I have been a long time reader of these forums but this is my first post! If you have the patience, please read this entirely before commenting...
I have been dating someone for about 3 months who is not Orthodox. He was raised Catholic, but considers himself agnostic. Unfortunately, I met him and knew him for a while before we started dating, and we started falling in love with each other before we even started "going out," and shared our opinions on things such as religion. Had I known this before I had gotten involved, I know I wouldn't have. But here I am.
Our relationship is still new and marriage is not even a topic we are ready to talk about yet, but we both love each other, so it's implied that it would still be a potential option. The only thing we have discussed (hypothetically) is that any kind of future involves an Orthodox wedding ceremony and raising children to be Orthodox, and he has absolutely no objections to this. I have not tried to hide my religion or my beliefs from him in any way... he knows I am Orthodox, that it is extremely important to me, that I fast, etc.. and asks me lots of questions about it. So far, he has not compromised my faith in any way (I give up Saturday night dates because he knows I'm in church!)... if anything, it has become stronger because I find myself reading about it so much just so that I know how to properly answer any of his questions. He respects me for it, and has even claimed that he admires it and is somewhat "jealous" that I have this kind of faith in my life. He is not completely irreligious, but simply has said that the Catholic church just isn't for him (his words).
Here are my questions:
1. Obviously I am very torn because I know I will never marry him unless he converts. I know that I shouldn't even be dating him. However, even my friends claim that he seems curious and that I should at least expose him to it first before I break it off with him. I have not invited him to church or to any church events yet. Should I at least let him see what Orthodoxy is? If so, how do I do this without pressuring or overwhelming him? Or is it wrong for me to try to "change" him, and I should just stop dating him now?
2. It seems as though I am missionary dating. Is this truly something wrong to do? I know certain families who, if they adhered to the rule of "only date Orthodox"... their spouses would have never converted, and their families wouldn't exist!
Any advice would be truly appreciated. It makes me sad that I am in love with this man and obviously God had placed him in my life for some reason, but right now, things seem quite impossible. He is truly the most wonderful, kind, and giving person I have ever dated (and I've ONLY dated Orthodox guys before!)