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Old 12-18-2011, 04:40 AM   #1 
bahamut285
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Question about Catholics

Okay I don't normally talk about my personal life on a public forum, but being a non-religious person (I'm Buddhist), I don't have any experience with religious people. SO, I am now aiming for a wider audience. I wish to try to resolve this dilemma with as little prying as possible, and I don't want to be rude, so forgive me of my pre-determined ignorance.

There is a guy I'm interested in who is in my program at University. He's 2.5 years younger than me and his family is Catholic. Firstly, I don't know if he is Catholic by choice or purely because his family thrust it upon him. I don't know if he goes to church or says grace at mealtimes. So I am completely unaware of he and his family's spectrum of Catholic. (It hasn't really come up a lot in conversation because I try to avoid it in case I'm rude.)

ONTO THE DILEMMA and QUESTIONS.

Question #1: If we were to date, what am I to expect?
- I'm guessing that if he is strictly Catholic, physical intimacy is limited
- Are there certain foods one cannot eat?
- Things I should avoid talking about? (Science?)

Question #2: Would his family be upset that I am not religious?
Hypothetically, if we were to end up dating (we are still just friends), would it cause tension/problems? I don't want to cause any problems between me and his family and ESPECIALLY between him and his family. Family is very important to me and the last thing I want to happen is that his gets torn up because of me.

FINALLY...HYPOTHETICALLY, if we were to end up getting MARRIED, I figure I would have to convert. If I loved him enough I would probably do it, as it is my choice...HOWEVER, I would want our CHILDREN to have the same choice, not to be "born a Catholic". I don't mind if the family insisted on ceremonies or something but I don't want them to be forced into a religion. I know this is definitely going to sound rude but I honestly don't mean to be, but I'm just very steadfast on the whole "Choice" thing....I don't want my children to end up being extremists and especially not rejecting science as a fact of life. I do not like it when people are forced to believe a certain way without discovering it for themselves. You can discover both God and Science, which is the choice I want them to have :(

I know it's thinking really far ahead considering we're not dating (I haven't even confessed), but I'm not a typical girl who just dates guys as you would lease a car. I'm the "lease-to-own" type of girl in which, if the relationship is going smoothly, why break up?

The focus of this dilemma is his family. I'm pretty confident he himself is accepting of others religions or lack thereof.

I'm really really really sorry if this offends anybody, I just don't know what to do so I came here for comfort... :'(
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Old 12-18-2011, 05:26 AM   #2 
GreenTea
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Since you have no idea what his family or he is like, this seems super premature, kind of silly almost! Catholics don't have dietary restrictions, and all Catholic families are different, as with any other sect of believers.

Getting married? Kids? Seems a bit far off, what if you go on a date and he's a jerk? Him being Catholic doesn't really mean anything. Lots of people say they're a certain religion and don't practice. Lots of people say they're a certain religion and know in their hearts that they don't believe it. I'd ask him about it IN THE FUTURE if you guys actually ever date, and that would be an appropriate time to bring up family as well.

"I don't want my children to end up being extremists and especially not rejecting science as a fact of life. I do not like it when people are forced to believe a certain way without discovering it for themselves"

So... why are you saying you would convert just to be with him? You don't need to convert anything. You also have a say in how your children are raised. I hope I'm not being rude but this just all comes off as very bizarre to me. If I were you, I'd ask yourself why you're already saying you'd convert for some guy who seems nice right now, if 1) you think you'll have science hating children with him? 2) you know nothing about Catholicism? This line of logic also follows that your children would be morons with no critical thinking skills or ability to separate reality from stories in the bible and couldn't decide for themselves. People escape the shackles of religion all the time.

I'd do some online research and more importantly, be rational. You don't need to convert to marry him. I'm sure if he is practicing he wouldn't convert to Buddhism - why is that the womans task? This is benevolent sexism.

It's late and I'm not trying to be mean, it just sounds like you have a ton of anxiety before you have even talked to this guy and found out what he's about. Maybe he has no family. Maybe he has a secret drug addiction or would be abusive. Maybe he's a closeted homosexual who would marry any woman to seem normal to his Catholic family. And maybe he's the best guy ever and a perfect match for you. Right now though, focus on taking care of your own mental and physical health, finishing school, and less focus on some guy and how he will indoctrinate your future children with the all loving all seeing Yaweh of the bible, after asking you to convert and telling you all to hate science!

Last edited by GreenTea; 12-18-2011 at 05:28 AM.
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Old 12-18-2011, 05:45 AM   #3 
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Hi guys i think religious questions shouldn't be ask

Everyone has different perceptions about the religion so i think religious questions shouldn't be ask.
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Old 12-18-2011, 06:05 AM   #4 
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Yeah, it might not be appropriate for this forum, but I personally find it really annoying no one ever talks about religion just because it's "sensitive." That's a silly reason. Not talking about something doesn't bring any information or resolution to a topic. It also avoids scrutiny and being analyzed in that way.
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Old 12-18-2011, 07:41 AM   #5 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GreenTea View Post
Yeah, it might not be appropriate for this forum, but I personally find it really annoying no one ever talks about religion just because it's "sensitive." That's a silly reason. Not talking about something doesn't bring any information or resolution to a topic. It also avoids scrutiny and being analyzed in that way.
Very well said! And religion is such an individual thing based on what you choose to believe or not believe or what you need to get through life that this discussion could go on for years.

