Things to know

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Monday, April 23, 2018

What Does It Take to Get from Broken Heart to New Boyfriend?

Dear Bro Jo,

I had my heart broken, crushed and mutilated pretty badly earlier this year by a man I wanted to marry for 7 years, so I went on a "man-vegan" diet and actively avoided dating for many months until I was emotionally ready. Suddenly two of my friends from different circles both set me up with the same guy. The moment we were introduced I was overcome with peace. He exceeded all of my expectations, makes me happier than my original plan and makes me want to be better.

In the last month and a half we've seen each other about 3 times a week. I always have Sunday dinner and devotional at his apartment. We've been on about 4 official dates and they have been amazing! I can't say enough about how much I respect him and enjoy being with him. We haven't held hands yet, but that is definitely the next step.

But there's a problem.

I am getting so many mixed signals.

He is making the time to take me on dates and include me in his life. We have two dates this week, plus Sunday dinner. When we are alone together we have great quality time and super deep talks. We speak openly about the gospel and laugh about everything. Our quality time is so genuine. He says things like, "You and my mom would get along so well!" and then comments about how he wants to marry someone like his mom. We even won a "Celestial Marriage" game against 5 other partners! I feel so natural with him and it breaks my heart to think of him not being in my life. He keeps planning vague things in the future so I assume he wants me in his life as well.

BUT. Every other week is hot and cold. Sometimes I feel snubbed by him. He won't answer my texts for days at a time (he's getting better at that). When we are in a group I don't feel like he is trying to have "moments" with me.

I know that he is really busy; he works full time and is in the business school at BYU. He is also generally a really bad texter. I could never ever see him being mean or sending secret messages on purpose -- he isn't that kind of a person. If he didn't like he he'd tell me straight out so I figured that things were working out and that he was showing real interest when he asked me on two dates this week.

The reason I'm writing is because we went on our date today. When he picked me up from campus I hopped in his car and realized that he was talking on the phone with an old friend of his. He was talking to this girl about celebrating her good test scores by going out for milkshakes. He acknowledged me and was really friendly but continued to talk to this girl. He didn't try to speed up the conversation or say he'd call her back later. I don't know the context of their relationship...maybe it's totally platonic, but I felt like I was listening to him plan a date with someone else while we were on a date. The rest of the date was awesome and we talked for 2 hours instead of the quick 45 minutes that we'd planned on.

My conflict is that I don't want to invest more than I already have if he isn't going to make up his mind. Is he incredibly oblivious or does he not know what he wants?

I'm not the type of girl who waits around. It irritates me that I'm still sitting here.

Bro Jo, should I hike up my self worth and walk in a different direction or should I stay for a while longer?


- Uber Confused

Dear Uber,

What you should do is:  Slow down

Communicate more

And stop looking for reasons to dump a good relationship ... especially this early.
In our lives we often swing a pendulum from one extreme to another.  Seven years is a very long time to be in a relationship that doesn't work out, but six weeks is way too early to make demands or jump ship.

I agree that he shouldn't be planning dates with his ex ... particularly while he's on a date with you.  But if we look at the available evidence we have no reason to believe that he's experienced enough in relationships to know that.

The two of you have a great time together, and you're spending a lot of time together.  That alone should tell you that things are going well.

At your age I don't understand how holding hands and kissing didn't happen three weeks ago... I agree that step needs to be reached very soon.

I don't agree that you're getting mixed signals.  I think you just need to be a little more bold, a little more honest.

When he got off the phone you should have asked him why he was making date plans with his ex.  That question, asked in a non-confrontational way, could have been enlightening for you both.  He may have learned that's not something he should be doing, and you would have been able to express how you feel without seeming angry.

What if he's just looking for the opportunity to get some of his stuff back or finally get rid of her stuff that she left in his car?

And consider this:  it's not like he was hiding this from you.  That should tell you something.
If things in your relationship bother you, talk about them ... in the most calm, rational way you can.

I understand that you're still wary and hurting from the last guy, but I see no reason yet to stop giving this new guy a chance.

Now, seriously, the next time you're together make sure you hold his hand and at least kiss him goodbye.

And by all means, ask him about this milkshakes plan.

Communication is the key in any relationship. .. verbal and non-verbal.

- Bro Jo

Bro Jo,

He surprised me last night by showing up at my house!

He was going to take me on a date but we all had so much fun playing music at my apartment that we ended up staying there.

Once everyone else had filtered out I brought up the milkshake plan. Turns out that she is his best friend from forever ago and he was just checking up on her. I also asked him why we'd been hot and cold...apparently last week he took a break to see if he really wanted to date me.

