Should you date someone of a different religion, knowing they’ll marry another

heyitgurlbaby asks: I’m from India, and I’m a Hindu. My ex-boyfriend is a Muslim. We dated for a while, but we broke up because we have no future due to social customs in India and religious difference. We love each other but there is no chance of marriage and stuff. So I just wanted to ask should we date again for temporary happiness, for JUST now, and not think about the future?

Hi heyitgurlbaby –

         Wow, this is such a difficult situation!  Frankly, I’m surprised you two even felt okay dating with your religious difference, but since you did, it makes me wonder how strict the rules are against you staying together.  Is it really impossible?

         I ask, because my answer completely depends on your answer. 

         If there’s a chance that you two can bridge the difference between your cultures, and find a way to become a couple (maybe one of you converting to the other’s religion?), and so you actually could marry, then I’d say sure, why not date again – you love each other after all!

         But if not, I worry that the “temporary happiness” you describe wouldn’t happen.  That you’d just feel pain every time you enjoyed each other’s company.  Do you know that great old song that says “A taste of honey is worse than none at all?”  I think you’d be getting a full jar of honey every time you met, knowing that soon you’d never get it again, and someone else would!

         So my suggestion is to look very closely at your relationship, and what is possible.  And make your decision – which will be difficult no matter what – based on that.

         And if you decide that you really can’t be together in the long term, then please do me the favor of thanking each other, for having loved each other, and shown each how good a relationship can be.  And please please PLEASE, when the voices of bigotry and prejudice tell each of you that the other’s people are all your awful enemies, speak up against them.  Who knows how much peace your love might engender!

With all my best wishes,


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