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Old 22nd January 2017, 6:34 PM   #16
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I live in the US.

On 1) - why do you say so? I'm just curious what information makes you conclude that? We're not in contact but I am thinking maybe we can be friends down the line (after we both find new partners, if they are ok with it).
If your ex-bf is willing to have a friendship only with those from his church, then I don't see how you guys can be friends in the future — I'm assuming you don't attend their church activities much now.

From your other posts/threads, you used to express concerns about your ex-bf's financial situation and you had helped him work on his savings and credit score. However, I would find his extreme religious view a much bigger issue.

I agree with a couple of previous posters that there are plenty of open-minded Christians who respect the religion (or the lack thereof) of others — especially you were willing to participate in his church activities often. So the point is not to avoid dating Christians or people with religious beliefs, but to avoid those with an extremely narrow mind.
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Old 22nd January 2017, 7:13 PM   #17
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What does this mean in practical terms?

I am asking because I'm still trying to make sense of my ex behavior. The long story short: he's Christian, I was raised Christian (sort of - we were following the holidays etc but not going to church regularly), but I consider myself agnostic. I told him that, told him I can go to church with him, but I can't promise I'll ever become a believer.

So... 1.5 years later - I never became a believer although I was going to church with him (for him because I knew it is important for him) and *behind my back* he started scrolling on a dating site... Later (after we broke up) I discussed with him why he was not satisfied in the RL: I'm citing
- 'I definitely want a Christian wife and household'
- 'I'd never have friends if I stay with you' - explaining: he only considered friendship material the people from his church. Even for my friends (not religious) he suggested to invite them to join, otherwise he didn't seem interested in befriending them
- 'You're not interested in marriage' - I was actually, HE was the one suggesting living together and holding off proposal because he wanted to ask permission from my family first (they are overseas and I'm not close to them)... Although he was deeply uncomfortable living together and I've witnessed people from his church commenting on it ... Then he told me he viewed our living together more as a roommate situation than commitment which would have came with engagement?!?

I'm wondering was he an d*ck stringing me along or waiting for me to 'convert' before proposing? What is the typical advice Christian men get when dating a non-believer (I know he got 'advice' from his pastor - I wonder did he suggested him dumping me... he'll never tell me the truth for that matters)

In general, would a Christian men marry a non-believer if she's openly saying this but nevertheless doing the things important for him (like attending church with him)?

The question is mainly because when I start online dating again, maybe I need to weed out religious folks if that's something that is generally a problem (i.e. they won't be serious if the woman is not a believer and/or they'll attempt converting her)
I was raised in a Christian home, but never took to the "church scene." Awkward for a lesbian, anyway. I think your ex is conflicted. It sounds like he enjoys your company, but the religious difference is a hangup. He's sexually attracted to you, but can't get around religious prohibitions and the views of his friends and family. Ultimately it is a choice - he can have one or the other, not both.

In general, devout Christians are encouraged to date other Christians. A "mixed" or "unequally yoked" marriage is frowned upon. I think this can be a good thing. In the most important issues, couples (and others) should be united to avoid stress in the relationship. I think you can definitely be friends with him, but a marriage is probably a "No-Go" (pun intended) unless one of you changes. I hope he realizes that having a bit more diversity in his circle of friends can be a good thing. There's certainly nothing in the Bible against having friends outside of church.... remind him that Jesus was criticized for eating dinner with "tax collectors and sinners."

On a side note, I tend to find the hypocrisy of the religious sorts irritating. Some people preach against sex, then go out and have sex. Others (my dad) proclaim "traditional family values" and then get drunk, go home and beat their wife and kids. I'm all for people having faith or a relationship with God, but organized religion with all of the rules that go with it sets people up for some tremendous unhappiness.
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Old 22nd January 2017, 7:37 PM   #18
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Good point - I'm not going to these activities anymore, which may be a deal breaker for potential friendship.

I'm not sure how exactly to pull this anyway, I am thinking about it because I miss his company, which I guess is normal after almost 2yrs day in and day out together

I brought the religious issues long time ago even on this forum -
He's religios, I'm agnostic - deal breaker?
^ This was soon after we met. I just thought it is not a deal breaker because I am *not* opposing Christian views - as said the social aspect bothered me most, and somehow I associated it with my introverted character (I'm not a fan of hanging out in groups at all)... He was never super explicit that it is bothering him.

