Social Question

missjena's avatar

What do you do when you're in love with someone and they don't believe in God?

Asked by missjena (918points) June 30th, 2010 from iPhone

I understand everyone has their own beliefs. I believe in life after death and my boyfriend doesn’t believe in anything at all! Should this affect my relationship with him? I’m sick over this and disappointed. I can’t help how I feel.

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

31 Answers

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

I don’t believe in god, and my husband does. It has never affected our relationship. I think this is one of those questions that you are better off answering for yourself. It’s your heart that you have to listen to.. not anyone else. You most likely won’t change his mind, do you feel like that is something you can live with? It wouldn’t be fair to base your relationship on the assumption that he may someday share your faith. Not to say that it would never happen, of course it’s possible, but there is also a strong possibility that it will not be that way. You really have to ask yourself how that makes you feel. Good luck.

Your_Majesty's avatar

You must accept others the way they are,that is the way they will accept you the way you are. You’re being selfish with this decision and don’t you think he could also feel disappointed about your differences? No one can force others to believe in God if they don’t want to. There are many other more important factor about whether or not you both will get along in your relationship(personality,affection,behavior,etc).

YARNLADY's avatar

There are few relationships that can survive a difference in religious beliefs. Ask yourself if this is a deal breaker, and if yes, move on.

Vunessuh's avatar

The fact that your boyfriend’s lack of belief bothers you, is solely your problem and not his. To be blunt, you’ll either have to get over it and accept him for who he is, or move on and find someone else who shares your faith. If you say you’re in love with him, then I personally don’t see how you can allow a difference in religion to get in the way.
Good luck with whatever you decide to do.

Blackberry's avatar

You don’t love him, if it bothers you in the first place, you guys are done for.

Iclamae's avatar

What @YARNLADY said. Yes it is good policy to be religiously tolerant but not everyone is or is capable of it. When it comes down to these kind of fundamental beliefs, it’s not surprising. I would be like… me dating someone who didn’t believe in evolution. While I consider myself tolerant and respectful, I couldn’t date someone who didn’t believe in it.

If he respects your religious belief and accepts it, and you really do love him (not just dating him for a month love either), I would make an effort to accept his. But as @YARNLADY said, if you absolutely need your boyfriend to share your religious beliefs, then end it soon and don’t let it drag on. It will only hurt him.

But you have to come to terms with it or decide you can’t handle it. None of us can tell you which to pick, as faith is a personal thing. We can only suggest one thing or another.

I don’t consider science a religion but I know many consider it on the same level of belief, which is why I use it as an example here. It’s the only thing I can think of that would be an ideological deal breaker for me. I don’t personally care what religion my boyfriend is. But everyone’s different.

Response moderated (Personal Attack)
ETpro's avatar

I think this is one you have to answer for yourself. I am an agnostic who only believes in what I see concrete proof of. My wife is a Buddhist who believes in ghosts, extraterrestrials, the Pyramids being built by space visitors, just about any wild theory they put on TV. It’s OK with me if she believes that. But it’s obviously not OK with you that your boyfriend doesn’t share your particular faith. Unless you can reconcile in your own mind why you need him to walk in lockstep with you in your faith, then it’s probably reason to end the relationship.

DominicX's avatar

Religion isn’t just like a yogurt flavor preference. It’s a whole way of life. I can understand how a relationship might not work if two people have opposing religious views. As others have said, you just have to figure out just how important it is to you. It’s unlikely that you’ll be able to “convert” him or anything like that.

lillycoyote's avatar

I don’t know. My father was an agnostic and my mother was a Lutheran who’s faith was important to her. My father deferred to her in terms of how we would be raised, in terms religious instruction (I kind of wish he hadn’t been so supportive; I had better things to do than go to church and confirmation class, but that’s the way things rolled in my house growing up), he supported her and she accepted that he would not be going to to church with us except Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter; that was just to show support and that he would never be a believer. They managed; they worked it out, at least for 47 years, until my mom died. I think it really depends on the couple, whether the relationship can accomodate such a difference in beliefs.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

The deal breaker will be when you try to convert him.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

He may well be asking the same question. What makes you think he is the one that needs to change, and it is not you who is wrong? Ultimately religion should have no bearing on a relationship, since your beliefs shape who you are, and you might not like him if his beliefs changed. Don’t try to change him, just don’t make religion an issue in your relationship.

partyparty's avatar

If you love someone enough, then in my opinion, religion shouldn’t alter that feeling you have for him.
If your religion is more important than he is, then you need to move on. Only you can decide.

