Culture Clash; navigating interfaith dating
In a world that is more connected than ever before, it is no surprise that the number of interracial and interfaith couples are on a steady rise. And while I think it’s a beautiful thing to mingle and learn a lot about each other, I do agree that it can get quite difficult navigating the twists and turns of interfaith dating. There are so many things you have to deal with when dating in general, but interfaith dating presents a whole new obstacle course to overcome. From disapproving religious parents, to having the “future” talk two months in, here’s a little roadmap to navigating the weird and wonderful world of interfaith dating...
When you’re starting an interfaith relationship, you have to accept the possibility that your families may not be open to your new partner at first. This is normal, especially amongst families who value their religion highly. Just be patient and let your family see how awesome your partner is! They’ll come around eventually.
R-E-S-P-E-C-T is all you need. Whether your religions compliment each other or have conflicting viewpoints, it is of the utmost importance to respect each other’s faiths. The best thing to do is to practice your respective religions however you wish to. Learn about and be open to each other’s ideologies, but make sure you don’t try to impose your religious views onto your partner.
Holidays and Cultural Events
It can get quite tricky when it comes to religious holidays, especially when said holidays involve congregating to houses of worship. The best way to go about these situations is to respect each other’s boundaries; if your partner is comfortable with going to your church/mosque/temple that’s great, if not so be it.
The Rest of The World
Anyone who’s ever been in an interracial or interfaith couple will tell you that people are always going to have opinions about your relationship. Some positive, some negative. You both have to grow a thick skin and learn to let the comments roll off your backs. Remember, the only opinions about your relationship that matter are yours and your partner’s.
When you’re in an interfaith relationship, you have to have the future talk pretty early on. This is to ensure that neither of you invests too much into a relationship that is doomed from the start. Make sure to be clear about what you want in life, particularly when it comes to possibly converting religions, your future children and how you’d like them to be raised. Discuss whether you’d be comfortable with your child and partner practicing a different religion than yours.
So there you have it, your very own roadmap to interfaith dating. Remember, we have just scratched the surface of interfaith dating. There’s so much more to learn. So be patient, be open and be kind.