I’m Dating an Animist. What Can I Expect?

animist relationships

So, you’ve fallen for a modern animist an you’re not sure what to expect. Unfortunately, we are not a cookie cutter type of group so there will be wide variations from person to person. However, there are some things that are probably going to be common among us. If you want to know what to expect when dating an animist, read on.

We Have a Relationship With the Natural World

Most of us express our animism through our thoughts and behaviors. We don’t just restrict our spirituality to our beliefs. This means that we tend to have a relationship with the natural world. We might really love animals, talk to our plants, literally hug trees, sing to the dolphins, pray to the Sun, and dance under the stars. It’s not something we have to do. It’s something we are called to do. They are our brothers. It’s like having a family reunion or checking in on your mom.

We Have a Relationship With the Spirit World

The animist world isn’t limited to what you can see. Many of us also include the spirits of those who have passed on, those yet to be, and otherworldly beings who are not physical in this plane. We may have a practice where we tune into them every day. Or for some of us, we simply have an awareness that these other creatures exist.

We Do Things Others Consider Superstitious

Some of us have rituals that others consider superstitious. For example, you might carry iron to protect yourself against fairies or refuse to go straight home after a wake to make sure that the departed doesn’t follow you home. While they might seem silly to you, they are very serious for us. If you’re not tolerant of things like this, it could get really uncomfortable.

We Aren’t Judgy

Everybody knows what it’s like to be judged. It’s not pretty. We appreciate sovereignty, so we don’t tend to be judgy. This might be a bit of a freak out if you’re used to opinionated people, gossip, and hard lines between who is in and who is out. We won’t expect you to join us in our beliefs if that’s not your thing, but don’t pressure us to do what we don’t want to either.

Just hang loose. The world is our playground. Everyone is family, so we are more carefree about accepting people as they are, where they are.

You’ll Have Lots of Space to Be You

Dating an animist may mean that you have more time on your hands than you anticipate. We really like the freedom to be ourselves and will give you space to do the same. If you’re used to a partner who wants to be your whole world and who thinks that a couple has to do everything together, you might be in for a disappointment. We like you just the way you are. You don’t have to like everything we like.

Animism is Who We Are

Modern animists are very diverse. We live in urban high rises, drive the kids to soccer games in mini vans, breed chickens on the homestead, and live out in the wilds. Some of us show our faith in how we dress, eat, and talk. Others seem to blend right in to mainstream society. But in our hearts, we are part of the cosmos. We are the past, present, and future; masculine and feminine; sacred, mundane, and profane. We are One.

If you want to have a great relationship with an animist, just treat us with love and respect. We’re not so different.

Breaking Up Over Religion

breaking up over religion

When you come out as animist, some relationships may end. Many spiritual paths say that theirs is the one and only way. Their history is “kill or convert” so they don’t tolerate or try to understand outsiders. This could lead to breaking up over religion. If this happens to you, here are some things to keep in mind to soften the blow.

Compatibility Is More Important Than Love

I know we’re all taught that love is the end all be all in relationships. However, harmony comes from compatibility. If you don’t have a good blend of differences to keep things interesting and sameness to find common ground, your relationship has a high possibility of unhappiness. When one person has strong religious conviction, and that path isn’t in alignment with your own, it’s going to create values conflicts. This is especially true if there are shared children.

Love Yourself Enough to Be Yourself

Love can only flourish when we have the space to be ourselves. If we’re not expressing ourselves fully or honestly, we aren’t allowing ourselves to live. What is life if not an expression of our emotions, beliefs, and gifts? Love often means that we want that for our loved ones and ourselves.

If you feel you have to hide your crystals, altar, or that you have to not talk about your communion with Nature, you may feel diminished. If you can’t talk about your spiritual highs or questions with your loved one, you may feel there are huge gaps in your relationship. Sometimes we feel judged for going out under the moonlight or hugging a tree. So we hide. Or stop talking about it.

Love Your Partner Enough to Let Him Be Himself

Sovereignty is the foundation for all relationships. Letting go can be the most unselfish way to express love and respect for sovereignty. Sometimes two people can be the best expression of themselves by being apart. It doesn’t mean that someone is wrong or bad. Sometimes two good people just aren’t a match. And that’s okay.

Breaking up over religion can feel like a petty reason for letting go. Or you can see it as the ultimate kindness and act of love. Wisdom isn’t just about how you feel. It’s also about doing what makes sense. The best relationships balance effectiveness with feeling.