I was raised Catholic but my parents basically just went through the motions because that's what was "done". Once I got through Confirmation, that was it for me. So in my case, it would have no bearing on who I choose as a life partner.
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Old 12-18-2011, 08:27 AM   #6 
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I don't find this silly at all, as I am having religious "issues" with my boyfriend of 11 years...it is literally driving a wedge between us. He was fine with me BEFORE but after meeting this "religious friends", let's just say they have tried for the past 9 or so years to break us up because I am not "one of them".

Quote:
NTO THE DILEMMA and QUESTIONS.

Question #1: If we were to date, what am I to expect?
- I'm guessing that if he is strictly Catholic, physical intimacy is limited
- Are there certain foods one cannot eat?
- Things I should avoid talking about? (Science?)

Question #2: Would his family be upset that I am not religious?
Hypothetically, if we were to end up dating (we are still just friends), would it cause tension/problems? I don't want to cause any problems between me and his family and ESPECIALLY between him and his family. Family is very important to me and the last thing I want to happen is that his gets torn up because of me.
Question 1: It all depends on how religious he is. Officially I'm catholic but that's about as far as it goes. Is he catholic in name only or is he a practicing catholic? And more importantly, does he know you are a buddist? If he does and is willing to accept that, I wouldn't worry too much. As for physical intimacy, again - it's a personal decision. He may be very strict and into the whole waiting till marriage thing, or he think waiting is an outdated practice.

As far as I know, there are no dietary restrictions that I recall except one is not supposed to eat meat during lent on fridays or so my grandmother would tell me when I was a kid. Not sure if it was just her or if its every catholic that is supposed to do that. All I know is I was a kid and I wanted pepperoni on my pizza but she would say NO because of something to do with no meat during lent.

There aren't any topics that are off limits but there are some I would highly avoid such as abortion unless you know for a fact that you can have a civil discussion. I have a good online friend who is VERY strictly catholic. Our views on many of these topics are not the same but we are both accepting of others points of view so we can openly discuss and disagree on many of the "off limits" topics. However, many of my boyfriend's "religious buddies" are very closed minded and I could see us getting into a very violent argument on the same topics.

Unless they are like from the middle ages, I would think science wouldn't be off limits? maybe the big bang theory wouldn't be a great starter conversation though.

Question 2 - Again, it all depends on how religious his family is. I think it may of caused more of a problem in years past but I don;t think it would be such a problem today. However, again, it all depends on his family.


I think knowing these things ahead of time will save alot of heart ache later on. Like if he is going to want you to convert, are you going to be willing to do so? And if there are kids, how will they be raised? Now might be a little too soon since you guys aren't dating yet, but I would keep these questions in mind.

I think to get married in a catholic church you need to convert but since I have no desire to get married in a church of any kind, I never bothered to really look into it. My boyfriend was married before and he had to convert to being a Coptic to get married to her, but I am not sure if that was a requirement of getting married or if it was to keep her family happy. He never really talks about her and all I know is she was from Egypt. And Diabetic.

Quote:
but I personally find it really annoying no one ever talks about religion just because it's "sensitive." That's a silly reason. Not talking about something doesn't bring any information or resolution to a topic. It also avoids scrutiny and being analyzed in that way.
Agreed. I was officially Lutheran but my other grandmother was upset with it so when I was 8 I was rebpatised Catholic to make her happy. personally, I don't care either way. I am not even sure I want to be Christian as it was never MY choice in the 1st place. I made it to communion and then decided no more.

Last edited by Tikibirds; 12-18-2011 at 08:41 AM.
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Old 12-18-2011, 12:15 PM   #7 
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I'm not Catholic but i'm Christian so i know a bit about it but am not an expert. I went to a Christian school my whole life and if this guy was raised the way I was it would be best to not get into a relationship with him. It's encouraged that Christians/Catholics marry someone of the same faith. Sure you can change religion and become Catholic but for someone that was raised Catholic, raising their children Catholic will be very important to them. I know for me personally, i don't date anyone who is not a Christian... not because i think i'm better than them or anything but because we often do not have the same moral standards, it would cause rifts in my family, we wouldn't have the same beliefs (religious and political) if anything became of the relationship I would want to raise my children up in the faith and it would cause rifts in our family.

you may like this guy but i think it just comes down to whether you two are compatable in all ways. I'd hate for you to give it a go and have it end badly because of family reasons/faith differences :)
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Old 12-18-2011, 12:21 PM   #8 
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my suggestion, if you did want to pursue a relationship with this guy, would be to find out a little more about his faith. Find out if he is Catholic by choice or just by name. I know many people that are Catholic by name and you would then run into less problems because they often times are not strict in their beliefs and will be more accepting to other religions/the way their children are raised/political beliefs etc.

