When it comes to faith and online dating, it is a common thought that people would prefer to date someone who shares their beliefs. However, there are several facts regarding religion and dating that show many people are far more open minded. Exploring the facts and statistics surrounding faith and dating allow you to see how much of a role it plays when you join dating sites to start searching for compatible partners.
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Most People Are Open to Interfaith Dating
In the United States, it is estimated that about 63% of adults are willing to date people who have different religious beliefs. While certain religious groups may be viewed as more conservative than others, this statistic looks at people from a wide array of sectors throughout the United States.
More people seem to be willing to meet people who have a different set of beliefs. Women appear to be a little more open to interfaith dating compared to men. While religion and dating is a hot topic, especially in today’s political climate, it is a good idea to keep an open mind. When looking at dating profiles, pay attention to someone’s beliefs, but do not allow them to let you automatically discount that person as a potential mate.
Fewer People Are Focused on Single Faiths Relationships Today
When looking at preferences among people in 2010 and those before 1960, far fewer people are focused on meeting someone who shares their religious beliefs. Prior to 1960, only about 5% of people who identified as Christian were in a marriage with someone who was considered to be religiously unaffiliated.
Since 2010, when looking at all of the adults who married in the United States, approximately 18% of marriages include one person who is considered religiously unaffiliated and one person who identifies as a Christian.
While this only looks at people who identify as Christian or not affiliated with a specific religion, similar trends have been seen among those with other belief systems. Those who marry outside of their faith often make compromises regarding how they will celebrate certain holidays and which religion they will use to raise their children.
Many interfaith couples state that they get the details hashed out before they walk down the aisle. This helps them to ensure that they are on the same page. In some cases, those who identify as atheist allow their Christian spouse to deal with the faith-related issues in their relationship.
Fewer People Believe in God
On dating websites, there has been a significant increase in people who identify as an atheist. This means that they believe that no god exists. In 2007, about 71% of adults stated that they were absolutely certain that there was a god. By 2014, this figure dropped to 63%.
Atheists do not believe that there is any god. On dating websites, many atheists are making it known that this is their belief. However, many of them do not state that they are only willing to date other atheists. In fact, atheists on dating sites seem rather open to meeting people from a wide variety of faiths.
Evangelicals Do Not Fare Well in Interfaith Relationships
While interfaith relationships are on the rise, they are not working out for everyone. Approximately one-third of marriages that involve one person who identifies as evangelical and one person who does not end in divorce. When an evangelical gets involved with someone who is either agnostic or an atheist, the relationship fails about 61% of the time.
Those who are of the evangelical faith tend to be very devout. When they are dating or married to someone who does not share such strong beliefs, this could potentially cause some tension in their relationship. It may also cause issues when it comes to things like deciding how to explain religion and faith to future children.
American Muslims and Interfaith Relationships
Islam is often viewed as a strongly conservative religion with very little room for other belief systems. However, in the US, approximately one in five people who practice Islam marry someone who does not share their same faith. It is believed that this could be associated with the assimilation that American Muslims often experience.
Age Impacts Willingness to Date Outside of Your Faith
While this will likely be surprising to many, older people are more likely to engage in marriage or a long-term partnership with someone who has a different faith. Among people ages 36 to 45, approximately 67% of them marry someone who has different religious beliefs.
Older people are often seen as less flexible compared to those in their 20s. Because of this, one would think that they would be more focused on finding a long-term partner who shares their faith. However, while faith is still important for many people in this demographic, it seems that they put more emphasis on other things, such as financial stability and overall chemistry.
Mormons vs. Jews Regarding Interfaith Relationships
People who identify as Mormon are the least likely to engage in relationships and marriage with people who are not also Mormon. However, those who follow the Jewish faith are the most likely to get romantically involved with people who are of different belief systems.
Jewish people can be strong in their faith while not needing their partner to share their beliefs. There are also a number of Jewish people who consider themselves Jewish without being overly devout.
However, those who participate in the Mormon religion tend to be very strict. This religion has numerous rules that can take a lot of time to learn. For example, they do not consume alcohol, which is not terribly uncommon among heavily religious people. But they also have rules against hot beverages, so those that follow this faith also do not consume any tea or coffee.
These are just a few examples of some general rules. There are also numerous dating rules that devout Mormons will follow. For example, dates are usually done in groups and you are not supposed to go out with the same person on multiple dates.
Catholic Women Are More Flexible Than Catholic Men
When it comes to Catholics dating people of different faiths, women are more likely to do so compared to men. One study found that about 70% of Catholic women reported that they have dated a man who was not Catholic. This is compared to only 42% of Catholic men.
Overall, both Catholic women and men tend to prefer a partner who is at least religious. The group of people that both genders were least likely to consider dating was atheists.
Regional Differences in Interfaith Relationships
Where someone lives has an impact on how much they are willing to date someone who has different religious beliefs. In the west and the south, people are more likely to stick to dating people who share the same religious beliefs. However, in the northeast part of the US, approximately 70% of people are okay with dating a person who has a different religious belief system.
Millennials and Interfaith Dating
Millennials who are religious are a bit more conservative than most people would expect when it comes to considering an interfaith relationship. The millennial generation consists of those who are ages 23 to 38.
One poll looked at men and women ages 18 to 34, mostly encompassing the millennial generation. It discovered that about 62% of women in this age group were willing to date someone who had a different religion than their own. However, among men in the same age group, only about 52% said that they were okay with dating someone who did not share their religious beliefs.
The older generation seems to be a lot more open to dating someone of a different faith. When looking at women and men over age 55, about 70% of men and 59% of women were willing to date someone who had a different belief system than they do.
Interfaith Couples Tend to Be Less Devout
When two people of a different faith get together, both partners tend to be less devout regarding their specific religion. For example, when a Catholic marries another Catholic, approximately seven in 10 are considered to be very religious. However, when a Catholic marries someone from a different religious group, only about half of them are considered to be very religious.
This is a trend that is seen among most religious groups. People who are in an interfaith marriage are less likely to do things like go to church and celebrate the major holidays associated with their religion. There are two exceptions to this, including Easter and Christmas, since while these are religious holidays, they are also considered relatively universal holidays in the US.
Women View Religious Similarities as More Important Than Men
Women tend to prefer men who share their religious beliefs more than men prefer women who share their beliefs. One poll determined that about 39% of women consider it very important that their male partner share their religious beliefs. However, only about 26% of men believed that it was very important that their female partner share their religious beliefs.
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