Happy holidays lovely people! Its one of my favorite times of the year - festive treats, cozy outfits, movie nights, twinkling lights, time with friends and family. This year is my first year ever not going home for Christmas. My family has always been very low key for the holidays, but I didn't realize how much I would miss it until I decided not to go home. Now we are three days until Christmas and I'm feeling - weird. 

I'm going to open up a little bit about my relationship and share what it's like dating someone of a different faith, because as I'm staying in Nashville missing my family's Christmas, Zev's entire family is coming to town (and does not celebrate it). I would not consider myself to be a religious person at all, and I would even go as far to say that I'm an Atheist. I never attended church or any kind of religious assembly throughout my childhood, and the older I get the more non-religious I seem to get. That being said, my boyfriend of almost three years is Jewish. Soooo, what does this mean for us during the holidays? Our relationship? Our future?

I wanted to write about this because I don't believe a difference in faith needs to be the end all be all of a relationship. Maybe for some it is, which I respect in full. But I know for Zev and I it's not, and I want to share how we deal with that. 

  1. We have conversations that question each other respectfully - Zev and I have had numerous deep conversations that challenge each other's beliefs and cause us to think about where we stand. We try to do this in a way that sparks curiosity for both of us, rather than push what we believe on each other. This is key.
  2. We are taking it slow - Although in the past year we have moved to a new city together, moved in together, and gotten a puppy, we are still enjoying our relationship as is. We talk about our future often, but we are in no serious rush to take THAT next step. The one that involves a ring and a cake and all that jazz. We both know we have to talk about the future (i.e. how our kids would be raised), but we aren't forcing ourselves to have this conversation too early. Some people might think this is the wrong thing to do, but I honestly think that giving it a rest allows for us to fall more in love with each other as people, and the more that happens, the less defensive we will be once we do talk about it in a more serious manner. When we have that conversation I want it to be a teamwork moment, not a moment where we try to defend what we are used to
  3. We participate in each other's lives even if they might be different sometimes - Last year Zev came to Vermont and experienced Christmas with my family - stockings, Santa cookies, pecan pie, the works. This year, I'm sticking around Nashville to spend time with his family. On Christmas day we are eating Chinese food and going to the movies. Being Jewish sounds pretty freaking fun to me. 

So, what I'm trying to get across is that with open communication, respect and a little bit of fun I think a couple can navigate the rough waters of the religious factor. Granted, I do think it's easier for us because I don't identify with a particular religion, but I think these three things can really help anyone in a similar situation. As for the holidays, this year is teaching me that it really is the people you spend the time with that matters the most. I miss my family but I'm creating my own little one here in Nashville, and there's no where I'd really rather be.

Maybe when the time comes I'll have to report back on ~the conversation~. Until then, as Seth from the O.C. likes to put it, Happy Chrismukkah xx