Disclaimer: This in no way represents how I believe all non-theists should feel, just how I feel. Also note that this post contains explicit language.

For as long as I have considered myself one, I have never shied away from the term "atheist" in public. My beliefs (or lack thereof, if you want to refer to them that way) are very important to me, and why I believe what I do is of even greater importance. I do a lot of reading and exploring in order to more fully understand what I believe within the context of what there is to believe. I also search for scientific facts and evidence, not only to reinforce what comes naturally to me as a lack of belief in a god, but also to support my beliefs when they come under fire by those who disagree (meaning my entire family, unfortunately. It's not all bad, though, I definitely hold my own, and that's even as I am debating family members who work in the medical profession. Don't get me started on Christian doctors, because then I'd have to start ranting about my father, which I do not want to do right now).

I cannot say that I would see much of a point in developing a romantic relationship with a theist (and let me add that I find it amusing that there is a world of difference between “a theist” and “atheist.” What a difference a space makes). Most of my best friends are theists, and so I have no problem being friends with and sustaining meaningful relationships with believers of various faiths, but I do draw a line when it comes to dating, which I don't see anything wrong with, as Christians and other theists generally follow the same dating code. Some people can enjoy fairly superficial relationships (or perhaps lead unexamined lives), even into marriage, and so can easily brush off differences of belief. I am not one of those people. To be sufficiently romantically attracted to someone, I would need to feel open to and, in fact, invited to, discuss thoughts of a deep and philosophical nature. Since I am an anti-absolutist, I will never hold that it is 100% impossible that I could somehow develop a fulfilling romantic relationship with a theist, but I would say that I find the scenario incredibly unlikely and that I purposely avoid dating theists. Some would argue that that then would become a self-fulfilling prophecy, so it may as well be considered an impossibility. I would not entirely disagree with that, but then of course I'd being leaving out the possibility of chance. I can just imagine the conversation on the wedding night after sex:

New Husband: Whoo! Man, I knew I liked sex, but god did say it's better within the confines of marriage, and he was right!

Me: Huh? You believe in god?

NH: ...Yeah... you don't?

Me: Well have you ever seen me read the Bible? Or go to church? Or ever mention believing in god?

NH: No, but have you ever seen me do that?

Me: No, but I don't see most Christians doing that anyway.

NH: I kind of just always assumed you were like me... you know. Christmas and Easter Christian.

Me: And the fact that we fucked in that church's nativity scene last Christmas didn't clue you in?

NH: I thought you had a Virgin Mary fantasy!

Me: Oh, come on, I told you I was a naughty elf and that I wanted to sit on your lap and take a trip to your North Pole!

NH: Oh yeah... that was a good Christmas. Anyway, I had sex with you and I believe in god. I know I shouldn't have sex before marriage, but I did because it feels like heaven. Wait, you do believe in heaven, right?

Me: Um, no. I believe that when we die, we will cease to live. As in, no living beyond death and no afterlife, unless you want to refer to afterlife as literally after life, meaning dead. We become worm food, or better yet, ashes.

NH: Lovely. Well when I die, at least get me a tombstone that says “Loving Husband” on it. And make sure it says something about heaven.

Me: Well if I die first, do whatever is least expensive.

NH: You want me to penny pinch your funeral?

Me: Or what makes you feel happy.

NH: Happy? How am I supposed to feel happy knowing that, if you are right, your soul no longer exists and if I am right, you're burning in hell?!

Me: ...Well, if I'm already burning then cremation is not that big of a deal, right?

NH: Not funny.

Me: We really should have had this conversation yesterday.

And now I ramble. And by the way, I've never actually done the nativity scene thing, but I think I now have a new idea to brighten my secular celebration of this upcoming holiday season.

Well, I hope you enjoyed reading! To read more of my posts (not necessarily to do with atheism), please visit Musings From A Nowhere Girl.

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Comment by Bill Flowers on November 8, 2009 at 8:04pm
I, too, found the idea of dating a theist highly unlikely. Marriage even more so. Having a child -- off the charts improbable. Yet these things happen.

Admittedly my wife, the mother of my little girl, is an Episcopalian, usually one of the less objectionable breed of theist, but for me, in the end, it came down to this: humans are not very rational. We all of us have some level of attenuated grasp of reality (AGR), we all of us have some spot where our purposes, aims and actions are not guided by rationality. The trick is to make sure that your AGRs are, if irreconcilable, not sufficient to be an impediment to the relationship.

Not dating a theist is certainly one place to start, but there are many virulent strains of AGR out there that aren't religious in nature: CEOs, marketing people, generals, anti-vaccine nuts, on and on.
Comment by Jim DePaulo on October 12, 2009 at 3:29pm
When I was in my younger days, and as a hormone soaked male with one goal aways in sight, I would claim to be an evangelical tent preacher if it got me laid. However, my wife of 42 years is an Atheist as I am - as are my daughters and 4 grand kids.
Comment by Angie Jackson on October 11, 2009 at 8:46pm
Funny! I totally agree that life is too short to spend pissed off at your partner. I love getting into debates with theists - I just don't want to sleep with them, lol. Great post, I love your writing style.
Comment by Christy Gonzalez on October 11, 2009 at 7:02pm
Thanks Mark, I hope your new dating prospect works out for you! And I agree that the world would be a better place with more atheists (though of course I am biased, aren't I? :) ).
Comment by Mark C. on October 11, 2009 at 6:36pm
That was an excellent "conversation". XD

Yeah, I don't go for superficial relationships, either. I'd say that, aside from my somewhat anti-social personality, another reason I haven't been in many relationships is because I just find it hard to connect with someone. For me, part of establishing a connection would be talking deeply about some things, and talking about theism and atheism in particular tends to piss off many people and create distance. I have had half my total number of relationships with theists (2), but being with another atheist or religious skeptic would just be so much better, everything else being equal. Thankfully, I recently found someone on OkCupid that fits well with me, and hopefully we'll be prospective dates. I'm trying hard to not get my hopes up too high, as I have before.

The world needs more atheists (more reasonable ones)!



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