A Lesson on How Not to Pick Up Atheist Women January 6, 2009

A Lesson on How Not to Pick Up Atheist Women

A word of advice to religious people:

When a woman on a dating website has a profile that mentions her atheism, please, please, please do not respond to her like this guy did to a friend of mine:

My God, what’s the world coming to when girls with angelic countenances like yours turn out to be atheists? Me, I still believe that there’s good and evil, and since those concepts are rendered meaningless in an atheistic framework, I’m not willing to make that tremendous leap of faith, especially into such a pessimistic world view. (Not to mention, it kind of ruins Christmas — and why would anyone choose to believe something that ruins Christmas? That just seems so needlessly cruel to oneself.)
Oh well — take care, best wishes in your life, and you’ve got great cheekbones.

respectfully,
Jack

The guy’s profile also included his wish for the type of girl he’d like to meet:

Someone who knows how to curtsey. A companion / muse / charming, village servant girl who will cater to, and endure, my moods and needs… you don’t have to promise to always be a good little girl (a little mischief is expected), but you do have to promise to at least be willing to sit up all hours of the night… and still make coffee in the morning.

Right…

She is *so* not going to bear his children anytime soon…

Anyone else think she should go ahead and meet the guy just for our future amusement?

No?

Just me?

Damn.

Has your atheism ever hurt your dating life before it even began?


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  • Laura C

    My mother tells me that I should be more accepting of people and that different religious, or for that matter non-religious, view points shouldn’t automatically disqualify someone as a potential mate. However, when I find myself sitting across from a religious person at dinner I can’t help but think, “This man probably doesn’t think that he is ultimately responsible for his actions or the direction of his life.” I just can’t get past that.

  • closetagnostic

    Men I’ve encountered define dating as sex and don’t seem to mind having sex with an atheist, agnostic, christian, etc.!!

  • Clare

    No, she should not meet this guy for future amusement. He is: a) incompatible, b) sexist and c) stupid. Atheism only hurts your dating prospects in as much as being liberal messes up your prospects of dating conservatives. Most intelligent women I know will either run a mile or take a step back from a male who professes to religion. It’s the equivalent of saying “Hi, I have a totally outdated, traditionalistic, possibly misogynistic world view”. There are nice, intelligent, non-sexist religious males out there, but incompatible world views tends to be a deal breaker for a serious relationship.

  • My atheism leaves me guilt free to be a smarmy little hedonist, it’s great! On the other hand my former Catholicism didn’t really stop me either. What can I say, my humanity, and love of condoms, will not be repressed!

  • Dan

    Even without reading his profile, his response comes off as blatantly sexist. “You’re pretty, but stupid and depressing.”

    The only time my atheism ever came up (in a negative way) was just after breaking up with a girlfriend in college. I could have sworn that I had told her that I was atheist before we ever started dating, but she told me that she never would have started dating me if she’d have known that.

    It was a plus when I met my wife because she’d just been through a divorce with someone who had “found” religion and had become very fundamentalist.

  • As an atheist woman, I’d have read about a sentence-and-a-half of that before hitting delete. Facing the sexist reality, atheist women have an advantage on the dating scene, hence have no motivation to waste even a full second on theists who don’t show any promise of being open-minded and respectful on belief-related issues.

  • mikespeir

    Actually, I think this saved them both a boatload of grief.

  • Mathew Wilder

    Well, a major part of why I had to break up with my girlfriend this past October because of my atheism. She was starting to become more religious (ELCA Lutheran, with random New Age/pseudoscience beliefs – which really depressed me since she is a nurse, and ought to know better; anyone with who’s taken a basic biology course ought to know better), and was becoming more annoyed by my blatant atheism. The other part was children. I didn’t want children and she did. I probably could’ve compromised on that, if I would have been able to raise my children without religion. But that wasn’t an option she would consider. So, splitsville. It majorly sucked.

  • Agreeing with mikespeir:

    In this instance, atheism didn’t hurt her dating life at all.

  • Has your atheism ever hurt your dating life before it even began?

    Yeah… for those years I was attending a Christian university, it kind of made dating uncomfortable…

  • This man was being deliberately mean. If you’re on a dating site and you see someone whom you don’t want to date, you just decline to contact that person. Full stop. But this Jack fellow singled her out, and then contacted her to tell her why he was not going to date her. Forget religion/non-religion. Mean people suck.

  • bfuentes

    One thing is very obvious. The guy is a putz.

  • Old Geezer

    It’s not that this guy is (apparently) Christian, it’s that he is an Asshat who is (apparently) Christian. As stated above, her Atheism has not cost her anything in this instance.

