Does anyone else find it frustrating dating in the south? A few weeks ago a friend of mine set me up on a blind date/meeting with a friend of hers and it went great! She was awesome, we had a lot in common and we both had told our friend that we really wanted to see each other again. She even sent me something saying she wanted to hang out again, that is until she saw that was an atheist... After that she refused to go out with me again even though we both had a really great time together because of the simple face that I didn't believe in magic. I knew that she was very religious which I'm really not a big fan of but I would have tried to keep my religious beliefs out of it, I just don't understand why the religious can't do the same. I had given up on serious relationships until I move north or to Europe after college anyway but its still a little disheartening. Anyone else deal with this crap?

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wtf.  I imagine that's how Priests rationalize it morally when they rape children...'it's in the Church and I'm a man of God...so this isn't evil!'

I know exactly what you mean. I meet a decent number of women who express interest in me initially, but the moment they find out I don't believe in God they lose all interest -- even if they are only nominal believers. The sad part about this is that it's not like I advertise my atheism militantly; I just respond to their questions about my 'spirituality' honestly in a non-confrontational manner.

My sister (religious - she even teaches a Sunday school class at her church) is married to an agnostic atheist and they have a wonderful relationship because he doesn't look down on her and she doesn't expect him to lie about something he doesn't really believe. They are raising their child to decide for himself what he believes, so that is something to be happy about.

I don't understand why, with so many women claiming to be open-minded, it is so difficult to find one who actually is? I thought dating was difficult when I was a Christian; now that I'm an atheist in the South it seems like it's almost impossible (and it wasn't much better in the Midwest). I feel your pain, man, and I wish you the best of luck in meeting a woman who can appreciate you for your character qualities.

Perhaps it has more to do with the social stigma...?

My Aunt's the "woo, woo" type of mix-your-own-version-of-Catholicism Christian (her parents are more traditional) and she married an out Atheist.  It's been 30 years and they're going strong.  Everyone in the family knows he doesn't believe.  It's not a big controversy.  Perhaps it was several decades ago.

 

I am just giving this example because not all Christians would expect an Atheist to hide their apostasy and lie to the in-laws.

 

Totally agree, I've had three relationships end with my Atheism being one of the issues and in one case it was the ONLY issue and her mother screamed at her for dating me in the first place when she found out. 

It also REALLY narrows the initial dating pool you can work with. To almost nothing -.-

I used to be a fundamentalist minister but am now an atheist. Although I don't live in the Bible Belt now, that is where I'm from originally. Further, my deconversion from fundamentalist to Atheist was a significant factor in my recently concluded divorce. Most of my family, with the exception of my children still live in NC and my sister is an evangelical believer. So, here goes.

There are a number of passages in the NT which clearly state that the believer and the unbeliever absolutely, fundamentally, have nothing in common and especially in matters of relationship, perhaps even more especially intimate relationship. Jesus himself encourages Christians to place allegiance to him above all other relationships including that of husband and wife. Paul describes the difference as that between light and darkness, between Christ and Belial (the devil). He thus tells Christians not to be "unequally yoked" with unbelievers.

There are more general descriptions of this absolute division between Christians and the "world", as they are to be "in" the world but no "of" it. The world is the realm of Satan and Christians are members of the body of Christ. There is the distinction between the "flesh" and the "Spirit" where "flesh" is symbolic for that which is controlled and affected to sin and Spirit is in reference to the Holy Spirit who is supposed to be in each believer and is making them more and more like Christ everyday. There is the distinction between the "new" man, Christ, into whose image the believer is sanctify or made new day by day, and the "old" man, Adam, in whose image the person shared in the corruption brought on by the fall and the entrance of sin and death into the world.

Believers are "alive in Christ" and unbelievers are "dead in their sins". Ultimately the believer is going to heaven, will be raised to new life when Christ returns and live in the new heavens and earth while unbelievers will be cast into hell bodily after the general resurrection and suffer for eternity. Paul even says that if the believing wife did not "sanctify" her unbelieving husband their children would be unholy.

