Religion and Relationships

I’ve never really thought about it too terribly much before, but as a Pagan person, it’s bound to come up when it comes to relationships.  How does religion/spirituality as a Pagan person affect relationships, especially with someone not of the same path?

During one of the Interfaith Council sessions I attended, one of the girls asked if there were any restrictions or stigmas within Paganism against dating or marrying a non-Pagan.  I said that as far as I know, most Pagans don’t care if a Pagan dates or marries outside of Paganism, and many don’t consider differing religions to be a barrier when it comes to relationships.  As far as I can tell, that’s true–most of us don’t care.  It is what it is, and if two people can’t reconcile differing beliefs or agree to disagree, then that’s fine, no judgement or condemnation for believing differently.

I think a lot of Pagans end up dating non-Pagans, either because there are too few Pagans around in the area, or the Pagans that are around are in some way not their type.  To each their own, and that’s fine.  My ex was definitely not Pagan, though he was Pagan-friendly, and I figure that’s the best I could ask for.

Some do find partners within Paganism, though perhaps of a different tradition.  I can think of one friend who’s dating another Pagan, and I myself am involved with a Pagan now.  Considering all the different paths and traditions and types of Paganism, I think that dating within Paganism can be as challenging and as difficult as dating across religious lines can be.  Well, dating across Pagan traditions could be considered dating across religions in a way, depending on the traditions involved.  For example, say an Alexandrian Wiccan dates a shaman.  The beliefs and practices of each can be very different, and may be as different as comparing Wicca to Christianity.  It’s like a devout Catholic dating a Protestant.  Just because you’re dating within Paganism, it doesn’t mean you’re going to date someone with the same or even similar beliefs.  It’s not like a Presbyterian dating a Presbyterian, for example.  Even within Wicca it’s not necessarily a given that the other person will believe or practice similarly.  The wide range and huge diversity of beliefs and practices under the umbrella of Paganism can make relationships within a Pagan framework more complicated than they might at first appear.

Another dynamic I’m aware of is actively not dating within Paganism.  As one of my friends once said, “Pagans guys are just weird.”  True, that’s a major generalization, but what she was getting at was that the Pagan guys she had known and dated were too “out there” or too off her own path that she couldn’t reconcile it well enough.  Or they’re gay, which certainly takes them out of the running for a woman.  From what I’ve seen, this mode of thought, however unconscious, seems to be fairly consistent.  The Pagan relationships I’ve seen in other people just haven’t worked, for whatever reason, but they all ended and the people mostly went outside of Paganism to find partners after that.  It’s a very interesting and subtle dynamic I’ve started noticing going on.

I could have sworn I had a point to all this, but now I think I’m mainly just bouncing ideas and thoughts off the Internet and my lovely readers.  What do you think?  Do you date outside of Paganism or within?  Does religion play a large or small factor in relationships, or is it not a factor for you at all?


5 responses to “Religion and Relationships

  1. Pingback: Is Paganism a resurgence of old heresies? - BaedonWebz

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  4. I couldn’t agree more! I’m married to a non-pagan and we basically ignore our differing believes. Truth to be told, he insists on not believing anything – though he’s coming around and at least is beginning to trust my “gut instincts”.

    I had to find out the hard way that he really can’t deal with me telling him magick stuff. It actually makes him worry about my sanity. On the other hand, if I can refrain from telling him directly, he’s fine with whatever I do: During a journey, I happened to stumble upon the first pagans I ever met in real life. Of course I couldn’t just ignore this and startet chatting with the pagan couple, even with my husband right next to me. While we three pagans exchanged basic information (what’s your path, what kind of magick do you practice etc.) my husband interrupted several times telling the other couple that I “used to read a lot about that stuff” – obviously blinding out completely what I was telling about myself and what included quite a bit more than just “reading about”.

    Nevertheless, as long as I don’t force him to acknowledge my actions, we get along quite well. So, when burning incense to clean the house, I tell him something about “perfuming” and he’s fine with it. On the other hand, he turns to me whenever there is a question about religion or supersticion bugging him. I suppose, he draws a line between “knowing stuff” and “practicing”. Whatever works!

  5. Dating outside of paganism isn’t a huge factor but it does limit some things I can share with my partner. For example, I can’t go to him about a spirit I sensed, or a particular dream I had that could be a message; so on and so forth. The few times I’ve tried I’ve gotten the look of ‘okay…… you’re probably just looking too into it but I’m not going to say anything to hurt you’. But that look alone has made it a little harder to talk about anything spiritual or religious with him. It’s kind of gotten to the point where we just don’t talk about our beliefs because we believe so different and from my view point I get the feeling of being judged for being crazy in believing what I do (even though I know that’s not what is actually happening). I try to take it as “you believe this and I believe that and we’re different and that’s okay” but I’m a bit stuck on the feeling of judgement. It definitely effects our relationship in the fact that I can’t go to him to talk about certain things and I’m in the mindset of wanting to share everything.

    But other than that, religion and beliefs don’t play a particularly huge role in our relationship. And even when/if I do become more practicing I doubt it will be. It’ll probably just be one of those things I share with my pagan friends and just say in passing to him “oh I did a ritual earlier” “did it go well?” “yea, what do you want for dinner?” It’s a little sad I can’t speak to him about these things, but as with every relationship, there’s a give and take and lots of compromises to be had.

    This feels more like a “here are my feelings” post, but really what I was trying to get at is that I don’t date based of religion. If our fundamental beliefs and values are drastically different that will be a breaking point, but other than that religion is really not a big deal.

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