Dating a skeptic

If you are dating someone who is not a person of faith, and you are, this is a big problem. Not for them mind you, but for you. The purpose of this post is to give you some ideas about what to do with this relationship dilemma.

What your boyfriend or girlfriend thinks about the issue of faith in your dating relationship

I will be blunt. They do not care. What? It is true. It is not an issue for them, only you. Further they do not understand why it is important to you and why you even need to bring it up. It is only a relationship problem only for the person that has faith.

They might have some abstract intellectual understanding of the issue and respect you. But let’s be honest here, they really can not understand how important it is. Not because they do not love you, their love is real, but their awareness is limited. It is like trying to show a dog a rainbow (dogs are colorblind). It does just does not register in their brain.

Why is it important in your relationship? Faith is a radical reorientation of your life. It is fundamental trust in the life process. If you have it, you can say to the mountain ‘move’, and it will move. If you do not, you do not understand what the fuss is and you think those who believe are naive. Therefore, it creates a measureless chasm between two partners in a relationship and only one of the partners is painfully aware of this. It is a difficult gap to be bridged.

Each of us struggles in their own way in life. I do not know anyone that has a perfect life. However, if you date someone who understands you as a whole person, body, mind and soul than your connection will be deeper and you will have true love.

It is what life is about. To take care of your soul and find your soul mate. What good is it if a person gains the world and loses their soul in the process. It does not matter is your are smart or rich or poor and uneducated. We are here on this earth to help each other find meaning in life.

Husband and wives that do not share a faith centered relationship are statistically more likely:

  • to divorce
  • have financial problems and be more materialistic
  • take on girlfriends outside the context of marriage
  • suffer depression
  • show less marital happiness

I believe in science and the above are the facts.

I am think there are many ethical none believers. However, statistics tell another story. This is why read my lips, try to be at open to the possibility of a spiritual partnership when searching for true love. If you do not have this now, there are plenty of fish in the sea.

Solutions for dating a cynic

If someone can not see there is complex stratification of reality, I would drop them like a bad habit. That is just me, unless you are married of course.

If you are married, understand this, everyone has the light of God in them even if they do not see in themselves. Below I have some recommended reading they might consider. But you do not have to push the issue, but rather gently guide them.

If you are just dating, I personally would cut my loses. I would personally leave. Two people of different natures if they stay together will often become very good friends, but birds of a feature flock together. There is no substitute for two solitudes in life that come together with this same vision. If you both have trust in the universe you can share your spiritual journey together, in good times and in bad.

If you do not share this commonality I would recommend getting a new partner to date. I know this sounds radical but if it does not affect you now it will in the future. Romantic love brings people together that never were meant to be together. Every day together is like stitching together patterns which do not match, and it will be subsequently harder to tear apart.

Try online dating and screen for belief, or go to countries like Italy, Romania, Poland, Greece, Western Ukraine, India, Turkey any Middle Eastern or Latin American county as well as Africa. Basically the whole world except Western Europe and pockets of the USA. Further, I personally would not have a problem with Muslim dating or Jewish dating, if I was single, as these are only differences in expression of the same ultimate reality. Peace and love to all.

I think it is easier dating someone who does not speak your language than someone who speaks your language and is from the same culture but has a different world view. This is based on my personal experience. So do not be afraid to travel the world to look for your soul mate.

How to help your partner

‘They have eyes but do not see’

If you believe but your life partner does not, it will be a hard road for you eventually. It will weaken your faith. What you can do is this. Help the person from a logical standpoint or help them from an experience standpoint.

  1. Logical arguments are very difficult to convey to people and are better handled through books. I can recommend a few books that if non believers are open they might try to understand how their dating partner sees the world.
  2. The second level is experiencing God. The solution here is you can suffer for a half hour a day or everyday for the rest of your life. This means if you have to develop a spiritual practice to experience more in life. Ask the one up there to help you and you will get help. Just ask with an open heart. Alternatively, you can get them into yoga as it will start to open their heart.

My personal recommendations for you relationship if your marriage or life partner is a skeptic

  • Does God Exist – An answer for today by Hans Kung – Are you a skeptic or need a little help? I challenge you to this gauntlet from a clear thinker. A more more personal and lighter version of this is: What I believe by the same author. Also the Beginning of all things for the more scientific oriented .
  • The Night is large by Martin Gardner, This man has spent his life disproving supernatural phenomena, a corrosive skeptic, yet surprisingly with faith as a mysterion.
  • How to think about God – Mortimer J. Adler expresses complex ideas in a simple way with classics as the base. Not as radical as Kung but good reading for platonic ideas.
  • Creative Visualization by Shakti Gawain. This is more for fun, not directly related to faith but more spiritual, it also has practical applications for love, relationship and finding love (more for girls).
  • Heal your body by Louise Hay. Classic book on seeing the world in a different way. More a personal story and of course love is the center (more for girls).
  • Brother Cadfael stories by Ellis Peters. Wisdom from a Monk and sleuth. Anything by Ellis Peter the TV series or the book. These are fun murder mysteries nothing heavy but worth reading as they are about a monk and based on a historical abbey.
  • Relaxation revolution By Herbert Benson. If you need to relax – by a Harvard doctor shows you how, but with a subtle message of watch out what might happen.

