I wrote about sex last week and it (unsurprisingly) was a hot topic. Suprising, though, was the fact that everyone seemed to react, well, well -- which was great, because to be honest, I never have a clue to which way the comments are going to blow.
But back to the sex. (The sex! I sound like my mom. "Are you having the sex?") Sex made me think about relationships, and then I realized how very complicated relationships can get when you throw religion into the mix. Some might call it a deal breaker. But, I guess the more important question is, would I?
The answer? I'm not sure. I'd happily date inter-religiously provided we had a similar belief system (do unto others, etc) and provided I didn't object vehemently to any of it's basic tenets (FLDS, polygamy, you get the picture).
But, as a Christian, I think the biggest question is: Would I give up Christmas?
And the answer is that no, no I wouldn't. For me, Christmas is less about religion (although, in my family, it most certainly was all about religion) and more about tradition. I want my kids to have the same -- alright, similar -- memories. A rosy, warm living room, my mother's silly rules (only white christmas lights, colored ones were tacky), and waiting until after dinner to open the presents. Yes, after dinner -- and this is my point. Celebrating a holiday like Christmas is all about tradition -- and the traditions are specific to each family. We celebrated Christmas Eve (I think it's a European thing), and opened our presents after dinner. We dressed up formally, didn't have stockings, and had a wonderful Christmas brunch the next day. It was these quirks that made Christmas special to me.
So, no, I wouldn't give up Christmas, but I would happily celebrate any other religious holiday that my significant other wanted to observe. The more the merrier! What fun for a child to be able to draw from two traditions -- double the (hopefully) happy memories.
But in thinking about all of this, I have to be fair: I'm barely religious. So to say that I'm oh-so-open-minded is a little misguided. Because I don't have my mind on one thing to begin with. It would be, understandably so, a much harder decision for someone strong in their beliefs to therefore compromise on them. And to that point, as someone who doesn't really believe in strong beliefs, I'd probably have some serious difficulty "compromising" on a situation where a strict adherence to organized religious beliefs / rules / tenets was mandatory.
And parents are another undeniable factor. My mother would care, I think, but not in an "all or nothing" sort of way. My father, on the other hand, would care much, much more. And that is a tough place to be, because while you can mock the idea of honoring the traditions of one's parents for the sake of one's parents, family is, will, and always should be an important role in these sorts of life decisions.
So, the point is that I don't really have one. At least not in this post. But I do think that this is an interesting enough topic to warrant a few more posts (or at least one with a cogent point). So be prepared for a more in-depth foray into the deep, dark world of spirituality and dating. Because I really am curious, and trust me, I'll be going to great lengths to get my answer.
In the meantime, what are your thoughts? Is religion a dealbreaker? What about spirituality? How far on the spectrum would you be willing to move? Ever dated outside your religion? Tell us your thoughts below.