Advice on dating a Hindu


#1

Hello, I'm new to these forums and this is my first post.

I am a Catholic guy and I have been dating a Hindu girl for the past several months. The relationship I feel has been going very well and I am looking for any advice on how to deal with our very different religious beliefs. My girlfriend and I have told each other that we are both devout to our faiths. We've only discussed a few details of our religions to each other, but have an interest in learning more. Though she is 100% committed to her religion, she is also very supportive of me being a Catholic and admires me for attending mass, praying, and educating myself to better understand my faith.

I would like the relationship to continue to prosper and to be able to return the support to her. I have no intentions of sharing any of her religious beliefs, but would like to develop a better understanding of what it means to be Hindu and have respect for the religion. This woman does not proselytize her beliefs to me, and I don't wish to proselytize my beliefs to her.

If there is anybody out there in a similar situation, I am curious to know how you manage your relationship.

To anyone, what do you see as key points of conflict that I should prepare myself for through contemplation, prayer, and communication?


#2

[quote="Sean_Huber, post:1, topic:236778"]
Hello, I'm new to these forums and this is my first post.

I am a Catholic guy and I have been dating a Hindu girl for the past several months. The relationship I feel has been going very well and I am looking for any advice on how to deal with our very different religious beliefs. My girlfriend and I have told each other that we are both devout to our faiths. We've only discussed a few details of our religions to each other, but have an interest in learning more. Though she is 100% committed to her religion, she is also very supportive of me being a Catholic and admires me for attending mass, praying, and educating myself to better understand my faith.

I would like the relationship to continue to prosper and to be able to return the support to her. I have no intentions of sharing any of her religious beliefs, but would like to develop a better understanding of what it means to be Hindu and have respect for the religion. This woman does not proselytize her beliefs to me, and I don't wish to proselytize my beliefs to her.

If there is anybody out there in a similar situation, I am curious to know how you manage your relationship.

To anyone, what do you see as key points of conflict that I should prepare myself for through contemplation, prayer, and communication?

[/quote]

Hi Sean.
Welcome to the forums:)

Dating is done with the purpose of finding a good spouse.. Marriage is for personal happiness, having a helpmate (as God says in Genesis) but its primarily an institution made by God for children to be brought up in.

The canonical law can give you a dispensation to marry your girl friend. It will be a natural marriage, and not a sacrament, because she is not Catholic.
However, in order to get this dispensation you need to sign a document that says you promise to bring up the children as Catholics, and the other party must sign that she will not hinder this.

Do you think this is realistic?
I used to date a cultural-muslim.. and I was blinded with infatuation.. One time I brought up the fact that I would of course have my children baptised.. I could see a shadow fall on his face and he was avoiding to answer. It was one of those time where my reason told me I was stupid for being with him.

This last year I dated a Catholic guy who has a strong spiritual life and I see how that benefitted our relationship. It was lovely to sit together in church.. talk about faith.. honestly I dont know what we could have talked about for hours and hours, if it wasn't our common ideas, values and religious experiences....

All that being said. Love is priceless. God might have a big plan with you and this girl. Just dont be afraid to ask yourself and each other the difficult questions early on.


#3

Listen to her beliefs.understand why she believes the way she does. Respect her.Don't try to change her.Just tell her why you believe the way you do.People of different faiths who aare doing the best to serve God the way they see Him are easy to get along with and love.


#4

My advice is to extricate yourself from the relationship now and save yourself a lot of grief. Of course, you won't take my advice on this as you are already head over heels in love with this person and have determined that you will pursue marriage and a wonderful life with no problem you cannot overcome. Relaity won't set in until a few years down the road at which time you will have to face up to the facts that you may lose your own faith or cause your own children to be brought up outside the one true Church of Jesus Christ. In almost all cases, the woman rules when it comes to the kids formation in faith. Just remember that. It will cause you much sadness later on.


#5

If you eventually want to end up marrying, I don’t see how these VERY different faiths can co-exist honestly.

Will you be comfortable with her worshipping “Lord” Shiva who is said to rule over death, rebirth and immortality?

I don’t mean to sound intolerant, but Hindus believe in pagan gods.

I don’t see how I could go to bed every night with someone who worships false, pagan gods and still face my God every day…

I also agree that most likely, she would want to teach her children her faith.


#6

[quote="TrueLight, post:5, topic:236778"]
If you eventually want to end up marrying, I don't see how these VERY different faiths can co-exist honestly.

Will you be comfortable with her worshipping "Lord" Shiva who is said to rule over death, rebirth and immortality?

I don't mean to sound intolerant, but Hindus believe in pagan gods.

I don't see how I could go to bed every night with someone who worships false, pagan gods and still face my God every day..