If you want true love find someone who see the world the way you do, it makes all the difference in the world. Do not settle for anything less, than your soul mate.

10 Replies to “Dating a skeptic”

  1. This is interesting. My husband was raised Jewish, but he does not practice the faith anymore. I told him I would convert to Judaism when we got married, but he said there would be no point. However, we both study Taoism and have the same views on it. I also study American Indian spirituality, Buddhism, and certain ancient religions, which he is less interested in, but in essence, we share the same world view. I would definitely agree that people who have different religions, world views, etc., would end up drifting apart, probably sooner rather than later.

    1. Taoism, Buddhism and American Indian spirituality are all very rich. My priest Father Gene (a Roman Catholic Jesuit) was the one who helped me understand those. He actually lived with a native American tribe for a while and studied Buddhism. He was also Jewish by the way.
      Meeting your soul mate is Aufheben
      I can not think of any greater thing in life than to be on a spiritual path. And if you share it with someone else it is what Hegel called ‘Aufheben’.
      It is a triple sense German word with contradictory meanings, which means: abolish, preserve and transcend all at the same time.
      This is what happens when you meet someone on the same spiritual path as you. You abolish and destroy the other. You preserve the other. You transcend together to a higher unity that could not be realized without the other. You are truly one.

  2. I thought I had my met my soulmate when I was 27 yrs old,he was 24
    I knew he was my soulmate and I know he knew it too but he was younger than me and it obviously wasn’t the right time as he didn’t want a relationship at the time as he worked away and he was cheated on by his previous partner,he didn’t want that to happen again so I had to make a choice and end it with him,I feel I made a choice to let him go as I had met someone else and I thought I was doing the right thing but I made a bad choice and even though it hurt like nothing I have ever experienced before. I know I made the wrong choice but I had to let him go. I know we have had no closure from it and I have had feelings that he is coming back into my life but I am not sure when,it may seem strange but I have had signs that point that he is coming back to me I am not sure how I am going to deal with it if he does come back in or I will run into him,he knows I am happy for him but I don’t know what his situation is I know he has married so he must be happy as she is a replacement of me as she is the same star sign as me and my birthday is a day after hers,it sounds weird but I know she is a good person and she looks after him so I am truly happy for him and her. I am not jealous at all but I know that when I see a picture of them together I know that should have been me but it’s not and I have moved on,it’s funny that someone who is like you can actually replace you and make the person you know who was your soul mate or therefore maybe still is your soul mate be with someone who is just like you. I just think that now I know that it was the wrong time when he met me and he wasn’t ready for me. What do you think?

    Thank-you

    1. Linda, this is a problem that many of my guy friends have. It is not only girls who think in terms of soulmates but guys also. They might express it in different ways but the meaning is the same.
      That is they had the great love of their life and now she is gone and married to someone else. One of my buddy’s even named his only child after his previous girlfriend. I think that is crazy but to each his own.

      So know that guys think in this way, but might not use the word soulmate.
      Many of my guy friends say, she was the one and what do I do now?

      My answer is a soulmate is the person you marry and have a family with.

      Dating for those less than Angels
      During dating, I think who is your soulmate and who is not is not clear. We as humans are less than angels and have an imperfect vision of the whole. That means the whole process of life and love and eternity is not known and is a mystery. I can not declare this person is my soulmate. Only God knows and sees this.
      What I can do is live my life. I can live my life and not think too abstractly in terms of this is my destiny or not. Rather I live it day to day and someday you will wake up and find you husband and soulmate beside you.

      Live the questions and in some distant time in the future, when you do not even know it, you will be living the answers

      – Rilke

      I promise you, you will love again. However, your love will not be the same. It might be greater, but it will be different.
      I do not have all the facts, such as your age and how long ago all this happened but it does not matter. I believe you should with time forget about him. Trust the life process and let God guide you though this movie of live.
      Most of my friends have said, ‘she is my soulmate’, only to find someone who they really connect with latter and are deeply in love with and marry. In retrospect they do not even think of that other girl.
      So you mission in live is find the love that you deserve. Learn from the lessons of the past and know not to make it again, but if he is married, move on.

      Nearly all marriages, even happy ones, are mistakes: in the sense that almost certainly (in a more perfect world, or even with a little more care in this very imperfect one) both partners might be found more suitable mates. But the real soul-mate is the one you are actually married to.

