He adds that many Indian families would not support interfaith relationships, and that this attitude is characteristic of many other cultural traditions as well.“A lot of parents feel that you’re going to dilute your culture if you date someone of a different culture,” he says.
In contrast, Summer says she found that the strongest reactions came not from her family, but from her religious community.
The decision to marry or not when there are very great differences in religion should not be made easily or lightly.
The consequences for yourself and the girl you love can have reverberations that can impact the happiness of each of you.
For others, religion is very important to them and a core part of who they are.
In either case, dating across religions can bring its own challenges, but with a little bit of guidance and advice, inter-faith dating couples can develop happy, fulfilling and successful relationships.
At arelakeeper.ie, we found that asking someone to identify their religion in their dating profile is only useful when we combine that with a separate question, ‘how important is your religion to you’.
The process of exploring these important issues has to do with what each considers to be of such great importance that they cannot compromise.
But the choice to date someone may have unexpected implications—especially if that person does not share your religion, Summer says. Bhaskarabhatla ’09, who is Hindu, says he thinks “a relationship shouldn’t focus on a person’s religious tradition and background but mainly on personal characteristics and compatibility.” His parents would not agree.
Faced with these complexities, many students say they will not date members of other religions, and those who say they are willing to do so admit it isn’t always easy. Interfaith dating forces many students to make a difficult choice: conceal their relationship from their parents, or face fighting with them about it, Bhaskarabhatla says.
For daters born into a certain religion, but who don’t necessarily regard it as an important part of their life, other users can at least see something about their cultural background.
For those who identify their religion as important to them, we can see that they hold their religious beliefs and practices highly and that they expect any prospective dating partners to be respectful in this area.