Does Atheism Complicate Dating, Romance and Love?

I am looking to establish a dialog about people's thoughts on discrimination or complications that Atheism has caused in your love lives, or the love lives of people around you. I have heard many stories of people who have had trouble finding that special someone and even people who have had marriages fail over this issue. In my own life, since I have "come out" as an Atheist... I have experienced a lot of let downs in my love life because of people that cannot seem to accept my lack of belief.

One particular instance was the most frustrating because the woman I was dating was an Agnostic who didn't really have a solid stance one way or another on anything spiritual/religious... but she still just couldn't accept the fact that I didn't believe in some kind of higher power. She claimed that she couldn't trust anyone who relied so heavily on logic to guide their life. She somehow felt that I was cold, overly logical and rigid simply because of the fact that I didn't believe in a higher power. The weird part is that I was constantly making her laugh and that I am in fact a very silly person. When I told my friends all of this after she broke things off with me, they were all very confused as to how she could think of me this way. This lead me to believe that it was solely some kind of preconceived notion within her mind that anyone who doesn't "believe" is somehow a bad person.

That isn't the only problem that I've had in this capcity... I've had Christians who refused outright to get involved with me because of their faith... and we all know that the majority of people out there are Christians and Muslims, both of which have strict rules on faith in this regard. I've had Pagans (two, in fact) get into arguments with me that were started by them and that lead to a falling out. It just seems to me that finding love as a non-believer is much more difficult than for the broader spectrum of people out there. It was very disheartening to see that even an Agnostic, who openly admitted that they didn't know what was "out there" would abandon a relationship based solely on this aspect of someone else's life.

So I turn the idea over to you all... do you have any similar experiences? Do you think that it is reasonable for people to be so discriminatory in selecting their partner? I'd love to hear what everyone has to say on this subject, no matter if you agree or disagree with my stance on the issue. Is there some kind of solution to this problem? Do we just not discuss our lack of belief with anyone except for our own kind? Do we only try to date our own kind? Do we continue on as we always have and just hope that some day the barriers that separate us come tumbling down? It is a very tough issue to handle...

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You actually bring up a good point.

Religious differences are one very key issue that marriage counselors will discuss when talking about chances of success for a couple. Political differences also matter.

Also, if you take a gander at Christian divorce rates, things aren't all that peachy to begin with, even disregarding the difference.
Yeah, I agree with you that someone who is willing to break up with someone else based on their "spiritual" or "religious" views alone... is certainly unfit for dating. It is what it is I suppose, I just wanted to get a discussion rolling on this topic, because I was interested in seeing if this sort of thing happened in many others' lives... and how common it was among "our kind". ;o)
Yes, religion, politics and choice of football club. I think it matters to at least get along on these subjects, at least if they are important for you. I can not imagine sharing my life with a conservative, a religious nut or a Bayern Munich supporter. Call me intolerant.
Now, my wife and I are married for 12 years now and we don't share the exact same views about religion, but at least compatible ones. I'm very interested in all things religious (as in:interesting disease), my wife is more a "I don't have time for that bullshit" sort of atheist.
Having a solid base of common ground gives us at least the chance to realise that the things we are having fights over are not really that important.
To recapitulate: If you're looking for a long-term relationship it's actually an advantage to be able to sort out incompatibles up front. OTOH, when I was younger and not so much interested in long term "Are you by any chance also an atheist" was not among my most used chat-up lines. ;-)
I have started a discussion group about people in a committed relationship with a theist. It is currently waiting approval, but hopefully it gets off the ground.
I'd never dated before my now boyfriend asked me out last year. Once we had been dating for a little bit I did mention that I was not at all religious. I guess he's an Agnostic, but it's not really an issue since neither one of us is religious. His mother is pagan, which I have no problem with. I don't think his sister or her boyfriend are religious. I haven't said anything to his parents, nor my own...not while I still live at home!
After moving to a new town I joined the local theatre group. Once a week I would go to classes and eventually I got a paid role on stage. I spent many hours with these people and being the village idiot I met some really fun people. THen one night we got talking about "spiritual" stuff. I informed them that I was an atheist. One new, but good friend said to me"that she couldn't really trust anyone that didn't believe in a higher power". THey all simply turned against me with such force. None of these people go to church , they were into crap like "the secret" and metaphysical rambles about universe and it's power to spiritually heal and guide them. One lady went to a spiritual healer every week for guidence.
I was horrified at the unreasoned perception of life. I was told that "my chakras were not in line and I should go and see this women who could give me some help"!!
It came as a great shock that none of them were the least bit curious in finding truth. Totally fantasty and totally time to find people who think THIS world awesome and learning about it is far more meaningful .
Yes I should have, I was just in shock at the time, but a missed a great chance!! I keep it up my sleeve for next time. Thanks Uomo




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