Dating someone whose belief system is the opposite of yours seems like an obstacle hard to overcome. But is it really?
Dating a believer or an atheist can be quite the test for most of us. The more dominating person in the relationship will end up converting the other, which can be quite taxing not only on the person, but also on the relationship. But, how much is religion even discussed in a relationship? “My partners religious belief is hardly an issue so as long as my partner is understanding about it,” says Krishna Bharani, a agnostic Journalism graduate.
A believer, Bhavya Giri seconds Krishna and says, “Nothing in the extreme will do. As long as my partner doesn’t force his views on me, things can work out.”
However, some have very staunch views, “I would not date a believer. It defines and represents a basic contradiction between the rational and irrational parts of his personality,” says Adithya Srinivas, an atheist and a student of Arts.
Taking a more moderate stance, Prerna Vazir, a digital analyst says, “I wouldn’t mind dating someone with opposite beliefs. If he does not have issues with my faith being different from his then I’m okay with dating him. But, of course religious faith is important somewhere down the line.”
Bhavya, however wonders if such people can be found. “Whatever your partner’s beliefs are, they will try to influence and convince you. It’s human nature,” she muses.
So then, it’s up to us whether we choose to be influenced by the views of our partners. But, trying to bar something your better-half is trying to tell you can land you in a mess, sometimes even lead you to go your separate ways.
So is religion a match maker or breaker? Most people prefer not discussing matters of religion in a relationship unless they plan on getting married.
Ranvijay Singh, a freelance photographer says he wouldn’t mind dating an atheist so long as she doesn’t impose her ideals on him, he thinks it shouldn’t matter even if you want to take the relationship further, “As long as she lets me follow my beliefs, there will never be a problem.”
“Well, I think beliefs differ from person to person but that must not stop one from loving someone provided the other person too holds the same amount of respect for your beliefs,” says Ratna Bharti, a student of Mass Communication.
All of this brings us to an inevitable query, how much does faith even matter in a relationship?
“Faith is the least of the problems in a relationship. There are so many other things that you need to take into account,” says Suriki Sen, a BA student.
So, the solution that seems to be doing the rounds is ‘the principal of non-interference’. As long as the views of one partner are not forced onto another the relationship can survive and sustain rather effortlessly. After all, as the saying goes, ‘Love conquers all’. Here’s saying amen to that!
5 things that’ll help
Talking it out: It might sound like stating the obvious but we’ll say it anyway. Communicate, communicate, communicate. There’s no easier way to solve an issue than to have an open mind and talk it out. Establish ground rules that both of you are comfortable with. Stick to them
Mutual Respect: Irrespective of whether you share their belief system or not, remember that everyone is as entitled to their opinion as you are to yours. Faith is a deeply personal issue, so don’t hold it out against them.
Unconditionality: Differences of opinion are common in any relationship. And this should be no different. The important thing to remember is to accept a person as they come, with no conditions.
Prioritise: There are a million other things in a relationship that are more important. So if you can agree to disagree on this and give each other space, it will become a non-issue.
Compromise: Note that any source of conflict is really only as big as bad as you want it to be. Find a middle path and you will be just fine!