Scroll To Top

10 Ways A Queer Atheist Can Make It Work With Her Religious Girlfriend

10 Ways A Queer Atheist Can Make It Work With Her Religious Girlfriend

10 Ways A Queer Atheist Can Make It Work With Her Religious Girlfriend

The odds of falling for a religious woman? They’re not bad. Unless you want to limit your dating pool and potentially miss out on the girl of your dreams, it’s time to learn how to play nice.

There are plenty of queer atheists who consider their relationships a blessing, but for well over half of LGBT people, that blessing might seem a bit more literal. Despite the Christian vs. LGBT narrative in U.S. culture, a recent Pew Research Center report indicates 59 percent of LGBT Americans identify as religious, with 48 percent falling under the Christian umbrella. Hundreds of churches have opened their doors to LGBT members, lesbian filmmakers have taken on Bible scholars, and even Pope Francis has taken a slightly more progressive stance (if a wishy-washy one) than predecessors on same-sex relationships. So, the odds of falling for a religious woman? They’re not bad. Unless you want to limit your dating pool and potentially miss out on the girl of your dreams, it’s time to learn how to play nice. Here are 10 ways queer atheists can make it work with their religious girlfriends:


1) Accept that you have different beliefs.


If you’re going to spend your entire relationship trying to change her mind, just break up right now. No one really wants to hear your Dawkins quotes, but that’s doubly true of your religious girlfriend. If you can’t accept who she is, and that means all of who she is, then this relationship already over. 


2) Hit the books! 


Read the Bible. Read the Tanakh. Read the Quran. Read whatever texts inform a major part of who she is, and then talk to her about how she interprets those texts. Be open to seeing religious texts through her eyes. Whether you’re a devout believer, or a godless heathen like me, you can find poetry and beauty in these books. Okay, so there’s a lot of weird stuff in there too…but also poetry. 

3) Participate in her religious community and traditions.


Listen, I get it. Eating Sunday brunch instead of going to church is basically the number one perk of being an atheist. I’m not saying you need to attend every religious service, but do try to attend from time to time. This is a hugely influential part of her life, and it’s a privilege to be a part of that. Plus, nothing beats good church gossip. 


4) Understand her logic.


Your girlfriend is an intelligent and independent person with a complex inner life. Don’t be that atheist who insists the only logical system of belief (or disbelief) is your own. Talk about the experiences in your girlfriend’s life that shaped her current beliefs. It’s a great opportunity to learn about a whole other side of her.


5) Share your own logic.


Don’t lecture. Seriously, do not lecture. If you start quoting some New Atheist dude here, she is going to run out the door. Just share where you’re coming from. Compare your viewpoint to hers, and talk about where and why they diverge.  

6) Recognize your own conflicting beliefs.

None of us are perfectly logical all the time. When your girlfriend says she believes two things that sound mutually exclusive to you, take a long hard look in the mirror. You might, for instance, believe cheating is the worst thing a person could do to their significant other, while you simultaneously defend Arizona Robbins to the death. Yeah, that's right. I see you, Team Arizona.


7) Talk about how her religious beliefs relate to her sexual orientation.

Sometimes we (smug queer atheists) have a tendency to assume that most or all religions are incompatible with queerness. Fortunately, that’s definitely not the case. The Queer Muslim Project, gay affirming churches, and Eshel, a group that advocates for LGBTQ+ inclusive Orthodox communities, are great examples that prove us wrong. Talk to your girlfriend about how she feels her religion and sexual orientation coexist, and whether it’s rocky or peaceful.


8) Figure out which subjects are off-limits.

There are some subjects that are off-limits in every relationship, whether you agree on all things religious or not. If you’re equally passionate, unwilling to compromise, and every time you talk about The Thing it causes a massive fight, just stop. Do not talk about The Thing anymore. The Thing is the equivalent of Voldemort in your house now. You shall not speak its name. Problem solved.

9) Focus on common interests.


If you both love to talk about bad Republican hair for hours on end, do it. If you both love cuddling on the couch watching Orange Is the New Black for the ninth time, go forth and cuddle. You got together for a reason—well, hopefully for more than just one—so, focus on the things that keep your relationship strong. 


10) If you’re planning on children, talk about how you want to raise them way before you’re expecting or in the middle of adopting.


Will your child attend religious services with your girlfriend? What holidays will you celebrate? Will you teach your child about numerous religions, or just the one your girlfriend believes in? If your child decides she hates Sunday school, will you help your girlfriend convince her to go? Will you fast in solidarity on Ramadan, or cave when he asks for a few chips? If you’ve already decided to have a child, you’re probably more than prepared for the billion or so compromises you’ll make to raise them. Still, it’s best to sort out the religious questions first, so you’re not arguing about the ethics of circumcision and brit milah two days before his bris


Have you liked us on Facebook?


Banner Image OneOut Magazine - Fellow Travelers

From our Sponsors

Most Popular

Latest Stories