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Monday, September 26, 2011

The Aggressive Unworthy Girlfriend at the Y of I

Dear Bro Jo,

I am a 26 year old male BYU-Idaho student. I have transferred schools several times, and find myself feeling a little old to still be getting a degree, but because of the rules here I live in a student ward where virtually everyone is younger than I am, and most of the women are significantly younger than I am.

I've never tried to dismiss anyone, but I find that most of the women are at a different stage in life, and while I've gone on dates with them, I've never really dated them.

I try to date mostly returned missionaries because they tend to be older, but most of them seem to take every date way too seriously, to the point of planning weddings if I ask them on a second date.

Recently, I have started dating a beautiful twenty year old I met in class. She was hesitant at first, but has eventually come around, and we are now boyfriend/girlfriend. I respect this woman quite a bit, she is funny, well-grounded, affectionate, smart, perceptive, excellent with people, sweet, and a top notch communicator. I should be head over heels, and sometimes I feel that way.

Now that things have started to get serious (we've been dating almost two months) she has started to really open up to me, and I've begun to learn rather unflattering things about her. The most troubling is that she is not worthy to attend the temple, and while we kiss she is often trying to push the boundaries, never to anything outright inappropriate but often to places that feel uncomfortable, I usually stop her, or say something but she often comes back and wants to do the same thing, and let's be honest it may feel uncomfortable but it also feels so so good.

The other thing that is unsettling is that while we enjoy each other’s' company on dates, when we spend time together that has not been well planned out beforehand we have found very few things to do together that we both enjoy. I am at a point in my life where I am starting to question how effective my earlier dating behaviors were and I wonder if I've been too picky, and if the unsettled feeling I am having is just nerves that I am moving on in my life, but if I'm not being too picky it is also silly to let this relationship go on too long.

I certainly won't be in a place with so many eligible LDS women for long.


A Maybe Picky Bachelor

Dear Bachelor,

It's my unqualified belief that this girl you're seeing believes that her value is reaffirmed by your physical response. In her mind, if she can sexually excite you then that means she's pretty. That's not entirely untrue; we men tend to find women more attractive if they find us attractive, right?

She may also be thinking that if you "want" her you're more likely to marry her . . .

She could also just be . . . horny.

(The reason she's "unworthy" is also something to give strong consideration. Not every issue is the same, in my opinion. A promiscuous girl, regardless of where she goes to school, is a big red flag.)

You're wise in recognizing the danger signs. If she's not Temple worthy then she's not really BYU-I worthy, either. That means she probably lied in an interview somewhere. Not a good sign. (Unless of course she's repentant.) Let me ask: when she's all over you does she seem like a girl who's repented of past wrongs and is ready to make herself worthy to enter the Temple?

Yeah, that's what I thought.

Look, that doesn't mean she's a bad person, it’s just that she hasn't been taught that virtuous is beautiful and that a man needs to respect a woman if he's going to love her. Guess whose job it is to tell her that? To help her feel that?

Yup, yours amigo.

Are you too picky?

I don't know.

I think it's inspired to focus on return sister missionaries. Not just from the age advantage, but spiritually as well. As you're finding out, women have a tendency to get in their own way when it comes to romance. I'm not saying that you should give up on the current girlfriend entirely, but I do think you need to have a heart-to-heart talk with her. Preferably somewhere out in the open, with people nearby, in the daylight . . .

I also think your notion of being too picky may just be a prompting that you may want to expand the sphere of women you're considering. I get piles of letters every month from girls at BYU-I who are closer to your age, live high standards, and have clean dating histories (if they've dated at all) who would love to meet a guy just like you. It's not that big of a campus; they should be easy to find.

One last thought: if you really have reached the point where this relationship seems "silly" and pointless, it's time to move on. However, like I said, I think you should have that conversation first and see what happens. After all, if you can get past this issue, if you're making a bigger deal out of it than you should, if she's not as "unworthy" as we fear . . . you might be making a big mistake to let her go.

Good luck!

- Bro Jo


Anonymous said...

At the very least, she's honest. There is currently a Relief Society President in a BYU-I ward who has a boyfriend who just came home from the MTC because of worthiness issues pertaining to her during their freshman year. She never lost her ecclesiastical endorsement, although the young man is not allowed to attend BYUI or a mission. I'm pretty sure her student ward Bishop is unaware that his new RS pres just had a boyfriend who was sent home. When I saw today's tag "unworthy girl at BYU-I" I guess I realized that there are at least 2 of them. Unless the girl you're dating is a RS president...

Wendy said...

Perhaps that RS president already repented. Just because he hadn't doesn't mean she hadn't either.
And there are plenty of people at BYU-I who are unworthy to go to the temple but still keep their endorsement. If the problems aren't too serious, some Bishops in the single student wards will help them become worthy again. It's not really our place to judge why someone stays and why someone else goes.

