I’ve been watching quite a few stand-up specials lately and I have to say, I really enjoyed Hasan Minhaj’s Homecoming King. He’s more than just a comedian; he’s also an amazing storyteller.
One of the topics he discusses is interfaith & interracial relationships and the generational gap that exists. When talking about a past relationship (I won’t go into details because you really should watch his special), he says, “I’d eaten off their plates, kissed their daughter—I didn’t know that people could be bigoted, even as they smile at you.” This really resonated with me.
I didn’t realize people could be bigoted either… even when they are smiling at you.
That’s exactly how I felt when my ex and I finally sat down to talk to his parents about marriage. They told me I was a good person and a nice girl but I wasn’t “good enough” for their son or their family because I didn’t share the same religious beliefs. They had known me for SEVEN years and not once did they indicate that I wasn’t “good enough” for them. They told me that if I were to marry their son, one day, he would have a heart attack and die because I’m not a Catholic. How could I even respond to that?
It wasn’t enough that I treated them with respect and loved their son unconditionally. It didn’t matter that I valued them and their religion enough to want to participate in their rituals (even if it didn’t align with my beliefs). I always believed that love is greater than race, religion or gender. Apparently, that doesn’t matter – not to them and I guess not to him either. If you find someone who makes you happy, who loves you unconditionally, I always believed that you should do anything to be with them.
I was wrong.
I may have loved him unconditionally, but it clearly wasn’t mutual. You should fight for those you love. He didn’t.
Today, one of my friends (who’s Catholic) married a Hindu. I asked him one day about being an interfaith couple and he told me that he would never let something as insignificant as a difference in beliefs/opinions stop him from being with the person he loves.
At the end of the day, you grow as a couple as you accept each other’s differences and learn to open your mind and your hearts to new beliefs and new traditions. Love should not have boundaries or conditions. If it does, I guess it’s not real.