There are typically three topics which are considered taboo when discussing with people – sex, politics and religion, so as I’m smiling thinking about my great dates with TGW and our interactions in between, I have this icky feeling about something I’m going to bring up this evening when I talk to him.
I assure you, after a few heated kissing and peek-a-boo sessions in between, you can already figure which of the three I’ll have absolutely no problem with. Next is politics. Neither of us are too extreme in either direction and we both are smart enough and well read to be able to tolerate opinions about different things, so no issues there.
So that leaves religion.
I’d been meaning to chop this up a few days ago when I noticed during one of our late night phone conversations he said something similar to “I don’t worship anyone or anything, I don’t believe in that” and I THINK (emphasis on think) I heard him say “I don’t really believe in God”.
Damn. That was like a sucker punch to the gut hearing that, but again – late at night and whatever we were talking about transitioned into a joke because we started laughing soon after.
Before I go any further, let me explain by background so I don’t sound like a bible toting Jesus freak or anything, but I did have some pretty decent exposure to different types of religions and grew up in the church. My father grew up in the Baptist churches of Virginia (though I think they were probably closer to Pentecostal) and mother, the complete opposite – the calmer and (as she says) more refined Methodist. My grandmother was a devout Jehova’s Witness as were several of my aunts and the uncles? Well they could be classified as “other” or were just plain sinners. =)
As a child I was forced to go to church, and yes, I say forced because sleeping in and early morning cartoons was all a young girl wanted to do. Getting up early, dressing up in my “Sunday best” with some itchy tights and ugly, but durable shoes? Um, yeah. I was forced to go and participate in all of the activities until I became of age to make my own decisions to attend or not to attend.
Nevertheless, I’d long ago accepted Christ as my personal savior and although I’m a certified sinner because I swear a little too much, love my Moscatto wine and am the poster child for fornication, I still BELIEVE in a higher power. Once I became older and wiser, my sentiments about church and religion took on a different turn, and if you missed the details of my rant, check out my post titled “Never Date a…Hypocrite” (https://mydatinghangovers.com/?p=283).
Saying all of this, I should probably mention TGW’s background – his family roots are from another country and he is the first generation to have been born here in the states so he is likely only familiar with religious practices quite different than what I’m accustomed to. His parent’s native land practices Voodoo, something else called Voodou (a combination of voodoo with some elements “borrowed” from Christianity), a little bit of Catholicism and some have dabbled in Christianity to name a few.
I’m not judging anyone’s preference, but it does make a difference to me if I’m dating someone with consideration of something beyond just a casual acquaintance and he either worships animals or has no belief in anything other than man at all.
Earlier today, I’d shared my concerns with a friend of mine who told me to look at this from a different perspective. She said IF he happens to fall in the category of being a non-believer, perhaps my background could be purposeful and things may work out okay even if there are extreme differences.
We shall see what tonight’s conversation will reveal!
I do not think this is actually a big deal. No offence.
He may accept you and your beliefs, therefore, shouldn’t you be accepting of his, or non beliefs?
I think your g/f is correct. His background should play a roll.
For a lot of kids, going to church left a bitter unsavouring taste in our mouths, and although we may not go to church now, or even practice, many of us still believe in a higher power on some level.
Is it really a deal breaker?
I mean I have friends who are married and one part of the partnership doesnt believe or attend church, but supports the other spouse in their beliefs. And approves with their kids being raised to explore all religions.
Good luck with this talk. I have a feeling he’s going to surprise you.
Hmm, this interesting but good that you bring it up now. I agree Carmen, even if you arent a religious person, it helps to know. If this guy is just a cool person to hang with, I would leave it alone. But if youre thinking serious, it matters. Holidays, traditions etc… People try to make it seem like it isnt important and compromise can take care of it all, but that isnt necessarily the case.
I don’t know about that Just Saying, I think it’s important. If we were just going to proceed casually, then knowing for sure what he does/doesn’t believe in is enough.
IF things move in another direction, it’ll make a difference. Holidays, traditions, even down to things like medications and vaccinations you name it – people with different upbringings especially based on different faiths CAN be deal breakers.
I’m not talking the difference between a church that has music vs hymns, pastor vs bishops but the difference between possible idolization and worshipping of things I feel strongly against.
Thanks so much for your input because I understand where you’re coming from, that’s for sure. We shall see! =)
If it doesn’t really matter, I probably wouldn’t bring it up right now. Things seem to be going pretty well, so why make an issue of what his beliefs may be now?
If it is important to you, then bring it up. If it is stewing in the back of your mind, it is just going to cause resentments and problems. Better to bring it to light now, then after you fall hard and have to get out.
Tread lightly…as long as he can respect your beliefs I don’t see a problem!