I am willing to be completely wrong about this, and I do realize that every relationship is different and unique to each couple. I still have to ask though: do theists tend to "settle" more in their relationships?
Here's my thought: I can't count the number of times I've heard someone say, "God put him/her on this planet just for me. He/She is perfect."
So keeping that in mind, is must be hard for someone who has "acknowledged" to god that this person is "the one". It's like, "OK, god. I found him/her. Thank you! We can take it from here!" Would they feel like they were betraying god if they dated this perfect person for years, and realized this chosen person isn't perfect? Do they keep their mouths shut about certain traits/characteristics that drive them insane? It must be quite the mindf*ck to dislike the person you feel god has "chosen" for you.
I'd imagine they would then turn to talking to god instead of talking amongst themselves, and obviously things can turn out two ways: either both parties suck it up and pretend to meant for each other (which results in nothing but problems), or they break it off and are a bit hypocritical (which still causes problems).
I can't see an atheistic couple going through that. That's if you're lucky enough to find someone who is similar to you in that aspect. I am, and every time the subject of religion or something similar comes up between us, I'm very grateful I found someone like that. A decent foundation of communication is the basis of your relationship. You're not going to talk to god to help with a relationship problem, you're going to talk to your partner. You're not going to pray for your relationship problems to go away, you're going to work to make them better.
I don't know... It just seems like a couple who is constantly thanking god for having found one another is covering for something. At least (hopefully), an atheist couple can say, "No. God didn't find him/her. I found him/her. I was the one who said hello, I was the one to initiate things. This relationship is because of the both of us and it's failure/success is not dependent on anything else."
That seems far more honest to me. It's easier to admit that maybe you've chosen wrong when you started it off with, "I'm human. You're human. Let's try to make this work."
I really don't have much experience in relationships (besides my own), so I could be way off. I just graduated college, and so I suddenly find myself with a lot more time to let my mind wander. :)
In my experience I would say yes, they do settle.
I grew up christian with heavy indoctrination. My husband and I were both christian when we meet and got married, now I'm atheist and he's agnostic. We were taught that when you get married, it's you, him, and "god" (this always bothered me, it sounds creepy). This puts the focus (glory?) on god but puts the responsibility on the couple to make it look like the relationship is perfect. If it fails, it's always the people's fault. Double standard, no?
It's hard enough to be in a fundamentalist religion and be able to be honest with yourself and what you want, much less with another person. Recipe for disaster IMO. As for when problems arise, you are encouraged to "take everything to god," which *when* that doesn't work, just makes people ignore issues they should be addressing.
well one study of interest is that divorce rates among fundamental christians is significanty higher than more liberal denominations with atheists being amongst the lowest
not to mention the other statistics amongst the bible belt
"it is an area with the highest divorce, murder, STD/HIV/AIDS, teen pregnancy, single parent homes, infant mortality, and obesity rates in the nation. As a region, the Bible Belt has the poorest health care systems and the lowest rates of high school graduation"
Simple, we don't talk about it..=)