Things to know

Regularly read by 50,000+ readers in over 140 countries around the world, "Dear Bro Jo" is published every Monday, Wednesday and Friday (with occasional additional posts, too).

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, Bro Jo is not a spokesman or authority for the LDS Church. (And Sister Jo thinks you should know that he's sometimes wrong, and often way too opinionated for his own good.)

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Monday, May 25, 2015

How Can a Girl Get Guy Friends? (And should she?)

Dear Bro. Jo,

Hello, I love your advice!

I am a 16-year-old active LDS girl. I am also a varsity cheerleader and AP student.

Now, your natural stereotype would be that I would get guys easily.

Sadly, no. I turned sixteen a few months ago and have yet to have a date.

I am smarter than the A-typical cheerleader, and I take hard classes. I wonder sometimes if that's one reason. Guys don't tend to like smart girls.

However, in looks, I feel I am perfectly equivalent to the majority of the cheerleaders and I am simply very confused why I am universally not appreciated by guys.

Granted, I have yet to try your advice on how to get a guy to ask you out, because I am slightly shy.

Not completely.

I talk to most people very willingly.

I went to a more private-like school in my youth, and was basically very exposed when I went to high school.

I have never had any "guy friends"; in fact, I still don't.

So, question: How do I get guy friends?

How then do I get these guys to ask me out?

Thank you,

- June Bug

Dear June,


I'm not sure what you mean by "get guys" . . . (sigh) but I think you need to stop looking to their attraction (or lack thereof) to you as a sign of your value or appreciation.

You're shy.

They're shy.

Everyone's shy . . .

Your goal here, IMHO, should not be to "get guy friends", but to learn how to talk to guys.

Those are very different things.

The first one leads to guys telling you about all of their other girl interests and ignoring you, their "pal".

The second is a valuable communication skill that will help you in school, mission (if that's for you), marriage, and life in general.

See, if you focus on talking to guys, asking them about them, and (this is the big one) LISTENING, then you're on the right path.

Friends hang out. You don't want to do that.

Potential Dates are nice and require effort. That you want.

If you're not sure where to start, throw a video party or game night. Invite tons of Guys AND Girls. 

Check out Bro Jo's LIST of FLIRTING DO'S and DON'TS for ALL AGES found in this post: 


And then, when you're ready and if it's needed, put those "How a Girl Can Get a Guy to Ask Her on a Date" tips to work.

Oh, and one more thing: if you go all through High School and end up going on few, or even zero, dates, please understand that happens to lots of girls who are pretty and smart and talented and fun.

It happens because boys are scared and dumb and, more importantly, not well trained by parents and leaders.

And, if it's any consolation, Sister Jo didn't date much in High School, either . . . which as we all know worked out pretty well for me!

- Bro Jo

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Why Do Guys Give Mixed Signals?

Dear Bro Jo,

I’ll try to make this to the point. I have a couple of questions for you.

First, I heard someone say once that guys do exactly what they feel and they don’t give mixed messages, they either like you or they don’t.

This guy at Church has been paying a lot of attention to me lately, talking to me every time he sees me at church, gives me hugs, says we should get together sometime, playfully teases me, tells me I look nice, and even asked me to come sit with just him in sacrament meeting.

But he’s never asked me for my number or made actual plans for us to do something.

He’s one of the nicest people I’ve ever met, so I know he’s not being insincere, but what gives?

He’s not shy or anything, so why would he act like he likes me, then not do anything about it? 

Second question:  someone told me once that the reason I don’t have a boyfriend is because I’m so shy, so do you think being shy or awkward is a turnoff once a guy gets to know me a little better?

I was hoping my awkwardness was endearing but maybe it’s just awkward haha.

So if a guy is super outgoing and confident, would my quietness/shyness be a major turnoff? 


- LC

p.s.- We're both YSA and he's an RM (and rumored that he's looking for a girlfriend)

Dear LC,

I think guys can absolutely give mixed messages.

