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8 years ago  ::  Mar 03, 2010 - 2:11PM #1
Posts: 1


I'm pretty new to this, so thought I'd say a quick hello first :) Hi!

I've got myself into a bit of a pickle.

I've fallen in love with someone who could be considered my best friend. He is probably one of the most amazing, loving people I've had the pleasure of meeting. Fortunately, he told  me he feels exactly the same way...

However, my lack of Christian faith right now - a complex and long drawn out issue - means that he feels he cannot be with me. We are trying to return to the point where we are just friends, whilst I put my mind to reconnecting with God...

My problem, really, is what if this isn't enough? I miss him terribly and its only been 2 days. We both have the same moral beliefs - I don't believe in sex before marriage, and at 22 haven't yet been kissed Embarassed. He respects me for this, rather than laughing in my face like many I'v encountered...

What do I do? Cry

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8 years ago  ::  Mar 03, 2010 - 3:19PM #2
Tolerant Sis
Posts: 4,201

To thine own self be true, Lucy.  

Do NOT allow this man to force you to adopt a faith you do not feel.  Faith, or the lack thereof, is a personal choice; if he is allowed to co-opt this choice for you, it will never end.  You will find yourself tied to a controlling man who needs to 'correct' you in every area of your life.  Faith is a pretty big deal, but other things are bigger.  

You would have a lifetime together of making decisions and compromises, and he should not always have his own way.  Some issues are too big for one person to carry.  Whether you two choose to have children, for instance.  Where you will live.  Whether or where you will buy a home.  Whether you will get an advanced degree, or he will.  Who your friends are.  If he can't imagine letting you make a relatively modest decision, about what you will believe (that will not affect him in any meaningful way), imagine what his attitude will be when the decisions will affect him.

Tell 'Mr. Right' that you will find religion ... or not ... in your own time and season, and while you love him, it is not his place to make that choice for you.  If that means goodbye, it means goodbye.  

First amendment fan since 1793.
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8 years ago  ::  Mar 03, 2010 - 5:25PM #3
Posts: 10,165

That was the issue that broke up my relationship with my last boyfriend. I tried to keep an open mind and gave his church a chance and did for six months.  We agreed for 90 days and then I gave the church another 90 days. I just couldn't do it.   He wouldn't consider a multi-faith church.  Part of it was he wanted us to get married in that church.  I just couldn't do it.  After the Sunday school class where some of the idiots tried to convince us the holocaust did not exist, I threw in the towel.

I hate to tell you but it won't work.  It won't get any better.  Believe me, I tried and I wanted it to work more than anything else in the world. 

I'm sorry.

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8 years ago  ::  Mar 03, 2010 - 5:32PM #4
Posts: 9,954


First, what TolerantSis said.

Second, i would highly recommend that you pick up a copy of the book "Boundaries," by Cloud and Townsend.  (Use google; you may find a copy you can dl for free.  If not, you can get a second-hand copy from Amazon cheaply. Try ["Boundaries" ebook] as your first search criteria, for example.)

Once you've read it, establish some boundaries that are good, sound, and fair, then insist that everyone respect them.  Eventually, this will give you great peace of mind, and help reduce that "deer in the headlights" feeling, maybe even eliminate it...and this will also do wonders for your self-esteem, helping you stay centered and grounded in virtually all circumstances.

Once you have your boundaries established satisfactorily, if he still wants to argue religion, i'd first direct his attention to Acts 10:34, 35(especially in the Amplified Version), and ask him what he thinks that means.

