Atheists have a lot of hurdles to jump out there in the fast paced world of religion and bigotry. Everything from losing jobs, being ostracized in schools, being disowned by families, hate crimes. You name the bigotry and we atheists have to face it. (If we're out that is.) I'm 30 and fast evolving into a Radical Atheist. I find myself paying attention to politics for (really) the first time. (It's pretty crummy to be a liberal atheistic woman in America right now.) As I become more and more vocal about my nontheisim I've noticed a trend. It's getting harder and harder to find a relationship that isn't ultimately destroyed because of my unwavering position that religion (most especially organized) is immoral and dangerous, despite what the religious will tell you about peace, and fluffy-ness. (A wrathful vengeful god leads to wrathful, vengeful believers.) I'm having arguments with my "agnostic" boyfriend weekly, bi-weekly. Eventually I'll get fed up and dump him probably if we can't learn to disagree. (He thinks I'm prejudice because I was "abused" (hazed would be a better word) by many Christians in my home state. So much so that I moved away. I don't necessarily think I'm prejudiced, I think I'm not beguiled into a false faith. I pity those who are. My political view is that I should be open and honest, challenge those who are willing to have theological debate in a non hostile manner. I'm not going around knocking over crosses, or throwing rocks thru church windows. (I'll leave that sort of behavior for the simple minded.) I'm not even really that much of an activist (yet!). I attended the Reason Rally. My boyfriend refused to go with me, and tunes out every time I try to talk with him about it. I try not to date religious people. My view is that religion will always come between myself and Mr. Religious. So I've always tried to avoid that particular problem. But let's face it, Atheists are pretty thin on the ground. Radical Atheists even thinner.

I was wondering how other nontheists deal with finding partners in their lives? How do you open conversations with people you're interested in? And how do you know when it is and isn't working? I never thought I'd have the problems I'm having with an Ag. I figured godless is godless... Turns out... there's just as many types of godlessness as there are religions. Jeezy Creezy, why is this stuff so complicated?


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I can understand where you're coming from. Try being a gay atheist. My dating pool is almost nothing where I live. It can be a lonely life, but I refuse to pretend just to get a date. I know I am hated by many in this country, so I find it hard to even be honest when meeting new people. If I had money I would try to move somewhere that I would be more accepted. 

I'd emigrate if I could. Trouble with that is all the cool nations don't want Americans.

I'm an atheist who is engaged to a new 'out of the closet' atheist. When I tried dating online, I was very honest, and only one guy tried to give me 2 hour sermons of why I was wrong. I met my fiance in the 'real world' and I was very honest with him too. And while he didn't know where he stood, he respected my views and I respected his. We talked a little bit here and there about religion, and I would read him some of the 'started' discussions from Atheist Nexus, and after a while, I asked him very plainly and told him he could answer whenever he was ready; "Do you believe in God?". I really didn't care what his answer was, I was just curious. I would respect him no matter what, even if he declared he wanted to become a religious leader. He told me 'no'; he didn't believe in god. 

My advice for these potential partners/boyfriends/whatever is that you are respectful yet serious. If this guy you are about ready to dump cannot respect your lack of faith, even if you do respect his you will be forced not to. What if you 2 get married and have kids? A couple needs to have respect, even religious respect, in order to have a healthy relationship, and in the future to raise healthy children. Yes, even if children are raised on religion, it's much healthier than hearing "Oh your mother is lying" "No your father never tells the truth". Then they can't trust either parent. 

Bottom line: Respect and honesty. If someone can't handle that you are a nontheist, then how are you supposed to handle them being religious? Just be patient, and don't dwell on being unhappily single, and the right person will come to you. 

  • Allison, you have nailed it on the head as far as I am concerned. You have experiences the slings and arrows of dissent and they are not fun. The way you describe your relationship with your boyfriend sends up red flags for me and I would think long and hard before being with someone who could not hear me. I have no interest in developing anything other than friendships, so my challenges are different than yours, but we have a lot to learn from each other. There are some very wise people on A/N and they mix in some great humor as well. When I have a good rant, there is usually a reply that makes me laugh and get on with living. 

religion is supposed to separate men and women that's the whole point...
as if women and men did not have a crazy different enough bio-clock to being with! sheeesh!
; )
peace. luv. and nature walks folks! tiz the only way outta the psychological depression post bush errer

Hi there, I am writing a book for Columbia University Press on "coming out as atheist" and am still looking for submissions that can speak to relationships. Please consider submitting a piece! More details here:

It does becomes less complicated with age.  Relationships are really complicated when we are young.  Believe me, I know!  You'll find him.  I didn't marry the right person until I was 37.  He and I have the same world view, and it is great.  I really can't even conceive of being with a person on a daily basis and not sharing the same ideologies.  I know some do it, but I could not because I have a zealot kind of personality as do you, it seems.  You just keep being who you are, evolve, and the men will come and go.  You'll learn something from each one and then one day, he won't go and it will be good.  It won't be hard work at all...just contentment. :)




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