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, October 5, 2018

Understanding a Breakup

Hi Bro Jo,

I need some advice on a break up and I couldn't figure out who to talk to about this, so I figured I'd send you an email to get an outside, unbiased opinion.

I was dating a guy for not too long and last night he decided to call me and tell me that he just wants to be friends. I told me that he was still attracted to me, was the most unique girl he'd ever met, and still liked me, felt connected to me emotionally and spiritually and physically, but he has liked girls more in past relationships. He told me that I was a girl that every guy was looking for and that when the right guy came along at the right time, that things will work out.

This guy also suffers from bipolar disorder and told me that he doesn't deserve to be happy and it wasn't in the cards for him to be happy. He also told me that he isn't ready for marriage for various reasons and knew that I wanted to be in a relationship that was progressing toward marriage and he didn't want me to waste my time waiting on him.

I guess I'm just trying to sort out why he really broke up with me. Was it because he really wasn't into me, or was it because he was scared of committing and couldn't bring himself to commit to a relationship?

I'm heartbroken obviously and I've done a lot of crying and replaying of everything that had happened. I feel like an idiot for trying to work things out with him despite him telling me beforehand that he didn't feel ready for marriage. Guess I thought I could change that.

Anyways, any advice or ideas about why he may have broken up with me and even advice on how to move on from this and not be scared of getting my hear broken again would be greatly appreciated.


- Name Withheld

Dear NW,

Lucky you!

My world is full of people who would love to have even been in a relationship at all . . . so I guess there's that.

I just read your email (keeping it anonymous) to my living room full of my YSA and Young Married Jo Kids.  They all said the same things I had planned to say to you.

1.  What a sad email!

2.  That guy is a total loser!

3.  She's lucky she got out of that relationship when she did!

I get that you like the guy . . . but he really does seem like he's not a very good guy.  What he said to you is awful, and if he doesn't want to stay in a relationship with you he can't be very bright.  Plus one needs to be . . . very . . . cautious . . . about getting into a relationship with someone who has major psychological problems . . . real OR imagined.

Time will heal this wound.

Be willing to go out with any non-murderer that asks (hoping that makes you smile), and as Sister Jo says, being of service helps us feel better.  So do that, too!

- Bro Jo

*** One Year Later ***

Dear Bro Jo,

It's been about a year and I never responded to your email! Figured I would thank you for your thoughts and update you on things.

That break up was difficult and it took a little time to get over it, but I did get over it. Once I got past feeling hurt, I realized how right you were. What he said was awful and I was lucky to get out of that relationship. I can see now why it was a huge blessing to not be in that relationship anymore.

I took your advice and tried doing more service and I went out with any non-murderer that asked (definitely got a big smile out of that one!). I went on several dates that never really went anywhere, but I had lots of fun.

One guy in particular asked me out and I wasn't really that interested, but I went anyways (I mean he was a non-murderer so I had to go!). We ended up hitting it off and spent hours and hours just talking on that first date. We are now engaged and getting married in the (Location Withheld) Temple in March!

If I had stayed in that past relationship, I know I would have been unhappy and I wouldn't have met my fiance. Because of that relationship, I learned what I wanted in a spouse and I found those things and more in my fiance. Thank you for your kind words and advice from almost a year ago.

Also as a side note,  your list of stuff you need to know before you get engaged was extremely helpful! It was a great resource to refer to when we wanted to talk about the big and important things. There was stuff on there we would not have thought of on our own.

Thanks again for your advice and for your blog!

- NW

Dear NW,

What a wonderful email to get to read today!

Very happy for you.  Thank you for your kind words and positive outlook.

Oh . . . and . . .CONGRATULATIONS!


- Bro Jo

Friday, May 25, 2018

Bro Jo is Taking a Break from Posting, but Still Answering Your Emails

Dear Readers,

Just wanted to let you know that I'm taking a little break from posting letters here.  No particular reason other than that life is super busy right now.

However, I am still receiving and responding to your emails at

All the best,

- Bro Jo

Monday, May 21, 2018

Value in . . . You Know . . . Talking

Dear Bro Jo,

I've read a lot of advice from your blog, and I really love it and think it would be very effective in those situations. I'm in a situation of my own right now, and don't really know where to go with it. I'll take any advice you can give :) here's the deal:

I met this guy about a month ago. My parents and his aunt and uncle set us up on a date, and we hit it off very well. Neither of us even knew the other existed before this date, though he is my back-door neighbor (living with said aunt and uncle). Since then, we've gone out/"hung out" several times. We hug after every time, and he even held my hand once while we watched a movie. My family loves him, my dad thinks he really likes me, since he wants to do stuff all the time.  However, he has never mentioned at ALL if he likes me or not or wants to continue to date me.

Part of me respects him for that. I have met lots of guys who are unreadable, but at least after a but they somehow try to tell me how they feel. I've gone out with lots of guys that are too bold, who I've not been interested in. Or those that flirt too much, I don't feel "special". But another part of me is confused as to why he hasn't said anything. If he just thinks I'm a fun friend, I'd like to know..

I do think he's shy or nervous, so he's trying to hide maybe? But.. I am shy too. But I've tried to slip in little things like "hey, I had fun with you tonight" or "I missed hanging out with you the last couple days" to give him a lead or whatever, but he changes the subject it avoids the question. When we DO hang out, many times his sister is there with us too, and to me, it seems to be a simple excuse not to do or say things, if she's there. Though she is super fun and I like her too!

I've met some of his family, and they've made little comments that make it seem like he could like me, but, it could also be that THEY like me and want things to progress... Who knows.

My family already considers us to be "unofficially dating"... But... I don't. Just because he has never said anything even closely related to the topic.

I guess then what my questions are... Does he like me? What should I do in this situation? How can I get him to open up and tell me how he feels? Do I be patient, or gather up all my courage to be bold? If someone else asks me on a date, do I go?

Thank you so much for your help.. It is greatly appreciated in advance. You're the greatest! :)

- Learning to Read Boys

Dear Learning,

You don't mention how old either of you are, so my answer could be one of two different things.

If you're still in High School, my advice is to not take any one boy too seriously and go on lots of Casual Group Dates with lots of different boys.  Keep your "hanging out" in groups (movie parties, mini golf, stuff like that).

If you're an adult . . . well, that's a different story.

First of all, when people talk about “reading” often what they mean is that they expect to be able to guess what's on a person's mind instead of actually . . . you know . . . TALKING to them.  All of the questions you're asking me you should be asking him.

"So . . . I'm sorry if I sound naive, but I'm really in the dark here.  Do you like me?  Do you think of us as a couple?  Are we just buddies or is this something more?  How do you want me to respond to other guys when they ask me out?"

Those are all fair, legitimate questions.

Sure, one can imply that because you're together so much that neither of you is seeing anyone else, but the problem is that you HANG OUT instead of GO OUT.  It's fine to introduce hanging out AFTER one is officially a couple, but even then you should still GO OUT on dates at least once a week (a habit, by the way, which should never end, even during marriage; especially then, actually).

I'm guessing that this boy has no more dating experience than you do; that means you'll need to do some training.  You'll need to teach him that he needs to take you out on an official date at least once a week.  You'll need to tell him things like "you know, once in a while a girl likes to get flowers".  If you do these things in a kind, flirty way, I think the two of you will grow AND have a lot of fun.

AND, if you are Serious Single Dating age, after your third official date (counting the ones he's already taken you on), you might want to ask "so . . . why is it that a smart guy like you hasn't tried to kiss me yet?"

- Bro Jo