's not going to turn out well in the long run.
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23-09-2014, 08:50 AM
RE: Dating a Theist
Maybe you will be the one to change her perception of atheism. I'm an atheist and will only date atheists so the topic never arises. But I was once a theist and dated atheists, and it mattered when things became more serious. There may come a point when she misses that she can't share the fullness of her beliefs with you. That's only natural for a theist to feel.

But, I know couples who make it work, somehow.

Just keep communicating your feelings as they arise. That's key. I would stay true to you, though for in the end, to pretend to accept things you don't, for the sake of harmony, is never a choice that leads to happiness. Hopefully, you both can make things work out.

Good luck! :-)

Be true to yourself. Heart
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23-09-2014, 09:07 AM
RE: Dating a Theist
As the ladies ahead of me stated, just convince her that you aren't the asshole atheist.

Keep the conversation going, communication is the key.
Respect from both of you (her too, not just you), that each person chooses their own path, and whatever they choose for themselves is ok. That a person is still worthy of receiving love and capable of loving others that are different from ourselves.
Know that Hinduism and atheism is a part of you, not all of you. We all have many facets to ourselves, talents, likes, dislikes, skills, desires, etc so a single part may not be our perfect match, it doesn't mean it should screw up the whole relationship. Find ways to express that part of yourself- you don't need to share every part of yourself with your partner. It's ok to activities that doesn't involve the other.


"Life is a daring adventure or it is nothing"--Helen Keller
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23-09-2014, 09:36 AM
RE: Dating a Theist
She seems really tolerant to me. You gotta keep her around, man. But never ever be a theist for her.
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23-09-2014, 10:19 AM
RE: Dating a Theist
I'd say just have the conversation and just straight up ask if it is an issue and if so why. If she has things to say on the topic then listen to her concerns and respond. Then talk about your perspective and your concerns.

Open communication.

One good conversation over the topic can clear up a lot of stuff.

I prefer fantasy, but I have to live in reality.
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23-09-2014, 07:32 PM
RE: Dating a Theist
Thanks guys and gals. I've assured her that while I will never be a believer I will also never detract from, mock or attack her faith. I'm quite interested in knowing more about it actually. I know little about Hinduism and I'm always curious to learn and I've expressed that to her. I think she was just a bit shocked at first and that shock has worn off. We've also discussed our common desire to not waste each other's time. We're both at an age and stage in our lives where we know what we want and aren't going to settle. That said, she still fits the bill for me and my atheism hasn't deterred her. I believe we have massive potential to build something amazing. We both want children and that would be huge opportunity for faith to rear it's head. If we were to make it to having a family, I know she'd want to expose our children to Hinduism and I would obviously want to oppose that. I think of my own childhood where my mother was religious and my father was not. I never liked church and became a critical thinker and atheist relatively young. I'm putting the cart before the horse, but I've always thought ahead. I'm sure tact and reason will go a long way. Any theist/atheist couples with children? I'd love to hear about that dynamic.
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