Things to know

Regularly read by 50,000+ readers in over 140 countries around the world, "Dear Bro Jo" is published several times a month.

This is column is just one guy's opinion, and while he does his best to keep what he thinks, says and writes in-line with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, "Dear Bro Jo" is not an LDS Church website. (And Sister Jo thinks you should know that he's sometimes wrong, and often way too opinionated for his own good.)

Nothing here is meant to take the place of talking with parents, leaders, or Church authorities. Please, if you need serious help, talk to a trusted adult, leader, and / or professional counselor.

Please like our Facebook page, and check it often for Discussions, Notes, Events and just General Good Stuff!

Everything here is copyrighted. If you're going to quote any part of anything here, please get Bro Jo's written permission. You can reach him at

Friday, March 16, 2018

Getting Motivated to Date Again (part 3 of 3)

Dear Bro Jo,

Very sound advice and a great perspective to take as I attempt to step away for dating as I've imagined it.

Man, you aren't giving me a lot of wiggle room to stop dating a girl. I do see the more grand design behind this idea though. The detailed approach was very helpful, thanks for providing step-by-step instructions. I'll get to work with thinking on potential girls. I haven't made many quality friends in my short time in (location withheld), so I may need to call on my Bishop for some guidance to find some local girls.

Once again, know of my appreciation for your thoughtful and insightful response. I'll be sure to report on my experience.

Thanks again,

- Motivated

Dear Readers,

While I'm not entirely certain, I do think the young man that sent these emails is now married.

Regardless, while we know dating, even when we're old enough to be Serious Single Dating, can be scary and intimidating . . . it doesn't really need to be.

Yes, dating prepares us for many important things, including Eternal Marriage, it's also supposed to be fun!

The key is that while the RESULTS can be serious (meaning important), not to take ourselves OR those First Few Dates too seriously.



- Bro Jo

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Getting Motivated to Date Again (part 2 of 3)

Dear Bro Jo,

I appreciate the thoughtful response from you, especially since you are a busy man with many family responsibilities.

To speak briefly on your candid items. I've never experimented with self-stimulation and am not viewing pornography. I believe your wife is wise to point out those things as being a causation for some men to avoid marriage. Also, I do look forward to having sex with my wife someday. The procreation power and bonding mechanism to my wife are things that definitely appeal to me.

The more I've talked with people who are married, the more convinced I am that you need to marry your best friend or someone who ranks high on your friendship list. I'm very analytic by nature and even more so since my job revolves around that mentality. As a result I'm quick to rule out many girls who I don't connect with early on.

I can definitely see that despite the tough times in marriage and family living there are some very rewarding experiences to be gained.

Unfortunately, I may fall under the "....sad" category.

While I was in (location withheld) there were a handful of girls that wanted to date seriously and I passed on them for one reason or another. There was one girl in particular that I talked myself out of seriously dating because she was 5-6 years older than me (31/32 yrs old), established in her career as a senior engineer, and I was just "a kid" with his first job out of college. At the time, I felt justified in not pursuing her, but I look back and fear I made a mistake since she possessed great attributes and was a cute. I let my fear of her age and her dwindling fertility clock keep me away. The older I get in some ways I feel like my bar has to be set higher because I didn't settle down with a girl earlier. I'm not saying this is right, but it's a thought that has crossed my mind.

Your kissing philosophy is a good one and it works, I've seen that through my own experiences. Ha!

Do you believe it's worth my time to date girls that I don't see future potential in for marriage after having a few meaningful conversations with?

I have set a goal to participate in some proxy sealing's this week with the hope it will add to my desire to date and find a wife after being well instructed this weekend during conference.

Thanks for your sound advice while mixing in some humor, I'm grateful for it.

Hope your week starts off well.


- The More Motivated "Coming Out of Retirement" Dater

Dear Motivated,

So clearly you have had a bad habit of ruling out women too early or that you maybe shouldn't have ruled out at all.

I think part of that is because you don't understand dating and part of it is because you've been doing it wrong altogether.  (No offense.)

While dating certainly should lead to Eternal Companionship, and post marriage is one of the things we need to do to keep our marriages strong, it's clear that you're mentally jumping there way too soon.

That's okay.  We can fix that.

And we're going to take advantage of your analytical gifts in doing so.

It's called Rifle Dating.

Take a look at all of the single women you know.  It's best if you narrow it down to women who live close enough to date and that you could some day, perhaps in the very distant future, take to the Temple.  (That means active in the Church in my book, and that's all.)

Friends.  Sisters of friends.  Friends of friends.  Third cousins.  Ward members.  Friends of ward members.  The girl that works at the grocery store.

All of them between ... let's say ... 19 and 35 with "extra consideration" given to those between 23 and 30.

And, using your analytical mind, pick the one that you think would be the most fun to date and that deserves the most to be taken out on some dates.

Whatever that means to you.

She's pretty.  She's interesting.   You really want to kiss her.  She's just so quirky and weird you find her fascinating.  She's a great person.  You respect your mom and she told you to.


Give yourself one week to pick out this girl.

(And no, do not share your list or criteria with anyone.)

And ask her out.

Not for this weekend, but by this weekend for the following.

Have a fun plan and go into this date with exactly that purpose.  You're not looking for the mother of your eternal children, you're having fun and getting to know someone better that you think is great and deserves to be taken out on dates by a Great Guy (that's you).

And then keep taking her out, at least once or twice a week, until there's some MAJOR reason not to.

I'll be specific.

1.  You have confirmation during this time that she's been making out with someone else.

2.  She says she doesn't want to date you anymore (which, by the way, you will only know because she tells you so - which means you may have to ask her).

3.  You fall madly in love with someone else who feels the same way about you.

That's it.  Only those three reasons.

Anything else you come up with is to be discarded as invalid.  Because it is.

