But the choice to date someone may have unexpected implications—especially if that person does not share your religion, Summer says. Bhaskarabhatla ’09, who is Hindu, says he thinks “a relationship shouldn’t focus on a person’s religious tradition and background but mainly on personal characteristics and compatibility.” His parents would not agree.Faced with these complexities, many students say they will not date members of other religions, and those who say they are willing to do so admit it isn’t always easy. Interfaith dating forces many students to make a difficult choice: conceal their relationship from their parents, or face fighting with them about it, Bhaskarabhatla says.Citing a Biblical passage which points to the danger of being led off course by a relationship with someone of a different faith, Gillis says that his religion has a clear position on interfaith relationships.“The important thing to realize, from a Christian perspective, is that God is supreme.Nothing matters more than God, including your wife,” Gillis says.
Skoda says the phrase negatively connotes one person setting out in a relationship in order to convert the other person, and she says she thinks that this happens infrequently, if at all.“That makes the idea of sex so much more sacred.”Different views of gender roles can also complicate a relationship, Summer says.Summer says she disagrees with her boyfriend’s belief that he is responsible for supporting her when she begins law school in the fall and he enters the work force.“I think it’s my financial responsibility,” she says.“A lot of Indian girls are vegetarian, and they speak the same language. With language comes a lot of cultural ties,” he says.THINK OF THE KIDSStudents say that their broadest and most constant concern about interfaith dating is the faith of their children.