2008-07-25

No Gods, No Children

Since my deconversion almost four years ago, I've only dated women who were at most only nominally religious, and it seems increasingly unlikely that I'll end up with even a moderate believer. Ideally, I would prefer to marry another atheist. It's very difficult for me to fully respect anyone who professes belief in the supernatural and almost impossible to respect anyone who claims to have no doubts. It's not really a problem if she has an unbiblical view of God as love or a hopeful belief in some vague almost universalism in which only murderers and rapists are sent to hell and everyone else is admitted to heaven. But if she believes that the world was created in six days, that her god magically takes the form of bread and wine during a sacred ritual, or that anyone outside of her religious group will be roasted for all eternity merely for thinking differently, then it's an absolute deal-breaker. If I'm to share my life with someone, it would be best that we at least share a similar relationship with reality. Unfortunately, I'm usually not really compatible with most female atheists. I can form friendships with them perfectly well, but the harmony of personalities necessary for romantic relationships seems to be lacking. Perhaps this is because atheism isn't fully socially acceptable in American culture, so atheists, and female atheists in particular, are often intellectually and emotionally stronger than average, but I tend to be attracted to weaker, more passive and more traditionally feminine women. The only explicitly nonreligious women I've dated were from socialist countries where irreligion is promoted as the societal standard. The difficulty I experience in finding someone with the same worldview is the way that religion most directly affects my life.

A much larger issue for me is that I don't ever want to have children. I've always felt this way, for as long as I can remember, though during the height of my religious devotion, I believed my future wife and I would be morally obliged to have as many children as were conceived without contraception, so I tried to convince myself that it was God's will. I thought it was the only way I could have sex without risking eternal damnation! I'm very happy I didn't find a woman during that time willing to marry me! Today I can say without any guilt that I don't want children. In fact, I feel it's more responsible because I won't be contributing to the problem of overpopulation. While I understand the biological basis of the desire to reproduce, I find myself unable to relate to people who sincerely want children because I never have at all. Finding a suitable match is difficult enough without having desires contrary to the evolutionary urges and socialization of the vast majority of one's potential mates, but I doubt I could make myself want children and I refuse to have them unless I'm absolutely certain I want them.

There's a significant overlap between the membership of the godfree and the childfree, but so far this statistic hasn't done anything to help me find the right woman and I don't expect that it will. I would really love to find someone special with whom to share my life, but I've accepted that, because of my unpopular beliefs and desires and because of me personally, I may spend the rest of my life alone. I haven't given up; I've just become more realistic about my chances.

Share/Save/Bookmark

6 comments:

Kidfree Kaye said...

I find your post interesting, and think you might want to join the childfree network (childfree.net) or the "never married single over 40" group (nmsover40.com) to find like-minded men and women to chat with. You're right though, most of them women are strong and well-educated, though not all.

I am a 40-something childfree from Calif. who is writing a book called "Kidfree & Lovin' It," which will have a chapter on being single and childfree. I have an online survey that over 2,200 CFs around the world have taken, and would love you to take it too!

Just click on this link to take you there, and you can remain anonymous:

http://tinyurl.com/2lcjah

Thanks, and enjoy!

KidfreeKaye
www.kidfreeandlovinit.com

Zatarra said...

Thanks for the comment. I will check out the links you gave me, but I still have more than decade until I reach the over-40 group! I appreciate the info.

Kidfree Kaye said...

Whoops, sorry about catapulting you into your 40s! (How presumptuous of me!)

There's a lot of people in their 20s and 30s on the childfree network. There's also a new dating website called "I do NOT want kids" that you may want to check out:
http://www.puzzele.com/datingsite/index.php

But don't forget to take my survey, as I think you'll enjoy it!
http://tinyurl.com/2lcjah

Stella said...

I'm a 29 year old "militant" atheist woman who doesn't want kids. We are out there. I expect it must be harder for men to meet women who don't want kids than the other way around. I suspect a large proportion of men don't really want kids and do so because it's the done thing, or because the wife wants them desperately. I don't get it, either.

At this point in my life, I couldn't even date anyone who was anything other than and out-and-out atheist. Luckily, there are a lot of ways to meet fellow nonbelievers these days.

If you're under 30, which I assume you are based on your above comment, I think there is actually a large pool of rational women for you. And I further suspect that there are far more atheist women who don't want kids than there are religious women who don't.

$0.02 from another former Catholic.

John Ward said...

It's interesting how you think your atheism prevents you from finding a woman. No doubt this plays a part.

But after reading this site I rather suspect something else at work. You are writing for the converted. For other atheists, who no doubt share similar views.

One thing that has emerged is that you think you are always right. About everything.

Very, very few women want to spend their lives with someone who thinks he is always right.

No doubt you will take exception with this observation, too. After all, you have no faults. It's religious people who have all the faults.

The general tone here indicates that the idea that you might have a fault in your own reasoning is unthinkable to you.

And I predict that even if you do find someone willing to date you, you will drive them away remarkably fast. Just the kind of thing overly-righteous people do.

Secular Planet said...

1. I've just celebrated my first wedding anniversary. You can read about my experiences on the blog.

2. I went from being a devout Catholic to an atheist, I've switched political parties more than once (it's all on the blog) and you claim I can't admit I'm wrong?

3. You're telling someone that you've never met that he'll never succeed romantically, and you accuse me of not thinking he's ever wrong and being self-righteous? You broke my irony meter, jackass.