Is Dating a Non-Christian a Bad Idea? What the Bible Says

One of the more popular questions we hear about religious dating is whether or not dating a non-Christian is a good or a bad idea.

Is it something that can work? Does God approve of it? What kind of issues might you run into it? These are all great questions and ones we’re going to dig into today.

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An Idea Before We Get Into the Pros and Cons and What to Expect

Chances are that some of you are here because you’ve already met someone who isn’t a Christian and maybe you’ve even been dating for a while already. But if you haven’t met someone yet or you’re on the fence about committing to someone who isn’t a Christian, we’d like to recommend something.

Unless this person is the greatest thing since sliced bread and your entire world would fall apart without them, why not try and find someone who is already a Christian to date? Yes, that might mean you have to pass on someone now, but in the long run—it’s going to be a lot easier.

Why Dating a Non-Christian May Create Problems

Unfortunately, our bottom line up front is that dating someone who isn’t a Christian when you are is a bad idea. And we say the same thing for people looking to date someone religious when they’re not for all religions. If your faith is important to you, there are going to be too many things that you two differ on to work in the long run.

Here are a few of the issues you may run into.

Things May Seem Okay At First

The biggest issue that you may be facing right now is that things seem okay. You may have talked to this person a few times or you’ve even been dating for a few weeks. And everything seems okay! The problem, though, is that the issues of dating a non-Christian generally start later in the relationship.

Why? Because the big issues you may differ on are heavier topics that you might not have talked about yet. Things like how you’d raise kids, where you stand on major issues like abortion, what the purpose of life is, etc. These are things that are most likely important to you as a Christian man or woman. However, your potential love interest might not feel the same way or hold the same convictions.

Don’t be fooled just because things seem to be fine now.

Even Supportive Partners Will be Problematic

Your goal as a Christian is to continue getting closer to God. You probably want to continue growing, which is awesome! The problem, though, is that someone who isn’t a Christian won’t see the importance of that. And even if they’re the most supportive person on the planet, they won’t be helping you to grow. At best they won’t be moving you in reverse.

However, what’s more likely is that they’re going to get frustrated that you’re giving your time to God and the Church and not to them. Again, this is also something that might not seem like a problem at first but develops over time. How you spend your time is a lot easier when your partner is on the same religious path as you.

And just how big of a deal is an unsupportive partner? A pretty big one. Recent research shows that unsupportive romantic partners can have negative effects on how your brain functions.

Expect Some Heat

While it doesn’t matter what other people think about you, expect to get some heat from your church family about dating a non-Christian. Why? Well, when you get to the next section where we look at what the Bible says about dating a non-Christian, you’ll see that they’re going to have some good grounds to bring it up.

Yes, it can be annoying when people get into your business. However, the Church is all about building each other up, which also means calling each other out when we’re doing something that might not be in line with what we should be doing.

What Does the Bible Say About Dating a Non-Christian?

The most applicable verse for this topic is always going to be 2 Corinthians 6:14. In the letter Paul wrote to the church in Corinth, he’s fairly direct by saying that we shouldn’t romantically be with non-believers.

“Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?” – NIV

Now, it’s probably important to point out that this really isn’t Paul “being a jerk” or laying down the law. It comes from a place of love and concern for believers. Paul wants to make it clear that dating a non-believer is going to cause problems because he wants you to have great relationships. And if as Christians the Bible is something you believe in, it’s hard to interpret this verse many other ways.

Important: Don’t Plan on Converting Them

As a Christian, you obviously want anyone and everyone on the Earth to come to know Christ the same way you have. And this is probably even more pronounced when it comes to someone that you care about.

Here’s the problem. It’s not up to you whether or not someone converts to Christianity. You can do your part and plant the seeds, but the rest is up to God and then the other person’s free will choice.

If you enter into a relationship with a non-Christian man or woman, you can’t guarantee that they’re ever going to convert. What happens if years down the road they still don’t believe? It’s going to leave you in a really tough predicament, especially after investing a lot of time and emotions into the relationship.

If you are going to date someone who isn’t a Christian, plan for them to stay that way forever. If you’re still okay with that idea, then okay. However, if you trick yourself into thinking that they’ll change their religion for you, that’s a bad road to go down.

So, What Should You Do?

Now that you have all of the information, what are you supposed to do with it? Well, it all depends on where you are in the dating process. Here are some different scenarios you might be in when it comes to dating a non-Christian and what we think might be the best course forward.

  • You’re just starting to date and haven’t met anyone yet – Why not just date Christians moving forward? Take advantage of some of the Christian dating apps we’ve recommended and avoid any issues altogether.
  • You’ve started dating and are talking to some people who aren’t Christians ­- If you’re at this point, it’s really not too late to restart your search for Christian singles. Again, it’s the easiest way to avoid issues now or later on down the road if the relationship goes well.
  • You’re already dating someone who isn’t a Christian – This is where things can get a little tougher. Ultimately, the best thing to do would be to end the relationship now before things get harder down the road. Again, this is way easier said than done. But you do need to ask yourself what is most important to you? If having a strong relationship with someone who shares the same faith goals and beliefs as you is important, then it might be time to do something tough.
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Author: Matt Seymour, MSF

Matthew J. Seymour is a dating industry expert with over a decade of experience coaching singles, reviewing dating apps, and analyzing trends within the industry. Matt is a published author with his most recent work “Get More Dates: How to Master Online Dating Apps” that hit shelves in 2023. With a Masters of Science in Finance (MSF) degree from the University of Florida and extensive knowledge of the innerworkings of the online dating industry, Matt frequently serves in an advisory role to some of the largest dating apps on the market. In Matt’s current role with Healthy Framework, he leads the interview team that regularly interviews key dating industry leaders, and leverages his financial knowledge and dating app experience to review and share what singles need to know to get the most out of dating online.