What Do the Most Popular Religions in the World Have to Say About Dating?

According to Happen Magazine, 44% of American adults are single. That translates into about 100 million people. So even if there are times when you feel like there's no one for you, the statistics say otherwise. One of the main reasons that dating can be so hard is because the real challenge comes from finding the right place to meet someone. Even though it's commonly cited as one of the best places for singles to mingle, the same article from Happen states that only 9% of women and 2% of men have actually found a lasting relationship in a bar.
While it's no secret that simply dating can be complicated enough, when religion is involved, this process can become even more of a challenge. So whether you have a religious background or are interested in pursuing someone who's religious, let's take a look at how some of the biggest religions in the world view this part of people's lives:
Catholicism
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Experts agree that while the Catholic church isn't blatantly opposed to a member marrying someone of a different Christian faith, they would ideally prefer their members to marry within the church. Not only is this because shared religious views can bring two people closer together, but it also helps ensure that Catholicism will be passed on to the next generation.
If a Catholic does ultimately marry someone who's outside their religion, the church makes it clear that they hope that person will continue practicing Catholicism, as well as raise and baptize their children within the church. So if you aren't Catholic but are thinking about dating someone who is, keep in mind that if things get serious, having your kids raised Catholic is something you're going to need to evaluate.
In terms of dating, one thing that sets the Catholic church apart from others is when someone is dating a member of another religion, the church doesn't emphasize trying to convert them. Instead, they state that mutual respect is very important. Couples should avoid spending their time arguing about minor differences and focus on how this experience can be used as an opportunity to learn something new.
One view of the church about dating that's not surprising and is fairly consistent throughout most religions is that sex is something that should never occur outside of a marriage. And for those who like to bend the rules, that includes other activities that aren't technically sex but fall under the same umbrella.
Islam
Of the religions we're going to cover today, Islam is probably the one with the strictest views on dating. The reason is that what's typically defined as dating doesn't actually exist in the Muslim world. You won't find young Muslim men and women getting into exclusive relationships with each other and spending lots of time together. That's because any type of pre-marital relationship with the opposite sex is actually forbidden by Islamic law.
So, how does a member of this faith find a partner to marry? When the time comes, they begin by making a du'a to Allah. From there, it's their family who begins looking for the right prospect. When a good match is found, the two meet in a group environment that's chaperoned. If they seem like the right fit, the family will do more research. Finally, the couple will pray for advice and guidance. At that point, they will either choose to pursue marriage or go their separate ways.
Judaism
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The Jewish faith doesn't view dating as an activity that's designed for fun or entertainment. Instead, it's a specific way for young men and women to find a mate who they're going to be able to marry and enjoy a happy and stable life with. That's a key reason why matchmakers and online dating are very popular within this community.
While romantic gestures like giving a woman a piece of Judaica jewelry aren't prohibited, one thing that's not allowed is for an unmarried couple to be in a private place with just each other. That's primarily to prevent people who are dating from being tempted to engage in any type of sexual activity with each other. It's also so the couple can focus on truly getting to know each other without being distracted.
Dating can be a major challenge for someone of any age. And even though religion can add a few additional complications to the mix, as long as you're open to the idea of finding someone special and sharing your life with them, you will eventually find the perfect person for you!



Mora Madewell is a teacher. When she's not busy in her classroom, she enjoys writing, as well as mountain biking.

3 comments

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