Can You Date A Theist If You’re An Atheist?
Your new crush is hot—smoking hot, blazing, brilliantly, spectacularly hot. Her long, luxuriant hair, wonderful tits, and perfect ass send you into quiet bouts of ecstasy when you think of them. You enjoy her smile, her laugh, and her conversation. In short, everything about her is right. There is only one obstacle between the two of you: she is a believer and you are not.
Nine times out of ten when you ask advice on this subject, you’ll get: “It will be okay as long as you both keep an open mind.” This is not an answer; it is a cliché posing as one. Open-mindedness has little to do with the matter. You and your girl are no doubt tolerant, educated, easy-going individuals. The difference between you has to do with first principles: she believes they begin with a supernatural entity; you do not.
As a non-believer myself, I have dated a number of the faithful. My birth into a strongly Christian family and community made it inevitable that my first romances would be with theists. It wasn’t a problem though. I never had a single conversation with any of the girls I dated from my church.
Things became more complicated when I left home, went out into the world, and developed views—strong views on religion, politics, etc. I became bolder in my atheism. I began to formulate critical arguments against theism and became more willing to share them.
By the time I reached my mid-twenties I was strident and uncompromising; but two subsequent experiences led me to believe that it is possible for an atheist—even an outspoken one—to date a theist.
The first was with an English Catholic girl I met during my senior year in college. We drank, partied, and fucked. She remained unbothered by it all—worrying only about my views on religion. When I pointed out the strange tension of her disobeying the doctrines of her faith while castigating me for having none, she responded by saying the most important thing to her was to believe in something. I took the argument no further. I was very fond of this woman, and our disagreement had no material impact on how we carried on in our relationship.
A second memorable experience was with a dark-skinned, lusciously endowed (both front and back) beauty from Turkey. She held a few beliefs loosely connected to Islam. She was more of a cultural Muslim than a devout believer. The entire course of our little fling was like something out of a James Bond film. I spotted her across the bar of an open air beach restaurant on Waikiki (Duke’s for any of you who have ever been there). She was sitting alone in a revealing white dress. I went round to her. We flirted and later went back to my hotel room. We spent the next few nights together. We kept in touch after leaving Hawaii and visited each other a few times over the next year.
Tensions rose when the subject of religion came up. Although she was a liberal-minded Muslim, she was prepared to defend the principles of her conservative brethren. I thought this a rather strange paradox. I was unable to see how she could defend ideas that she was clearly against. Pointing out this contradiction made matters worse; and the last couple of days of her last visit were tense and unpleasant.
It is not easy to date a theist if you’re an atheist. And the trouble is there are more of the latter than of the former. You would have to move to Scandinavia, one of the few places on earth in which non-believers outnumber believers, to increase your chances of meeting a smoking hot atheist. Not that they don’t exist in America.
Anyway, there is no need to exclude theists from your dating pool. If you’ve met someone you really like, you should go for it. Only be mindful of the following.
Some girls, like my English Catholic, interpret their holy books and holy men generously. To them religion means belief in God, attending church at Easter and Christmas, and being a kind, charitable person—or some such combination. This amounts to a rather benign form of spiritualism that is perfectly compatible with your life as a non-believer.
The second thing to be aware of is that some theists define their religion culturally and wear it as an identity. My Muslim girl probably held this outlook. Reconciling yourself to such a view can be hard—especially if your girl insists on defending the most conservative positions in her community.
Truth be told, there can be few compromises when dating a theist. As an atheist, you have rejected the dogmas of religion completely—there can be no partial belief. If things are to work, you must find a girl who holds a loose and liberal interpretation of her faith.
About Christopher Reid Chris was born in Washington, D.C. and lives in Britain. He works as a blogger, essayist, and novelist. His first book, Tea with Maureen, has just been published.