I almost feel like in his case was not a narrow mind but some form of social anxiety (he felt comfortable only in church for some reason)... I'm just afraid the story will repeat if I get associated with another religious man (esp. if it is a religion that I'm not familiar with - Christianity, I thought, was the easiest in sense I more or less know the ropes).

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If your ex-bf is willing to have a friendship only with those from his church, then I don't see how you guys can be friends in the future — I'm assuming you don't attend their church activities much now.

From your other posts/threads, you used to express concerns about your ex-bf's financial situation and you had helped him work on his savings and credit score. However, I would find his extreme religious view a much bigger issue.

I agree with a couple of previous posters that there are plenty of open-minded Christians who respect the religion (or the lack thereof) of others — especially you were willing to participate in his church activities often. So the point is not to avoid dating Christians or people with religious beliefs, but to avoid those with an extremely narrow mind.
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Old 22nd January 2017, 7:45 PM   #19
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I was shocked when he said exactly this:
Ultimately it is a choice - he can have one or the other, not both.

Apparently I'm not his choice, which is fine, we had too many differences to work in long term anyway...I think this - I think you can definitely be friends with him, but a marriage is probably a "No-Go" (pun intended) is how it was from the start.

My guess is he wanted to explore his sexuality - which he suppressed until his mid30s! - and he had a sky-high libido. I can imagine this is a tug-of-war for religious folks.

There's certainly nothing in the Bible against having friends outside of church.... - to make it clear, he mentioned he'll be ok for *me* hanging out with non-religious people, or if we both want to do it, he'll invite them to church. Well, I was not comfortable with it, because most of my friends are scientists and in these communities the majority (not all) of people are hard-core atheists, or at least say so.

organized religion with all of the rules that go with it sets people up for some tremendous unhappiness
^ This is what this whole experience convinced me in. I'm not anti-rules at all myself, I play by common-sense though. This is hard to co-exist with organized religion.

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Originally Posted by major_merrick View Post
I was raised in a Christian home, but never took to the "church scene." Awkward for a lesbian, anyway. I think your ex is conflicted. It sounds like he enjoys your company, but the religious difference is a hangup. He's sexually attracted to you, but can't get around religious prohibitions and the views of his friends and family. Ultimately it is a choice - he can have one or the other, not both.

In general, devout Christians are encouraged to date other Christians. A "mixed" or "unequally yoked" marriage is frowned upon. I think this can be a good thing. In the most important issues, couples (and others) should be united to avoid stress in the relationship. I think you can definitely be friends with him, but a marriage is probably a "No-Go" (pun intended) unless one of you changes. I hope he realizes that having a bit more diversity in his circle of friends can be a good thing. There's certainly nothing in the Bible against having friends outside of church.... remind him that Jesus was criticized for eating dinner with "tax collectors and sinners."

On a side note, I tend to find the hypocrisy of the religious sorts irritating. Some people preach against sex, then go out and have sex. Others (my dad) proclaim "traditional family values" and then get drunk, go home and beat their wife and kids. I'm all for people having faith or a relationship with God, but organized religion with all of the rules that go with it sets people up for some tremendous unhappiness.
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Old 22nd January 2017, 11:15 PM   #20
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I say that because the...

I say that because the way that he was acting is not appropriate with standard Christianity.

That is not the way that it works. I could go on if you really need me too...
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Old 22nd January 2017, 11:25 PM   #21
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I could go on if you really need me to I'd be curious to see, I'm genuinely puzzled

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I say that because the way that he was acting is not appropriate with standard Christianity.

That is not the way that it works. I could go on if you really need me too...
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Old 23rd January 2017, 10:39 AM   #22
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My guess is he wanted to explore his sexuality - which he suppressed until his mid30s! - and he had a sky-high libido. I can imagine this is a tug-of-war for religious folks.
So he had been using you because he was one of those guys who couldn't get girls due to his social awkwardness. Do you think his insistence on asking your mother's permission to marry you was a way for him to buy time?

Apparently, he had also been using his church for the purpose of having a social life. As you mentioned, he had difficulty forming a friendship with those not from his church due to his social awkwardness; additionally, his actions and views were highly inconsistent with those who truly believed in what his religion taught.

