Healthy Life & Soul
12/4/15 at 08:37 PM 0 Comments

A Simple Guide to Dating Outside Your Faith

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When religion plays a significant part in your daily life, it may seem that your only option when it comes to dating is to choose someone who shares the same spiritual outlook. Sometimes, though, it can be difficult to find that special someone in your religious circle. If you meet someone from a different religion and find yourself interested in dating them, there are several simple steps you can take to bridge the differences between your faith and theirs and build a meaningful relationship that encompasses both of your religious points of view.

Avoid Assumptions

No matter what you've heard about the religion of the person you're dating, take time to seek out the truth. When it comes to religion, fallacies abound. You may have been misinformed about certain aspects of another religion and end up looking foolish when you reveal those wrong perceptions. Pick up a book that covers the basics of the religion, visit the official website of the organization and study its tenets or make an appointment with a religious leader from that faith so you can clarify your understanding of it. Gather facts, not fiction, when you learn about the faith and avoid accepting stereotypes that may or may not be true.

Attend Services

If the person you're dating asks you to attend a religious service with them, accept the invitation. Ask him or her to what extent you should participate during the service since you're not a member of the religion. For example, when you attend a Catholic Mass, you can participate in every part of the service except the Eucharist. Feel free to sit, stand, pray and sing along with the rest of the congregation. When it's time for Communion, simply remain in your seat. Communion in the Catholic Church is open only to Catholics who are free from mortal sin. Feel free to reciprocate by asking your significant other to attend services with you as well.

Enjoy Celebrations

Part of the fun of an interfaith relationship is that it gives you the chance to experience religious celebrations you'd not otherwise get a chance to enjoy. If you're a Christian, it's unlikely that you've ever celebrated Jewish holidays such as Passover, Purim, Chanukah or Sukkot. If you're Hindu, invite your Muslim date to attend a festival of Diwali, Pongal or Ugadi. Explain what makes the day special and educate your date on the basics of the occasion.

Contemplate Conversion

When things become serious between you and your partner, one of you may want to consider converting to the religion of the other. This is a serious contemplation to be undertaken only when one of you truly feels that you deeply want to be a member of the other faith. When that happens, make an appointment to discuss the decision with a member of the clergy where you attend services. That way you can find out what's involved in conversion and learn whether or not its the right decision for you.

While dating a member of a religion that's different from your own can be challenging, it can also be an enriching and rewarding experience that broadens your horizons and opens you to new adventures. Whether you choose to simply share your faith with one another or convert to embrace a new religion, you can date outside your faith successfully.

CP Blogs do not necessarily reflect the views of The Christian Post. Opinions expressed are solely those of the author(s).