  • SarahH

    Atheism apparently has great power to dissuade assholes, so yay atheism! 🙂

  • Has your atheism ever hurt your dating life before it even began?

    Yeah… for those years I was attending a Christian university, it kind of made dating uncomfortable…

    Amen to that, globalizati.

  • JimboB

    Actually, it was because of my online dating profile (which mentioned my atheism) that I found my fiancé, who is also a godless heathen. I remember talking/meeting with girls before her (some religious; some not)… if my atheism did affect my dating life, I never knew about it.

  • Grimalkin

    To be fair, I wouldn’t even consider dating a religion person (unless I knew them REALLY well and already liked them). That being said, I wouldn’t contact them just to rub in the fact that their religious beliefs excluded them from the “honour” of getting to date me… :\

  • Jonathan Dolias

    All we need now is for her to respond and Hemant to show up in a wig…

  • lamb

    I’ve had my atheism affirm that some guys are just jerks.

    I have an ex-boyfriend who now claims to be Catholic (he picked it up due to his wife who is very Catholic – she also thinks she’s possessed and has had priests perform exorcisms on her, no joke). He *completely went off on me* when I told him I was an atheist years after we broke up. All I had to say was “I’m an atheist” and he ranted for the longest time.

    But oh, he “forgave me” afterward and continued to ask me to have sex with him throughout his engagement. Needless to say, his hypocrisy was *not* a turn on and we do not keep in touch.

  • I’ve found limiting the search to atheists and agnostics just cut down on a lot on my choices–and when you are dealing with hundreds of profiles that is a GOOD thing. LOL

    I did once date someone who listed himself as agnostic. At one point that evening I ended up getting a short lecture about how I couldn’t be an atheist because I’m not all-knowing and can’t know a god doesn’t exist. Meh, if there is any turn-off I can name, it’s someone who thinks they know what I believe or don’t believe (or what label I should or should not use) better than I do.

    Anyway, I’m not concerned about dating so much any more. I met the man I’m now engaged to marry at my atheist meetup. If anyone needs another reason to socialize with fellow atheists, this is a good one. 🙂

  • Miko

    From a purely economical perspective (namely, supply and demand), it’s probably a large benefit. It closes off a market that you probably aren’t that interested in while giving you a decided advantage in your target demographic. Incidentally, the same logic applies to almost any collection of character traits (and in a world of six billion, you can get rather specific).

  • If that’s the kind of response I was getting, I’d happily stay single. Besides, that guy doesn’t sound like much of a catch anyway.

  • Kayla

    I met my wonderful agnostic boyfriend on a dating site – where I was specifically searching fellow atheists, agnostics, or at the very least, non-christian deists.

    I got lucky with him. Before we got together, I had one christian ex that constantly tried to ‘save’ me. When he and I were still together, he faked breaking his neck in order to coerce me to pray.

  • Becky

    ^ Agree with all I’ve read.

    What a pig. Ugh. And my agnosticism at the time of placing an online personals, helped me meet a wonderful atheist man, who is now my fiance.

  • What an ass. Why email someone to let them know why you don’t want to date them?!

    When I was about 15 I started seeing a christian guy for a few days, after lots of snogging one day he rang me up and dumped me because I was (at the time, but no longer) wiccan. It was pretty upsetting and one of the first times I felt completely discriminated against because of religion.

    I was still wiccan when I met my current partner (of 6 years) and I think he was pretty agnostic. About a year ago I read A Short History of Nearly Everything, and then The God Delusion and decided I don’t believe in god at all. After explaining it to my partner, he agreed he is atheist too and we are happily atheist together.

    It kind of feels like a special secret club we have where we laugh at the poor people who don’t know any better.

  • stephanie

    Wow, somebody PAID to be a troll? That’s sad when there are so many free opportunities for that sort of idiocy. What a complete loser.

  • J Myers

    A proposed response:

    My God, what’s the world coming to when girls with angelic countenances like yours turn out to be atheists?

    A better place.

    Me, I still believe that there’s good and evil, and since those concepts are rendered meaningless in an atheistic framework…

    No they aren’t, moron.

    …I’m not willing to make that tremendous leap of faith…

    Both nonsense and nonsequitur.

    …especially into such a pessimistic world view.

    There’s nothing inherently pessimistic about it; the only pessimism we regularly experience is induced by our encounters with unseemly buffoons like you. We wonder, “How can life have any lasting joy when we are surrounding by such astoundingly stupid people?” Then we ignore you, and all is well.

    (Not to mention,

    Uh… you’re mentioning it…

    it kind of ruins Christmas

    No, our Christmases are wonderful. Christians ruined Christmas.

    — and why would anyone choose to believe

    No one chooses to believe anything, you ass–what could that even mean?

    something that ruins Christmas?

