Can a Catholic Date An Atheist?

Can a Catholic Date An Atheist? —>> To watch the video instead, click here!

Today’s blog answers a question that comes straight from one of the viewers on my Youtube channel. She asks: “My boyfriend doesn’t believe in God. What should I do? Is it OK to date an atheist?” I bet you’ve had this same question if you’re out there on the dating scene or if you’ve found yourself feeling attracted to people who don’t believe in God.

Should Catholics date atheists, why or why not?

To anyone asking this question, let me start off with a question for you. Why do you want to date an atheist instead of a Catholic? Why do you want to date an atheist instead of a Christian? Why would you be interested in dating someone who doesn’t share your faith?

Really think about it for a minute.

Let’s take religion out of it for a second. Imagine someone who just loves hiking, and extreme sports, and the outdoors. They bought all the gear. They’re on blogs reading about hiking and the outdoors whenever they’re not actually out there doing it. Then they go ahead and date someone who hates going outside.

I bet most of their friends would ask “Why would you do that? You have nothing in common!” It’s the same thing for the spiritual life. I know that it’s hard to help who you are attracted to, but you have to think about how it will look down the road. Relationships are much more than just attraction, especially long-term ones.

What if you get married someday? Would you be okay with having a spouse who doesn’t share your love of God, and who may not even support your beliefs? Sure, some atheist spouses might be fine with you practicing your faith, and they might even go with you to church once in a while to support you. That’s a best-case scenario. But it can get more complicated than that. What if you have kids down the road? What about the day when those kids come to you and say:

“Mommy, why doesn’t daddy go to church?”

“Well, sweetie, he, um…hmm. That’s a tough question.”

It IS a tough question, and pursuing a relationship with an atheist could put you in that unfortunate, and often heartbreaking situation of having to explain to your kids why their parent doesn’t believe in God one day in the future. Confusion is going to ensue when your kids see that one of their parents doesn’t believe in God. The big question you have to ask yourself is if you want that type of confusion in your family. Do you?

But even more than this, you want someone who loves what you loves and shares something so important in your life… our faith.

One of the best life lessons I can share with you is that you want to find people who like what you like, who believe what you believe in, and who share the same core beliefs, in this case, religion. I would recommend personally that you don’t date an atheist for these reasons.

To be clear, I don’t say this because atheist people are “bad” people. Not at all. I am saying it simply because you don’t share the same core beliefs or faith. Dating someone who you are not on the same playing field as can be a big mistake. A permanent mistake. If your Catholic faith is the most important thing to you in your life, why wouldn’t you want to find someone who can walk along side you in that journey, someone you can share it all with, grow holier with, and become closer to God with?

I am going to leave you with this final piece of advice: Choose a spouse who can help you to heaven, and not be a hindrance to it.

Have your own opinion on the matter? Feel free to leave a comment below or on my YouTube channel here. Make sure you’re following me on Instagram, Twitter, and my other social media platforms for more lively conversations.

About Bryan Mercier

Bryan Mercier is a professional Catholic speaker, retreat leader, author, YouTuber, and a Catholic apologist who has been teaching and preaching for almost two decades. He has also been aired on TV and radio in different states, including Relevant Radio, Ave Maria Radio, Sirius XM Satellite, and EWTN. He is the founder of "Catholic Truth," a non-profit dedicated to the New Evangelization and helping Catholics to know, love, and live their faith with purpose and passion each day!
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6 Responses to Can a Catholic Date An Atheist?

  1. Scotty V says:

    This is terrible advice. If you find someone to love who loves you, love can conquer all. Advising people to put their faith in something intangible over real actual relationships is contrary to the spirit of the Bible. Religion and spirituality are vehicles to happiness and fulfillment. So are relationships, and they should never be seen as mutually exclusive. I suggest you read the book The Martian Chronicles, which talks about a world where science and religion are one and the same. In such a world, it would be inconceivable to have to choose between faith and things that are more tangible. You need to open your heart to atheists and those of other faiths. Only then will you be able to give open-hearted advice that will actually help your followers.

