4 July 2011
How to get your religion settings right
Whether you consider yourself religious, spiritual or atheist, religion is an important issue in a relationship. That’s why it’s well worth giving your settings and your Must Have, Can’t Stands a second look.
Sometimes you might feel like we only ever persuade you to leave your settings as wide as possible, in order to receive as many matches as you can. But we know that there are some criteria that are very important to you, and that’s exactly why we give you the option to filter your matches.
For some people distance might be important – especially if you’ve got children you don’t want to uproot. For others religion might be important. And we don’t just mean that if you are religious you might want a match who is also of the same faith as you; we also know that if you are not religious you may also be looking for someone who shares your outlook on life.
We recognise the importance of this right from the start. When you complete the Relationship Questionnaire, Spirituality is one of the key dimensions we match you on. But, we also need your input on which (if any) religion you prescribe to and how important it is to you. For some people, having a partner who shares their faith can be make or break in a relationship.
Your starting point: My Settings
In ‘My Settings’ (when you log in) you’ll find your starting point for your religious choices. Under ‘Background and beliefs’, alongside other settings such as ethnicity and education, you can specify your level of spirituality and if you would prefer your matches to be of specific religions. If this setting is very important to you (and it probably is, if you’re reading this article) then make sure you move the slider to 6/7 – this will ensure you only receive matches that fit this criteria. However, it’s worth remembering that the more settings you mark as ‘very important’ the more you’ll restrict your matches, so try to be as open minded as possible.
Working out what you want: using your Must Haves and Can’t Stands
You’ll probably have come across the Must Haves and Can’t Stands in Guided Communication. We think they’re incredibly important in helping you focus on what really matters in a relationship, rather than what’s just a ‘nice to have’. When it comes to helping you think about religion, there are two ‘Must Haves that can help you work out what you want in a partner:
• Spirituality: in selecting this Must Have you’re saying to your matches that you require them to share your faith
• Spiritual Acceptance: in selecting this Must Have you’re telling your matches that you need them to accept your beliefs, but not necessarily share them
If you are a practising Hindu, it may be very important to you that your partner shares your beliefs and, for example, come to temple with you. However, you may simply want your partner to understand your beliefs and practices, and how they fit into your life.
When you’re thinking about your faith, it’s also worthwhile considering if you want children, whether you would want them to be raised according to your faith, or whether you will eventually leave that choice up to them.
A useful exercise: writing your own Must Haves, Can’t Stands
While the lists of Must Haves and Can’t Stands you’ll find on the eHarmony site are pre-written for ease, this doesn’t stop you from making your own lists. By writing down exactly what you want from a partner when it comes to their religious choices you’ll be able to really pin down what you’re looking for. And clarity in what you’re looking for is always a brilliant starting point towards finding someone special. This will also enable you to explain to your matches, very clearly, what you’re looking for.
Overall, the most important thing is that you’re true to yourself. If you are an atheist, and need someone who shares your beliefs, then let us know. There’s no point the eHarmony system matching you with someone whose belief in God is a large part of their life – and vice versa. By knowing what you want, and how we can help you find it, you’ll be on the path to finding what you’re looking for.