You met a guy/girl, and you’re falling hard. But there’s one tiny problem – you two come from different religions.
If you’re not religious, this may not be that big of a deal, but what happens if you are? Or if your/their family is? Yeah, now it’s getting complicated.
Well, relationship problems and solutions go hand-in-hand. My partner and I are from different faiths, yet we’ve managed to make our interfaith relationship work. But, I will warn you, it wasn’t easy.
Both you and your partner will have to work hard for your love. But if it’s true love, then it’s worth it. Here’s your guide to interfaith relationships.
What are interfaith relationships?
Let’s get this out of the way. Interfaith relationships are when two people from different religions/spiritual worlds come together and form an intimate relationship.
Interfaith relationships can also consist of atheists, agnostics, and people of no faith. For example, you may be Christian, but your partner is an atheist.
So, after knowing what interfaith relationships mean, can they work?
Can interfaith relationships work?
In short, yes! Interfaith relationships can work. But you will need to talk to your partner to get on the same page.
- What are their religious/spiritual views?
- What are your religious/spiritual views?
- How much of a role does religion play in your life? How does it play in your partner’s life?
- Would they like you to convert to their religion? Would you like your partner to convert to your religion?
And these are just some of the starting questions. Knowing the answers to these questions can help you gain better insight into how an interfaith relationship would look like with your partner. And, more importantly, if you can co-exist.
8 Pieces of Advice From an Interfaith Couple
As being in an interfaith relationship myself, my partner and I have learned a lot. Not just about each other, but about ourselves. So, here are some pieces of advice to help you with your interfaith relationship.
Face the facts
Whether you’re religious or not, you have to accept how you and your partner have religious differences.
Religion plays a significant role in the society you grew up in. Even if you’re indifferent to religion, you two are different.
Having differences isn’t a bad thing; it just means you two need to be open and talk about it. Avoiding the differences will only create issues.
Be honest with yourself
Are you hoping your partner will convert to your religion? And what will happen if they say they don’t want to?
Yeah, it’s a tough situation to be in. You need to be honest with yourself and see if you’re genuinely accepting your partner with the faith they have.
If you’re expecting them to convert and haven’t discussed it with your partner yet, it’s time you did.
It’s identity time
Wow, if there’s one thing being in an interfaith relationship does is put a spotlight on your identity – and not necessarily in a bad way.
Many questions I had to ask myself wouldn’t have been asked if I was with someone of the same faith.
If you’re hoping your partner will convert, there’s a chance they won’t be able to be something they’re not.
Share your history
Interfaith relationships have an upper side that other relationships don’t – they get to learn deeply about another culture/religion.
Share your history with your partner, open up about your religious and cultural experiences. Get to know each other on that level.
I went to my first Jewish wedding, and it was such an interesting experience. I had never been to a Jewish wedding before, and going to one helped me learn about my partner, his values, and his faith.
Be open-minded to exploring your partner’s religion and culture; immerse yourself in it.
Talk about the future
How do you see your future? How do you want to raise your children? These are tough questions to ask yourself, but you need to know.
Talk about it with your partner and see if you two align. Would you be content with raising your children under your partner’s religion?
Embrace the differences
While there are many similarities between religions, there are also a lot of differences.
Sure, some differences may seem weird and foreign to you, but instead of shaming them, embrace them. Learn about the differences and try to understand them.
Interfaith relationships are hard, and sometimes, you need an outsider to help guide you through this.
We went to therapy for this exact issue and were able to work through our issues and find solutions to them.
Congratulations, you’re in one of the most complicated relationships a person could be in. But while there are challenges, if you can work through them, you’ll have a culturally and spiritually rich relationship that many people don’t have.