    As noted, it does not, and even if it did, its effect on your favorite holiday would have no bearing on its truth status.

    That just seems so needlessly cruel to oneself.)

    Reading your message was needlessly cruel; not committing to unsubstantiated metaphysical speculations is just good sense. So is not engaging in random displays of sexist idiocy.

    Oh well — take care, best wishes in your life, and you’ve got great cheekbones.

    As though I’d care what a tedious twit like you thinks.

    respectfully,

    Liar

    As can clearly be seen, you are far too stupid and dishonest to merit my attention. If I’m wrong about the existence of any gods, I hope there is a benevolent one out there that will keep all good-hearted women far away from you.

  • I once went out with a woman who I liked very much and who seemed to like me as much. But she couldn’t get over my not sharing her religion (Catholic). It wasn’t that I was an atheist, so much as that I wasn’t Catholic — if I’d have been Baptist or Jewish or something else it would have been the same thing. She refused a second date with me. She was nice about it but she was also quite clear that my not being of her faith was an automatic disqualifyer. I felt cheated because I thought she was great and we’d really seemed to click, and the religion thing didn’t seem that important to me. But then I realized she was right — it was important to her. If she’d have dated me for a while and we’d have dated, she’d have become more emotionally invested in the relationship but the religious issue wouldn’t have gone away — it would have simply made the end of the relationship harder for both of us. (I found a great woman who is also an atheist, so it worked out for me. And I hope my former date found herself the nice Catholic guy she was looking for.)

    This is why I tell single people to ignore the “rule” about not talking about religion, politics, and having children on the first date. If those things are important to you, then you should talk about them because they are things about the other person you aren’t going to change, and if they’re deal-breakers, it’s better to know early so you aren’t wasting your time and emotions.

  • I’m so happy I met my atheist wife last year and I’m finally done with trying to meet someone!

  • vivian

    I got lucky when it came to dating and being an atheist. I live in a small town, so I thought I’d never find another atheist to date, and when I met my now-husband, I figured he was christian, but he wasn’t and we’ve lived happily ever after since then (happily ever after in a realistic kind of way).

  • Robin

    Well, for one, I live in the Northeast, so that increases the chances of meeting people for whom religion is not important. But also, christian guys love a scarlett woman. Which can be fun if you only use them for their bodies. But then I settled down with a nice non-believer contrarian. . .

  • Wow, this guy sounds like a real knuckle-dragger. Somehow, I don’t feel that she’s missing out much.

    As for the question, not really. I’ve pretty much given up all hope of dating anyone anyway 😛

  • H T

    Condoms aren’t environmentally friendly – in this world, everyone is nuts and not in a good way.

  • i am a dodt

    I’m a longtime reader, first time poster. Living in Boulder, CO, has been…well, interesting. A lot of people here describe themselves as agnostic or spiritual, but not deists. I’ve dated a few people like this, and they said my atheism was no big deal.

    After getting to know them better, however, I discovered that “agnostic” or “spiritual” stood for a transcendental-cosmic-energy type of belief that is tightly held. I don’t know if there’s a name(s) for this. I found out that while they were ok with me not believing in a deity, they were definitely NOT ok with the fact that I was also not a transcendentalist/spiritualist/believer in cosmic energy/etc. I say “they” because this has happened to me with more than one person, and it’s been a deal-breaker often enough.

    One of the guys I dated even screamed at me to shut up because I didn’t agree with his beliefs. I hadn’t been rude; I had only stated that I didn’t believe what he did. Every time I opened my mouth about it around him, he’d scream.

    Even some that call themselves atheists around here use the term only in the strictest sense and actually have similar cosmic/nature beliefs.

    Anyway, my point is even these new-age types can be judgmental, and they’re harder to detect after outing myself.

  • sexysecularist

    I once got a date with a Catholic after she found out I was an atheist. Apparently it rendered me one of the bad boys.

  • With all this talk about “angelic countenances,” “good and evil,” and “charming village servant girls,” I suspect this guy sees himself as the hero of some fantasy video game.

  • Has your atheism ever hurt your dating life before it even began?

    I’d say, if this happened, it helped if anything!

  • Indigo

    I wonder if this guy would walk up to a woman at a bar and say, “I see you’re wearing an Obama button. Don’t you know he’s going to ruin America? Hard to believe someone who looks like you would do that. Well, take care!” And then walk off to chat up some other lady. At best, most people would find it weird; at worst, quite rude. Yet because she has a profile on a dating site, apparently it’s okay to offer unsolicited comments on her views.

  • Cait

    Does nobody else think that this guy was joking? If so, he has a really weird sense of humour, but …”village servant girl”? What the hell?

