by: Jenn Vicious
Jenn Vicious is the radical community’s Agony Aunt, providing life coaching and social etiquette answers for radical cultures. Need poly, kinky, or queer dating advice, need to to know what to wear to court or a family function (you know, one you have to look “respectable” at), want to understand what to and not to say in some contexts, ask Jenn Vicious.
Hey Jenn. My boyfriend identifies as a Pagan. I, on the other hand, am a hardline Atheist. I care about him deeply and would never say it to his face but I find his religious beliefs absurd, as I find all such beliefs absurd. Our relationship is amazing on every other level, but I find myself annoyed at him every time he mentions my aura or spirits or anything like that. I feel it would be cruel to demand proof, right? How do I manage these feelings in a way that is fair to both of us?
Well, anon, how big a deal is this? If your relationship is amazing in all other ways, I’m going to guess that this isn’t a big deal. Under that assumption there are a few things that need to happen.
First of all, find more patience with his woo. You don’t have to agree or believe it, but accept that it is part of who he is, and find the charm in it. Probably, even if you don’t agree with his ideas, they still reflect some part of his personality that you do appreciate. Focus on that.
Secondly, be honest. That does NOT mean tell him that his religious beliefs are absurd or demand proof for his beliefs. But I hope that you have not given the impression that you agree with him when you clearly do not.
The nice thing about being honest is that if he knows you aren’t that into woo stuff, then it makes it possible for you to request that he not mention your aura or whatever. You can just kindly express that you love him, but would rather not talk about that stuff. Or maybe it enables you both to have a conversation where you agree to disagree, not trying to change each other’s minds but hearing why you each feel the way that you do. And that can be a great conversation.