Sometimes, brother, we need to live a principle to gain a testimony of the principle.

And sometimes we lose that testimony or question our beliefs.  That's pretty normal.  Satan works on us.  We have questions.  We get discouraged.

But we need to endure.  Sticking to what we know to be true from our past experience or prophetic guidance until our testimony is restored.

Date this girl because she deserves to go out and have some fun.

You have the money.  You have the time.  And you're a decent enough guy to ensure she has an enjoyable experience.

Plus, you know, the leadership of the Church says to.

And that's a pretty good reason.

When you're on your date focus on finding things about her you like.  Deep.  Superficial.  All of the above.

When you talk to her look for things you have in common.  Ask her about her.  Make her feel cherished and special and attractive.

Be Sincere.

And Be Positive.

Onward Christian Soldier.

And let me know how it goes, would you please?

- Bro Jo

Monday, March 12, 2018

Getting Motivated to Date Again (part 1 of 3)

Dear Bro Jo,

I'm hoping you can shed some light into how I can get out of my current dating funk. I'm a 27 year old guy who is on the right path. I have a great job, am financially independent, and strong in my commitment to the Church. One area that I know I am currently weak in, is my desire to find a wife.

I would date somewhat frequently during college and never struggled to ask a girl out. Once I left the college scene unmarried, my struggle to date really began. I spent a few years in Colorado where I was able to date on on occasion and even tried out the online dating scene having some minor success. As of today, I've been on maybe one or two dates in the 12 months... Which of course is well under your prescribed 50 dates/year. My previous Bishop said to me one time while I was counseling with him that there was roughly 5% of the girls in the ward that he thought matched up with. I ended up trying with 3 girls out of the ~30 girls in my ward.

As of a few months ago, I'm back in the "mormon belt" (Idaho) and have really struggled to build up a desire to date. Honestly, I thought a change of scenery would help. From what I can see, I've grown more and more content with the single life which must mean I'm selfish despite my love to serve in my calling, in the temple, and in my home teaching. I have a feeling Satan has me right where he wants me. How do I build back up my desire to date? I've tried to study marriage in my personal study by reading the scriptures and counsel of church leaders, prayed for the desire, and counseled with many of my married friends. None of this has really seemed to help up to this point.

If you have any insight, I'd be eager to hear your perspective.


- The Unmotivated "Former" Dater

Dear Unmotivated,

Look, to be candid with you I have no idea how an LDS man isn't so eager to finally have sex that he makes it to being unmarried and in his late 20's.  Sister Jo is convinced that a lot of you are using porn and self-stimulation.  Why get married, she says, if a guy thinks he can take care of all of that on his own?

Now, I'm not saying that's your deal.  You've certainly not given any indication that it is.  But if those things are a part of your life they could certainly be sapping your motivation, which is one of many reasons to stop.

Just had to get that out there so we can move past it.  If appropriate.

You also need to know that there's nothing wrong with being 27 and still single . . . per se.  For some marriage just isn't in the cards during the time when they home it will be.  The Lord's timing, not ours, right?

But consider this:  if the sex thing isn't enough motivation, perhaps you'll be motivated by the joy you're missing out on not having a family, a wife and children, of your own.

Sister Jo and I don't get along every moment of every day.  (In fact she's pretty mad at me right now, I think.  And no, I'm not really sure why.  Fairly certain that I'll be apologizing later tonight, though.)

And we don't have the hots for each other all the time, either.

But I do love her.

I love spending time with her.

I love talking to her.

And I know that my life is undoubtedly better because of my relationship with her.

Marriage isn't easy.  It's a lot of work!

But every trial, every decision, every illness, every frustration, every challenge, every new home, new job, new day, is easier because Sister Jo is in my life.

And my life can be pretty stressful from time to time.

I've got a lot going on.  Lots of pressure.  Lots of expectations.

And lots of things that can distract me from the things that are really important.

Is every day dancing trees and singing flowers?

Not even close.

Despite the joy of this moment, stresses still come.

Tomorrow will be a tough day.  Lots to do at work, and lot's expected of me.

But at 8 am I will walk my youngest daughter to school.  We will hold hands and talk about little kid things and maybe even sing a Disney song or two.

In that moment I will be reminded of the things that are truly and eternally important.


And the relationships we form here.

Every year you aren't married those blessings are denied you.

If you're not married because it just hasn't worked out, that's one thing.

But if you're not married because of selfishness, because you have failed to see how wonderful some of the women around you are . . . well that's just sad.

Sister Jo and I got married pretty young.  That was difficult.  But even then I find myself from time to time wishing I'd married her a year or so earlier.

And you may find yourself having similar thoughts one day.  You may find yourself lamenting the lost years and the postponed blessings because you failed to act, because you failed to take advantage of the opportunities and blessings the Lord has for you.

Date because it's fun.

Date because it's good to get to know people better.

Date because Good Sisters deserve to be taken out once in a while by a Good Guy such as yourself.

Date because Good Girls won't let you kiss them until you've taken them out a few times and kissing is awesome!

Enjoy the anticipation, the discovery, the thrill!

Just before I started dating Sister Jo I discovered that if you waited to kiss the girl you took out it could be really fun.

Don't kiss her on the first date and she thinks you're a gentleman.

Don't kiss her on the second date and she thinks you are really interested in her as a person.

By the third date she's thinking "I really hope this guy kisses me!"

It's pretty awesome!

(Okay.  I should confess that I tried that successfully with just a couple girls and had every intention of trying that with the future Sister Jo but on the first date she was just so gosh darned cute I couldn't help kissing her.  Oh well!  Worked out well for me!)

I understand that dating hasn't worked out for you yet, but give your despair and apathy back to Lucifer and Go Have Some Fun!

- Bro Jo