At some point, he may resort to that "Be not unequally yoked with unbelievers" statement of Paul's, at which time you might wish to gently point out the indisputable fact that the divorce rate amongst Evangelicals is even higher than the national average(which is 49% of first-time marriages ending in divorce), iirc, so that particular criterion may not be a very valid one any longer, not to mention the fact that elsewhere in the bible, one might find that the believing husband justifies the unbelieving wife, and vice versa, too.  OTOH, being "unequally yoked," in and of itself, is good advice; personally, i'm looking for a partnership of equals, not a master-slave relationship, by which i mean that the chores and responsibilities of home maintenance(cooking, cleaning, yardwork, garbage collection and removal), child-rearing, bill payment, etc., need to be as close as possible to equally shared---otherwise, what usually happens is that the one carrying the greater load begins to resent the "free ride" the other one is getting.  If, for example, an ox is yoked to a wagon with a donkey that stubbornly plants it's feet and refuses to work, guess who's going to be hauling?

But beware that your current longing for him does not result in your capitulation to his desires; i have often seen this happen, too, that when the love is unequal, the one that loves more ends up being willing to do ANYthing to obtain the other's attention, etc., which allows the one who loves less to start calling the shots and manipulating---a form of emotional (or occasionally, actual) blackmail.

Warmest regards-


"History records that the moneychangers have used every form of abuse, deceit, intrigue, and violent means possible to maintain their control over governments by controlling money and it's issuance."
-- James Madison(1751-1836), Father of the Constitution for the USA, 4th US President
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8 years ago  ::  Mar 03, 2010 - 7:01PM #5
Posts: 21,730


you are very young, you don't even know how young you are.  There is plenty of time to fall in and out of love a few times.

Second, I do think religious compatibility is imporant.  This means I don't think die hard atheist, devoted believers make good matches.  I don't think two people that are serious about their faiths but have to check two wildly different boxes should get married.  I think interfaith marriages only work if the two people are fairly secular. 

Third, spirituality is a personal journey.  I think people go in and out of faith, it waxes and wanes.  I think you have to give your partner plenty of space to have his or her own journey and not try to manage someone's spirituality.  But at the end of the day you should agree in a general sense in how the children should be raised. 

The most important part of a potential mate's spirituality is not do they believe Jesus rose from the grave or if the world was created in 7 24 hour periods.  The most important part of a mate's spirituality is how they want to raise their family.  Does he have fantasies of a very churchy family and you just don't see the point of belonging to a church? Welll that might be a problem. 

Sometimes (not saying that this is true of this time)  young people come up with these deal breakers, these drama issues because they don't know how to be in a very serious relationship or they are uncomfortable with the level the relationship is headed towards.  So they create drama where it really does not exist. 

You seem like a great match for a christian boy, you live the lifestyle and you respect the lifestyle.  You are probably better at this than most christian girls out there. However you are questioning  your faith. 

Personally I think all 22 year old people should question their faith, should have doubts.  In fact, I don't think your faith will ever be mature if you don't go through a period of doubts and confront those doubts. 

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8 years ago  ::  Mar 05, 2010 - 1:21PM #6
Posts: 287

I agree....let nature and the Holy Spirit do their thing...if it's meant to be, so be it...

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8 years ago  ::  Mar 06, 2010 - 12:33AM #7
Posts: 4,253

Taking risks and making mistakes are a part of life.


My first marriage when I was 23 was way to soon. It ended in divorce. We both had different faiths. I am not saying that you can't work it out.

2nd marriage, for 14 years to a wife who has the same faith I do. We both love JESUS. We both know who to take our baggage to, we know about self sacrifice and forgiveness, and the importance of helping each other.

The mistakes I make today are like mouse turds compared to the land mines I use to lay when I was younger.

Love has a way all it's own follow it, and be true to it, and be true to yourself.


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8 years ago  ::  Mar 09, 2010 - 11:39PM #8
Posts: 41

I would say it's far less important how compatible your religions are, than it is how compatible each of your tolerance for differences in others is.    An atheist and a christian can get along fine as long as they respect each other.   In fact, even with two people of the same "belief" (if such actually exists, just because they go to the same church doesn't mean they will agree on everything), even with them, for a successful relationship it's critically important they be able to respect each other's differences.

Perhaps it's a good thing, you have encountered a litmus test in ADVANCE of a wedding.   If he can't respect your beliefs, it really doesn't matter if they are the same as his or not, it's a lousy match.

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