And he decided that he does!

We are official now!

I feel so much better about all of this!

Thanks for your advice!:)

- Uber Relieved and Happy

P.S. We had our third hug yesterday...hand holding should happen someday haha

Dear Uber,

Patience pays off!

(Still think you should have kissed him, though!  It'll happen, I'm sure.)


- Bro Jo

Friday, April 20, 2018

Getting a Date to Mormon Prom

Dear Bro Jo,

Hi Bro Jo!

My stake has been invited to a multi stake laurel priest prom that will take place I'm a few months.

I would really like to go to this prom. It should be a lot of fun since there will be 10 stakes there, and I also want to do something that is part of my "high school experience," if you know what I mean.

However, my stake doesn't have many youth-and most of the them are actually in my ward. Unfortunately, even with that, there's really not much of an opportunity to go on causal group dates because most of them have steady boy/girlfriends, and several of them are actually dating each other.

Because of the steady dating situation that shouldn't be going on but is, I've never been on a group date. (I'm 17.)

So knowing I most likely will not be asked to the dance, I'm wondering if it would be ok for me to ask someone? Even if it's not an official "girls ask guys" dance?

I could potentially ask a nice YM in my ward who recently broke up with his girlfriend (who is actually not in our ward, by the way, so that's not a problem), but I don't know him hardly at all.

I could potentially ask a YM in another stake who I know a tiny bit better, but we haven't talked or seen each other in a while.

I could also potentially ask the older brother of my younger sister's best friend. They're actually a nonmember family, but are very active at the Christian church they go to, occasionally participate in some of our Church-related activities, and have nearly the exact same standards as us members do. However, I don't really know this boy very well, either.

I would be open to asking any three of these boys, even if it's unconventional. However, since I don't really know any of them that well right now, it would definitely be odd and awkward to straight up ask one them if he would go to prom with me.

Is there something(s) I could do between now and when I would need to ask one of them to prom that would make it less awkward?

For the example, my neighbor and good friend who is in my ward is friends with both the nonmember boy and the boy who recently broke up with his girlfriend. I know I can be direct with him without sounding desperate, so could I ask him to set up a group date sometime so that I could get to know this boy better? (Or say something to that effect.) 

Thank you for your time and opinion,

- To Prom or Not To Prom

Dear To Prom,

Before you cross the "do the asking" bridge, I'd like to see you try to get these young men to ask you.

For example:

With the Young Man in your ward who is recently single, you could say "you know, I don't have a date yet for this prom thing coming up . . . it sure would be great if a nice, recently single guy would ask me . . ."

You could text the YM in the other Stake, have a bit of a conversation, and then after a while ask him if he's gotten a date to this thing yet.  If he says no you could respond "me either" and leave it at that.

And as for the boy who is the brother of your sister's friend, I think it might be pretty effective to enlist the help of your sister and her friend.  I'm sure the three of you conspiring together could come up with a way to get him to ask you.

Using our friends and relatives for dating help can be a great idea.

Good luck!

And let me know how it goes, please.

- Bro Jo

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Making a Move Before the Semester Ends

Dear Bro Jo,

I realize that this you probably get hundreds of these a day. However, I have had something weighing on my mind.

I am now a senior at BYU-Idaho and I have known someone all semester and progressively developed feelings for this person but never really pursued it because he was sort of like my boss for a volunteer position.

I do this quite consistently . . . not pursuing my interests . . . I am tired of this pattern!

This person also graduates at the end of July and I'm not sure how to pursue anything whether, it should be a group thing so I can feel the person out more or if it should be a one on one type ordeal.

I do however feel that I need to start being more brave so I can get more experience dating while at BYU-Idaho whether or not I do meet my future spouse or not.

- Name Withheld

Dear NW,

Sorry I'm just now seeing this message. The best way to communicate with me is by sending me an email.

Boss at a volunteer thing is NOT an obstacle.

If you don't do something, your chance may be lost forever, and that inaction may haunt you for quite a while.

If you really like him, and if he's a Good Guy, go up to him (SOON), one on one, and say: "I just want you to know that I've spent this whole semester hoping you would ask me out on a date".

Then touch his arm, look him in the eye, and wait quietly to see what he does.

If after a moment he doesn't say anything, or doesn't ask you out right then and there, say "Here's my phone number" and hand him a piece of paper with your name and number on it.

(Yes, even if he already has it.)

Then smile, touch him again, and walk away not looking back. If he doesn't call or talk to you about it in a week or so, move on.

How's that for brave?

Good luck!

And let us know how it goes!

- Bro Jo