Dating outside your religion
With the development of technologies and means of transport, which let us move around and communicate faster, people have discovered new opportunities to find their love partners. About twenty years ago people still used to find their beloved mostly in their surroundings, but now they can travel all around the world and meet their true love outside their country. Or they can fall in love with an immigrant who has come to seek for happiness to another place. This makes people dating someone not only with a different nationality but also different religion. Do they have a chance to establish long-term relationships, or are they bound to fail? It may seem very easy in romantic movies, which show that love has no boundaries and can conquer the world no matter what. But is it that easy to navigate discrepancies in real life?
Can two different religions date?
Let us try to look at the pros and cons of dating someone outside your religion.
If you and your girl manage to persuade both your and her parents that you two are made for each other, you will have to come over a problem. People of different religion will definitely have different traditions. How can you cope with that? As for me, there is nothing bad in your celebrating each other’s religious holidays. By the way, it is the same with any religious differences. If you have decided to be together, you must find a compromise and stick to your traditions.
Dating between different religions of the world can have advantages as well. First of all, you both will have no lack in discussions. You will always have something to talk about and compare. Share your traditions and try your partner’s ones.
Secondly, by dating with a man or woman of different religion, her friends and people surrounding her, you will surely widen your world outlook. You can even want to learn more and travel to each other’s holy places and learn the history of each other’s religion.
The last, but not the least important point I will mention is that you will undoubtedly breed tolerance in yourself. Nowadays, people are becoming less tolerant even to their relatives and friends, not speaking of people from other countries. But if you are lucky to find your love, who is from a different country, you will surely learn to understand people around you better.
To make the picture clear of interfaith relationship, I interviewed several couples and ask them to share their experience.
Sudhir and Elena. He is from India and is a Hindu and Elena is from Belarus and she is Christian. “When I saw Elena, I realized that she is a girl of my dreams. We were working on the ship together, she was working at the guest services desk and I was in the shop department. We built a strong connection and emotional intimacy. We understand each other so well and have a great compatibility. I was thinking it is going to be a summer romance, but we got very serious about each other. I knew from the beginning that my parents would not accept my girlfriend because of religion. They are very old-fashioned and follow traditions.
But I couldn`t imagine my life without her, I wanted to get married with her. We both knew it would be difficult for our families to accept this fact, but we believed in true love. We have a huge respect to each other`s spiritual beliefs. In India old generation rarely accepts such marriages, but we made them change their opinion by giving an example of a happy union. My grandparents still hope I am going to change my mind and marry an Indian girl. We decided to organize two weddings, one is in India with all the traditions and one is in my fiancée`s country. Elena loves sari and she looks gorgeous in it. She treats my culture with respect and I love that. We have never tried to change each other`s identity and we tolerate cultural differences. That`s why we are happy together!”
- Kate and Ihor. Kate is Christian and Ihor is an atheist. “It has been quite a challenge for us at the beginning. He feels uncomfortable in religious settings, but he doesn’t let himself saying any bad things about spirituality. Sometimes it puts us at odds and we really have to work hard to find a compromise, but we do our best.”
- Bob and Stacey. Bob is from Haiti and Stacey is from Israel. “Our parents were not keen on our relationships, because of the fact of raising our kids in the future, coming from two completely different religion and traditions. You won`t believe we are raising four amazing kids, we embraced the best parts of our cultures and teach them. Our cultures share resilience, ability to overcome difficulties and perseverance. Communication is the key to make it work. And this is what we do every single day, we discuss all the things together. We have been together for 17 years, so I think we have been doing something right.”
Mohammed and Ella. He is a Muslim and she is Christian. “We met in Dubai, I came from Moldova for a work project. I work in the event marriage agency and I travel all around the world to gain international experience. I have always been fond of international weddings in terms of traditions. I have been to India, Bali, Thailand, Philippines and Malaysia. I have never had experience in the Eastern world. But I was always fascinated by their culture. I have watched many films and one day I decided to get a job in one of such countries. I had had experience in events for 10 years in Moldova but it was not that easy to apply for the position in events without having international experience in Dubai. So I addressed the agency and got a position of a receptionist in one of the hotels. I signed the contract and moved to Dubai.
My dreams was to visit at least one of the weddings or big events. As I was working in a big hotel, I have met many guests. As I am a very communicative lady, I always had a chance to chat with people. Once a very charming gentleman came to our hotel, his name was Mohammed. It was late in the evening, I was finishing my shift and as there were no guests to help I was chatting with Mohammed. He was very friendly and had a good sense of humour. He stayed in our hotel for a week on business and we became really good friends. He asked my phone number and we went out for a walk in my free time. We are real soulmates. We have so much in common. He was telling me that his cousin sister was getting married soon and as he knew that it was my dream to visit one of such events he invited me. It was very surprising for me and I accepted his offer. I helped them with some organizational parts and learnt a lot about their culture.
As it was a big wedding, I met so many people of different nationalities and occupations. You won`t believe, I received an offer at the event agency a short time after. We kept in touch with Mohammed, I have a great respect to him and his religion as he does as well. We developed such a great attachment and I already couldn`t imagine my morning without his lovely message: ”Good morning gorgeous, I hope your day is full of sunshine”. We had been communicating for almost 3 months and I started to fall in love with him. But I knew he has a very strict family, they wouldn`t allow him to marry not a Muslim girl. And my family would never approve a Muslim guy. When my mom found out that I was even seeing a guy, she was furious. Because she read lots of bad stories and was afraid. She told me immediately to come back to Moldova and not even think about getting serious with him.
Once he invited me to a family party. It was an honour to attend such a great event. Before going I prepared myself. As I respected his religion, I bought a very conservative long dress that covered visible parts of my body. But it was very elegant though and I liked it very much. He appreciated the fact that I approached it in such a way. After visiting his family, they started to ask him if I was his girlfriend or fiancée. And after that evening he proposed to me. I was so happy and at the same time stressed, I was afraid what would my mum think about it? His parents despite the religious differences accepted me, because they saw how happy we are. My mum is still skeptical about our union, but I think in time she is going to accept it too. “
Of course, dating people of different religion can bring about some problems. That is why, before starting a relationship with a person of different religion think over all the pros and cons and decide if you are ready to accept your partner’s religion as well as share yours with her. I hope this article gave you an idea on how to date someone with a different religion.