  • weaves

    Thankfully, atheism enhances my dating prospects. It wheedles out all those people I don’t want to date without me actually having to go “So, are you an insulting ignorant idiot who demands I bow to the sky?”

  • AxeGrrl

    I suspect this guy sees himself as the hero of some fantasy video game.

    Hey, maybe it’s Tom Cruise under a pseudonym!

  • Has your atheism ever hurt your dating life before it even began?

    Oh yes but only once and I think it was an excuse by the lady in question to get away from me as quickly as possible…I can hardly blame her for that.

    As a student I flirted outrageously with everyone and met a lovely Hindu girl called Preeti. My subtle (and not so subtle) attempts to date her were spurned repeatedly. In the end she just said that she could only date men from her own culture that her parents had approved of first. As a white non-Hindu I did not fit her parent’s idea of a good catch even though I was studying engineering.

    Sadly I gave up on her and went on to enjoy the rest of my student years without the intimate multicultural knowledge that I had earlier craved. 😉

    Now my views have matured. My loving unwife looks upon my atheism with amusement. She regularly quips that I should leave the creationists and fundies alone with their funny theories and colourful ideas. She thinks of them as harmless fools with a shared imaginary friend and is content to ignore them.

  • No offense to you, but your friend seems like a complete douchebag.

  • Ann

    Paid dating sites suck, a la eharmony. I’m a big fan of okcupid.com. Its free, not only for dating, and for some reason it seems to have a large population of non-theists people to get to know.

    As for online dating, if you think about it on the other side of the spectrum, any profiles listing a high involvement in any religion or mentions any kind of deity on their profile is automatically disqualified for me.

    I have gotten enough inquiries from seemingly religious guys that I’ve created a canned response on why it wouldn’t work out. Most generally leave it at that.

    However, I do not seek out those guys that lists a religion in their profile and send them rude and condescending notes harassing them on their religion to let them know what they’re “missing out.”

    Oh, and that guy who sent your friend the note is just being a total douche.

  • Dan C.

    Has your atheism ever hurt your dating life before it even began?

    I lived in Utah for seven years. You do the math 😉

  • Ian

    She should offer to meet him, but at an adult book store.

  • If it wasn’t for Calt, I’d assume from all the above comments that atheists didn’t have a sense of humour.

    Is it obvious to anyone else this guy isn’t for real. In fact I’d bet he’s actually an atheist himself seeking to be antagonistic.

    I can’t imagine too many believers having the wit to produce that kind of flame-bait.

  • Anon

    Second the above. I was despairing looking through these commetns till I saw SOMEONE had suggested it! I mean, seriously,

    “(Not to mention, it kind of ruins Christmas — and why would anyone choose to believe something that ruins Christmas? That just seems so needlessly cruel to oneself.)”!

    On the other hand, as Poe’s Law implies…

  • laterose

    All we need now is for her to respond and Hemant to show up in a wig…

    I second this.

  • J Myers

    No offense to you, but your friend seems like a complete douchebag.

    Jackie, take a deep breath, read the post again….

    If it wasn’t for Calt [sic], I’d assume from all the above comments that atheists didn’t have a sense of humour.

    Nonsense. I, for one, have a fantastic sense of humor. For example, I find it hilarious that you think Jack’s inability to write a humorous note (assuming, for the sake of discussion, that that was what he was trying to do) is somehow an indictment of my sense of humor. I also find amusing that you consider his regurgitation of oft-professed theist idiocy “witty,” despite the context (though I wouldn’t go so far as to say I find that funny).

  • Hah, this post was particularly funny to me after what happened just today. A quite cute girl chatted me up waiting for an exam to begin, and we were beginning with school stuff, then hobby stuff, and in the hobby stuff section I showed her my scars (I’m a recreational cutter). Her eyes widened, but then she said “okay, if it feels good for you it’s your right to do it, i have no prejudice against you (pause, long pause, all though which I was delighted by that info)… because I’m a good Christian.” (insert Mario falls off the platform sad music cue here)
    I was kinda caught off-guard but I asked her a bunch of questions and upset her a bit. When she ran out of answers, she just ran away. So much for a pretty face.
    No other cases… at least not atheism-related. I somehow always been lucky to pick smart people as mating candidates. Too bad they were all straight so far, though…

  • He doesn’t want a girlfriend. He wants a dog. One that can curtsy.

  • Paul

    Growing up in Norman, OK (or as I like to call it, the buckle on the bible belt) I constantly had to preface the courting ritual with my staunchly atheistic position…now I live in North Texas with a beautiful wife who shares my views, though she believes that I’m a little (read:a lot) too reactionary. More Hitchens than Harris, I guess.