you could try to become friends with him, unless you already are, and try to work up talking about his beliefs, saying you are curious since you are a buddhist. If he is strict catholic, i would stay clear. You gotta think about the possible heartbreak that may come at the end if this doesn't work. Speaking as someone who is currently suffering a broken heart, you don't want to set yourself up for that :)

and i'm always here if you need someone to talk with, you can always pm me
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Old 12-18-2011, 01:05 PM   #9 
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I'm a Catholic and I believe being born a Catholic was one of the greatest gifts given to me. Some people view being a Catholic as something forced upon them at birth. That is not the case at all. I like to view it as a gift...something to prepare me for life and such. Furthermore, being a Catholic is so big, being born a Catholic is simply a way to help the person along. There is so much to learn about the faith, it helps to start from an early age. Just because you are born a Catholic, doesn't mean you have to stay a Catholic though. Personally, since I am learning to understand the true beauty of the faith (you continue to learn for the rest of your life), I find it impossible to leave. But God gave us free will, so we are free to choose our ways.
As for dietary restrictions, what people said is correct. On Fridays, during Lent, and on Good Friday, Catholics should never eat meat simply to remind us of the immense sacrifice that God (namely Jesus) undertook by dying on the cross for us. I used to really dislike this, but now I understand that it is a small sacrifice compared to all that God gives us. Trials make you a stronger and a better person, so why not accept even the littlest of challenges?
As for science, we are not anti-science. We encourage the exploration of the world around us. However, there are certain subjects (such as invitro fertilization and the study of embryonic stem cell research) that we do not accept as they are immoral and unethical. Each life, no matter how small, has immense dignity and value. It is not because we are Catholics (well, maybe part of it is) but it is mainly wrong to do such things. A person doesn't have to be Catholic to know what is right and what is wrong. Furthermore, religion, if truly understood, is meant to be freeing, not binding. If one truly understands the Catholic faith, they would see that it helps us to discover our inner selves and understand ourselves even better. God is such an essential part of our lives. He helps us to understand our hearts as He knows our hearts better than we know ourselves.
If his family is a true Catholic family, they will accept you for who you are. However, if you are seriously thinking about marrying a Catholic, the Church expects children be raised as Catholic. However, it is important to view the 10 Commandments as laws of LOVE from a Father who knows our temptations and knows what is truly best for our happiness. It's hard but most things in this life that are hard are the most worthwhile. However, this is a decision one should make together and it may be a while before you have to make it...
I DON'T want to start any fights/arguments among people. People were stating their views etc, and I merely wanted to give mine. There are a lot of misconceptions about Catholics, just like there are for other religions. I just wanted to clarify some points as much as possible.
I hope that this helps you and gives you some relief and understaning. :)
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Old 12-18-2011, 01:49 PM   #10 
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@GreenTea: I know it is premature, but I mentioned (at least I think I did) that I'm not really the type to date and dump. For me I tend to search and date potential life partners. We've been friends for about a year now, I doubt he'd randomly turn into a jerk on a date! XD. This is why I'm wondering about it NOW, because I get attached very easily, I don't want to do stupid things just to stay with him. As for the conversion thing, I hear you have to be Catholic to get married in a Catholic church, so if we were to get married, I personally wouldn't mind converting as it is my choice. I'm not 100% sure on that as I don't actually know for sure.

As for the whole getting him to convert to Buddhism:
1) Buddhism isn't a religion, he can be Catholic and Buddhist as well, it's a philosophy
2) I personally don't give a crap about sexism, lmao, just saying.

Last paragraph had me laughing a bit. Once again I'm only having anxiety issues because of the way I "date". I am NOT the type who goes "on a date" with a guy then ditches them if I don't like it. I've been friends with him for a year, we are pretty close and I'm sure I would know if he was a druggie/homosexual/etc. I know he drinks but that's about it. He's in the same program as me (which is Science). Also, I'm done school almost, brah.

The problem isn't with him, it's his family...I know nothing about his family and I only came to ask on how to approach his family without being rude >_>

@Abdullah: Okay? Why not? Why are we not allowed to ask and explore other people's religions? I'm not hating/bashing

@GreenTea: I personally don't find it a sensitive issue either, I was just being cautious because some people ARE. I want to be polite about it while still informative.

@Romad: Thanks! That makes me feel a bit better about it xD

@Tiki: I'm leaning towards that he's only Catholic by name, I didn't want to pry but it seems I'm going to have to. I'm more concerned about his entire family. In Chinese we have a saying literally translated to: "When you marry a person you marry their family". It also technically applies to dating. I want to feel a little more confident about fitting in with him AND his family.

How long is Lent? I hate vegetables, LOL! I'm pretty carnivorous...

Thank you for understanding that I should know it ahead of time, I agree that it would save a lot of heartache as well. Many of my friends just tell me to GO FOR IT, but I don't want us to end up hurting each other for no reason.

@ManInBlack: Yeah that is something that concerns me as well, that his family would want him to marry a nice, pretty catholic girl just to save a lot of trouble. He and I are pretty compatible, maybe I'll talk to him more about it just in case it IS a sensitive issue for him and his family. Thanks so much for your help! It was very helpful :)
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