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Dating a religious man?


milly007

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I just recently met a guy online. He's catholic. We're in the very early stages of getting to know each other.

 

I went to a catholic elementary school and catholic high school for two years (which was a fair amount of years ago).

 

I'm indifferent when it comes to religion and to be honest, although I went to catholic schools when I was younger and my family went to church every Saturday night, my family didn't really push Catholicism on me like some families do.

 

As for the guy that I'm referring to, he messaged me online and when I looked at his profile, I really enjoyed reading about him. However, towards the end of his profile, he mentioned that he believes in God, and that he's a true believer in the Catholic religion. He also went on to say that meeting someone who was also Catholic was not a requirement.

 

I'll admit that I was a bit let down when I read this. I don't know why I felt this way exactly, but I know it may have something to do with my experience when I was younger and the unusual stories, etc. that I was exposed to at my school and church. Even my parents were upset over some of the stores we were told (because we were young and easily influenced, and these stories seemed to be very far-fetched and embellished). I guess I would leave school/church sometimes feeling uneasy and uncomfortable.

 

This guy seems to be very into his religion. He's very nice, cute, sweet, and respectful, and we're the same age. We seem to have a fair amount in common, too. But for some reason, there's this voice in the back of head that keeps reminding me of his religious background and beliefs.

 

I can't quite put my finger on why it makes me so uncomfortable, but it does. I'm hoping this is a feeling that I'll be able to shake as I get to know him.

 

I guess I'm posting here to see what other people's experiences have been like dating someone who is religious?

 

I'm curious to hear from any of you, especially if you've experienced the same feeling before.

 

Thanks!

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Being non-religious I would feel the same way. I'm not against someone religious but would ponder what the future would be like and how it would affect the dynamics of the relationship so it's totally normal. Could be activities, hobbies, marriage and even children. Things would be different looking at it from both sides if two people have completely different expectations in what they believe (or don't).

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I think you might be worrying about this too much for the beginning stages of dating. Religious beliefs are as diverse as people. I'm a religious Christian and note that in my profile but I've had amazing relationships with atheists and agnostics. Actually the only religious Christian I dated ended up physically abusing and cheating on me haha. All I'm saying is I have it on my profile mainly so the other person is aware, not because I'm weeding out people who have the same religious values as me.

 

Really this just depends on the person. Just like anything, I think it's normal you are questioning the implications of his belief but try to not let that get in the way of dating and a possible relationship. You are getting to know him. The nitty gritty stuff will come later. From your initial impressions he may seem very religious, but upon getting to know him more you might see more similarities OR differences than you anticipated. Either way, try to not let previous experiences get in the way of giving him a chance. Also, maybe as you date more bring up religion and what he sees and wants from that, but maybe wait a bit more to have that conversation.

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I've def. had that feeling. And a lot of the men who seem to gain interest in me tend to be religious. Geez. But I'm at a point now where I know exactly what matters to me and not about it. I grew up Catholic too. But it was not something that I practiced as an adult, and my parents left it in my hands to decide. Neither were devout; but my father practiced and believed in it. And we were raised so that we could partake in that community and faith if we wanted later on fully.

 

My first serious bf was religious and raised in a private school that was all the way. I first came upon this problem when we were talking about marriage. Well, when we got engaged. We did not get married. What he wanted for our life together, our beliefs, it was part of it - breaking up - though not all of it.

 

I can tell you what makes me uncomfortable about a man who believes in it and it is part of his life. See, I never did believe. Not even as a kid. It never took root in me. It's as simple as I am not a religious person - some people are. I am not talking even about the specific beliefs. I am talking about something in certain people where religion (organized) appeals to them and satisfies them on a deeper level. There is something very different about the needs of those people and me. This is somewhat a bold statement, but it is far from being a judgment about them . More a recognition that there is a value placed on something there; that simply isn't important to me in that way. A difference.

 

Some people are fine with that difference, and couple up and are happy. It's totally possible. You just don't debate that aspect. You just respect that it's a part that you won't share together. Let it be and enjoy each other in all the other capacities that there are (and there are many).

 

But I really don't want that. You decide if you do or not. And that is because for me, I choose not to be part of the framework for someone else in that sense. I don't want to be seen through that lense; from my partner. I want a partner who sees the world at least somewhat similar to me; enough for us to share a vision. It makes me feel at odds in terms of visions of where we are going, what we are doing, the direction. Does this make sense?!

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He may not be as religious as you think he is, especially if dating a fellow Catholic isn't a necessity for him. I would give it more time before you make a decision on whether or not to continue seeing him.

 

My boyfriend is Catholic and on our first date he asked if I was Catholic. I was raised Catholic (went to Catholic elementary and high schools as well) but my family never actively practiced beyond going to church for Christmas, Easter, etc. It made me wary of dating him but I came to realize that he's just like any other guy in his early 20s except for the fact that he believes in God.

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Do you want children? If so, it probably won't work out with this man unless you like the idea of your kids having to go to church every Sunday and being brought up to believe in that stuff.

 

I prefer lapsed Catholics as they call them. Everyone I've had a LTR with was a lapsed Catholic. Being non religious yet raised to believe in God (Boy, that failed) I appreciate people who went to church but turned it away as I once did. I don't think I could ever date someone who was very religious. We clearly wouldn't see things in the same way.

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People can get along fine when someone is religious and the other is not. My father-in-law is not religious but my mother-in-law is a practicing Catholic. They have been married 55 years. They just agreed before they had children that their children would be raised practicing Catholics. They do not discuss matters of faith with each other or bother each other about it.

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I would meet him and find out exactly what he is like. You could have found a very upstanding and decent guy and you can find out first hand what. And just because you had a bad experience at school doesn't mean he did or all people that have faith are bad. Dating Is going out with a variety of people to learn about people and have some fun while you narrow it down and meet the right one. And right now, you are just looking at his profile and have not met him.

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This is the 'get to know you' stage, so get to know him.

 

Assuming you want children and a family in the future, there are some questions you would want to ask early on. Does he want kids? How would he want them raised in terms of religion? Would he want his family to go to church regularly? How does his religion influence his every day life?

 

As you get to know him, you can see if it makes you even more uncomfortable.

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Not everyone practises religion in the same way. Get to know the guy and his views on religion before you make a decision. Personally, I think that the fact that he doesn't list religion as a requirement for a partner, means that there won't be a problem.

 

I agree with the others who say she'd need to get to know him to find out. And I understand the uncomfortableness about it - going in.

 

Sometimes people, actually in my experience quite often, will not list religion as a requirement but if their faith runs quiet and deep; there may be things there that they do silently want in a partner but you need to really get close to them to find out.

 

That is my experience. Some of the most religious people I know aren't in your face about it. It's this quiet, deep faith and until you really know them - you will barely run into it.

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Thank you everyone for your posts. I will give him a shot and see where it goes. Who knows, if a relationship doesn't develop, maybe a friendship will. He seems like a nice guy, so I'm not willing to give-up on him just yet. Plus, for all I know, he may be questioning me and the fact that I'm not a devout Christian like he is.

 

I was looking at his profile again today (for the first time in about 1.5 weeks) just to refresh my memory and he's changed it. His write up is different, and he does have "Christian/Catholic" listed as what he's looking for in a companion. However, when he contacted me, I did not have "Christian/Catholic" listed in my profile.

 

I guess we're both taking a chance here. I figure it's worth a shot, and I'm curious to see what happens.

 

Thanks again, everyone.

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