This guy sounds worse than a religious fanatic and someone in his late 30s who has no clue how to manage his personal finance — he's an opportunist and a user, not to mention a cheater!

Last edited by JuneL; 23rd January 2017 at 10:47 AM..
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Old 23rd January 2017, 11:08 AM   #23
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Honestly - I don't know if he wanted to buy time - but I'd think probably not because his own family was pushing for us to get married as well, and would have put ton of pressure of him if he had come to Europe with me and asked my mom for permission to marry me. He himself would admit his family instantly got nicer to him after we met them together... they wanted us to work.

But I do think he is using church mainly as a social platform, yes. He's highly analytical and doesn't show any traits of a 'typical' religious fanatic. Actually that's one of the reasons I asked the question here - my gut feeling is that his actions were personal, not actions pushed by Christian faith (although I don't know much about Christianity to say that for sure).

His main issue is that he's selfish. I don't know if he actually cheated on me, I would guess he didn't, but he acted very selfishly doing that behind my back instead of expressing his frustration with me. He actually did - but it was post mortem for the relationship.

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Originally Posted by JuneL View Post
So he had been using you because he was one of those guys who couldn't get girls due to his social awkwardness. Do you think his insistence on asking your mother's permission to marry you was a way for him to buy time?

Apparently, he had also been using his church for the purpose of having a social life. As you mentioned, he had difficulty forming a friendship with those not from his church due to his social awkwardness; additionally, his actions and views were highly inconsistent with those who truly believed in what his religion taught.

This guy sounds worse than a religious fanatic and someone in his late 30s who has no clue how to manage his personal finance — he's an opportunist and a user, not to mention a cheater!
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Old 23rd January 2017, 11:15 AM   #24
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Honestly - I don't know if he wanted to buy time - but I'd think probably not because his own family was pushing for us to get married as well, and would have put ton of pressure of him if he had come to Europe with me and asked my mom for permission to marry me. He himself would admit his family instantly got nicer to him after we met them together... they wanted us to work.
But he knew you were very uncomfortable introducing him to your family (from your previous posts/threads), and it would be a long time before this could happen!
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Old 23rd January 2017, 11:28 AM   #25
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True! He told me: 'you put your fears in front of me/us'... which hurts me, because I did share why I'm so uncomfortable with family (including past abuse), and he did pretend for quite a while that he's ok with it until he shared it was a major issue for him all along.

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But he knew you were very uncomfortable introducing him to your family (from your previous posts/threads), and it would be a long time before this could happen!
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Old 23rd January 2017, 12:04 PM   #26
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No, no, no. Just no.

NG, it makes me feel bad that you're trying to process this. Your ex has an actual raft of issues, none of which have anything to do with you.

I always thought that dating was a hard sell in the modern evangelical church. Back when I was there, people did date and get married, obviously, but I think it was harder for some. I knew guys like your ex, who would date outside the church, presumably so they could have socially-acceptable sex, but then kept that part of their lives hidden. It's still hard to have an honest conversation about the realistic sex drives and lives of christians, especially unmarried christians in their 30s. I'd imagine there's quite a bit of fear surrounding the idea of telling anyone that you're sexually active, yet, when you're unmarried for decades, instead of getting married when you're say, 18, it does get harder to wait.

Anyway, it just seems like your ex was incredibly unfair to you. He lived with you, but felt uncomfortable doing so; he was conflicted about things, felt resentment, but chose not to tell you. That's bad boyfriend material all around.

I agree with whoever said you could probably find less stringent/conflicted religious people out there, but I would be very wary of anyone who couldn't seem to reconcile all the parts of their lives together. Don't get with anyone who feels ashamed of you, or who refuses to communicate with you, or (I might add), projects blame onto you.
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Old 23rd January 2017, 12:10 PM   #27
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OK, here is my take...

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I could go on if you really need me to I'd be curious to see, I'm genuinely puzzled
major_merrick's post is a pretty good description of a lot of it.

So basically, his only friends being from the church is a little cultish. Some churches, even real Christian churches, tend to isolate their people into the church bubble.

This is never encouraged in the bible. Not that you should not fellowship with like minded christens. But, when the isolation begins that is where some of the cultish behavior begins.

If he new you were not a "Born again" christen he should have never dated you in the first place. Theoretically, a christen male should only look at you christen women as possible mates. Like the major said, unequally yoked.

