Recently I stumbled across a diary entry that I had written at the age of fifteen.
I couldn’t even begin to imagine dating someone that isn’t a Christian. What would we even do together? Any guy who doesn’t believe what I believe is a waste of my time.
Reading those words now makes me cringe. Over the last couple of decades, I have undergone numerous transformative experiences. Since I wrote that diary entry, my beliefs have changed drastically, but I still consider myself very creative and spiritual.
My fiance, on the other hand, is a logical and analytical deep-thinker. He does not share my intrigue when it comes to spirituality.
Initially, I wondered if we would work long-term, considering our different viewpoints. Over the years, I have come to learn the following lessons and repeat them when I find myself judging my partner’s spiritual path.
#1. You should ultimately be focusing on your growth
In my early twenties, I dated an older man that was a yoga teacher. He was primarily interested in improving his mind and health.
On the first Saturday morning we spent together, I woke up to a chia green smoothie, followed by a yoga flow/meditation. Not quite how I would typically start my Saturday morning, but I was a willing participant.
After a few weeks of the same routine, I admitted that I didn’t want to spend every Saturday doing yoga, drinking green smoothies, and meditating for hours. If up to me, a weekend morning would begin with a massive cup of coffee and perhaps a morning hike.
Our fling ended as quickly as it began, primarily because, in his words, “I wasn’t on the right journey.”
Often we can become judgemental and righteous when it comes to spirituality, assuming that our paths are the only “correct” way.
#2. Spirituality can be interpreted differently from person to person
Choosing my path as a young child was not an option. When I say that religion was forced upon me, I mean that I was force-fed evangelical Christianity until it made me sick.
As I grew older, I took a sharp turn in the opposite direction. New age, tarot cards, psychic readings, you name it. I was so curious to find a different truth that I tried a little bit of everything. Some of it resonated with me, and some of it did not.
When my fiance and I first began dating, I felt very frustrated that he was not on the same wavelength of curiosity. Why wasn’t he interested in expanding on a spiritual level? Why was he not open to that exploration with me?
The truth is that I had allowed my ego to take the reigns and falsely believed that because I was exploring my idea of “spirituality,” I was more mature. I was doing precisely to my partner what the yoga teacher had done to me—assuming (incorrectly) that he was on the wrong journey.
If your partner can love and is compassionate towards others, I promise that they are inherently spiritual.
#3. You can join a community/share your journey with others on a similar path
Every Thursday night, I meet with four close friends.
During these weekly hangouts, topics such as relationships and culturally pertinent events surface, but we always talk about spirituality.
It is incredibly refreshing to learn, share, and grow with these women. We don’t necessarily share the same beliefs, but we can discuss them in a loving and open manner. We all enjoy trying new things, and no one is stuck on one particular way of thinking/believing.
I believed that my partner needed to be on the same wavelength as me regarding my spiritual interests for a long time. Over time, I learned that it makes life more interesting because we are separate entities.
It’s easy to compare our lives to other couples and envy a life that we “think” we desire.
In the first couple of months of dating my fiance’, I went down a rabbit hole of “spiritual” couples on social media. At the time, I desired or thought I wanted that type of spiritual relationship. I quickly realized that comparing would inevitably set my fiance’ and me up for failure and began focusing on us instead of the outside world.
Even if you don’t see eye to eye on absolutely every subject in the universe, that doesn’t mean your bond will be any less important or substantial.
Your partner does not need to believe exactly what you do.
As long as you both encourage and support each other’s growth then you can walk together while simultaneously experiencing a unique spiritual journey.