I also agree that most likely, she would want to teach her children her faith.

[/quote]

Please do not take this to mean that I could not fall for someone who worshipped pagan gods, but at some point, hopefully very early on, I'd have to make a decision.


#7

[quote="TrueLight, post:5, topic:236778"]
If you eventually want to end up marrying, I don't see how these VERY different faiths can co-exist honestly.

Will you be comfortable with her worshipping "Lord" Shiva who is said to rule over death, rebirth and immortality?

I don't mean to sound intolerant, but Hindus believe in pagan gods.

I don't see how I could go to bed every night with someone who worships false, pagan gods and still face my God every day..

I also agree that most likely, she would want to teach her children her faith.

[/quote]

Even if she agreed to NOT teach them about her faith, which honestly, I think would be a very difficult thing to ask of anybody that has faith that is important to them, what about her extended family?

We have two lovely Indian families that live on our street and they are Hindu and they have many celebrations with large extended families and many friends. It would be impossible for a child to be raised in that type of situation and not ask questions.

Now I'm not saying asking questions is a bad thing, children will of course be exposed to many religions in this world, however, when it is their own mother that believes these things it would be easy to see how they, at a young vulnerable age, would struggle to know what to believe.

I'd prayerfully consider where this relationship could really ever go, as it stands today.


#8

[quote="Sean_Huber, post:1, topic:236778"]
Though she is 100% committed to her religion, she is also very supportive of me being a Catholic and admires me for attending mass, praying, and educating myself to better understand my faith.

[/quote]

How does she feel about your KIDS being Catholic? As a Catholic, you must receive a dispensation from disparity of cult to marry an unbaptized person and part of this process involved assurances to the bishop regarding the practice of your faith and a promise to raise your children Catholic.

[quote="Sean_Huber, post:1, topic:236778"]
I would like the relationship to continue to prosper and to be able to return the support to her. I have no intentions of sharing any of her religious beliefs, but would like to develop a better understanding of what it means to be Hindu and have respect for the religion. This woman does not proselytize her beliefs to me, and I don't wish to proselytize my beliefs to her.

[/quote]

So, how will you handle her religious beliefs and those of her family in your household after marriage? How do you expect to raise Catholic children with the mother of your children worshiping false gods?

Sounds like you think you can just compartmentalize your religion. It doesn't work that way. It is who you are. It is who she is. Your religions are completely different. If you are both devout in the practice of your religions, I suggest you both find someone who shares that religion.

[quote="Sean_Huber, post:1, topic:236778"]
To anyone, what do you see as key points of conflict that I should prepare myself for through contemplation, prayer, and communication?

[/quote]

Just about everything if you marry and have children.


#9

[quote="Sean_Huber, post:1, topic:236778"]
Hello, I'm new to these forums and this is my first post.

I am a Catholic guy and I have been dating a Hindu girl for the past several months. The relationship I feel has been going very well and I am looking for any advice on how to deal with our very different religious beliefs. My girlfriend and I have told each other that we are both devout to our faiths. We've only discussed a few details of our religions to each other, but have an interest in learning more. Though she is 100% committed to her religion, she is also very supportive of me being a Catholic and admires me for attending mass, praying, and educating myself to better understand my faith.

I would like the relationship to continue to prosper and to be able to return the support to her. I have no intentions of sharing any of her religious beliefs, but would like to develop a better understanding of what it means to be Hindu and have respect for the religion. This woman does not proselytize her beliefs to me, and I don't wish to proselytize my beliefs to her.

If there is anybody out there in a similar situation, I am curious to know how you manage your relationship.

To anyone, what do you see as key points of conflict that I should prepare myself for through contemplation, prayer, and communication?

[/quote]

I wasn't going to say anything because this is your life, of course, however:

Saint Paul said in 2 Co 6:14 that we are not to become "unequally yoked" with nonbelievers (i.e., in marriage).

So at some point you would have to choose between the relationship and following the word of God.

You might not even be thinking of this at the moment, but I am sure that no one enters into a relationship expecting to break it off later on. And if/when you get to the point that marriage is in prospect, the choice will be agonizing.

The problem with becoming unequally yoked is that you'd be pulling in separate directions. If both are "devout" to their faith, you are motivated toward life everlasting in Heaven; while she is motivated to the nothingness of nirvana through working off lifetimes of karma by reincarnation. Big difference. There's not enough in the "here and now" to overcome such a divergence.

I know it's your life. But I, for one, would never want to get into a situation where I was facing a choice between a romantic partner and the teaching of the New Testament.

I'll be praying for you. ICXC NIKA.


#10

This is the problem when we date out of our faith. We set aside what should be uppermost in our criteria…which is, can this person help me get to Heaven?

