Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Moore responds to relationship questions

Beliefnet has updated its list of Thomas Moore’s "The Soul in Love" columns. For January, a woman asks about tensions about prayers. Her traditions include saying grace and she feels her boyfriend's resistance. Moore responds,
"There has to be a solution that takes both of your sensitivities into account. You could alternate forms of saying grace. Maybe a moment of silent blessing or thanksgiving would feel all right to him [the boyfriend]. Or, maybe you could say your grace occasionally, and have no grace at other times.

These solutions may seem mechanical. They are part of the experiment of finding out how to share a life with someone who has different values and views. Eventually, you may discover a deeper spiritual commonality, where you don't have to work at being mutually respectful. It will just happen.

Creating a good relationship entails some challenging learning on both sides. You may have to reconsider some of your childhood ideas about religion and religious practices. In that regard, your boyfriend's annoyance may have something to teach you. For his part, your boyfriend may have to learn religious tolerance and a deeper appreciation for spiritual traditions. In other words, this conflict has something important to give to each of you. It all depends how maturely you work it out."
Moore’s February column addresses timing - when should a relationship become exclusive? After meeting online and being together with her boyfriend for six weeks, a woman wants to know if their dating profiles should be removed from the online service. Moore says,
"The mere fact that you are asking if it’s time to get serious makes me think that you’re not quite ready yet. In matters of the heart, you many never be completely certain...

I say give it a little more time until you feel clearer and don’t have to ask your question. You will know from your feelings that it’s time to take your name off the dating list."
He concludes, "I can’t give you a magic number of weeks or months for when you'll be ready to have this inner conversation, not to mention talking about it with your boyfriend. You'll just have to follow the calendar of your heart."