I am a writer of witchery and am interested in all aspects of religious history and expression.
As a pagan married to a devout Christian, I get asked quite often, "How do you do it?!" The answer is, quite simply! Dating a non-pagan is not nearly the hassle you'd think, as long as you both have other areas of common ground and maintain some set standards for your interactions with one another regarding faith.
Without further ado, here are my top rules for dating a non-pagan (and having a fantastic relationship!).
Rule # 1: Talk Religion
It may seem counter-intuitive, but I've found that the best way to have a great interfaith relationship is to embrace your differing faiths, not sweep them under the rug. Learn what the other person believes and listen without attempting to judge or argue against it. You might find that you have a lot more in common than you think.
Rule # 2: Focus on the Similarities
Whether you're a Wiccan and he's a Catholic or she's a Buddhist and you're an atheistic Luciferian, you have a lot more in common than you think. Nearly all belief systems are based on understanding the nature of the universe and using those principles to build a better life for yourself. Start there and you'll quickly learn that you have more in common than not. Remember that the expression of faith is only part of any belief system.
Rule # 3: Celebrate the Differences
Life is nothing without variety, and the experiences that challenge us the most are the ones that help us grow the most. You wouldn't marry someone who looked, talked, and acted exactly like you, so why not see the benefit in the fact that you hold different beliefs? Instead of focusing on the parts of those beliefs that differ, try focusing on the expressions of those beliefs that compliment one another. A rowdy Asatruar can learn a thing or two from her calm and easygoing Taoist boyfriend, and vice versa.
Rule # 4: Have the Kid Conversation Early
Don't wait until you have kids to decide how they will be raised. Even the most easygoing believer can get riled up when they realize their partner doesn't want to raise their children in the faith they grew up in. If any issue can break an interfaith couple up, this is the one. If you have irreconcilable differences when it comes to teaching your future children about the nature of the universe, it's better to know as soon as possible.
Rule # 5: Stop Being a Missionary, Start Being a Partner
This one isn't only for the Christians, guys. Pagans are often just as guilty of trying to convert their non-pagan mates, albeit typically in less aggressive and dogmatic ways. You would be hurt and annoyed if he attempted to convert you or "shared the gospel" at every date, so don't expect him to share your beliefs about reincarnation and energy healing. I know it can be difficult to feel like your significant other will never understand the spiritual experiences you've had, and to want them to obtain the same enlightenment. However, if you're going to date a non-pagan you are going to have to get over it. I hate to be so blunt, but it's the only way to make a pagan/non-pagan relationship work.
More importantly, that line of thinking is significantly shortchanging the Universe. Who are we to say that a Christian or Mormon or even an atheist can't obtain the same spiritual enlightenment and truth we obtain from Mother Earth? The Universe is not so weak that it can speak through only one vessel. Remember that "But I want you to experience what I've experienced!" is the same excuse used by Abrahamic religions to wipe out and silence pagan traditions around the world. The cycle must be broken at some point, and interfaith relationships are a wonderful chance to recycle that negative legacy into something positive and beautiful.
Rule # 6: Be Honest
This applies to so many aspects of an interfaith relationship, chiefly when it comes to your beliefs. Maybe you just got asked out by that cute guy whom you know to be a Baptist, and you don't know how to break it to him over the first date appetizer that you're a witch. You can't quite figure out if he knows you're a pagan or if he thinks the pentacle around your neck is the "Star of David". Either way, while there's no need to blurt it out before the food arrives, you should still refrain from hiding it. Dating a non-pagan is a bit trickier of an issue when you factor in the fact that pagans are still the victims of gross stereotypes, cruel harassment, and even violence in many parts of the world. If you don't feel safe divulging that information, don't. But let it be a sign to you that you shouldn't be with someone who makes you feel at all threatened anyway.
Rule # 7: Relax!
As long as your personal beliefs are not diametrically opposed, they shouldn't keep you from having a relationship as healthy and satisfying as any other. Mutual respect is the only solid foundation on which to build a relationship, and interfaith couples have the advantage that they have to respect each other to begin a relationship in the first place.
Gadfly from Olde London Towne on December 21, 2018:
Greetings my little Darklings.
Today marks the winter solstice here in 'olde London towne', the shortest hours of actual daylight.
Be very afraid.
Ian Stuart Robertson from London England on July 15, 2016:
Oh my! Can it actually be two years since a comment was posted here?
Ian Stuart Robertson from London England on December 17, 2015:
I am no longer practicing in the Arcane Order of Divine Mystics as i have graduated up to a higher level of thinking. On pagan love though, how many love stories are there from antiquity? Will not go into the Arthurian legends for reasons of bordering the metaphysical. Historicly the British Queens Boudica (Boadecia) was married, widowed and with two adult daughters. Her defiance of the Roman empire is documented but nothing romantic other than conjecture in a couple of films. Cartamundra a sorce of consternation to Rome, again nothing, wxcept that she ruled from Northumbria.
Joey (author) on October 30, 2015:
That's the truth! My Christian partner is very supportive, whereas I have very militant atheist friends I could never date because they won't let go of the disagreement.
Kitty Fields from Summerland on April 06, 2015:
I voted "atheist/agnostic" for easiest to date, but I would say it really depends on the person, right? To what extreme is that atheist person? If they are extremely militant atheist they might be harder to date than say a more relaxed Protestant. Great article!
Ian Stuart Robertson from London England on July 30, 2014:
Having gone through each degree to achieve the status of 'Adeptus Major' now there is nothing more thrilling than getting out and wandering the woodlands. It's an anti climax to have to come back. Remember Karma is the key!
Ian Stuart Robertson from London England on May 21, 2014:
But i drifted away from the thread. All of my activities in the spiritual realm have been nonsexual as i tend to think of these Women there as being natural leaders and dating never ever came into the equation. I tended to fraternise more with collegues on the work front and eventually it would appear some one would be into yoga or visiting heritage sites and we would have something in common to discuss but never was i ever pemitted to bring a visitor into our ceremonial ritual.
Ian Stuart Robertson from London England on May 21, 2014:
I have been practicing the craft in one form or another since first joining various secret clubs and now in my 'youth of old age' am able in hindsight to sort the wheat from the chaff. At the time that i started to appreciate the opposite gender i tended to belong to male oriented groups but when i drifted into a Woman led coven practicing Wicca the High Priestess was definitely attractive and commanded a lot of respect. It was misconstrued that my admiration was deemed to be a love affair and i got expelled. It was there i passed my initiation in fear and humility.