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.)

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.

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Friday, July 29, 2016

When Mom Makes a Small Mistake

Dear Bro Jo,

Hi Bro Jo.

I told my Mom that I wanted a stuffed animal and I told her all about it and she got mad because she said I didn't tell her right and I know I did so what should I do?

Buy the animal that is the right one or just forget about it?


- C

Dear C,

I'm not certain how old you are . . . but if you're young enough to still like buying stuffed animals then I think you’re young enough for your mother to tell you no.

If you're old enough that you don't need to ask your mother's permission, then stop asking.

If what you're saying is that you asked her to buy something for you and she picked up the wrong one, then you should apologize for telling her incorrectly (even if you didn't) and then go change it for the one you wanted.

And next time realize that, as is said, if you want something done your way you have to do it yourself; no sense complaining otherwise.

We love and respect our parents, even when we disagree with them; even when they're wrong.

At least when they're wrong about stuff as trivial as this.


- Bro Jo

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Online Dating and Blind Dates

Dear Bro Jo,

Hey! It is me again.

I was just wondering what your thoughts were on online dating, aside from the obvious safety concerns.

My dad suggested it to me after things went downhill with the other guy, and so I humored him and signed up for one of the LDS dating sites.

And immediately I have gone from unnoticed, un-talked to girl, to having a million guys trying to talk to me!

I think I've already found one I'm interested in becoming more acquainted with...

He's ten years older than I am, but I find that I really don't mind that very much anymore.

The guys I dealt with that were my age just didn't jive well with me.

Just curious.

- Bug

Dear Bug,

There's no such thing as online dating.

If you're online, it's not a date.

I do think that in some situations the internet can be a good way, perhaps one of the few ways, for people to meet.

In some areas and with some age groups there just aren't a whole lot of options without going on line.

And I think that's fine.

Not my favorite or first recommendation, but I see its value.

They key, regardless of one's age or location, is to realize that the reason we out the word "virtual" in front of the word "reality" is to remind us that these things are not real.

No one's picture is true.

No one is forthcoming with all information.

And no real relationship can happen or grow in cyberspace.

If websites can introduce you to new people, and those introductions lead to actual in person dates, then that's fine.

If this becomes a substitute for real dating and talking face-to-face to people ... then that's not good.

Stay away from "hook-up" sites.  That's not where people go who are looking for someone to respect.

And, as always,

Be Safe.

- Bro Jo

Dear Bro Jo,

I agree.

But I also agree that it is a good way for people to meet, particularly when they are in circumstances that are not accommodating to much social activity, such as my life-sucking work schedule that requires me to work nights, and every other weekend with a day off at the beginning to middle of the week.

I prefer the face-to-face stuff. And when starting out, I prefer it in public areas where if something became a problem, people would be around to intervene or seek help from.

On that note. Ten year age difference?

I'm 21, he's 31 but we seem to have a lot in common.

(Granted, face to face, in person conversation is required.)

Is that weird?

I used to think that much of an age gap was weird before, and now it doesn't bother me.

The ones my age don't seem to jive very well with my personality and who I am.



- Bug

Dear Bug,

I disagree that your work schedule will keep you from meeting people.

Staying home when you’re not working does that.

Especially at your age.

And I'd like you to consider this: if the only time and way you can meet people is at home during the day on the internet ... what kind of 31 year old is chatting online in the middle of the day???

In general I do say that 31 and 21 is too far apart ... but there are always exceptions to the rule.

I think you should meet this guy.

Public place, take your phone, make sure someone knows where you are, get yourself there, and don't leave to go anywhere else with him.

Unless it's arranged by a mutual trusted friend or relative, a girl needs to be super careful with blind dates in this day and age.

- Bro Jo

Monday, July 25, 2016

When Intimacy Escalates

Dear Bro Jo,

I love your blog and I have contacted you before and thank you so much for your advice in the past.

I don't know how to say this.. but my boyfriend and I have been getting way too carried away with each other.

We usually live in two different countries (in Europe) so when we do see each other we make out too intensely to the point of dry humping and it's now crossed the line of law of chastity but we haven't done "it".

But basically we are in some serious trouble and I'm currently in his country to live here for three months for the Summer.

We have been together nearly four months now and it is ridiculous how things have escalated.

We both have the same goal of making it to the Temple but we just keep failing to do what's right.

We have tried many strategies in the past like giving each other four options of what would happen if we fail again but that didn't even work.

We've now agreed to go cold turkey and stop kissing for a little bit because things escalate and yes I definitely am due to talk to the Bishop and yes I know it won't be a easy meeting.

Can I add that we do love each other very much and we want to do things the right way.

I can definitely say that I can see myself married to him because he is such a wonderful man and treats me with such great love and kindness, it's just this problem we just can't get over.

We'd like to take our time with the whole marriage thing as it is a huge commitment and we want to be the best we can be before marriage.

I'm 20 and he's 23 if you were wondering.

Thank you for your time,

- Name Withheld

Dear NW,

I'm not convinced that "cold turkey" is going to work. 

I think you two need to be chaperoned until you get married. 

And I think you should get married soon. 

Look, if you're comfortable with the list of things you should know about each other, if he passes the "Five A's of Why Not to Marry That Person" and you're both willing to work hard at your marriage and put the other person first ... I think it's time to get your recommends and head to the Temple.

- Bro Jo

Dear Bro Jo,

Thank you for the advice and yes we will talk about the chaperoning together. 

We're seeing the Bishop as soon as we can to talk about our issues. 

Marriage is certainly an option but ideally we wanted to date a little longer but I guess realistically we should re evaluate that. 

Thank you for the advice!

- NW

PS: Oh and where do you find the 5 A's?

Dear Bro Jo,

Thank you for your advice and we're now getting married in August! 

Thought I'd let you know and Happy Sunday

- NW

Dear NW,

Here's the 5 A's.  

And congratulations! 

I'd love to her the story. 

- Bro Jo