I’m dating someone who is an atheist, I have strong religious beliefs and we’re getting serious. I’m torn, there’s no doubt that we love each other but I’m beginning to fear that our religious differences cannot be overcome. Is there anything that we can do to make this work?
Torn in Love, Eleele
Aloha Torn in Love,
You may disagree about faith, but, do you share common values, laughter and truly enjoy each others company?
Years ago, relationships that comprised of differing “faiths” often struggled and the one with the stronger conviction usually set the tone (and direction) for the couple.
Today however, many people are looking at the “faith” issues differently. I’d suggest focusing more on your values: care, love, loyalty, tender affection for each other, while allowing each of you to express yourselves honestly.
What would your relationship look and feel like if you didn’t force each other into “your” beliefs? By keeping an open mind, heart, and listening to your true desire to understand each other, you’ll probably find that you share more in common that brings you closer.
As the relationship gets solidified (and if you consider marriage), it will be beneficial to discuss whether or not to have children and “how to” raise them where “faith” ultimately can be shared, creating a diverse and enriching family life! This can actually be more complicated to deal with than the “faith issue.” Faith is, after all, our individual right.
Seek out relationship coaching/counseling if issues start to create a rift in the relationship, but, give pause to each others individuality.
Do this sooner rather than later.
By keeping a humorous and light tone about yourselves, remaining transparent and being tolerant to differing views, a deepening intimacy will blossom emotionally (and physically) between you both.
Surprisingly, many couples who have differing views on faith have a strong bond due to their need to stay open and honest about their differences and live a long, happy life, which positively influences their family and community.
Warm Regards, Cary
Cary Valentine is a certified relationship coach, author and wedding officiant. His passion is to assist couples, singles and families to overcome daily challenges and create a juicy life. For more info call (808) 346-6652. He welcomes your questions at: Cary@InLoveForever.tv