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Online Dating Magazine > Columns > Dating Triumphs & Tragedies > Religion and Dating

Dating Triumphs and Tragedies
by Nicole Roberge

Religion and Dating

I was recently having a chat with my cousin who had broken up with her boyfriend and was finally, and successfully moving on.  It was tough, but coming upon the holiday season, she was actually a bit relieved about all of it.  The reason why is that…he is Jewish, and she is not.  Which made no difference to the two of them or their families (except perhaps his mother), but when it came to the holidays, it became a bit uncomfortable.  My cousin, we’ll call her “Felicia,” wanted to be a part of his traditions and celebrated holidays with him.  Likewise, he celebrated Christmas with her.  But when it came to the finer details, that is when she had difficulty.

For example: fasting.  It tortured her to see him fasting, because that is one thing she was not going to do.  As it was not part of her beliefs, but his, she could support him in doing it, but she wasn’t giving up her food.  But then she felt guilty for doing it.  And she wanted to feed him.  So it was a whole roller coaster ride.  Then came kosher foods, which also brought her difficulty.  When I was talking to her, I said, “Felicia, this is a good idea for a column.”  And she replied, “Yes, and also, his feet stunk!”

 

“No, that’s not what I meant.  The issues between you two, the issues of dating someone of a different religion.”  But stinky feet…yikes.

So, nowadays, most people are open to dating people of different religions, and many aren’t too faithful to their own.  Hey, it’s the truth.  But what happens when you date someone who is?  Do you adapt to theirs?  Do you stay true to your own and hope they adjust?  Or do you both follow your own and become even more compatible?  It can be tricky.  But, it is possible.

In fact, when the online dating site J-Date was created, it was formed for Jewish Singles to connect, but more and more non-Jews have been going on to find someone of the Jewish faith to date because of their values and commitment.  They have certain traits they admire, so that is where religion does play a positive role in dating, as along as both are on the same path.

When I was growing up, I knew that we celebrated Christmas.  Then I knew people in school who celebrated Hanukah.  Then I know those really special kids who celebrated both Christmas and Hanukah.  Boy, were they lucky.  They told me how one parent was Jewish and one parent was Christian.  All I knew was that they had two holidays.  Super!

But when you are older, and dating, it can be more than that.  It goes beyond holidays—it’s about beliefs.  Or, it’s about stereotypes.  Some people believe one religion breeds “kinder” men than others.  Or, it turns out more “mama’s boys.”  Or, some have really just swept religion under the rug and don’t think about it when dating.  Or will nonchalantly ask what religion they are, and with that answer, then ask if they go to church or synagogue, and then reply, “just on holidays,” or, “nah, me either.” And that is when they click.

For some, it is how they were raised and how they will continue to raise their children.  That is why there are dating site such was www.jdate.com , www.christiansingles.com, www.catholicharmony.com, www.indiandating.com and www.nativeamericanpassions.com .  Yep, it’s all out there, for anyone and everyone who wants to try it.  Any religion, any person, for whatever you are looking for.  Just be sure you know what you’re looking for.

Then again, who really knows what they are looking for?  Maybe you don’t need to find that nice Catholic boy that Grandma told you to.  If you meet a nice Jewish one instead, should you turn him down?  I say, no.  Maybe you’ll learn just as much about yourself as you will about him by dating him. But the choice is up to you.  A nice guy is a nice guy, and we all know, that is a rare find.  I just caution you of the ones with stinky feet.  Though, let’s be honest, that’s pretty common.  Just buy air fresheners and all will be well.


           

Dating Triumphs and Tragedies is published every Sunday by Online Dating Magazine columnist Nicole Roberge. She can be reached at NicoleMRoberge@hotmail.com.


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