Someone who is a Hindu cannot share my faith in God, in Jesus, in my own salvation. The OP is going to share nothing with his girlfriend except the basic concept of a faith in a Higher Power. This, for a Catholic, is not enough.

And from my experience, once the kids start coming, both parents solidify their faith and want the kids to be part of it. If Jewish and Catholic, we’ve then got “Jesus is the Messiah,” and “Jesus was just a guy.”

:confused

Hindus have THOUSANDS of gods, not just one. They are pantheistic.


#11

I'm sure your girlfriend is a lovely person. Having said that, it's inadvisable for Catholics to marry non-Christians. You might think it's "not that big of a deal" right now - but when you have children, it will be. Your feelings will change and you will want the kids raised in your own faith, and she in hers. There is absolutely no way to reconcile Hinduism and Catholicism - they are even more incompatible than Catholicism and Judaism. If you have children, they will be brought up confused and without a real sense of a true faith. You will have failed in your imperative to raise your children to know your Lord (she might feel the same, with everyone losing out in the end.) I suggest you seriously consider whether or not a marriage is well advised. Remember - love ain't enough. There are tons of logistical and practical considerations that one must make when selecting a spouse. It's important that you feel love and attraction for one another, but that won't sustain you through the rough times if there is serious disparity in other areas.


#12

[quote="TheRealJuliane, post:10, topic:236778"]
This is the problem when we date out of our faith. We set aside what should be uppermost in our criteria...which is, can this person help me get to Heaven?

Someone who is a Hindu cannot share my faith in God, in Jesus, in my own salvation. The OP is going to share nothing with his girlfriend except the basic concept of a faith in a Higher Power. This, for a Catholic, is not enough.

And from my experience, once the kids start coming, both parents solidify their faith and want the kids to be part of it. If Jewish and Catholic, we've then got "Jesus is the Messiah," and "Jesus was just a guy."

:confused

Hindus have THOUSANDS of gods, not just one. They are pantheistic.

[/quote]

If getting to heaven is the ultimate Goal/criteria then you have not heard the Gospel. Our lives are to love and serve each other now in this life and to bear the sufferings of life in humble service to God's will. Catholic, which means universal, is a way of being love in the world and NOT judging others but loving everyone AS THEY ARE. The Christ presence in all creation, including people of all beliefs is the ultimate expression of God's love for all He has created. The experience of life is enriched and fulfilling when we are open to the presence and possibility of Christ in all people, not just people that claim to be "catholic"....what you think or believe does not define who you are...it is far more important how you live.

Show up as Christ for your girlfriend and let the rest take care of itself.


#13

hi sean, welcome!

I know you haven't mentioned marriage - you may not even have thought of it, as you've only been dating her for a few months - but as others have pointed out, dating is for finding a spouse. in this day and age we constantly need to remind ourselves of that because it's completely countercultural! your post doesn't make you seem like the type of person who dates just to date and doesn't want anything serious. however, even if you know the ultimate goal of dating, it's very easy to forget that and just "fall into" a relationship when the other person is genuinely an upright and moral individual. but if your core values don't match up, the longer you stay in that relationship the harder and more painful it will be for both of you to exit it.

I think what you should do is read a book called "the hard questions." a family friend gave this to me when I got engaged, and by then we had already discussed nearly everything in there (we dated a very long time), but it's good because you might not know exactly what the deal-breakers are for you in a relationship until you read a million questions. it gets you thinking outside the box and is great material for real discussion.

I didn't find out my deal breakers until after an awful breakup in college. but deep down, I knew the entire time (2 years) that the guy wasn't marriage material. he was more of a decent guy when we started dating (non practicing mainstream protestant) but became super liberal politically and more "what's right for one person might not be right for another" religiously. I guess that's more secular humanist, though I think he still believed in god. I'm glad he broke it off - because I wasn't strong enough to, and I always thought I'd be - before we did anything really stupid (like, you know, get married, cause we had briefly talked about it)! :blush:

I'm not sure how much you know about the hindu religion. I'm pretty sure they're the ones that don't eat cows - but the 9th grade unit on world religions was a long time ago and I probably didn't pay attention to begin with. :rotfl: I would either check out the wikipedia article or get one of those "for dummies" books to read about the actual theology, as she might not know all of it, she might be misinformed, or she might not be able to explain it very well.

the honest truth is that these two religions are not at all compatible, even on the broadest and most basic level, for people who fully believe and won't compromise their faith.


