Religion has never played a large part in my life. I grew up celebrating "Christian" holidays like Easter and Christmas, but in America, these days are so mainstreamed and commercialized, they almost seem secular. I've never minded not having a religion, and I like the fact that because I'm a blank religious slate, I can approach new religions without prior assumption. I've learned Hindu traditions while in India, marveled at the Muslim mosques while in Indonesia, caroled in a Carmelite monastery, and recently visited a Zen Buddhist center for meditation. Having lived in the open-minded Bay Area for most of my life, this seems perfectly normal. Different religions are accepted and celebrated; it's not unusual to see signs reading, "Happy Hanukah, Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanza!" during December. But, it was here that I also realized that while all religions might be accepted, dating among them is another story.
For instance, some of my Jewish and Catholic friends expressed "relief" that the person they hit it off with was of the same faith. As someone who rarely, if ever, discusses faith with a new date, this was totally foreign. Finding a partner seemed difficult enough; finding common ground with God seemed like yet another obstacle.
But, like many bumps in a relationship, it's one that can be overcome. Below are some tips on dealing with interfaith relationships.