You could just go and pray with friends (which, by the way, is what Quakers do—they don’t have clergy, and their official name is “the Society of Friends).If you believe that someone has a special sensitivity about God, he or she is going to have power over you, because God is, by definition, all-powerful.
If you fight with your pastor, you’re going to start hating your church. If being part of a stable religious community is at all something that matters to you, then you don’t want to get on an emotional roller-coaster every time you walk down the aisle.
Especially if that community is paying their salary, and holds them up as a model of moral behavior. But when someone in a congregation finds out that a pastor and a parishioner are dating, the news is wildfire, and the questions never stop.
It’s worse than being on the cover of the National Enquirer, because it’s your that’s curious about your sex life, and they’re all spiritually invested in the pastor’s emotional stability.
They sometimes think it’s a relationship between two consenting adults.
It was even harder for the people around me to understand why particular pastor’s behavior was improper, because the classic gender roles were reversed: I’m a man, and the minister is a woman.