As someone who was raised by a Catholic mother and an atheist father, I find it strange that they managed to make their marriage work. I would personally never date someone who didn't share my religious beliefs, which are non-existent. My mother even wanted my sister and I to go to Catholic school, while my father wasn't having it. That was the only issue between my parents for a long time — until we grew up.
By the time my sister and I were in high school we were both atheists, despite the fact that we were still being dragged to church and Sunday school every weekend. There was no doubt in our minds that God was something human beings made up to give their lives purpose and to explain the things they couldn't understand. My mother became a wee bit angry and resentful that she hadn't married a fellow Catholic, as both my sister and I were constantly in trouble at Sunday school for spouting off our father's opinions.
My personal experience apparently doesn't mesh with the rest of America's. Online dating site OurTime.com recently conducted a survey and found that 63 percent of U.S. adults would be completely open to dating someone who didn't share their religious beliefs. Here's how that statistic breaks down by age, gender and region of the country:
- Younger women: 62 percent of women between 18-34 would date someone of a different religion.
- Younger men: In comparison, only 52 percent of men between 18-34 would venture into different-religion territory.
- Older women: 59 percent of women over 55 would date someone with different beliefs.
- Older men: At this age, the percentage of men who would date someone of a different religion rises to 70.
- South and West: People are more likely to stick to their own kind (they don't call it the Bible Belt for nothing).
- Northeast: 70 percent of people wouldn't mind dating someone with different religious beliefs (or lack thereof). Probably because you're less likely to run into a zealot here.
Does religion affect your love life?
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