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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Wednesday, December 7, 2016

It's Tough Being Older and Single

Dear Bro Jo,

Good day to you.

I am writing you this mail because I’m beginning to lose it!

I joined this church a little over 7 years ago and I’m over 32 years old now. I’m still very much single.

I’ve had offers from non-members but because I’m hell bent on temple marriage, I did not give them a chance.

Now I hardly have offers again. I’m being passed across as a married woman because now I actually look like one.

What do I do? I have a date that is eight years younger than me but I must confess that that is not what I want.

I’m not sure he would even marry someone like me because I’m just too old for him.
I need your advice ASAP because this matter is beginning to make me have a low self-esteem. All my mates are married.

I’m really scared. Even if it is for someone to match make me and someone I would be glad. I hardly get that offer too.

Please help me.

Kind Regards,

- Name Withheld




Dear NW,

The first thing that may help is realizing that your value comes because you're a daughter of our Heavenly Father, not because you're in a relationship.

Secondly, I think you need to be a little more open.  While I agree that it's pointless to Serious Single Date guys who have no intention of marrying you in the Temple, it may be possible that falling in love with you may just inspire one of these non-member guys to embrace the Gospel.

And I think if ta 24-year old man wants to ask you out, you should absolutely go.  I can't think of anything more flattering for a woman's self-esteem than going out with guys who want to date her.

Lastly, be proactive  If something is wrong in your life, and it's bothering you, fix it.  Don't just sit back and hope that something happens.  If you want to date certain single guys, get to know them better, let them see what a great person you are, and if you need to, tell them they need to ask you out.


- Bro Jo

Monday, December 5, 2016

Too Worldly? - Part 2

Dear Bro Jo,

Thanks Bro Jo, I agree completely we do need to talk. And we do talk often and I have told him most of these concerns...

I definitely do not want to be controlled, I want a happy marriage partnership and I will make sure that is what it is going to be before I make any decisions.

Much of the problem is that this a long distance relationship so we are only able to see each other on the weekends, we talk on the phone throughout the week, but obviously the big stuff I want to talk about it person.

One thing that I have loved about our relationship from the beginning has been our ability to talk about everything, we communicate very well, and I really like that.

I will see him this weekend and definitely be talking to him about these concerns and I think it will help me to better understand where things are and where they should be going.

Thanks for your insight, it sometimes just helps to have an objective opinion on things...

- NW




Dear NW,

How did it go?

- Bro Jo




Dear Bro Jo,

It actually went very well.. We talked a lot this weekend and the awesome thing was most of my concerns were addressed in our conversations without me bringing them up, the conversation just went in that direction.

I talked to him about who I am and made it very clear that I will not be controlled. A lot of the things he has said that made me feel that way were jokes and I think he realized that he needs to be more careful about things he is joking about. His attitude seemed different this weekend as he talked much more about our future life and family and less about his future wealth.

We discussed his concerns as well as mine and the reasons that we are still making the decisions. He talked about his fears... One of which is that he wants to make sure that this is the best decision, he knows it would be a good decision but he wants to make sure it will be the best.

I actually had kind of some weird feelings this weekend, and spent a lot of my time trying to figure out what they mean. I felt less excited I guess about our relationship and I was trying to figure out if that is because I feel like it is not right or something else... The feeling that I have gotten about it is that our relationship is making the transition from excited early twitterpation to a comfortable normal mature relationship.

As I think about him I realize how well he treats me, he builds me up in so many ways and we really have a lot of fun together.

I have always been the kind of person who believes that there is not one right person for anyone, but you need to find someone who loves The Lord, is willing to keep the commandments, and work with you to create a happy fulfilled life together.

I think there is always part of you that wants some magical confirmation that your life will be wonderful and perfect with this person, but I think I am too old and too logical to believe that. I need to take my own advice and make sure that he is a good man and that we will work well together to progress for eternity.

