In deciding who they want to date, most college students say they do not think about marriage or children.
But the choice to date someone may have unexpected implications—especially if that person does not share your religion, Summer says. Bhaskarabhatla ’09, who is Hindu, says he thinks “a relationship shouldn’t focus on a person’s religious tradition and background but mainly on personal characteristics and compatibility.” His parents would not agree.
Being raised in a religious home can have some powerful effects on your life and relationships.
However, in an unhealthy or abusive relationship, one partner may try to use religious beliefs to control how and when the other communicates.
Interpretations of some religious texts place more value on men’s words and opinions than on those of women or other marginalized groups.
If your partner attempts to control you, it’s important to think about the fact that they are not modeling their behavior after the Higher Power.
Healthy relationships include open and honest communication.
In contrast, Summer says she found that the strongest reactions came not from her family, but from her religious community.
She says that when she ran for the position of Hillel President last year, some notable people in the community expressed concern over her involvement in an interfaith relationship.“It was not a huge issue,” she said, “but it was something that I had to justify.”Many Harvard Jewish students say that both dating and marrying within the faith are important to them.“I think that dating within the faith..a strong value that many Jews have.However, prooftexting, (the practice of using one part of a text while ignoring others to support one’s position), valuing one ideal of a faith above others and mistranslations of original texts help make the case that excerpts of religious texts cannot be viewed on their own.Instead, they must be more deeply examined within the context of the Holy Book and religious teaching so that religion can be a source of comfort and empowerment in navigating intimate relationships.Religion can be such an important part of many people’s lives.Faith centers can be a source of comfort and guidance, a place to make friends, a place to become more educated about your religion’s history, and even a place to meet a partner who shares your beliefs.For some people, the way they choose to dress is a representation of their commitment to their faith.