I need the courage to break up with an atheist

I’ve been dating an Atheist for over a year now, but it has to end. You can probably guess how it is… When we were first together I naively thought that our beliefs wouldn’t come between things but now I see that they simply MUST come between things, otherwise one of us can’t be true to what we believe. At first I had peacefully come to accept this but when I tried to explain to him why it couldn’t work out between us he just said everything would be okay and managed to convince me to stay But that didn’t last long and now I’m in an even worse position because his flying-spaghetti-monster, who created God, because it’s good for society, there’s no way to prove beyond doubt arguments are just driving me crazy… Even worse though than this is our morals are so vastly different from each others… He basically doesn’t care much about anything because as he puts it “it all doesn’t matter in the end”.

The problem is though I say all of this I am deeply attached to him and I care for him deeply too… When I go to try and break up with him I just break down crying and don’t know what to say exactly and then he’ll comfort me and convince me it’s okay, but I know it’s not…

There might not be anything you can really say, in the end I just have to deal with it and do what needs to be done, but even if you can just say a prayer for me your help is appreciated :slight_smile: Part of this I guess is the need to vent it…


God bless

Breaking up is difficult. There’s almost never an ideal way to do it.

But there can be a few guidelines:

a) a breakup is not a discussion. You are advising him that the relationship is over, not discussing it with him.

b) you don’t need to go into great detail regarding your reasons. You state them, but you don’t discuss them. They are your reasons and not subject to his approval.

c) people who are breaking up should not be comforting each other. It may be best to do it in a public place, where you will be more likely to keep your composure and it will be more difficult for him to get into your personal space.

d) the best way to pull off a bandage is quickly. With a breakup, get it done quickly and do not linger. Tell him it is over, definitely over, and why, and leave.

This is hard, but it’s the best thing for you both. And as such, it is a kindness to him if you can do this as clearly and definitively as possible.

God bless.


If you need to, after you have the breakup conversation, I would strongly recommend that for a while you ignore further communication from him that would try to lure you back. That will give you the space you need to keep your head clear.

You have to understand that fundamentally different religious beliefs are a good reason not to be romantically involved with someone.

Now, it’s usually not easy to break up with someone you are “attached” to, but attached and real love are not the same thing.

And face reality: he isn’t going to change. Okay, he convinced you to stay for a little while longer. That happens, maybe more often than you think.

But in the end, you’ve already said this isn’t want you really want. It probably won’t be easy, but once you break up, it will get better as time goes on.

Praying for your intentions.

Thank you for your encouragement, advice and prayers, I’m trying to get up enough steam right now to do it, should I do it as soon as possible? We live in student accommodation in rooms right next to each other so it’ll be impossible to avoid each other but that’s not the only problem… I left out that basically we’re both at university but after our relationship started I suffered from severe social anxiety and depression, he stayed with me through that and I think the fact that I was so unstable for most of our relationship is how this major conflict in our beliefs went by unnoticed for so long… But because of the social anxiety unfortunately I had no friends at university who were understanding and they all got fed up and stopped inviting me to see them or coming to see me or talking to me so he became the only friend I had… I still have friends at home who have stood by me through everything, but I live over 300 miles away from them so I have nobody here other than him. So that is what is making it even more difficult for me if you can imagine. I’ve been trying since realising this to make connections with new people, I started going to a few Catholic Society things and the people there are really nice as well as a few meet ups with people who have similar interests. Just yeah… Making good friends is a very slow process and I’m extremely lonely… The good news is one of (the three) friends I have from home are coming to stay with me this weekend so I’ll be okay then… Should I break up with him tomorrow? :S I don’t know how to get this over with…

Your path is one of division…it is a teaching from Jesus:


I’ll give you a different prospective as I faced this issue as well for the other side. My wife found Catholicism and was looking into RCIA. I didn’t want to be part of a religions household and we had been raising our kids as nones… so she had a choice. She could choose god (in an atheist’s opinion, a make believe thing that is not real) or she could choose a life with her husband and family (things that are real, can be touched and hugged and kissed). The RCIA people told her that she shouldn’t make an idol out of her family (don’t really know the full story of what was said)… in the end she chose us.

You (we all) have a choice… your atheist boyfriend will not understand you choosing something he views as make believe over the love of a real person. One way or the other you need to decide, stand your ground and then get on with your life. In my experience, dragging this out will just cause everyone more pain.

Yes, that sounds more complicated than usual.

But being lonely, or feeling indebted to him, is no reason to continue the relationship. Once you know the relationship has no long term future, you must end it quickly. To continue in it is unfair to him.

Don’t march over there right now, but don’t wait too long either. Have a firm plan in your head before you do this, including how to handle it afterwards.

Once you have broken up, immerse yourself in your new social adventures and your studies.

God bless.

I know cannot be together, it’s not a matter of him being a real person I can love. God is real and loving him is more important, all other goods can only come from that. I know he doesn’t understand it’s part of the problem, he doesn’t get how it comes between us but it does. I can’t deny my children the right to be given their faith and I can’t build a successful family where faith and love for God isn’t the foundation.
I can’t live my life alone in my family when it comes to my faith, it is not an option. I know this, I’m just struggling get it over with I guess… It’s very bad of me but I guess me talking here is a way of getting up enough steam to do the right thing.

