Tips for dating an atheist
The following is a guest post by Lynnea, whom you probably know by now from The Non-Prophets. The Atheist Experience TV show gets a lot of fans asking them for advice about how to deal with a loved one who is still into religion.The circumstances are frequently different: the atheist might have started out as a believer, or there might have been a known philosophical difference from the start.There are no simple answers for relationship compatibility issues, but I'm hoping to offer some concrete starting points where you can suss out the issues yourself.First of all, don't consider your long term history together.When two people are operating on the basis of two different worldviews, they can't help but approach those problems and decisions from two very different angles. She lives her life in the light of a standard of moral and spiritual values. Ultimately, her goal isn't simply to please you or gratify herself. If you take the view that her intentions are nothing but superstitious nonsense, we can almost guarantee that you'll eventually reach an impasse.
It's always tricky to offer relationship advice on a problem that has been building and building.The family, like every other aspect of human existence, needs to be redeemed.Jesus Christ, the Divine Redeemer, has come first of all to reconcile us to God and lead us to heaven.Those are important ingredients when it comes to building a lasting relationship and laying a firm foundation for a successful marriage. It's an arrangement within which spouses have to learn how to cooperate, work together, and hammer out mutually satisfactory compromises.
But in a situation like yours it's still important to think things through on a deeper level. Because in the final analysis the challenge you're facing is bigger than a mere difference of "religious opinion." It's not just a question of your willingness to "tolerate" someone else's beliefs. And when worldviews collide, the results can be devastating for a marital relationship. They have to do this on an almost daily basis, and in response to a wide variety of practical problems. As an atheist, you assume that there is no higher authority. As far as you're concerned, it's just a question of "what works." But your Christian girlfriend has a very different perspective.
What are our chances of building a relationship that will go the distance? When it comes to choosing a marriage partner, people often react simply on the basis of emotions.