A Question Of Faith. When Should Religion Enter The Dating Picture?

Picture taken at at Masters of Lindy Hop and T...

Somewhere between dancing and the movies, it's good to touch base with someone you're dating about their thoughts on religion and its place in relationships. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So the Easter baskets are put away, and matzah munching will wrap up in a few days ( The Jewish holiday of Passover requires eating no leavened bread for a week, but substituting crackers called “matzah”). So issues of religion and faith are fresh in our minds.  Religion and romance sometimes create complicated situations.

Many people think that religion doesn’t matter when you’re “just dating.” But is that really true? After all isn’t the point of dating to find someone who you want to “get serious” with? And after serious come weekends away, meeting parents, and family holidays and all of a sudden there you are on a hill at sunset with a sparkler on your left hand.  Is after the ring hits your finger, but before you say “yes” the point you want to find out your darling dearest expects you to be baptized before your wedding day?

Changing religions, or becoming an atheist, is no small matter. Most faiths require classes, and individual and/or couples’ counseling. This is not changing your clothes, it’s changing who you are. Is that something you are prepared to ask of someone? Or to undertake yourself?

Perhaps it’s not actually when to talk about religion that needs rethinking, but what “dating” means, which after all is a much more complicated question.  So however you choose to resolve this important point get going on some meaningful communication between you and this person you’re starting to enjoy spending time with. Like with the relationship – start a conversation and see where it takes you.  Hopefully you’ll be headed to that hill at sunset, where you’ll have all the info you need to say “yes!”

 

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“Top Chef” judge Gail Simmons engagement story!

Gail Simmons, food writer and judge of Bravo’s Top Chef, recently shared her proposal story in the publicity for her new book “Talking With My Mouth Full.”   Thanks to Gail, and to Glamour Magazine for the excerpt.  Enjoy!

LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 18:  Tv personalit...

LOS ANGELES, CA – SEPTEMBER 18: Tv personality/chef Tom Colicchio and tv personality Gail Simmons arrive at the 63rd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards held at Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE on September 18, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)

My parents have been married for more than 45 years. So you can imagine how overjoyed they were when Jeremy eventually proposed.

One of Jeremy’s and my favorite neighborhood restaurants in August 2007 was, appropriately enough, called August and was located around the corner from our apartment.

The chef at the time was a young guy named Tony Liu. In the tiny universe that is the culinary world, he’d worked for Daniel Boulud just before I was there, and then for Mario Batali at Babbo.

We ate dinner at August on occasion, but it was their weekend brunch that we especially loved. Jeremy and I would sit in the glassed-in courtyard and linger over coffee on lazy Saturdays, eating whatever creation Tony and his wood-fired oven would dream up for us. There was always some sort of baked eggs with chorizo, or basil and fresh tomato sauce, fluffy German pancakes with black currants, delicate gravlax with soft scrambled eggs and dill. Tony would make golden hash browns the size of hockey pucks that would sit up in the window of the kitchen, and it was all I could do not to grab them as I was walking to our table. Tony’s menu highlighted regional specialties from all over Europe, from house-made Irish corned beef to Spanish calcots (wild spring onions often blackened on an open fire and served with romesco sauce).

My favorite was his Welsh rarebit: hearty dark rye toast slathered with a sauce made from cheddar, strong mustard, and ale, served with a fried egg on top and a side of cornichons. How could it not be? Mustard is my favorite condiment. Eggs are my favorite food. Cheese — obviously. Beer — adds bite. It’s in my personal Food Hall of Fame.

I’d been traveling through California for 10 days — from LA to San Francisco, and for several days to Sonoma for an event with the “Top Chef” Season 2 winner, Ilan Hall — and returned home on a Friday night exhausted. We had dinner … and drank a bottle or two of wine. I was so tired that I collapsed into bed without washing the makeup off my face.

I woke up the next morning and remember feeling so grateful that I had nothing to do for a whole weekend. In my half sleep, I rolled over to nuzzle under Jer’s arm and I hit something. I thought it was the phone or the TV remote, and I batted it away. Then I opened my eyes.

Jeremy was wide awake. His eyes were huge and alert. I looked down and saw that in the bed beside me was a small box. He started talking nervously. Words were falling out of his mouth. I barely even heard what he said. I opened the box and there was a ring. I was in such shock, I blurted, “No!” from surprise.

“No?” he said, startled.

“No! I mean, yes!” I said. “Yes! Yes!” I cried, still disoriented from sleep, and put the ring on my finger. It was so beautiful and feminine and perfect. I looked up at him, happy, and he started to laugh.

“What?”

“You might want to look at yourself.”

I went to the bathroom and saw black streaks of mascara running down my face; my hair was sticking up at all angles.

I cleaned myself up, went back to bed, and he said, “Don’t move. Just stay here.”

We lay in bed, beaming, for a little while and then the doorbell rang.

“I’ll get it,” I insisted, putting on my bathrobe.

When I opened the door, there was a man standing outside with a huge box. I took it from him and it almost knocked me down, it was so heavy. Inside was a full breakfast delivery straight from Tony at August. Since they have a wood-burning stove, they cook everything in cast-iron skillets. They hadn’t transferred anything into to-go containers. Instead, they had just piled the skillets into this box and had it couriered over. There was my beloved Welsh rarebit, and so many other treats, enough food for at least three meals. We made it last the whole day, laid out like a picnic on our living room floor.

Twenty minutes later, the doorbell rang again. Two deliverymen arrived bearing vases full of flowers; huge peonies, dahlias, roses, and hydrangeas. They lasted for days.

(blogger’s note- Just goes to show, all good stories end with lots and lots of flowers).

Excerpted from the book Talking With My Mouth Full by Gail Simmons. Copyright (c) 2012 GMS Media Inc. Published by Hyperion. Available wherever books are sold.