When I think about things that way I feel so good about him and us. I am still seeking answers and trying to listen to the spirit as best I can. Knowing when something is truly coming from the spirit has always been a little difficult for me, and something that I have been working in trying to improve for years.

Hopefully this makes sense, and I would like your opinion about all of this.

Thanks!

- NW




Dear NW,

Not only does it all make sense, but it sounds to me like you have a very mature understanding of what's important and how this is all supposed to work.

You're on the right track!

- Bro Jo

Friday, December 2, 2016

Too Worldly? Part 1

Dear Bro Jo,

Thanks for your advice at random times when I have just needed someone else's opinion on something. This is another one of those times.

I am dating a wonderful man who makes me so very happy, I love him a lot. He is a strong member of the church, and attends the temple. There has been a lot of talk about marriage, and I feel very good about it most of the time. I have been to the temple a few times to help make my decision about if this is the man who I want to marry, and I really think he is.

However he is still deciding a little bit, we talk as if we are going to be married but at times he still mentions that he hasn't gotten his answers about it yet, and that scares me a little. He was married once before and has a son. I think that the problems he had in the previous marriage are what fuels his doubt now, he says he has no doubt about me, he just wants to make sure this is truly the right thing, and I want him to make sure.

I am writing you because I sometimes have doubts myself... He is a very driven individual (works full time+ and is taking 15 credits) and has very high aspirations of being rich someday. I am so glad he is a hard worker and wants to provide but it seems to be a very very large focus of his life... We have had multiple conversations where I have asked him if he could be happy with our life even of he wasn't rich. He says he could.

I guess I'm just concerned if he is too worldly and if it will make our lives unhappy? He talks a lot about money and physical beauty... I am a fairly thin girl which he loves, so he mentions a lot that he doesn't want his future wife to get fat. He wants me to be fit and healthy and I want that too, but he just dwells on it a little more than I do.

He is a wonderful man who treats me really great and he is a great father as well. There are so many things that I love so much about him. I am just wondering if these concerns are just Satan's way of trying to keep a good eternal marriage from happening or if I should be more worried about his focus on worldly things? How much of this is just a guy being a guy?

Thanks for any insight you can give me!

- Name Withheld




Dear NW,

I do think that much of what you both seem to be worrying about are indeed the things that Satan uses to try and keep two people from forming an eternal family.

I also think the cure is very simple:  you two need to talk.

You need to share the concerns you shared with me with him.  Everything you told me, you need to tell this man.

It's like the post from the other day:  more than attraction, even more than love, what makes a marriage successful is Trust.

And the key to trust is communication.

For example:  you need to trust that, for whatever reason, if you do "get fat" (whatever that happens to mean) that he won't belittle you or mock you or abandon you.

Marriage isn't about manipulating the other person to make them be what you want them to be, or keep them from changing.

I've quoted this many times before, but too many people go in to marriage this way:

"Men marry women hoping they'll never change, and women marry men hoping they will change; both are horribly wrong"  (or something like that).

I do have to say, there's an element here that is making me uncomfortable:  and that is his need to manipulate and control.  Now perhaps that's just the part that you've chosen to share with me . . . and I have no doubt that this is residual from his failed marriage, but I'm wondering how happy you're going to be with him controlling you . . . or how he may cast you aside when things seem out of his control . . .

Look, there are no guarantees, and I honestly believe that people delay (or avoid) good eternal marriages because they're looking for that non-existent guarantee.

Again, the bottom line is I think you two need to talk.

Soon.

And I think you both need to decide if these are just nervous ponderings or if you're both clinging to a relationship that will never be more than 80% there?

Does that make sense?

I mean, is this really going somewhere?  Or is it just easier to keep on going down this dead-end road because it's familiar?


I'm not saying breakup.


I'm saying have a mature conversation about these concerns you're both having.


And yes, if these aren't things you both can get to a point that you feel comfortable with, then move on.



Good luck, and please let me know what you come up with.

- Bro Jo