Hilary White has a very good reflection.
I never had to "leave" a lifestyle, but I certainly paid for being a good Catholic. I don't want to make it sound worse than it is-- I'm very happy being Catholic. But when you are Catholic, you find that you cannot take part in much of the culture.
And I think that's part of why people aren't Catholic or Christian. They don't want the bother of being excluded.
So, for instance, if you're really serious about your faith, you're careful about what movies you watch.
But if you miss out on the latest blockbuster, and all your friends are movie aficionados, you just excluded yourself from that anticipated conversation.
Multiply that by a thousand. For movies, tv shows, music-- any cultural artefact, really. You exclude yourself from all kinds of events, experiences, and conversations that you would have had if you had been secular.
And in this way, you start losing networks. Maybe people don't exactly hate you, or break up with you. But you drift away. What do you have in common with them?
When I was in my twenties, I felt it tough to be Catholic because I'm, at heart, a cultural person, and I felt very denuded. What culture does a conservative Catholic have? Not a heck of a lot, especially if one grows up in Quebec.
And this doesn't even begin to touch on sexual issues, which compile the problem even more.
And it explains a lot of this: