I don’t date non-Pagans.
To be fair, I generally don’t date at all. The inane rituals and cultural expectations that surround dating usually leave me too mystified to participate in any kind of meaningful way and I end up alienating my potential partner right out of the gate.
I’m bad at flirting. I’m bad at subtlety. I’m impatient. I simply do not have the mental fortitude to wonder whether or not a guy likes me or likes likes me over any length of time. If he doesn’t tell me explicitly—and verbally, as we’ve hopefully all learned by now that physical contact does not equate to actual interest—I’m eventually going to assume that he’s not interested and go back to whatever book I was reading. If I’m the one doing the pursuing, my strategy is usually off-putting bluntness (this is a poor strategy).
Dating is already impossible. If I have to explain that most of my life is devoted to the practice of witchcraft on top of everything else, it’s not even worth considering.
Now, most of the Pagans I know who are also in committed relationships are involved with non-Pagans. How they pull this off, I have no idea. My guess is that their Paganism is a little less explicit than mine, or else that their partners are so disinterested that I have to wonder why they’re involved with each other at all (spoiler alert: financial security/youthful impulsiveness/cultural pressure).
If your Paganism involves a shelf with some candles on it, some books on dreams in the living room, and a trek to Pagan Pride Day once a year, then you probably won’t have much trouble with a non-Pagan partner. If your Paganism involves routinely burying jars of pee, periodically being possessed by spirits, and sacrificing the odd small animal or two to some god or other, your situation might be a little more challenging. Throw kids and property ownership into the mix and I don’t even know.
I’m somewhere in between these extremes. I run a coven, maintain an overtly Pagan household, and am committed to writing about Paganism. If witchcraft were a sport, I’d be spending most of my life at the gym and all of my weekends and evenings at games or practices. I’d have crazy food restrictions that would irritate anyone else who lived with me and I’d constantly be speaking in jargon. I would be unbearable. Throw in the fact that my Craft is lineaged and oathbound and naked, and it’s all downhill. The guy would have to be a saint. Or else just so boring as to never get in my way (in which case why are we dating?).
My experience has been that statements such as, “I can’t hang out this weekend; I’m reading runes at a psychic fair,” go over poorly with non-Pagan love interests. Equally ill-fated are, “You have to leave the house tonight because my coven is coming over,” and “Don’t touch that jar in the fridge! It’s part of a spell.” If there’s blood or dead animals involved at any point, forget it.
Another Pagan on the other hand, even one a little more gentle than myself or one from a different tradition, will generally put up with quite a bit more. There’s just a lot less explaining involved, and fewer raised eyebrows accompanied by exasperated sighs. Everybody is happier.
More importantly, I don’t want to be involved with anyone with whom I cannot share such an enormous part of my life. Even if they were sympathetic and “didn’t mind,” which is how my Pagan friends always describe their partners. “Oh, he/she really doesn’t mind.” Well, great. It’s nice that they’re willing to overlook this like any other flaw.
Looking the other way or being quietly tolerant isn’t good enough for me. I require involvement on some level, beyond support.
And when having a partner isn’t a necessity, why settle?