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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Monday, February 8, 2016

He Really Wants this Girl to be His High School Girlfriend

Dear Bro Jo,

I think this is how I am supposed to contact you . . .

Anyways, I saw your blog and thought it would be a good idea for me to ask you about my dilemma. 

I've been on multiple dates with this girl in my ward. It has never been twice in a row, because my mom has set the rule of not dating the same girl twice in a row, and I fully support that.

I realized I liked her on our first date a couple months ago, and have been trying to figure out what to do about it.

I have never been in a relationship before, and I am 17 years old, so its nothing to do with the dating age.

I took her to our Mormon prom, and it was a wonderful night.

The day after prom, I told her that I liked her, and didn't know how she felt.

She told me that she didn't like me like that.

I by all means want to follow the Church's standards, and don't want to get involved with anything too close.

I am not really sure what to call it, and I think it is alright to have a "girlfriend" in high school.

Anyways, I made sure I told her I still wanted to be friends, and didn't want this to come between us.

Now, weeks later, I still feel like I need to "follow up" somehow, like I just heard in this General Conference talk today. I am just mainly confused about my feelings.

I think she likes someone already, but she hasn't really acted on those feelings.

Am I wrong to want to have a girlfriend in high school?

This whole thing is new for me, and it just has been driving me crazy for awhile now.

I think I have pretty much covered everything that is relevant.

Thank you for your time, and hopefully I sent this right.

- Confused

Dear Confused,

The talk on "following up" was about missionary work, not getting a girlfriend in high school. 

(Remember, the anecdotal story at the beginning was about a guy In College.)

I fully understand the drive to be in a relationship pre-mission . . . all of the Jo Boys at one time or another had a girlfriend (one of them had MULTIPLE girlfriends . . . some even overlapping) and all of them will tell you that they now agree with my opinion that's it's not a good idea.

(And that's a big deal, by the way, admitting that Dear Old Dad was right.)

Advice from Church leaders is also contrary to your assertion that it's "alright to have a girlfriend". 

My advice?

Don't act on anything. If my advice isn't enough, at least pay attention to the fact that she's already turned you down.

Look, how you Feel isn't wrong - it's good that you like girls and want to be in a relationship with one; but the timing is bad.

Casual Group Dating is what you do from now until the mission,

THEN get more serious when you come home.

- Bro Jo

Dear Bro Jo,

Dang that was fast!

With the talk today, I was just relating it, wasn't necessarily saying it was the same.

I understand what you are saying though.

I’m going to try and stay friends, it’s just hard.

I am not really sure entirely how to deal with it.

With the title girlfriend, I feel like it is different then what I may have asserted.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but if we did like each other?

I see it as being something where we still go on double dates and nothing changing with that, but just that small step ahead where after mission, it could potentially go somewhere.

Hopefully that makes sense.

Thanks for your reply!

 - Confused

Dear Confused,

It makes sense, and I agree with you.

"Girlfriend" is a title that communicates exclusive commitment.

Even when the Jo Boys had Girlfriends we required them to take out other girls . . . which, BTW, made the Girlfriends (and sometimes their mothers) angry.

- Bro Jo

Friday, February 5, 2016

Is She In Love with Her Friend's Brother?

Dear Bro Jo,

Dating = not my strength.

I guess I will just throw it out there that I am 20, and live in good, ole Provo, UT where the Church reigns and dating (for me) seems to...well, not.

But that's not my point.

I have interest in the brother of my best friend.

He is a really awesome guy!

She knows about it, even encourages it because she believes he and I would legitimately work well together.

The first time I met him he actually gave me priesthood blessing because I was very ill.

I have since talked to him here and there, but nothing much. I always think I have gotten up the nerve to talk to him, but when it comes down to it, I always bail at the last second.

I am normally a pretty outgoing, friendly person, but he is so intimidating.

I have talked to my friend about it and she just kind of laughs and says he is just "that way."

Which is fine, but makes my life difficult just a bit.

How do I work up the nerve to actually talk to the guy, when he is so serious, I feel like he might punch me in the face (over exaggeration, but, you get the point)?

- McStruggles

Dear McStruggles, 

I don't get the point at all. 

I think your problem is that you're putting too much emphasis on the situation and too much stress on yourself. 

You have no idea if this will even turn into something. 

Talking is just talking, and those first few dates are just dates. 

Your eternal happiness does not ride on everything going perfectly with the only perfect guy in the universe. 

So relax. 

Get over it. 

Pray if it helps. 

But you need to dig deep and take the risk. 

Not just to talk to him, but you may even have to suggest to him that he ask you out. 

If you don't you're going to regret it. 

Serious Single Dating does not mean that we take ourselves or every date too seriously. 

- Bro Jo

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

How Can a 16-year Old Girl Get Guys to Be Her Friend and Ask Her Out?

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 over the summer 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 had 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: HERE.

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 no, 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 not well trained by parents and leaders. 

And, if it's any consolation, it happened to Sister Jo. Which worked out pretty well for me! 

- Bro Jo