Anonymous said...

I completely agree with Wendy. I currently attend BYU-I, and last year a friend of mine got sent home. This really frightened me because she got sent home for things that I have made the same mistake with in the past. I started to question if I was really supposed to be here, or even allowed to be here. My college bishop did not know about it, nor did my bishop who gave me the endorsement(I move a lot). Which scared me. So, I questioned whether or not they were supposed to know, but I ended up telling my college bishop. After talking about it with him, he explained to me that I had nothing to worry about, I had taken care of it with a past bishop previously and I had no need to bring it up again. Unless it happened again. Or am still working on it. So now, this semester, I know I don't need to tell my new bishop. It's taken care of. It's in the past. Even though, another part to the story, the guy still to this day hasn't taken care of it, therefore does not have an endorsement nor a recommend. And, I had another friend too, who had talked to her bishop closer to the time of coming to college, and she still got an endorsement and then just still had to work on it with her new bishop here at school so she could later receive a temple recommend. Everybody has different situations, even when we don't know what they are, they do. The RS president to me seems like she could be fully repented. The girl in the letter, she may still be but it's obviously something she is still working with and needs to overcome. Everybody's different situations have tailored consequences. It's the people involved's job to find out what those are, and face them, and grow from it, turning to Christ with faith and desire to be clean.

Anonymous said...

You contradicted yourself there, sister... you first said you were afraid to talk to any Bishop, you moved a lot, and when you finally did talk to a college ward Bishop, he said no problem, you already had taken care of it with a past Bishop? I think it's too easy to fall off the radar when you move around a lot, and talk yourself into being forgiven even if you didn't have the consequences of say, a missionary getting sent home for the same thing you did. Or Brandon Davies getting suspended from the BYU basketball team. If you and a boy both did the same thing, both went to your respective Bishops at the same time, and his consequences were harsh and you still got to have a leadership calling in your ward, would you think that is because of the different personalities of your two Bishops? Or the fact that college ward Bishops are more lenient?

No Longer A Bachelor said...

Bro Jo,
Thanks so much for the advice. I thought your readers might like to know that I wrote you this letter nearly 10 months ago now. I misspoke some of the things I had said in the letter. She had previously had problems and been not temple worthy but was at this point, but she was worried that we were falling into the same patterns she had before. Following Bro Jo's advice and having that big conversation showed me that she wasn't as "unworthy" as I feared. We were able to use her past experiences to help us avoid big problems throughout our courtship. We just got married a month and a half ago, and are very happy. Thanks Bro Jo for the advice. It's nice when the story has a happy part.

Dave Johnston said...

That's wonderful!

Congratulations to you both, and thanks for letting us know!

- Bro Jo

Anonymous said...

@Anon #3, Anon #2 here, yes, that is what I said. Sorry if that wasn't clear. I confessed to bishop #1 and had taken care of said transgression, then moved to a new ward and everything was taken care of so I had no need to tell bishop #2, then I moved to my college ward and got frightened, second guessing my full repentance, because of my friend who had gotten sent home from the same thing that I did and had still gotten to come. Probably thoughts from Satan trying to make me feel unworthy. But I went to college bishop just to double check, bishop #3, mainly because I didn't think it was fair that I got to be there but she didn't. And that is when he re-assured me that I was allowed to be there, and that my full repentance did take place all those years ago. (and as for me and my consequences? Yeah, they weren't getting sent home from a mission, but they did the job for me. I was in that ward for a good 6 years before "falling off the radar" so that wasn't an issue during the actual repentance 'process'.) Maybe that helps clear things up? Maybe that still doesn't prove my point, and still contradicts myself? I don't know. Maybe either way my point didn't get across. But it is this, everyone's situations are different. Whether we are aware of them or not. Who are we to say we know? If someone were to meet the guy involved with me and knew that he was currently unworthy, they might not know that the reason that I am is because I myself took care of it a long time ago. My friend who got sent home may think that it's unfair that she got sent home and I didn't, for the same things, but she might not know that I was worthy again by the time I came. That's all, we just don't know. And to answer your questions, yeah I think that Bishop's have different personalities and different ways of handling a situation, but I also believe that they have the Spirit of the Holy Ghost and of Revelation and even without really being told they can know what someone needs to hear and what they need to have as a consequence because He knows what will really impact us and help us learn and grow from a situation. Also, do I think that college bishops are just more lenient? Not necessarily. My friend that got sent home was sent home by a college bishop. He didn't 'want' to send her home. They had meetings for a couple weeks before he made his final decision. They really wanted her to stay, yes, so they were really working with her for a little while, but then when it came down to it the final decision was that she needed to go home and resolve some things first. And k, that's all. I just know that.. well.. we don't 'know' even when we think we do. Everyone's consequences vary upon those circumstances. And yet it's the same result- forgiveness.