My God or Yours?

Wait a minute … isn’t it the SAME God?  Yes, I will be delving into the taboo topic of religion.  Inter-faith relationships to be exact.  They are becoming more and more common and a part of every day reality everywhere around the world.  There are so many different faiths (or non faiths) in the world right now that it is inevitable that you encounter and even date someone from an entirely different belief system.  So what important considerations do you have to make?  I would argue that it is something not to be taken lightly.  Let me explain.  Our belief system makes us who we are.  Regardless of what you believe in.  Even atheists have a belief system.  We are all raised with some sort of belief system.  Sometimes over time it gets stronger, sometimes it decreases, or even sometimes we find a different set of beliefs that work better for us.  It’s the core of who we are.

When we meet someone with the same core as us, things just flow naturally, you don’t think about it.  What happens when you meet someone with a totally different belief system or religion than you?  Well, it’s really not something you think about in the beginning is it.  You are busy getting to know the person for who they are, not what they are.  For some people, religion doesn’t really matter so it isn’t an issue, but for others, particularly from certain cultures, religion is everything.  Take me for example, I have mentioned before that I am from a Middle Eastern background.  I will bet most of you will immediately think I am from the Islamic faith.  However, I am Christian.  Most people around the world associate the Middle East with Islam which is far from the truth.  There are many faiths present in the Middle East.  Usually, when meeting someone I don’t really differentiate between Muslim and Christian.  To me it’s the person that counts.  But those who know me, know I am a true Christian at heart and by practice, I’m not fundamentalist by any stretch of the imagination, but I would never want to be anything other than what I am.  That being said, I am very well versed in all faiths and have even studied most faiths.  It’s just one of my interests.  I personally think all faiths say the same thing just in a different way and we all are headed in the same direction to the same God, just on a different path.  So would I date, or even get into a relationship with someone of another faith? Well, yes and no.

To me, it is always preferable to be with someone of the same faith, it’s generally easier.  However, being with someone of another faith is not necessarily a ticket to heartache, conflict and divorce.  I just feel you need to be in a neutral place spiritually with the other person.  For example a fundamentalist Christian and a fundamentalist Muslim will never be able to be together peacefully.  Each one believes their faith is the better one and want to practice it fully.  There will be conflict.  Two people, on the other hand, who are not that attached to their faith would certainly get along because they can co-exist naturally and function within each other’s faith.  It can work.  I personally, would consider being with someone of another faith if they were neutral and do not practice it to its full extent and they are comfortable with me practicing my faith.  I feel I am well versed in other faiths enough to be able to function in them as needed, but I would never convert.  I have several relatives and friends who are married to people of other faiths and they make it work.  It works primarily, I think, because none of them are particularly religious or practicing.  Actually, many of them have stronger marriages than people of same faiths, perhaps because they don’t take it for granted.

I have met and dated men from other faiths, primarily Muslim, some very religious and some not at all.  I was very aware of some of the problems that would arise should the relationship become serious, however, being of the same Middle Eastern background made things easier.  One thing that you have to be aware of is how they treat women, and how, in turn they treat you.  You need to be careful, the romantic attentive gentleman might not remain that way after you are serious together – this is true for ANY religion.  Some of these relationships I had were quite successful and would have led to something more, but the taboo of marrying outside your religion held us back.  My ex husband was Christian and it didn’t work out, so you never really know … religion shouldn’t be the deciding factor.  Now, divorced, I am looking for my ideal mate, whatever his faith is.  Hopefully he’s out there somewhere …

Your Sister in Dating Bliss,

Single Dating Diva

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