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 20, 2017

The "Hey sup" Text

Dear Bro Jo,

Hi!

So question for you. I'll keep it short.

Recently I have given my number to a couple of guys who have asked.

The first one has only texted me things like "Hey" or" what's up?", which I have so far ignored. I'm not going to be his texting buddy. And this weekend the second guy asked for my number he was very vague about when he would have time to do something together. Today he texted me "Hey sup"

So I guess my question is should I just continue to ignore the texts?

If they get around to actually get around to asking me out great. If not then oh well?

Also if they ask when I see them around why I haven't answered what should I say?

Thanks,

- M




Dear M,

As much as this old guy is not a fan of it, texting is how people communicate now.  

While I still maintain that personal communication (like date requests and breakups) doesn't belong in a text, an initial "what's up" shouldn't just be ignored.

I think a more appropriate and effective response would be to say "nothing much here; why don't you give me a call".

And, yes, if a guy doesn't actually ask you out, especially if you've told him that he should, then "oh well" - his loss!

Which gets to your last question.  When someone complains of your lack of response to their Very Lame" attempt at communication, see it as a teaching opportunity.  Don't condescend or lecture, simply say "I think I'm worth the effort of a phone call or to be asked out in person; don't you agree?"

Then, if you really want results, touch him on the arm and tell him that you're hoping he'll take the hint and give you a call.

After all, you can't expect people to live up to your expectations and standards if they have no idea what those expectations and standards are.

- Bro Jo

Friday, February 17, 2017

Should He Start Dating?

Dear Bro Jo,

I recently found this blog (looking for LDS dating advice) and I think I can step outside of my comfort zone now.

I am 17 years old and I have always been quiet and reserved, just by nature, so it's hard for me to get out there. I've never been out on a date and don't have many friends outside of my ward because of it. I have been trying harder recently though by going to the dances more frequently but, I feel like girls just aren't eager to get to know me because of my introversion. I don't think it's because of my physical appearance either because I know girls aren't as vain as us guys. (Not bragging, but I have been told I have some positive qualities both physical and spiritual).

I feel like I'm missing something important, like confidence. Should I even try to go for it?

I know you probably get this a lot but, what can a quiet guy like me do to get a nice, decent girl to go on a date with him? Any other tips or advice?

Love the blog BTW.

Sincerely,

The Quiet One





Dear Quiet,

Of course I think you should "go for it".

It's pretty normal and natural to apprehensive about dating.

That's why I recommend that people your age go on Casual Group Dates.

Where you're at in life, I think dating should be a no-pressure, very simple, get to know people better activity.  Kind of like a Priest-Laurel activity . . . without leaders.

Start by getting a good Dating Buddy; someone who shares your standards (even if he's not LDS) and won't push you or your date to be or do anything unbecoming a future missionary.

Lastly, the trick to getting to know people better is to learn to become a good listener.  Don't grill them like you're a detective in a cop show, just ask sincere questions about the things they like and do; listen to what they say, and ask relative follow-up questions when appropriate.

Relax and have fun.

- Bro Jo

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

When You're Not Feeling the Spirit

Bro Jo

Hello again, for some reason you end up being a good person to turn to when I need advice that is unbiased.

I am just struggling a lot right now and I am not sure where to turn. I keep trying to turn to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ but I am just not feeling the comfort and help from them.

Last time I emailed you it was about a boy that I was seriously dating. He and I ended up I guess I would say 'pre-engaged' rings were chosen, dates were picked, and plans were starting to be made. However that fell apart which definitely turned out to be for the best. He was selfish and it would not have been as good a marriage as I know I will have someday.

That is not what I am struggling with. I am having such a hard time because I feel like I have spend as much of my 27 years of life doing as much as I can to be the best I can be and I don't see why the eternal blessings of happiness and family are not available to me.

There seem to be no options for dating in my life at all and my friends keep getting married and never have time to even talk to me after that let alone spend time with me.

I just don't know how much longer I can keep being faithful, I am losing faith that what I am doing to be the best I can is worth it. All I have ever wanted in my life is to be the best wife and mother I can be, it was what I was created to do, I know that with my whole heart. But I don't get to do that and I don't understand why.

I am also really struggling with wanting the physical aspects of a relationship. Frankly I am sick of being denied that because the guys I know are being so dumb and are addicted to porn so they don't have the desire to get married.

I just have such a hard time watching people I know leave the church and find love and have beautiful families and as a strong faithful member I am denied that.

I have struggled a little with some sins that have been worked out with my bishop, and right now the temptation to return to them is very very strong. I'm trying my best to be strong.

I will admit that I haven't been doing as much as I could be lately to stay close to The Lord I haven't attended the temple in a couple of months (something that I need to change quickly) and even though I study my scriptures and pray daily I haven't put as much heart into it as I probably should. So I know that I have distanced myself somewhat from the spirit. And I plan in changing that.

However in many of my prayers I beg Heavenly Father for comfort and peace and just to feel his love for me. And I don't feel it. I want to so badly but I just don't feel it. I feel very abandoned right now and I don't know what to do about it.

Sorry I just needed to vent to someone and get some things off of my chest. I am just so so tired of being lonely constantly, it is the worst feeling in the world. Any advice you might be able to give would be good. Thanks.

Lonely





Dear Lonely,

I appreciate the kind words . . . but ALL of my opinions are biased, and I can never offer the comfort and help that comes from Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.

You're always welcome to vent to me if you need.

And you know I'll always give you my unfiltered opinion . . . because that's how I show that I care.

I can understand that being unmarried at 27 can be frustrating . . . especially in the Church . . .

But life is a marathon, dear sister, not a sprint, and while 27 years seems like a long time, in the grand scheme of our time here and the eternities . . . well, it's not.

Your friends who are leaving and marrying outside the Church SEEM happy . . . but I promise you that all is not dancing trees and singing flowers.  I'm happy for them, and you should be, too, but their happiness, like their marriage and their families, are temporary.  And look at what they've given up!

No blessings of the Temple.

No promise that the Spirit can be with them all of the time.

No priesthood in their home.

Where is their prophetic guidance?

What about Family Home Evening?

Are their lives blessed by Family Prayer?  Do they have the calming influence of Family Scripture Study and personal revelation?

And I bet, that when you really think about it, you'll be able to add quite a bit to this list.


One last thing that we must all remember regarding feelings of comfort and love from Heavenly Father and Christ:  those feelings are always expressed by them; whether or not we allow ourselves to know of Their love is up to us.  We can't be doing things in our lives that drive the Spirit away and then complain that we can't feel it, right?

Look, you're a good person who's dealing with some very real trials; you're not alone.

I share your frustration with the quantity of men who have allowed pornography, addiction, and other issues, to keep them from the same blessings you seek.  (It's not just a "guy problem", by the way.)

No one should expect you to be positive all of the time, but if you can lose yourself in service to others it will help you feel what you need to feel and deal with life's most difficult challenges.

I promise.

God bless you.

- Bro Jo