An Atheist’s Guide to Dating a Catholic

When it comes to topics that cause disputes and arguments, few things get more heated than discussing religion. While politics and money are the other big causes of arguments, religion is something that many of us take even more seriously and personally, and that has even more wide and varied views. Atheists often just can’t understand Catholics, while Catholics can’t understand how atheists can live without a God in their life – and this then leads to misunderstandings and disagreements involving the way they raise their children, the way they spend their time, the way they vote and even their sex lives. It’s a difficult mix yes, but is it hopeless? Certainly not – as long as you’re willing to see their side of the story and to respect their beliefs. Here we will look at some ways to make it work.

Accept Them

Before you get into this relationship know this – you won’t be able to change your partner’s beliefs and nor should you. If you try to convince your partner to lose their religious ideology, then you will find you only push them away and cement their beliefs further. Make sure then that you are happy with them as they are before you start dating them. Likewise though they should also have the same respect for your lack of belief and it’s important you communicate early on that you don’t want to be converted.

Feeling Comfortable

One of the big problems that Christians have with dating atheists is that they don’t feel comfortable to discuss their beliefs. Religion is something that is very important to them, and their relationship with God will likely be held in higher esteem even than their relationship with you. If they feel you are judging them for their beliefs then, or if you constantly challenge them, you’ll find that they don’t feel they want to open up to you about this. Religion is a very important part of who they are, so make sure they can talk to you about it or you won’t really know them. Show them that you are interested in that part of their life by going to church with them every now and then, by flicking through the bible, or by asking questions – it will mean a lot to them.


There are going to be compromises you have to make when it comes to dating someone of faith. While this will depend on how conservative they are you might find they want to get married in a church, that they want to go to church every Sunday, that they want your child to be Christened/raised Catholic, or that they don’t agree with sex before marriage.

All of these things are big sacrifices to make if you don’t believe, but you need to remember that compromise is a big part of any relationship. If you leave your partner for someone who you think will be more like minded then just be warned – even if they seem just like you all the same disputes are likely to come up. Instead then, try to find a compromise position that you’re both happy with or take it in turns to ‘win’. You’ll find actually that your relationship is well balanced as a result.

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