      – J. R. R. Tolkien

      I do not fully agree, but I do agree that the person you marry have a family with is your soulmate. Other people who you love and came and went were not.

      Be the strong woman you are and find the guy who is really out there for you and waiting.

  3. I really like your website, congratulations.
    We are all atheists about most of the gods that humanity has ever believed in. Some of us just go one god further. There are more than 10 thousands gods out here, you have the right to choose to believe in only one of them and to be an atheist/skeptic/infidel to the rest of +9,999 gods. I don’t believe in any of the gods mentioned in the history of civilization.

    You have right in one point: people who have faith in a particular God, it’s recommended to get marry with people who have faith in the same particularly God; atheists like me should find their soul mate in the atheist community.

    I have one problem: I really like South American women, especially Argentinean and Venezuelan. I would like to find my dream bride and soul mate from one of these countries. As far as I know, the majority of the people there believe in the Christian God. Do you think it would be hard for me to find there a bride with a more opened mind and to love me for my virtues?

    You say that beauty is not a virtue. I say faith in a particular god is not a virtue.

    I am just an honest person.
    Thanks for your feedback.

    1. For South America I would recommend connecting to a community of atheists. A group of like-minded people. I know there are these groups. The number of girls will not be as many, but issues of faith and how you raise children are a basic and central aspect of relationships. Two atheist will have no problem and you will see eye to eye.

      Remember for a person of faith to date an atheist is very different from an atheist to date a person of faith. You are not missing anything. They are. To make a metaphor you might understand, it is like dating a person that has no interest in physical relations in bed with you, for them it is no problem, she might simply not want to discuss it, but for you it is important and you would feel part of your relationship, maybe one of the most important parts of the center is not there. If you can meditate on that you see my point.

      For you it is no conflict or sacrifice in the same way. I highly do not recommend messing up a person’s faith. Even if you personally do not believe, it is one of the worst things you can do as a humanist.

      I mean you are already using language like ‘open minded’, which is a coded language meaning, my position is a better position and deviations from this view are deemed ‘closed’. I know you do not see it this way. But I lived in Eastern Europe and I see what people did with words.

      The most closed-minded and feverously zealot minds I know have been atheists, think of Stalin and communism (I lived in Eastern Europe for a good part of my life). atheists tend to be proselytizing in a subtle way all the time by saying they are accepting but looking down a little on believers a naive.

      Or today they will snub you for being unscientific for not agreeing with Richard Dawkins of all people (he is a light weight in this debate and pales in comparison to the classical atheists of the 19th century). So when you use vocabulary like ‘open minded’ and start off with an argument about the anthropomorphic history about man’s longing for consummation into the ultimate reality, I think it is better you connect to like-minded groups of people and I know for a fact there are people like this in South America, even though they are in the minority. But when it comes to issues like this, birds of a feather flock together.

      Yet on the other hand, ethical atheists as I call them are some of the most honest and moral people I know. They reflection life a moral philosophy. Not all, but some. Some, like believers are self-righteous and motivated by a self-interest that does not consider all aspects of their actions on humanity on the faithful.

      ‘The world is a war of ideas’ – Hegel wrote and it is. Those on both side who claim to be ‘open minded’ are often the most difficult, even me.

      One suggestion, often mixed marriages of faith (or non faith) find a home in Unitarian meeting houses as this ideas is a middle ground and a product of the enlightenment or Buddhism.

      So thanks for the kind words on my website and I hope I have not offended you, I mean this sincerely. I just think for long run happiness you can connect with other non-believers in South America. I see no reason why not.

  4. I agree with you. I am not here to offend anyone and you did not offended myself, too. Faith is a matter of choice, not of IQ. I will choose wisely.

    I was born in Romania, a country where there are 19,000 churches for 19 million people. Almost all the Romanians are Christians. In all my friends and relatives, I am the only atheist. And they love me for who I am.

    I am happy for you, Mark. You are a devoted family man and you help other people to become happy in life.

    In 2013 I will move to live in Switzerland and only after that I will be ready to find my bride.

    I respect you in all the matters and I feel the need to share with you that I like America, but I am not in love with America. I don’t know why, maybe you help me to step over this fear. I love the ambition of americans, the democracy, the freedom of speech, the equality of chances, the open way of discussing about everything without problems, I like American English accent (more than British or Aussie, or Canadian, or New Zealand, or Irish), but I don’t like some other aspects: external policy, fast food industry, racism. Maybe because I was raised near Russia, in full communism.

    In one of my fantasies, I wish to live at least 5 years in Manhattan and only after that to move on to Switzerland. I want to escape my fear of not loving America and american people.