Further Christians are encouraged to see atheist is immoral and utterly foolish. They also fear the "temptation" of being drawn away from their faith in Christ by the ungodly influence of an unbeliever especially in intimate relationship. Further if you were to get married that believer would be bound in that relationship for life as divorce in evangelical circles is frowned on and marriage is held in such high regard. Dating has as it's purpose to find someone to marry for evangelical Christians. Why would she date someone she would never consider marrying of if she did would doom her to an life of being unequally yoked with some who is totally antithetical to all to which she is committed.

For evangelical Christians it's not just religion, it subsumes the whole of life. It is a full, personal, life commitment to a world and life view and to a system of morality that separates them from a world bent on rebellion and hatred of god, and destined for hell.

I expect that is the reason she will no longer see you. Finding someone you like and have fun with doesn't trump that kind of black and white, we and them view of the world. In fact Jesus warns them against it and says, as I mentioned earlier, that allegiance to him trumps all relationships.

Thank you for giving us insight into how serious the doctrine is about maintaining division between the holy and the heathen in this sect of Christianity, Dennis.  It's very eye opening.  I'll share my experience too, for contrast. 

 

In the modern Catholic Church (as opposed to those still pining for the days of the good old Latin mass) the attitude is a lot more lax toward those who are 'of the world' and those who are 'of the body of Christ.'  You were supposed to be cautious within secular realms but not to the point of cutting people off.  There was always the hope of conversion through exemplifying Christ's grace, and getting from Caesar so to render unto Paul... (wait, I think I mixed that one up--or, did I?)  My main response to unbelievers was emotional:  deep sorrow and anxiety about their fate...what with being a selfless paragon of grace, and all.  ;-) 

I might suggest using an online dating service. The good ones will give you an opportunity to

let your atheistic stance be a part of your profile.

You never know.....

Jake--try seeking out more progressive Christians...if they respect people of other faiths, they should be more open to an atheist if you initially frame it as another type of "other" belief system.  They're less likely to take every aspect of their faith as set in stone and may have never even heard the "unequally yoked" rule.

I know what you mean. Same thing here. People here all belong to the most ridiculously corrupt churches, yet believe i'm evil because i don't think there's a magical guy in the sky. Luckily, we do have some logical people in and around my town. I found it was best to find either another Atheists, or someone that just doesn't care either way. I've been with my Atheist girlfriend for two years and everything is awesome. You CAN date a religious girl and it not be a big deal, just don't expect that to happen because it's relatively rare.

I've avoided long term relationships here in Texas because that always does seem to be an issue. My friend is an atheist and his girlfriend regularly attends church. Even though he was willing to ignore the religion and not let it come between them she hasn't really gotten over it. On the plus side we've been working on bringing her to the light of realizing the obvious fallacies of creationism. Not that we would force the beliefs on her but she kept bringing it up randomly and getting upset over it. I helped him explain it to her every time and little by little she's seeing things in a better light.
The section of Zeitgeist: The Movie regarding religion was also pretty helpful in the situation.
As for advice? Shit, I don't know man, religious people are crazy for the most part here in the south. Hope for a stroke of rare and gleaming luck in finding an open-minded or straight up atheist girl, or wait till you hit a more "intelligence friendly" area.

The truly amazing thing to me is how many gay men have this same attitude. I have tried the online thing someone else mentioned, and an alarming number of men list themselves as Christian and at least somewhat serious about it. They usually won't reply to an "out atheist" (and I thought being out was a good thing, in both arenas). In any event, I am not really that interested in dating a theist anyway. I'm pretty sure it would get ugly at some point, no matter how "progressive" his cult happens to be.

OK, so your church doesn't say that gays are the spawn of Satan. They do expect you to buy that zombie Jesus stuff though, right? (And then I hear the door slam)

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