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  • Writer's pictureCourtney Heard

7 Things To Remember When Dating A Theist

I’ve dated theists before and I can tell you right now, they can be wonderful, loving and adventurous people and it’s just as easy to fall in love with a believer as it is an atheist. The problem though, is that when you fall in love, you tend to turn into an idiot and overlook things that could potentially become serious problems.

In this day and age, most marriages will end in divorce, let’s face it. People will use any excuse to end a relationship. My favourite example of this is the episode of Seinfeld when he breaks up with a girl because she eats her peas one by one. The thing that concerns me about dating between an atheist and a theist, is that this difference gives you a perfect out, should you ever be feeling anything less than slap happy in love.

Love is work. Love is compromise. Love is patience. A truly fucking great relationship is with someone whose annoying habits and perceived flaws are things you can deal with, because literally every last meat sack on the planet will have one or two.

When you’re with a theist, you just have to ask yourself, is this difference between us something I will still be able to deal with when the euphoria wears off? Here are 7 things to remember, before you make that call:

1. 9 times out of 10, people don’t change. No matter how clever you think you are or how great the arguments you plan to present may seem, your significant other will likely remain a theist until the day he or she dies. You may think, no my man is different! That’s just the love chemicals talking. The chances of you deconverting him or her is next to nil and that is the only rational and logical position to take on this. If you marry a theist, you’re likely to be with a theist until you die. You shouldn’t go into it wanting them to change either. That’s not a good start to a relationship.

2. It’s hard not to be at least a little bit annoyed at some point, by your significant other’s refusal to see logic and reality. If you’re not very good at shaking such annoyances off, as is the case with me, this can really cause a wedge to form between you two.

3. Some religious people start to take their religion a lot more seriously the older they get. Getting married and having a child can stir up strong nostalgic feelings in people that make them want to follow their family’s traditions. No matter how little your SO pays attention to his or her religion now, it may not always be that way. Expect arguments to occur over church weddings and baptisms and circumcision.

4. Children change everything. I was once a stubborn, strong-willed 20-something who was sure she understood how profound and life-altering it was to have a child. And then I actually had one and it turns out, I had no idea. Becoming a new parent makes everything multiplied. The good things and the bad things. You will experience exhaustion and moodiness you never thought possible. Suddenly, you’re not just dealing with the things about your SO that bother you and trying to not let them get to you. Now, you’re dealing with all of that, while being shit on, pissed on, not getting any sleep, and coming to the realization that a clean home is a luxury only for the childless. Whatever little things between you and your theist SO that had been successfully suppressed before, could become a war zone under that sort of stress.

5. If your partner comes from a very religious family, your relationship with them could cost them a lot. There are many different religions out there that will shun a person, or even try to kill a person for being with someone of a different faith or no faith at all.

6. If you have children with a theist, you can bet that there will be family members who will make raising a critical thinker difficult. Grandparents can have quite an affect on the way a new parent thinks and you might find yourself alone up against 3 people pushing for Catholic school or baptism.

7. There will and should be a lifetime of attending religious events. You can’t be with a theist and not support him or her at family functions. Godless Dad, in fact, had a relationship where he had to spend every Christmas Eve at midnight mass. I dunno about you, but Christmas Eve for me is about the four stages of Christmas cheer: 1. Crack open the beers and spirits 2. Someone is loose enough to do an impression of Elvis singing Blue Christmas 3. The “I love you guys!” hugging and crying stage and finally 4. the drunken stocking stuffing attempt which inevitably ends up in someone breaking something. Ain’t nobody got time for mass.

If you can truly look at these things rationally and say, “I can deal with this for the rest of my life for him or her” then you really need to stick to that. You need to accept them as they are the moment you meet them and expect to support them in their religious endeavours. If you’ve found someone who is every bit worth committing to all of that, then you’re one lucky fucker.

Realistically speaking though, the odds are stacked against you. If eating peas one at a time can drive a wedge between two people, arguing over whether or not to slice your son’s penis certainly will as well.

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