    I recommend to you the “Luzhin Defence” movie. It’s great!

    1. These are good asperations, NYC is the best, when you are single. I have lived there but now with a family, only if I have a few million in the bank, which I do not have. The American people will not care where you are from. I tell people that we just moved from Poland, zero reaction. Nobody cares or minds or anything. If they know Romania, they will chat with you a little. But do you think they care about some European white guy with an accent? Not a chance, we have an African President. I do not know any European country that has anything but white people as their leaders. The USA was voted in the top five most welcoming countries by Forbes magazine by people who immigrated there. The USA is fun.

      About religion and dating, I know that the metaphor I wrote stand, that is you will not miss anything if you are dating a believer, but they will. I mean there are a lot of people now who do not care but I think your mind has thought about these things so for me, I would like to be with personally someone who see the world in the same way. I could date anyone from any believe or non-belief, or from any culture or ethnic group and you could argue I have. But I felt no connection. I think connections come when people see the world in a similar way.

      My belief about dating is birds of a feather flock together. I am not talking about race but world view. I married someone from the other side of the world and if my wife was from India or Asia or Africa I would not care as long as it were her. Yet, if she came my culture and people, and looked just like I dreamed of but saw the world different I do not think it would be as fun.

      Maybe I am wrong as I do not have all the wisdom but I think birds of the same flock tend to fly together.

      That movie looks intriguing, I will have to watch it.

      1. Long after blacks and Jews have made great strides, and even as homosexuals gain respect, acceptance and new rights, there is still a group that lots of Americans just don’t like much: atheists. … declare that the lack of godly faith is detrimental to society, rendering nonbelievers intrinsically suspect and second-class citizens. [Washington Post]

        Personally I don’t care what people think about me, I am not easily influenced by them, but I don’t like that the majority of Americans hate the non-belivers. As long as you present yourself as a religious person (doesn’t matter what religion), it’s ok for the American community, but if you present yourself as an atheist or antitheist, they will hate you. What do you think?

        I am a straight guy, I could even appear on TV to talk in front of Americans about atheism, but I want an opinion from you, as a religious American, about how do you advise me to behave myself in America, with people there, with neighbours etc.

        I don’t want to be single in NYC, but to marry just before mooving there and maybe to make a child in America. I will have to find an atheist kindergarden and to make friends in the atheist community there.

        Anyway, if Americans have a black-african president, I hope in the future they will choose an atheist president; because in America anything is possible 😀

        The motto “In God We Trust” should be “In Christian God some of us trust”. this I want to change in America. The term of God should remain an intimate matter like sex and people should not talk about it in public. I don’t like that God is written everywhere in America (on the money, in the schools, in the tribunals etc).

        1. No one hates non-believers, it is the darkness that surrounds them with their snub ‘I am enlightened’ and we are victims and innocent, and I accept people (when they do not) that irks some people.

          On the contrary, I think it is believers who are dumped and looked down on, very vocally by an outspoken minority of zealot atheists. Richard Dawkins looks down on people and is very disrespectful, as many atheists are and go out of their way to ‘enlighten people’ when they can not prove their assertions. Yet say we are so open and accepting and are victims.

          The founding fathers of the USA in our key documents wanted the freedom of Religion not freedom from religion. Study these founding father Unitarian and Deists of the enlightenment and why they included God in public documents.

          The Soviet Union proved to the world as did Red China the dangerous policy of a humanism without God. Anything the religious crusaders have done, and there have been many, pales in comparison to the zealot secular humanists (how many millions did they kill with their humanistic ideal with a world with no God?). Fyodor Dostoevsky ‘if God did not exist all things are permissible’.

          Many more ‘modern atheists’ try to destroy hope, faith and love in people with an attitude they are innocent and harmless and are victims. I do not see it this way. I see they have a huge ego defense mechanism and like in a Freudian projection, they project their world view as much as the believers. They get juice from their ‘feeling of freedom’ or their ‘projection of nothing’.

          If someone does not believe they simply would not mention it, or make an issue of it. Faith or non faith is always a matter of being not believing.

          Prayer and faith bring such goodness to people’s lives. If someone is not of this, peace and love, but I notice how often they make an issue out of it.

          The most argumentative people I know are atheists and then they say ‘I am open’ and ‘accepting’. They are not, and do not see this. This is why for dating I recommend they date their own.

          ‘Skeptics’ are not neutral or objective or good generally. I am a skeptic and rationalist, but I believe in God and if did not I would not make an issue out it.

          Remember my metaphor that athiests do not know what they are denying people when they are in a relationship with them at any level.

          Telling someone God does not exist, even in passing, when they can not prove this assertion, and taking or shaking their hope, faith and love of transcendence beyond our mortal coils is a grave humanistic action.

          You may think you are innocent but you are not.

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