You can’t ask for more than to be loved and encouraged in goodness.
And so now, about six months after the question was posed to me, I would tell this to my struggling friend: a label is just a label.
Sometimes the label can prove to be attached to something valuable, but sometimes that is definitely not the case.
Of course you want to share that with the person who you love best of anyone. And as far as I can tell he shared a beautiful fifty-four years with my grandma.
Is there really any point in being in a relationship if you can’t share and pursue together that thing which acts as the greatest motivation and purpose in your life? ) (many…) “good” Catholic men—men who might go to daily mass, who insist that their family prays together every day, who have half a dozen kids, and carry Papal Encyclicals around with them—and they treat their wives as slaves, their children hate them, they seem to judge and condemn everyone they meet, and when they speak their words drip with condescension. He was unfailingly generous, extremely considerate, and treated my grandma like a queen. He did not share her Catholic Faith, but they made each other very happy. So, sharing a faith life with your spouse, while it might be an ideal, is not always preferable.
I would recommend personally that you don’t date an atheist for these reasons.