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Missionary dating: When the new boo is not as saved as you

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Posted: Thursday, October 11, 2012 12:05 am

You meet the perfect person. You go out on a few dates. Instantly, they are elevated to “boo” status and you think that you’ve finally found “the one.” 

Things are going great until you do a little more digging and little more soul-searching. After more extensive conversations about life and love, you realize that your new boo isn’t on the same page with you spiritually.

More pointedly, you realize that you guys are out of sync and don’t share the same commitment to faith. What do you do?  Is this a deal-breaker?

For some people, faith in God is something that is not a part of everyday life.  For others, it’s an integral component of their upbringing, ideals, values and beliefs.  And it’s the second group that should strongly consider the social, personal and spiritual effects of choosing a mate who doesn’t share your commitment to faith. Read on for tips about wisely choosing a mate in this situation.

The Spiritual Aspect. If your new boo is cool with exploring the elements of your faith, there might be promise in the relationship. But, if you are strong believer who is grounded in the principles of beliefs, don’t expect to change someone overnight. In fact, don’t expect to change someone at all.

You must realize faith is a matter of personal decision. You can’t force someone to believe in God nor should you want to. If someone is not at a place where they are ready to embrace faith and live a lifestyle that reflects their faith, it may be good to ditch the missionary dating and find someone who shares your values.

The Personal Aspect. “To thine own self be true” has always been a helpful gut check for me. Throughout the years when confronted with challenging decisions, it’s helped to bring clarity and insight to otherwise confusing situations. And it applies to choosing a mate as well.

At a certain point, you have to ask yourself what you’re willing to give up for the sake of a relationship? If your faith is of particular importance to you, why would you compromise it?

When you first meet someone, in the giddy excitement of a new relationship, you might find yourself explaining away certain things or excusing certain behaviors just to keep the relationship going. But, long-term, this never works. Eventually, you will have to confront the issues that you knew were a problem from the beginning. And it could be time unnecessarily spent on a relationship that was never going to work. 

When choosing a mate, the most important thing is to be clear about your non-negotiables. There has to be a standard of what you will and won’t accept in relationships. Now, I am not saying that you should have a mile-long list of do’s and don’ts.  But you should be very clear about what you want in a relationship and what won’t fly. 

So, if there are some inconsistencies with your boo as it relates to your desire to share a mutual faith, then perhaps the relationship is not on solid ground and shouldn’t continue.

The Social Aspect. Within your faith community, it’s likely that there are principles related to being “equally yoked.” These principles highlight the importance of couples sharing a mutual commitment. Simply put, it’s ensuring that you and your boo believe the similar things about the same faith doctrine.

Practically speaking, it’s checking what people say against what they do. When choosing a mate, you have to ask yourself the question, “Is their lifestyle respective of the faith they say they embrace?” And you also have to consider, “Do we share mutual beliefs, values, morals and ideologies?”

Asking these questions within yourself will help you to shift through the romantic feelings and determine if your boo’s character is compatible with what you desire in a mate. This will help you to choose wisely.

D. S. Coleman is a motivational speaker, freelance writer, wife and mother.  Find her on Twitter at: @thelovejourney7 and check out her book “Why Dating Sucks & How Courtship Is Better” for an eye-opening take on dating and relationships (available on

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