Cruiser's avatar

As long as you believe in each other, the rest is window dressing.

stardust's avatar

I think you need to look inside yourself for the answer to this one. It is of course possible to have a rich, loving relationship, despite the differing religious beliefs, or non-beliefs. However, if it truly bothers you and makes you unhappy, then the chances are that you want to be with someone who you can share your faith with.

partyparty's avatar

@Cruiser So very true :-)

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

If I love someone,it wouldn’t matter.
If it bugs you,then I would move on.

Qingu's avatar

I don’t think such a fundamental difference bodes well for the future of a relationship. Why don’t you talk to him about it? And keep an open mind? Perhaps you’ll end up seeing eye-to-eye.

mattbrowne's avatar

Appreciate diversity. Appreciate freedom of thought. And yes, keep an open mind.

Aster's avatar

Tough question. I think how crucial this problem is would depend upon how INVOLVED you want to be with your beliefs. That is , if you want to go to church regularly and participate in their activities and pray before meals, etc. If This is what you must have and you can envision debating on it then I’d move on. But if it’s merely a belief you have and he doesn’t you can always hope he’ll change in time.
@ETpro Your wife sounds just like me!!

CMaz's avatar

Corinthians 6:14:
“Do not be unevenly yoked with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and lawlessness have in common? What fellowship has light with darkness?”

SuperMouse's avatar

I had a dear friend who was a very devout Christian and walked the walk in addition to talking the talk. Her husband of over 30 years was agnostic. Even without the benefit of a faith, he was a very kind and good man who held the a moral code very similar to his wife’s and they had a very strong, loving relationship. I think it takes a very understanding, loving, and dedicated couple to make it work, but I believe it can – I have seen it.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

beliefs change. yours and his. beliefs are unstable. the stability is in the journy. take the journy with or without anyone you please.

wundayatta's avatar

It depends on what you think the effect is on his character. If you think that without God, a person must be immoral, then break it off. If you think he can be a good person even with his beliefs, then you might keep going.

I don’t know if you are on marriage track, but if you are, then there should be a discussion about the kids and whether they will go to church or have a choice.

The thing that always kept me from having a relationship with people who believe in God is that I think they have a significant defect in their thinking. I.e., they had magical thinking and couldn’t see the world for what it is. I couldn’t be involved with someone like that, because I could never predict what they might do. I believed I would have a dreadful time associating with religious people, too.

If you think one has to be crazy to be an atheist (or whatever), then perhaps you shouldn’t be involved with him.

But I have discovered that religious people don’t necessarily behave as their religious texts suggest they should. The often lead quite sensible lives, belying their stated beliefs, and not even seeing the contradiction. They can be interesting and sensible when not discussing religion. Perhaps, from your point of view, atheists could be the same?

Trillian's avatar

Never mind…

OpryLeigh's avatar

I believe in God and my boyfriend doesn’t, he’s an atheist. We have the odd discussion about why we believe what we do and we respect each others feelings on the subject. The discussions never get heated and neither of us wants to change the other. It’s really never an issue for us.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I marry them! No, seriously though…him not believing in god does NOT mean he ‘doesn’t believe in anything’ – that is quite the misconception and I implore you to show him more respect.

shf84's avatar

You should be glad your boy friend can think clearly enough to discern myth from reality.

tb1570's avatar

What would I do? I would thank god, because I don’t believe in her/him either!

CMaz's avatar

“I would thank god”

Your welcome. :-)

Answer this question




to answer.
Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther