Agnostic.com

45 5

Impossible relationship

Is it possible for an Agonist/Atheist/Free thinker/Humanist to be in a serious, romantic relationship with a Christian?
Every time I asked this question, the answer is "no." But that answer is ALWAYS given by the Christian side of the argument.
I am respectful of anyone's beliefs, so why can't two individuals of different beliefs have a long term relationship?

Ana305 4 Aug 1

Post a comment Reply Add Photo

Enjoy being online again!

Welcome to the community of good people who base their values on evidence and appreciate civil discourse - the social network you will enjoy.

Create your free account

45 comments

Feel free to reply to any comment by clicking the "Reply" button.

1

The problem I see is not only do you have to overcome the differences between the two of you, but also deal with a religious family dynamic. First, the believer probably has to be a fairly liberated believer. If they are weekly attenders of church, bible studies and other church functions and you choose not to go at all, it could be an issue. As a non believer, are you OK with your children being baptized? Will you attend the service? Will you go to holiday services with their family; church weddings and funerals? Is your partner going to be all right with going to all these events on their own if you are not willing to spend time in that environment? My first and second wife were not Atheists, but neither were they really church going people, mainly holidays and events. I was willing to go for certain activities to keep family harmony. Besides, the more times I have been in church, the more it reinforces how silly the whole thing is, so I had no fear of being converted! ?

7

The belief is only part of the problem for me — or, rather, points to a bigger difficulty: values. If I were interested in a devout Christian, we might overlook that for a time. Love conquers all, right? Until we get beyond our infatuation and all that. Then we have to deal with life, and I'm afraid there's a lot of friction in such different world views. It might work out with a really liberal Christian who doesn't take her faith too literally or very seriously, but beyond that I think I'd just be begging for conflict.

6

There are at least two people here who are reportedly in happy relationships with theists/christian i think. Most of the rest of us will tell you: very bad idea. It’s a combination of the fact that we don't like to be subconsciously looked down on or pitied, and we can’t be with someone we don’t intellectually respect. Not that being religious makes those conditions an impossibility to avoid, but it’s severely unlikely that neither of them compound and become a major disturbing factor at some point. if youre considering having kids it’s an especially bad idea. unless one of you is such a terrible parent/uncertain about their stance that youre super passive about what the kid is taught, that will be an endless source of distrust.

From the christian side of things they say it’s not good to be “unequally yoked to an unbeliever” as if we’re a pair of oxen mismatched in size/power and our useless bovine asses keep dragging them into a ditch. But thats one thing we can mostly agree on. We are unequal if they see us as such; weve got a group of rational people vs a bunch of gullible assholes. Keep your finances separate for sure if youre gonna fuck with em. Im personally not super intent on having kids, so if the christian in this equation is the most beautiful, liberal, understanding in existence and has an insanely open mind/filthy enough sense of humor to fall in love with me and find my constant blasphemy endearing somehow, it could work. Im pretty sure that combo doesnt come in christian flavor, But if my dream woman arrived and was somehow perfect in all those ways except for being christian, I will wear a paper pirate hat to church with her, and eat it before they get to the altar call. Ill also be a bobtailed raccoon.

6

Everything about their religion tells them that they are better than you are !
In fact , the difference is so extreme that when you die you are gonna be punished for being so rotten by an eternal torture in hellfire .
They, on the other hand , cuz they are so much better than you , are going to heaven , forever , to recieve their reward for not being rotten like you are .
The subconscious ramifications of this are extraordinary !

6

I'm an atheist. I still vote "no".
Unless of course, you're okay with compromising your principles.
I suppose if the sex is really good...

6

It's possible. I think many "Christians" per say are usually peripheral believers and not very religious. I've dated many men who were believers but not beyond having a simple and shallow "belief". My atheism while a bit interesting to most of the men Ive dated in the past, has never been an issue. Nor has their usually apathetic belief in god/jesus. We never talked about the matter of god. Not once.

5

I think most people call themselves Christians without really being invested into it in any meaningful way. For these people, your belief/lack of isn't going to be a priority. That's important.

At the end of the day, every relationship is going to have philosophical differences. There's things you can live with, disagree on, whatever, and then there are things you can't. In my definitely unqualified opinion, a person is more than the sum of their beliefs. For a long-term relationship to succeed, both parties are going to have to care about each other more than their beliefs. How important is their belief? How important is your disbelief?

I guess the answer is: Yeah, no, maybe ... it depends on the people involved. Which sucks as an answer, sorry.

Many of those who call themselves Christian, but aren't, are "tribal Christians" and they're probably more likely to assert "religious freedom" and look at atheists as some kind of "other" group for them to look down on. These are the ones who tattoo Leviticus on themselves and laud trump as the second coming of christ, or the bringer of the apocalypse.

Best to stick with those who call themselves "not religious, but spiritual."

@GinaMaria What in the world is "spiritual?"

@NoMagicCookie Hell if I know.

5

I made a post about this a while ago but it can totally work with the right compromises. A healthy relationship encourages integration but also respects separate identities. So if the values align without too much friction (views on morality, etiquette, customs, etc.) there’s no reason why it shouldn’t work. Especially if the two in question...you know...love each other. That helps somewhat ?.

Just make sure any future children aren’t bullied, guilted or bribed into a belief system.

4

I believe it is possible, but is dependent upon some things.

@Ana305 One thing would be the life stages of the people involved. If older and kids are not a factor, it would be easier. But if you plan to raise children together, it would be a dealbreaker for me. It would also depend on the mindset of the potential couple. Maybe you could just agree to disagree, and maybe you couldn't.

3

I had recently met a very nice woman who was interested in going out with me, we began to talk to each other on the phone and the subject of denomination and religion came up, I told her I hadn't practice religion in years because I became a agnostic, she told me we wouldn't be a good match because I didn't go to church or believed in God. I was very surprised at first, but considering her indoctrination I realized I probably need to find someone secular.

3

I think if the relationship starts with the understanding of your principals and they are comfortable with your principals and not secretly thinking about converting you, and if there's value in investing the time on what will always be an upstream battle of communication, why not. I don't see the harm in trying. But I honestly wouldn't make that effort again.

3

It is entirely possible... Such relationships do have a tendency for a high rate of defects, but entirely possible.

3

Personally, my world-view is grounded in facts, evidence, and critical thinking. I couldn’t be with someone who didn’t share that with me. I also think it’s different for agnostics, who don’t feel committed one way or the other, than it is atheists, who believe actively that there is not a god, to be compatible with a religious person.

3

In my experience, no. Sure, we can both accept and respect each other's beliefs, but when it came to what the future children would follow the relationships became hostile.

3

Yes it is possible and I have done it. It requires tolerance and respect on both sides.

3

I had been involved in one level or another with a Christian Scientist for 16 years, we had done everything but get Married or become Enemies. We no longer sleep together and we had grown older during the time period but when we are in the same place you may think we are a couple. We each wishes the other find a mate for life. Once again we are 1000's of miles apart but we are each other best friend and do not allow a xtian or an atheist keeping you from finding your happiness... is not about faith or religion... or lack of it... happiness is about Love but you already know that.

3

I think it depends on how tolerable people are of their partner’s beliefs and values. I had a relationship like you described and the religious difference was dismissed by both of us. The things we had in common was what mattered.

Marz Level 7 Aug 1, 2018
3

How are you going to raise the children, celebrate holidays, spend your Sundays?

@Ana305 depends on the parties involved. There could be, or it could be deal breakers.

2

I think it’s not really feasible honestly. I dated a deeply religious woman once. Her family and friends started reminding her that she was living in sin and that kinda crap. Ultimately her religion won out over love and man did I suffer for it.

PaulD Level 5 Aug 2, 2018
2

Believers and nonbelievers have different modes of thinking that extend across everything. Awareness of these modes is usually not the case. I suppose you can respect another's belief, but not understand how the belief came to be or is sustained, probably not a great scenario for lasting intimate relationships.

2

Married for 38 years. I'm atheist, she's catholic. She does her thing, I do mine. We have a mutual respect for each other. Sure, we have our differences in that area but we have differences in other areas too. There are far more important things that keep us together.

2

Respect on every subject is the cornerstone of all good relationships.......so, yes!

Thus, if one or the other will not or cannot respect the other's belief or disbelief, then therein lies the problem.

2

I've never known it to work long-term, but that's anecdotal. It would depend very much upon how devoted the Christian was to their faith and how much the atheist was able to accommodate it.

2

If you just want sex, then it doesn't matter what the other person believes. But living together and communicating would be problematic unless the religious partner isn't allowed to pressure or bother the nonbeliever.

1

I think it can happen, but it's unlikely and takes a lot of work on both sides. Often times religious debate can become explosive so you have to treat it delicately and realize that it's someone you care about. Might even be best just to agree to disagree and not talk about it.

1

Depends on your standards.

I believe a positive relationship should be based on mutual respect and honesty. As an atheist, I can not respect a person who bases their belief system on the dishonest premise that faith (belief without evidence) is a methodology to determine (Truth) things that are testable and demonstrated to be correct with evidence.

However,

I am aware of an atheist that is married to a a theist. - - for many years.

Write Comment
You can include a link to this post in your posts and comments by including the text q:145681
Agnostic does not evaluate or guarantee the accuracy of any content. Read full disclaimer.