#14

[quote="tskrobacz, post:12, topic:236778"]
If getting to heaven is the ultimate Goal/criteria then you have not heard the Gospel. Our lives are to love and serve each other now in this life and to bear the sufferings of life in humble service to God's will. Catholic, which means universal, is a way of being love in the world and NOT judging others but loving everyone AS THEY ARE. The Christ presence in all creation, including people of all beliefs is the ultimate expression of God's love for all He has created. The experience of life is enriched and fulfilling when we are open to the presence and possibility of Christ in all people, not just people that claim to be "catholic"....what you think or believe does not define who you are...it is far more important how you live.

Show up as Christ for your girlfriend and let the rest take care of itself.

[/quote]

We are called to love all, but not marry and make a life partner out of all. Choosing a spouse wisely is not judging. Judging is deciding whether or not a person is going to heaven or hell. Just because someone is not chosen for marriage does not mean the chooser thinks the other is hell bound.

Love is a verb, not a feeling. In planning on loving future children, one must act in their best interest. Many here are warning the OP that in chosing the Hindu mother, he may well not be doing the most loving thing for his children, or for the woman, for that matter.


#15

Getting to Heaven IS the “ultimate” goal – in both senses of that word!

And being accepting of everybody’s beliefs doesn’t including marrying them.

ICXC NIKA


#16

[quote="HouseArrest, post:14, topic:236778"]
We are called to love all, but not marry and make a life partner out of all. Choosing a spouse wisely is not judging. Judging is deciding whether or not a person is going to heaven or hell. Just because someone is not chosen for marriage does not mean the chooser thinks the other is hell bound.

Love is a verb, not a feeling. In planning on loving future children, one must act in their best interest. Many here are warning the OP that in chosing the Hindu mother, he may well not be doing the most loving thing for his children, or for the woman, for that matter.

[/quote]

Either Christ is present in all as revealed by the incarnation or none. If all, then love has no need to set such arbitrary, self motivated, boundaries.


#17

[quote="GEddie, post:15, topic:236778"]
Getting to Heaven IS the "ultimate" goal -- in both senses of that word!

And being accepting of everybody's beliefs doesn't including marrying them.

ICXC NIKA

[/quote]

If you wait for someone that believes exactly as you believe... you will never find someone to love. God is not afraid of diversity. Be not afraid.


#18

[quote="Sherry_G, post:4, topic:236778"]
My advice is to extricate yourself from the relationship now and save yourself a lot of grief. Of course, you won't take my advice on this as you are already head over heels in love with this person and have determined that you will pursue marriage and a wonderful life with no problem you cannot overcome. Relaity won't set in until a few years down the road at which time you will have to face up to the facts that you may lose your own faith or cause your own children to be brought up outside the one true Church of Jesus Christ. In almost all cases, the woman rules when it comes to the kids formation in faith. Just remember that. It will cause you much sadness later on.

[/quote]

OP - I was going to tell you exactly this.


#19

[quote="Sherry_G, post:4, topic:236778"]
My advice is to extricate yourself from the relationship now and save yourself a lot of grief. Of course, you won't take my advice on this as you are already head over heels in love with this person and have determined that you will pursue marriage and a wonderful life with no problem you cannot overcome. Relaity won't set in until a few years down the road at which time you will have to face up to the facts that you may lose your own faith or cause your own children to be brought up outside the one true Church of Jesus Christ. In almost all cases, the woman rules when it comes to the kids formation in faith. Just remember that. It will cause you much sadness later on.

[/quote]

Either we trust in the power of Christ as revealed in Jesus or we don't. Show up every day as Christ...let his light shine through you and do not be taken to fears of what "might" happen.


#20

[quote="Sherry_G, post:4, topic:236778"]
My advice is to extricate yourself from the relationship now and save yourself a lot of grief. Of course, you won't take my advice on this as you are already head over heels in love with this person and have determined that you will pursue marriage and a wonderful life with no problem you cannot overcome. Relaity won't set in until a few years down the road at which time you will have to face up to the facts that you may lose your own faith or cause your own children to be brought up outside the one true Church of Jesus Christ. In almost all cases, the woman rules when it comes to the kids formation in faith. Just remember that. It will cause you much sadness later on.

[/quote]

What utter nonsense, there are plenty of people with different beliefs married to each other, and they aren't all sad marriages. This is not just a Catholic/Hindu thing, it can be anything from Hindu/Muslim to Bah'ai/Atheist, and whatever other combinations you can come up with.

Stop being a prophet of doom.

There is no perfect man or woman, and it's solely up to the individual to judge whom they can put their trust and loyalty to in a companion for life. Advice should be sought from those close to you, and perhaps a priest if you really need advice. There are all kinds of naysayers in these forums, and if you drag your feet through some of the threads here with conviction, you'll find the gung-ho types, who are still waiting for the perfect one they have constructed in their minds, and don't exist.


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