I don't think that he should have moved if with you until you were married.

I don't know if you slept together but that is technically not allowed either.

So if he demonstrated some of these behaviors as described, the church that he is involved in is one of the churches that mainstream Christianity would consider a "Cultish" church.

That is the best way that I can describe it.

Hope that helps you understand why you do not want to be involved with this guys like this as a general rule.
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Old 23rd January 2017, 1:24 PM   #28
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If a person lives out their Christian beliefs by daily applying what the Bible really teaches, to me, that would mean they believe in something than which nothing greater can be imagined. They would know the Bible teaches not to judge or compare ourselves to others who may or may not have a Christian belief system or lifestyle. A Christian’s belief is not in their own authority or the authority of anyone else. Their authority is God and abide in what God says in the Bible. I read somewhere the definition of religion as being man trying to reach God; and Christianity defined as God reaching out to man.
So, really, may be when dating we don’t concern ourselves with weeding out anyone, but instead learn how a person lives out their belief system. I hope you discover all that is good in life!
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Old 23rd January 2017, 2:21 PM   #29
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Thanks for the details.

This particular church is non denominational, they claim to be very accepting, and are - day to day - issues come when it comes to big events like marriage etc.

We moved in together on his suggestion, and we were very sexually active - he never said he has issues with that. However - he stayed virgin till his mid-late 30s - maybe that when he was trying to follow the Christianity rules. I'm not sure, he never shared that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BluesPower View Post
major_merrick's post is a pretty good description of a lot of it.

So basically, his only friends being from the church is a little cultish. Some churches, even real Christian churches, tend to isolate their people into the church bubble.

This is never encouraged in the bible. Not that you should not fellowship with like minded christens. But, when the isolation begins that is where some of the cultish behavior begins.

If he new you were not a "Born again" christen he should have never dated you in the first place. Theoretically, a christen male should only look at you christen women as possible mates. Like the major said, unequally yoked.

I don't think that he should have moved if with you until you were married.

I don't know if you slept together but that is technically not allowed either.

So if he demonstrated some of these behaviors as described, the church that he is involved in is one of the churches that mainstream Christianity would consider a "Cultish" church.

That is the best way that I can describe it.

Hope that helps you understand why you do not want to be involved with this guys like this as a general rule.
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Old 23rd January 2017, 2:29 PM   #30
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La, I have my issues as well - like I was too focused on the future house purchase and made him very uncomfortable around it (it involved obviously major financial planning, he thought it took precedence over the relationship - he could be on a point). I have family issues as well etc.

On the rest you're right. I still can't grasp his friends behavior for example, where they knew we're together for well over an year and still insisted on sleeping on separate floors in their house.

Communication was a huge issue of ours, and I'm afraid I contributed as well. Different faith and culture are difficult to overcome, I'm very culturally 'fluid' since I've lived around the globe, but in personal relationships even minor differences amplify.

I think he was very conflicted throughout, and I wish he told me that. I don't think I'm ever getting back with him, but as said - I'd like to know how to screen future prospects, and eventually regaining platonic friendship with my ex (not a requirement, but I'd be happy to do it some time in the future if all goes well).



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Originally Posted by losangelena View Post
No, no, no. Just no.

NG, it makes me feel bad that you're trying to process this. Your ex has an actual raft of issues, none of which have anything to do with you.

I always thought that dating was a hard sell in the modern evangelical church. Back when I was there, people did date and get married, obviously, but I think it was harder for some. I knew guys like your ex, who would date outside the church, presumably so they could have socially-acceptable sex, but then kept that part of their lives hidden. It's still hard to have an honest conversation about the realistic sex drives and lives of christians, especially unmarried christians in their 30s. I'd imagine there's quite a bit of fear surrounding the idea of telling anyone that you're sexually active, yet, when you're unmarried for decades, instead of getting married when you're say, 18, it does get harder to wait.

Anyway, it just seems like your ex was incredibly unfair to you. He lived with you, but felt uncomfortable doing so; he was conflicted about things, felt resentment, but chose not to tell you. That's bad boyfriend material all around.

I agree with whoever said you could probably find less stringent/conflicted religious people out there, but I would be very wary of anyone who couldn't seem to reconcile all the parts of their lives together. Don't get with anyone who feels ashamed of you, or who refuses to communicate with you, or (I might add), projects blame onto you.
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