Now it may be for a different reason than girls, though.

Some guys are manipulative, but for a lot of them, if the signals aren't clear it's because they're confused.

I bet the latter is the case in this situation . . . it sounds to me like this guy doesn't know what to do. 

Another thing that happens a lot with guys your age is that they're afraid.

They're afraid to ask girls out because those first few dates should just be "get to know you" dates, and our culture wants to make them out to be more than that.

What if you get too excited he asks you out?

What if he messes things up?

What if he likes you but isn't ready to be a Boyfriend yet?

Get it?

So the solution often is for you (as the girl) to take the pressure off and give him a signal back.

First the signal.

Put him on the spot a little. Say to him "So how come you've never asked for my number or asked me out on a date?"

If he takes the bait (and if he doesn't, you'll need to move on), then you make sure that you don't put to much weight or emphasis on those first few dates.

Date with a purpose, but keep those first YSA dates casual.

And I wouldn't say that being shy is by itself necessarily a turn off.

Some of us would rather stay home with our spouses than go out to parties with lots of people.

But I do think that one's dating possibilities, and thereby relationships, is curtailed when one avoids getting to know new people.

We date whom we're comfortable with, so if guys are going to ask you out they'll need to feel comfortable around you.

Nothing achieves that better than talking to them, or rather, getting them to talk to you about themselves.

Happy Dating!

- Bro Jo

Dear Bro Jo

Thanks for your great response!

I think you're right, that he's confused.

I've talked to him a couple more times (I didn't ask him when he was going to ask me out) and I have come to the conclusion that at first I think I intrigued him, but as time went on, his interest has faded.

Makes me sad because he was SO perfect and I kind of ruined it, but always next time, right?

Thanks again!!

- LC

Dear LC,

I wouldn't say that you've ruined anything.

You may be giving up too easily or too early . . .

His loss.

- Bro Jo

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Off to BYU

Dear Bro Jo,

I originally wrote this as a comment on your February 13th post, When All The Girls Around You Seem To Be Waiting.

However, it exceeded the character limit by a just a smidge:) So here's the 'ole copy/paste:

I don't know about JA, but I think that opening line for dates is perfect!

I intend to go to BYU in the fall, and frankly I'm feeling a bit uneasy about the dating scene, myself. 

Some of this comment is for JA, some for Bro Jo, some for both.

I am BEYOND excited at the idea of there being a sea of genuinely Good Guys to date.

However, I am 18!

And as we all know, there are a lot of anxious-to-be-wed RMs.

In fact, with the announcement, that'll be most guys. I don't want to get married for another couple of years, at LEAST.

And on top of that, yes, I do have someone I hope to be able to consider when he returns from his mission.

As long as I'm still open to dating other guys, even getting into a relationship with someone if I so choose, I don't think there's anything wrong with that. Do you?

I could go into details about why I really want to keep the heavy stuff (talk of marriage, engagement, etc) off the table next year, but it is enough to say that the missionary is only a small part of it.

Also, from what I've seen with other people, I think a lot of girls just use the missionary as a scapegoat/excuse when they're just not interested.

Look at all the e-mails Bro Jo gets from the Dear Johned and the Dear Johners.

There is one pattern: if she's honestly likes you, she will keep going out with you, despite whatever missionary she has.

This is one of those harsh truths, but it is a truth nonetheless.

Only a small percentage of the girls with missionaries are actually so blinded by their "love" for "their guy" that they can't consider other people, but there IS a reason she chose to wait.

Obviously, she really cares about him. Respect that, don't push it too hard, and I guarantee things will go much better, because moving too fast will definitely establish you as "the bad guy", with most girls.

I speak from the experiences of both myself and several MG friends.

When I've dated guys since My Missionary (pardon the phrase, Bro Jo, I know you hate it) left, I've always been open from the start, and I'll say something like "Hey, there's something you should know.

