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

Monday, November 21, 2011

Is "Stage Kissing" the Same as Real Kissing?

Bro. Jo,

I recently attend a priest/laurel conference with my boyfriend and, while there, there was a speaker on dating. The speaker was hilarious and really made an impact on everyone in the room. At the end, he gave everyone a challenge. He said, "If you're steady dating anyone, break up now." Talk about intense!

A few days later, "boy" (18) and I (17) talked about what we were thinking. It was a good talk, with a good point. We couldn't deny that. But we had decided that we should follow his challenge. We had no problems with our relationship. We had been dating for 5 months, and never before that had we thought about breaking up. But we did. We decided that there was a way for us to show people that there ARE such things as "good breakups". Breakups where the two can still be best friends afterwards.

I don't think that I should have done it though. I'm starting to feel regret. The reality of the situation didn't hit me until a few days later when I finally realized that I can't hold his hand anymore (touch is my "love language", so it means a lot to me). He asked if he could still ask me out on dates, but he probably won't for a while. I'm not walking with him to class anymore. We don't talk as much either.

Some days he'll send mixed signals. One day he'll accidentally hold my hand (I'll pull it away because we aren't dating and I don't think it's right to do), and the next day he'll act like I don't exist and will barely talk to me. It's really confusing.

We're both romantic leads in our school musical. We're required to hold hands, do a stage kiss (we never kissed and I've never been kissed), stuff like that. And being an extremely kinesthetic person... it makes it very hard for me.

It's been three weeks since we broke up. And I've been extremely depressed, which is unlike me. I think I underestimated my feelings for him. Everything reminds me of him. I can't think straight, I can't go to rehearsals without breaking down after wards, I can't stand any of this. I can't get back to my old self...

So, short version:

Boy and girl break up.
Boy still likes girl.
Girl still likes boy.
Boy wants to ask girl on more dates.
Girl wants to be asked out as well.
The underlining question is: Why did they break up?
Answer: Because it was expected of us...?

Next question: What should I do about it?
I obviously don't want to "move on". We still like each other and prom is coming up soon. How do I get emotionally stable again? Should I talk to the boy and tell him how I'm feeling about this?


Dear Unsigned,

The problem is that you followed wise counsel without knowing why. It shows faith. Often blessings come to us just because of obedience, even if we don't know why we're being obedient. Non-believers call it "blind faith" because it makes them feel better to insult those that believe, but know this: that faith is never blind; those that follow Christ are always guided by light, even if they don't know everything or understand everything.

I've spoken with teens about this before: a stage kiss is a kiss, and as a former actor I can tell you that if it's not practiced it can't be acted properly.

[Semi-related tangent. Actor Michael Douglas was perplexed why his son was not disturbed by the graphic violence in his movies but very disturbed by the "love" scenes. His son explained "because, dad, when you're getting shot I know it's fake, but when you're mostly naked and kissing a woman I know that you're both mostly naked and really kissing". Ponder that.]

So if you two have practiced the stage kiss I have news: you're no longer a member of the VLC. Lips are lips, and kissing is kissing.

[BTW, you and other girls need to know That is Why many of the guys who join drama and are in plays have joined drama and are in plays.  Just saying.]

So . . . here's why it was right for you to break up.

When you hold hands and walk each other to class it broadcasts that neither of you is available for Casual Group Dating, which is what you're supposed to be doing in High School. When you date lots of different people then you avoid the pain and drama you're feeling now. So at school you shouldn't act like boyfriend and girlfriend.

(Also, while I'm thinking of it, you're too young and WAY too inexperienced to have any idea what your "love language" is. Stop reading Teen Beat.)

However, and let me be clear, when you two are out on dates (and, yes, you should still go on Casual Group Dates together, just follow the rules and rotate whom you're dating) I don't see anything wrong with holding hands or kissing good night (again, The Rules).

What you're trying to avoid is Serious Single Dating. THAT we save for when you're ready to start looking for a spouse.

What can you do?

Still like him. Still spend time together. Just not time alone together.

Act like a couple on dates, but not around school or backstage.

And you both need to go out with other people. Difficult as that may be.

Oh, and if he asks you to prom, and I hope he's smart enough to, you should go!

Just go in a group.

- Bro Jo

PS: Break a leg!

No comments: