This may be a common scenario related to the topic of conversion, but I’m hoping to get advice from anyone who has been in a similar situation:
My boyfriend has been independently studying Judaism for years and has recently expressed his desire to convert. I fully support his decision, and I am confident it’s a choice he takes seriously. Before we started dating, I was drawn to Judaism from being raised Baptist and when we first met it was a topic we connected on and still do. My dilemma is that I don’t feel the call in my spirit to convert, although I love and appreciate the Jewish faith and I have faith in G-d. He brought up the idea of me converting with him, as we do make an effort to say prayers during the day, educate ourselves on Jewish doctrine, and follow the commandments. However, I certainly do not claim to be familiar with or adhere to all 613. Although I support his decision and would be willing to make life-changes, I know it would be insincere if I converted at this time. I haven’t told him this yet because I know it needs to be followed with a conversation about potentially breaking up.
From reading other struggles of interfaith partners, I am wondering if it’s even a good idea for us to have a future together if I eventually don’t convert? To me, it is highly inappropriate for me to consider conversion solely on the basis of being able to marry. I understand that Orthodox, Conservative, and Reform all have different opinions on the matter, and that Orthodox would definitely say no and Conservative would maybe consider it, but it’s iffy. If we did build a family I would want our children to be raised Jewish, but I’m rational enough to recognize that would be difficult if I wasn’t truly Jewish. Faith is a very serious topic for me, and I don’t take this lightly because not only does it affect us, but also the Jewish community he joins, our immediate family, and our future children.
I’m wondering if anyone has been in this situation or known someone who has tried to make an interfaith relationship work? How did you, or they, handle the issue of raising a family, dealing with family, and integrating into a community, or is break-up inevitable? Honestly, even though it would be heart-breaking, I would be happy if the decision ultimately strengthens his relationship with G-d. My greatest fear is that he chooses our relationship over his faith now, but regrets it later and we’re stuck in this same position with a mortgage, kids, and shared accounts.