There is someone I really care about, who is very far away.

So if I ever seem like things aren't going as well as you'd like, it's not that I dislike you. " I say that rather than telling the whole story because it's short and simple, and also because it's easier to understand than the whole standards thing (there aren't any member guys of dating age for hours in any direction).

They always say "Yeah, that's fine. No problem", and I think everything is fine. Then on literally the second date, they're trying to kiss me and ask to get in a relationship, and when I turn away and say no, they get really angry, even though I asked them not to move quickly at all. It hurts that they would disrespect my feelings and comfort zone so much.

By pursuing so hard, so fast, it feels like they thought the feelings I have for my missionary didn't matter or weren't even real.

And that, my friend, eliminated any chance they had of going on another date with me.

Summary advice to JA: If she's an MG, take it slow, and you just might have a good shot.

Seriously dating an MG takes patience.

That patience shows her that you respect and recognize her feelings for the missionary, and it honestly makes her like you more.

When an MG goes on a lot of dates with a Legitimately Nice Guy, she often feels guilty and confused when she starts liking him. Taking it slow lessens that uneasiness, or even eliminates it (which is how you win her over).

If you rush it, of COURSE she'll emotionally go back to solely the missionary.


Here's where you really come in, Bro Jo:

It's been a long time since I lived somewhere with date-able guys (date-able = mentally/emotionally stable, good standards, able to speak a language I understand, age 16-23), so I'm really at the "I just want to get to know people, have fun, learn, grow, prepare for when I DO want to start looking for an EC, and all that jazz" stage. BYU will be great because everyone will understand standards and things, but I am legitimately worried that it will be the same thing all over again, but worse because it's on a bigger scale (going from high school guys looking for relationships, to RMs looking for an eternal companion?!?).

My question is:

What's the best way for me to get that across to a guy, especially an RM, without giving the impression JA and others seem to have of all MGs?

Also, like Cheese (many of my favorite posts on your blog are her stuff), I've already been getting creepy proposal-like things.

How do I best avoid those without stomping on people's hearts?

Is there any way to tell when those things are coming?

Do all guys start when-you-get-married q/a conversations with the ulterior motive of proposing in the near future?

Any other essential BYU dating advice?

I can handle normal plain old just-for-fun dates.

Those are cake, and I enjoy cake. But the "MUST HAVE RELATIONSHIP OR MARRIAGE ASAP" guys are plain intimidating, and I seem to encounter more and more of them as I get older.

And I'm not even old yet!

Though older girl friends who tell me dating horror stories don't exactly reassure me either, haha. 

Past Solely Group Dating, But Don't Want Anybody To "Put A Ring On It" For A Good While (or as you're coming to know me by my regrettable plethora of letters),

- Melody

P.S. Sorry for the novella.

Dear Melody,

No, I don't think there's anything wrong with you being open to dating whomever asks, but willing to date a guy you already know when he comes home should you still be single and each of you still interested . . . that's what I've been suggesting for years!

I think your comments about girls "waiting" often using that as an excuse or a crutch and that going away if she meets a guy she likes is absolutely spot on; I appreciate your candor and honesty.

I think the key to dating at the Y (or any college or institute, frankly) is a lot like attending sacrament meeting or a conference: you get out of it what you put into it; your attitude will have an awful lot to do with your experience.

My general advice is, like going on a mission, Be the Best You You Can Be.

Be Happy.

Be Positive.

Be of Good Service.

Don't make too much out of a First Date.

Or a Second.

Or a Third . . .

And Be Open to meeting new people. 

Don't worry about what might or might not happen or when.

Anyone, guy or girl, who's more focused on commitment instead of getting to know someone better is missing the point.

You'll meet some of them (it sounds like you perhaps already have), and that's okay; it's all part of the experience.

Heck, it happened to Marjorie Pay! It can happen to you!

Laugh it off and move on.

Happy days,

- Bro Jo