  2. faith is not intangible. It’s very real to some people. and there’s a reason why religion, or difference of religion, has so often been on the top five reasons for divorce. science and religion cannot be the same. In some sense yes, and Christianity treated them very similarly for centuries. But yet they are different. One believes in empirical reality and research, while the other one is a spiritual and supernatural reality that cannot be proven to empirical studies. Either way, it’s very important for Christians to be led closer to God and deeper into their faith. And to do that, they need someone who can walk side-by-side sharing that faith and helping each other to grow.

  3. Chelsea L says:

    While I understand where you’re coming from about having things in common, religion doesn’t always necessarily have to be one of those things. It depends on how religious you and your partner are and how much else you have in common. For instance, if either partner is fundamentalist in their opposing beliefs, it probably won’t work. If one just isn’t religious and the other goes to church occasionally, they can make it work. The key is to have a mutual respect and understanding of each other’s perspectives and an agreement not to try to convert each other. As long as you have enough other things in common, it can be done. Couples don’t typically share all the same interests.

    As for raising children together, I think there is a clear cut solution: let the children decide for themselves what they believe. Isn’t that the point of religion anyway, that it has to be a personal choice? That’s why the Catholic church has Confirmation; it’s why many protestant denominations ask that you be baptized when you’re ready to declare the faith for yourself. So when this situation comes up:

    “Mommy, why doesn’t daddy go to church?”

    “Well, sweetie, he, um…hmm. That’s a tough question.”

    Note that it’s actually not a tough question at all. You can just be honest with your children, and when they’re old enough to understand, you explain to them what each of you believes and why. Let them go on their own spiritual journey and decide for themselves what they believe; and give them plenty of time and space to do that. Don’t pressure them one way or the other, but be their to answer any questions they may have. By doing this, you will model how to embrace differences of beliefs in relationships, and they may actually be better off for it in the long run

    Bottom line, if you truly love someone, work at it. Don’t just give up on the relationship because you don’t see eye to eye on everything (most couples disagree on something). Will it be more difficult because you have different beliefs? Quite possibly, but if you’re both willing to work at the relationship, go for it! Love conquers all!

  4. Chelsea, thank you for the comment. I would agree with you that if someone does not practice their faith, then it can work. However, that is not what this post is referring to. It presupposes that a person is living their faith and is strong in it which is why the “mommy, why doesn’t daddy go to church” is just going to conuse a kid and not support to religious parent who promised to raise their kid in the faith and do everything they can to lead them toward heaven.

    I agree with your last paragraph in regard to working at it. I think that is important. It’s equally important for a believer to have someone walking by their side, supporting them in faith, and helping them to become holier which is our life objective.

  5. Shayla says:

    I’m Catholic and with an atheist everything with snd atheist have to scientific and facts. As a Catholic I don’t feel the need to argue why I know and feel Gods love to someone who calls it make believe. It’s difficult to be with someone who does not share the same beliefs. You live and you learn. It’s better to surround yourself with people who share your same beliefs

  6. Terry Chonce says:

    As an absolute undeniable atheist I find it VERY difficult to date any one with a belief in any type of god. To me it’s as ridiculous as believing in a flying Santa clause and even more so that he slides into EVERY house, through a chimney. So, what about the ones without a chimney? Like what about the 30 children that died in a fire but god is so great and answered the prayers of the families who’s children survived but what about the ppl’s prayers of the ones he didn’t? It’s not an actual question. I feel you want to cover the hard truth with “god felt it was that child’s time to come to heaven” rather than be honest with yourselves. I get so infuriated in ppl especially that forgive a murderer who caused it. Like an atheist that feels like ” oh it was just time for us to just burn our children and be done with it” It is extremely hard for me, as an atheist, to even listen to someone pray. And make up excuses. I also find believers to be FAR less moral in their day to day actions, the way they just treat people in general, dishonest and so very many unfaithful. This is an absolute fact and not meant to be insulting.

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