May 23, 2013 at 11:01 am #36038AshleyParticipant
I am in a new relationship with a great and wonderful person. We both feel we are soul mates and have discussed our feelings openly. There is one thing that I worry about..
We have different religion views. He grew up (still practicing) Baptist Christian. I, on the other hand, grew up with no religious affiliation but I have always considered myself part Agnostic/Buddhist. We have had a brief chat about my views and he claims it doesn’t bother him. However, I am so nervous to meet his family because of what they might think of me, or worse the potential aspect of being judged for not believing in a Christian God. I am a person with better morals than most Christians. I am very kind, giving to others, loving, non-judgmental, I always do the right thing, etc.
When would be the best time to tell his family I am not a Christian? How do I tell them so it will not offend them?
Lastly, can a relationship work when two people have completely different religious views?May 26, 2013 at 3:45 pm #36136Alexey SunlyParticipant
I am sorry, Ashley, but it sounds like you are very much judgmental. That’s why you are having such hard time with this. Religion alone does not make relationships happen, people do. Forget about religion and focus on relationships with people instead. Yes, of course, some people find connection through religion but the rest do so through many other things that matter to them. In your case, you and your boyfriend’s parents already share something in common, your boyfriend. So, you could share with them your stories about him and ask them to share theirs. Better yet, you could ask your boyfriend about his parents and their interests outside of religion. So, if his mother, for example, likes to garden and grow certain flowers you could look into that topic and buy her a gift of flower seeds. I am sure you get the idea. People are not just their religion, the car they drive or the clothes they wear. People are multidimensional beings with many interests, fears, desires. The only way to connect with them is to let go of your prejudice, keep an open mind and show a sincere interest in things and people they care about. And if they do not seem to like you, it’s not a big deal. The most important thing is that you like yourself and the person you are striving to be.June 2, 2013 at 3:34 pm #36378MarkParticipant
Hi Ashley. I agree with Ashley; and a couple of things come to my mind about your situation. First, it isn’t really that helpful to compare ourselves with other people and try to decide who’s ‘better’ than who. That just turns the relationship into a competition, which it shouldn’t and needn’t be. Second, we can’t do anything about other people’s manners. We hope they will treat us with acceptance and respect, but if they don’t, we can’t make them. However, we are responsible for our own behaviour and if we think it’s right to treat people courteously then we should make an effort to do that – not only if they behave well to us, and certainly not to prove that we’re ‘better’, but just because we believe it’s right to do that.
I hope your partner’s family will respect you as his partner and will treat you well; but in any case, if you behave towards them with respect and courtesy, you will be doing good in the world and acting with compassion.
Good luck!June 2, 2013 at 3:35 pm #36379MarkParticipant
Sorry – that should have read ‘I agree with ALEXEY!!!