Tuesday, 10 January 2012
I've been seeing this guy for almost 4 months now and things are great. He's really sweet and helpful, super cute, successful, we agree on religion (agnostic atheists) and politics (pretty liberal as far as social policy goes, moderate to left leaning on economics). 90% of the time, we agree to disagree quite well, and we have the same sense of humor (nothing is off limits to be made fun of), etc.
There's just one little problem: his family.
They're Christian. I don't mean the believe in God, go to church once a month Christians. I mean like, young earth creationist, home school our kids, no sex before marriage Christians.
They know he no longer attends church, but we sincerely doubt that they suspect that he's atheist.
I have no problem with this, as I generally take a 'live and let live' attitude towards such things, especially when a relationship I really care about hinges on it. Normally my only qualm is that I'd have no hesitation to defend my perspective on things if asked, but for my awesome guy I can let that go. I was willing to just lie about my religion like he does, and he said that would probably be the best way to handle things if I met them.
However, we'd been putting off me meeting them as he's really concerned that they'll immediately assume we're getting married and put all kinds of pressure on him. Now the real problem is that his mom figured out that I'm atheist through Facebook posts.
Apparently while out at lunch one day, she asked my boyfriend whether or not I was an atheist out of no where (as far as he knew she had no idea who I was yet), and he was so confused he answered honestly. He asked how she knew that, and she said she read it on my Facebook, which means she checked my profile the second he added me. When he asked why she was asking, she just said she noticed I'd been posting on his wall a lot lately. Based on this and her earlier expression of her suspicion that he has a girlfriend, she probably assumed we are dating.
She then immediately proceeded to try to get him to ask the waitress for her number, because "her ears aren't pierced, so she was probably raised in a conservative household."
I have 3 holes pierced in my ears. I am so screwed.
I assume she knows we're dating, and yet is trying to hook him up with other girls, which cannot be a good sign for her opinion of me.
I'm just so worried that they won't like me and they'll be mean to me, or try to get him to break up with me. He's said that they can't make his decisions for him, and I believe him, but I can't imagine that kind of pressure from his parents would be healthy for our relationship. Plus if they find out he's atheist it won't matter that he was atheist before he met me, they might just see me as the devil woman who tempted their good Christian boy away from the light.
We can't put off this introduction forever. He just bought a house and if they decide to pop in and I'm there it will be mega awkward. This leads to another thing he's worried about: that they'll find out he's having sex. I think this one is less of a big deal than he makes it out to be, as they got pregnant with him out of wedlock, but just because they did it doesn't necessarily mean that they'll accept it if he does.
My plan is to just not bring it up when I meet them, and if they ask just say I was raised Catholic and now I'm agnostic (which is technically true, I'm an agnostic atheist...), but if the questions go any deeper than that I'm not sure what to say. I just want to diffuse things and stir the pot as little as possible.
Anyone got any advice? How would you handle the situation? Anyone ever been in a relationship where your partner's parents didn't approve of you or your religious values?