Please can any Christians come and advise me on this one?(18 Posts)
Hi, I think it's likely if his faith is really important to him, and if by date 2 he's suggesting Alpha, that he is going to find it hard if you don't join with him in his expressions of faith. I know from my own life that as a christian I do really want my family and friends to share that belief, not because I want them to think like me, but because I think it's true, and I think that it makes life make sense. It's therefore always central to who I am and what I'm doing. If he is the same then I guess it could be difficult. As to the sex - I hold the same beliefs and no matter how counter cultural they seem, it would have been a really big deal for me to have gone against my conscience. He sounds as if he really likes you and is therefore perhaps trying to make it sound as though he is less fixed in his own ground rules than he is. I think you're really wise to question it now, rather than a bit further on. This is of course just my interpretation and I may be utterly wrong . He may be just the right man for you. I hope that it works out well .
Not sure this will be much help, but here goes ...
Some Christians don't think Christians should go out with or marry someone who is not a Christian. He may believe that deep down and therefore would feel much more comfortable in his conscience with you at least investigating Christianity through an Alpha course or similar (he can then tell himself and other Christian friends that you are interested in Christanity).
The question is, if you told him that you would never ever consider becoming a Christian, would he consider that a deal-breaker in going ahead with a relationship? If he would, then I'm not sure this relationship has legs, obviously. If he would consider being in a long-term relationship with someone who was a committed atheist, then my guess is that what he believes is not so central in his life after all so it might not be a problem to either of you. All of which is very obvious, sorry!
And I wouldn't hold my breath for sex either.
I'd be concerned about how he's "not into trying to convert people", yet doesn't believe that there are any atheists - they're just people who haven't yet been converted (which is basically the point of trying to get people to go on Alpha courses). The two don't really match up.
Personally I am a Christian, though not the most rule-following one. But I have absolutely no problem in believing that there are atheists, who have genuinely and deeply considered there position and come to that conclusion, and are equally entitled to that view as I am to mine.
I don't think there will always be a problem with an atheist going out with a Christian, but with this speciifc Christian I think it might well be an issue.
Make sure he's clear that you genuinely are an atheist and have no wish to change that. He'll either be ok with that, say he's ok but keep "suggesting" Alpha or coming to church with him, or admit that it's a problem.
I agree with AMumInScotland.
I'm also a Christian and I went out with someone who sounds like your man. I'm still sure he went out with me because I was a Christian and not who I am/was. After I dumped him (incidentally we did have sex but he was permanently trying to get me to marry him even though we were only together for 9 months in all) he went out with another girl he'd met on the same church weekend we met on. Then she dumped him (after getting engaged) and the next Christian girlfriend has just dumped him too. I on the other hand, was determined not to go out with another Christian. Of course I'm now married to a man who went to my church (but I never talked to) and who wants to become a priest.
I'm telling you this because if he thinks he can be with you and is willing to not convert you, more love you for who you are, you're fine. If he's trying to fit you into his mould (and get God brownie points for converting you as well), you're not.
It may be that what you believe is more important to his mother than to him, and that she may have lots of problems with him not going to church often, being divorced or seeing an atheist. Which may end up being a problem for her or him or if you go out with him!
If he said he was sure he didn't want kids and kids were a big priority for you you would rethink the situation ... I think his Christianity is such an issue..
Incidentally, the Alpha course, in spite of all it says, isn't a try before you buy, but a really intensive course ...
"He told me today that he is not into trying to convert people, to which I responded ' Good, as you wouldn't get very far, I'm an atheist. ' He then told me there was no such thing and that I should do an Alpha course!!"
I would be quite alarmed by him telling you there is no such thing as an atheist! Obviously there is, as you are one. I wonder if he actually means "atheists beliefs don't count"?
(Disclaimer: I am not a christian and recently had my fingers burnt during a new friendship I forged with a very evangelical christian lady)
Are you Atheist or agnostic?
There is a big difference.
Re: the alpha comment, he may have been trying to lighten the atmosphere, and the joke has fallen flat.
There is also the possibility that you are just not comfortable dating a Christian because you are worried about the pressure to convert?
If he is easy to talk to, that is good, but at this stage I'd just go with the flow, you've only dated twice, you don't have to start worrying about long term future yet!
'Can it work with him? '
Because it sounds like he has hang-ups about sex, religion aside.
Hello, I'm a Christian, married to an atheist. It has never been an issue for us as we both completly respect where the other one comes from and have very similar values for living life, bringing up our kids etc. I think (for what it's worth) what he has said so far could be put down to nervous not-very-hilarious joking, particularly the bit about his mum, let's face it lots of parents have their, ahem, eccenticities, and perhaps he feels like it's best to get it out in the open now, so you are not put off later. Speculating wildly, I would say that he may even be doubting some of the things that he has previously taken for granted about his faith, e.g. The sex thing and maybe you are shaking up his ideas a bit. (no bad thing IMO).
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