8/13/2012 | Share this article: View CommentsBy black freethought ~
I write this essay to talk about how difficult dating is when you are an ex-christian in the black community. Although I realize for a lot of us in the atheist community, dating can present many challenges.
According to a recent survey, over 70 percent of Black woman see the Christian faith as an important part of their life. (June 2012 The Washington Post and Kaiser Family Foundation)
After my divorce and later deconversion from Christianity, I started toying with the idea of getting on a dating website. After many months of having a basic profile, I decided to upgrade to the paid subscription. The first thing I noticed was that there were very few females who identified as atheist, and none of them were black. This didn't surprise me because I am the only black atheist I know.
Many black women identified themselves as christian who were looking for other Christians. I also ran into this phrase while reading their profiles, "He must believe in God or don't contact me..." The market for successful Black Men who are atheists is quite slim. Not surprisingly, my profile did not get a lot of hits.
So I tried a different approach. I changed my "faith status" from atheist to spiritual not religious( I don't even know what that really means, but I think it is a catch all phrase to make some people feel good about no longer going to church) Once I made that change, my profile started blowing up, I was getting all types of winks, emails, and IM's from all over the place.
Inevitably once I told them that I was faith-free, the conversation would go no further. I enjoyed getting all of the attention, but I wasn't being true to myself. So I put my status back to atheist and my page has become a barren wasteland.
I also met a person who my mother introduced me to and we clicked really well. She attends my parents church. I was a bit skeptical because I didn't want to get my feeling hurt again from a christian. However she was quite the looker, so I gave it a shot. It turns out that we had quite a bit in common(love of horror, sci-fi, and anime movies) just to name a few. The elephant of my non faith still hung in the room. She knew that I didn't attend church and that was fine with her, but after some months I finally told her. I asked her would she ever have a long term relationship with a non christian. When she said that she wouldn't, I told her that I am a free thinker. She said that she really liked me, but could go no further. I was hurt, but not surprised.
I made a bet with a close relative(who is an ex christian, but more of a deist), that I would not be able to get a date due to my freedom from faith. She believes that women just want a good man, regardless of their beliefs. So far, we both are correct. If it is a person from my past, my faith-free lifestyle really doesn't as matter. However, if it's a new person, then it's a BIG deal...often they will give me the polite cold shoulder. I usually don't bring up my humanistic values unless I see potential. It seem like it would be easier for me to say that I have a criminal record than it is for me to say, I just don't believe in your god, or any god for that matter.
I wonder have any of my fellow free thinkers have run into these challenges.