As life becomes more global in scope and many people reject the traditional beliefs of pairing up with others of the same race or faith.
A Christian dating an Athiest, a Muslim dating a Christian or even a Witness dating a Catholic has so many differences and can cause problems in a ‘love between different religion’ relationships.
These differences — whether they’re between two people of different faiths or an atheist and a believer don’t need to be a relationship pitfall.
1. Discuss all of this ahead of time
All the tolerance and respect in the world won’t amount to much if you find that you’ve partnered with a person who has taken a hard-line against religion (or only for their own).
Religious incompatibility can be a deal breaker for a lot of people. It’s the kind of topic that needs to be discussed early on.
Try to see if you can make things work, but if you can’t, don’t force it. Recognize the incompatibility and consciously decide to stay in spite of it, or to move on because of it.
2. It starts with respect
The most important asset in an interfaith relationship is respect. You can agree to disagree — but you can’t disrespect and have things work.
Acknowledge your religious differences and have open conversations [about them] throughout your relationship, but always respect each others’ religions.”
The same goes if one member of the couple is religious and the other isn’t. If you can’t respect someone’s faith that will inevitably spell trouble for the relationship, especially since deeply spiritual people attach a part of their identity to their religion.
3. Participate in each other’s religions
To build a strong union, you need to actively participate in one another’s lives, especially when traditions are involved.
If you opt out of those fundamental practices, it won’t just alienate your partner — it could also create a divide between you and your children if they practice those same traditions.
4. Face the issues
Again, the biggest problem facing interfaith couples is denying that differences actually exist. Even if you’re not that religious, differences can creep up in the future.
Also, in avoiding the differences in dialogue, couples might make inaccurate assumptions about their partner’s religious preferences. Interestingly, people tend to become more religious with age.
5. Prioritize the things that are important to your partner
You may not necessarily look forward to Friday night dinner or Sunday morning mass, but opting out by hiding behind other obligations, like work or a social engagement, will only show your partner that you don’t care about their needs.
At the same time, however, you need to give your partner time to acclimatize to the religion and its requirements. Tolerance works both ways.
So couples must face their issues head-on.
6. Share your histories with each other
Instead of forcing a decision (e.g., “we’ll have this type of wedding” or “our son will be raised Atheist”), It’s important to discuss your religious and cultural experiences with each other.
Not only does this take the pressure off, but it gives couples the opportunity to get to know each other better.