Relationships and Religion

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Question: I’ve been dating a guy from a different culture for a while now. He is from a strict Muslim family who believe in covering their whole body and I am from a Catholic family. He's very strict, and wants me to cover my body and not wear make-up. I’ve been raised in a totally different mindset but he doesn't want to give in. What should I do?

I’ve had a very similar experience to you, and I found the best way to address this sort of difference in a relationship is by understanding what your values are, and how or if you are willing to compromise. It’s a very difficult subject, especially since you are addressing issues that are central to someone’s identity and familial responsibilities.

I would start by asking yourself, what is important to me? If self-expression through clothes and make-up is a priority for you, then giving them up would be giving up apart of your identity. That might lead you to want to have an open and honest conversation with your partner about how you feel, and see whether this is something that he could compromise on. The middle ground could be covering up in front of his parents and at family functions, it doesn’t have to be black and white. If he can’t meet in the middle, then the next question to ask yourself is can I be with someone who may not ever be able to accept me as I am or as who I want to be?

Lots of love,

Gabby xx