Talking about something like this and getting advice is not something to be considered bad…

Do the right thing for you - especially as you are just starting your life.

You are in my thoughts.

As an encouragement, when you put God first you have chosen the true path for your life. Also consider what effect this will have on an atheist who will witness a person give up something very personal and dear for her Faith. He might not understand it, but he won’t be able to deny it. When you put God first, He will favor you with His love, and give you something even better. You can’t outdo God! Think of Job who was rewarded for his faithfulness in spite of all his troubles.

I understand your pain to some extent. But I understand your situation even more. I was married to an atheist, and all of those things you worry about do happen. (I was away from the Church at the time, or I don’t think we would have made it through pre-cana.) It wasn’t possible to lead a married life together because our lives did not have the same basis. We basically ended up having two lives in the same home. It wasn’t better for either of us in the long run that we tried to make it work for so long.

Understand that the fact that your boyfriend is an atheist doesn’t make him a bad person. It was admirable that he stuck with you during the hard times. You probably owe him gratitude for that. But that doesn’t eliminate the problems that you are having or do anything about fixing them. And you don’t owe him the rest of your life for that, nor would you be doing him any great favor by trying to stay with him. Not every good man whose company you enjoy is an appropriate husband for you.

As for when you should do it, the most honest thing is to do it as soon as possible. If you know it isn’t going to work out, you should break it off as soon as you can, because staying together implies that you have a future, which you don’t.

It can be extremely painful to try to share your life with someone who views the most important influence on your life as imaginary. You have pain in thinking about his chances of getting to Heaven, and it’s very hard to forget that he basically thinks you’re delusional. You aren’t making decisions based on the same principles, so it’s hard to have an argument, much easier to have a fight.

And since he thinks you’re making this decision based on a delusion, he will probably try to talk you out of it. So, as painful as it will be, you really need to avoid being alone with him as much as possible for a good while after you break up.

I’ll pray for you and for him as well.


I pray that God gives you clear direction and strength of conviction to pursue ways that will honor Him.

Here’s my opinion for what it’s worth:
You could view your relationship with your male friend as a conversion mission. God forbid your friend should convince you to become an atheist but maybe God put you in this situation to convert him to become a Catholic! If so, the only way for you to succeed is to continue being a good Catholic and show him by living example why it’s to his advantage to consider following Our Lord.

Being a good Catholic is never easy and we can sometimes get caught up in the daily grind of life especially when at college and away from home and long time friends. Stay focused on Christ and try to visit the church more often. It may not be convenient or comfortable to engage the local parish or Catholic group but the rewards are tremendous! As you know catholic means universal and, as part of our doctrine of faith, we believe in the “communion of saints” so EVERY Catholic is part of your family and will be there to support and befriend you. Become that beacon of light on the hill so that you can shine the Lord’s light for all to see!

God Bless you.:signofcross:

You are in my prayers.

But I wanted to say that I too have been in your shoes. I was the atheist, and my girlfriend the believer (though she didn’t yet belong to any church).

Fast-forward 37 years (from the day we met): I am married to her. I have reverted to my Catholic faith and she (before I reverted) attached herself to a local Anglican parish.

We’re still together and crazy about each other after 26 years of marriage (our courtship was on-again, off-again due to our studying at different ends of the country).

Anglican-Catholic isn’t perfect but I can say it works better than believer-atheist. We do have a lot in common spiritually, and respect those bits where we differ (heck even Catholic couples can differ greatly in spirituality).

I don’t want to claim that what we did was right, just that it worked out in the end.

Praying for your intentions. The quicker you do this, the better. Just imagine going to mass alone and raising the kids in faith alone. This is my situation. Wouldn’t recommend it to anyone serious about their faith. God bless.

All of us need a good dose of courage as we go through life.
Prayers for you both.

These are all the wrong reasons to be with someone romantically. The fact that you don’t have friends who invite you over or that you live near him is not an excuse to keep this up.

It’s obvious you don’t want this relationship, and no one could blame you for that. I think you need to end the relationship and not use it as a comfort zone until you build up rapport with other people. That just doesn’t seem fair to either of you in the long run. It need not be done right this very second, but the sooner the better.

If you need to talk about this more, we’ll be on here as well. :thumbsup:

Thank you, I know I agree with you, it was just that as soon as I realised that this was all I had I immediately started looking for ways to meet new people, I don’t plan on waiting till I have close friends to leave him I’m just sorting out the friend situation whilst also pushing myself to just leave him.

Always hard to break away from someone you love. Pray for guidance!

Im on the same boat with you. Im in a bad relationship that i know i have no future with and i must end it soon. But i love him. Im attached to him. And just the thought of ending it, pains me. Please inbox me ur # and we can call each other 4 support. Our brothers and sisters on here are giving us sound advice. I believe that is the Holy Spirit directly leading us to what we need to do to save us of a miserable future. Im praying for you. Pray for me also please. I’ll await your inbox. Much love to you!

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