Tuffy Luv Keeps the Faith

Question?! Answer: Ask TuffyLuv@collegecandy.com.

Dear Tuffy Luv,

I’ve been dating my boyfriend for almost all of college (we’re seniors) and he’s my perfect guy. I never believed in soul mates until I met him. We get along great, we have so much in common, we have almost all the same friends, and it’s just a great situation.

Perfect, right? Well, I thought so.

We’veĀ  been making plans to move in together, and he seemed totally fine with that, but a couple of week ago I mentioned in passing something about getting married (I know, I know) and he threw a major curveball at me. It turns out that he won’t marry me–unless I convert to Catholicism.

I never knew this was a big deal for him. He doesn’t seem to be very religious (I’ve never seen him go to church except Christmas and Easter) and he’s never brought this up before. But when we talked about it a couple of weeks ago he was really clear that I would need to convert or else it wasn’t going to work.

I thought about it for a while. I’m not religious so I thought, hey, what the heck, maybe I should just do it for him. But then I started getting kind of mad. Why do I have to pretend I believe in something that he never even told me he cared about before? I think it would really upset my parents and, actually, I think it would really upset me, too. I don’t think I should have to pretend to be something I’m not.

I don’t know if I should be mad or break up with him before it goes any further or convert or what. Also, don’t you think it’s kind of suspicious? He can move in with me but he can’t marry me? Is this BS because he just doesn’t want to marry me?

I don’t know what to do. Any advice would be appreciated. Until then, I am

Not Converting

Dear Not Converting,

Okay, this is like–really deep. So–noseplugs, readers.

There’s sort of two possibilities here, neither of which works out in your favor:

(1) It’s bullshoop and he doesn’t want to marry you

or

(2) He is genuinely religious and just doesn’t really practice.

Let’s look at #1 first, because it’s much easier (although maybe suckier).

So, let’s say it’s bullshoop and he doesn’t want to marry you. In this case, it’s like–well, frankly, NC, you’re coming right out of college. No rule says you have to get married at 22. Why not wait a little while and feel it out?! What’s the flooping rush?!

I mean, there’s a 50% divorce rate in the USA, right?! CAN’T WE ALL PLEASE DATE A LITTLE LONGER AND MAKE THINGS EASIER ON OURSELVES?! The fact is, you can never REALLLLLLLLY know another person, no matter how close you are or how much you love them (or even how much you stalk them). But the better you get to know them (read: date for a few years AS AN ADULT at LEAST), the better chance you have of actually, you know, staying together.

And you reallllllly don’t know what living together (especially with adult responsibilities, like rent and jobs) will be like until you do it. You might find out your lifestyles aren’t compatible after all.

So, in other words, if #1 is the reason, I’d say give him a year or two before you mention the marriage thing again. If he’s still resistant–well, then you can think about dumping him. Because, frankly, you should NOT marry someone who doesn’t want to marry YOU.

Okay, now let’s say it’s #2 (reminder: “He is genuinely religious and just doesn’t really practice.”). This is more complicated.

Because, like, you can’t change how you feel.

That sounds dumb, right? But, unfortunately, it’s true.

Just as you, rightfully, feel unable and in fact dishonest about completely changing your worldview, so too does Monsieur Religiouspants find it distasteful to change HIS worldview. And, sorry to say, that’s completely fair.

Well, the truth is, if he really can’t get past the fact that you two are not the same religion, and you really feel strongly about not changing that–then the two of you shouldn’t be together.

I would hope, to be honest, that, if everything else really is as perfect as you say, I would HOPE that you two could find a way to work things out. For instance, you could decide to raise the kids Catholic for him and attend church services with him, as long as he understands that you can’t in good faith (ha! Tuffy!) pretend to be something you’re not.

However, this is a very idealistic look at the situation. Chances are, if it’s an issue of his worrying that you, and possibly he, will be damned, he’s not going to be able to commit. Religious is a very personal and very touchy subject. You have to respect each other’s beliefs.

Frankly, honey, I hope you can work this out. (And I hope he’s not just bullshooping you to get out of marriage, that sneaky bashtard.) Tuffy herself is in an interfaith relationship, and we’ve been able to make it work by respecting each other and trying to participate in each other’s shoop without losing our own.

But, ultimately, you have to be honest with yourselves: Are you both willing to make a compromise on something that’s so important to each of you? Only the two of you can decide that.

Hearts & Skulls,
Tuffy Luv

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