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.

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Monday, January 31, 2011

What is he thinking?

Dear Bro Jo,

I have a problem. Obviously. You see, there's this guy in my student ward. He just moved in this semester and got home from a mission about two months ago. I met him about three weeks ago. To be nice, my roommate and I invited him and a couple of some other new kids in our ward to a birthday party we had for another of our roommates.

The next day at church, he sat by me in Sunday School and then later that week we invited him and his roommate to a movie night we had. He was the only one from his apartment to come, but he sat by me and kept his hand in the awkward sort-of-open-resting-on-thigh position. Everyone else agreed that that was definitely the "hold-my-hand" move, but come on, at this point I had known the guy for exactly 5 days. I didn't really think much of it, but the next day he just randomly came over to my apartment. He stayed for 6 hours. For about half of that time, it was just me and him sitting on my couch talking. We were angled toward each other and sort of close. About halfway through the conversation, he asked me, "Where do we go from here?". I have to say I was taken aback.

I've known him for about a week now and what did he mean "from here"? From where? I didn't know we were anywhere. But then he asked me on a date for two days later. I said yes, and our conversation continued just fine. From then he kept his hand on my knee and left it there for the rest of the conversation, which was probably another hour and a half.
Well, the day of the date came. We doubled with another couple and it was a lot of fun. I had a really good time. And when he dropped me off, he said, "I look forward to doing this again".

Good sign, right? The next day was my birthday and he called me to wish me a happy birthday and then made me brownies. Another good sign, right? We write "nice notes" on Sundays at "Ward Prayer" and I wrote him thanking him for the brownies and for the date. Nothing too weird or clingy.

And then three days go by and I don't hear anything from him. Which, considering how long I've known him isn't really that long. But to me, it felt like FOREVER. My roommates then goaded me into texting him. We talked, for a while and it was just fine. The next day, he texted me, and we talked for a little bit. The day after, we decided to have a movie night and so I invited him. He brought some friends, but he sat next to me, and talked to me for a bit during the movie. Before he left, he gave me a hug. Again, a good sign, am I correct?

That next Sunday, I sat next to him in Sacrament Meeting and again in Sunday School. Conversation with him is easy. But then, on Sunday night at "Ward Prayer", he doesn't come talk to me, he doesn't even, from what I can see, look at me. He and his roommate just talk to this other girl. I had decided to lay off a bit, because in my opinion, the ball was definitely in his court. I wasn't going to seek him out, because I had done enough of that earlier by sitting next to him at church.

The next day we had a ward FHE activity. He's not in my family and was sitting across the room from me, but I was just one person behind him in the food line and he didn't say a word to me. Maybe he didn't notice while he was talking to the girl in front of me, but he was facing me for goodness sake. After a bit, he did say hi and we talked for about five minutes until we both left the line. After the activity, again, he didn't come over to talk to me, or anything. He and his roommate left with that other girl and ended up going to her apartment. (I didn't follow them on purpose, we left at the same time.)

And so now after that ridiculously long explanation, I want to know what the heck is going on. Do I just need to chill? Is he just bad at dating because he's only been home for two months? Does he not care anymore? Is he just taking his time? I know it's only been three weeks, but I'm super confused. I feel like things have progressed super weirdly, but now they aren't really going anywhere. What I should do, if anything?

This was very long. I apologize.

Completely Confused

Dear Completely,

Even when one goes on a mission to one's native country, there's a bit of a culture shock once it's over and you come home. There can be trouble acclimating back into regular life and, to be honest, my opinion is that the LDS Church is full of Young Men and Return Missionaries that have no clue how to date or behave around girls is one of the main reasons I started "Dear Bro Jo" in the first place.

IMHO . . .

Yes, you need to chill.

Yes, he's lousy at dating and yes, his recent missionary service is likely a factor.

I have no idea if he cares anymore, but the truth is that it doesn't sound like he knows either. I can almost guarantee you that if you over pursue him (your roommates were totally wrong to have you text him, and you can tell them I said so) you'll drive him away (guys think that girls who chase them have no value and low self esteem). You NEVER should have hung out with this guy at your apartment (now you know). A park, at school, going for a walk . . . all better choices.  Guys need to DATE you, not hang out at your place.

What he's doing is figuring out how he's supposed to behave. Just a short while ago he wasn't allowed to be alone with a girl; now he feels pressure to get married. Talk about going from 0 to 60!

Things progressed VERY weirdly . . . but not unusually.

Maybe he likes you. Maybe he doesn't. Maybe his friends have told him not to get to serious with anyone so soon after coming back. Maybe he's freaked out by how much he likes you.

Who knows?

Well . . . actually . . . he does.

Which leads us to what you can do, and you can do it because he did it first. The next time you see him, pull him aside and give him a little education.

"Hey, you're the one that asked me where this was going after I'd known you five days. Now you're giving me the cold shoulder. I'm not saying I expect anything from you, but I think you owe me the courtesy and respect of telling me what's going on here."

Even the best guys need to be taught how to talk to and treat a woman.

Communication is the key.

And remember: we guys are simple creatures who, frankly, aren't all that bright. This is all a big deal to you, and rightfully so, but you can't expect that he has any clue how you feel or what you're thinking.

Next month Sister Jo and I will celebrate our 20th anniversary. We talk for hours every day and go on at least one date a week. We know each other better than we know anyone else; Sister Jo has lived with me longer than she lived at home with her parents.

And yet I still have not developed the ability to read her mind.

Don't guess. Don't fall for the drama.

Just talk to the guy.

- Bro Jo

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Readers Note: Two Years and Counting!


February marks the two-year anniversary of "Dear Bro Jo"!

We're amazed and grateful for all of you; for the response, readership and support.  Just this January we passed several milestones:

  • Over 1000 Facebook Fans! (click HERE)
  • Over 72,000 hits on the Blog Page!
  • Over 20,000 regular readers, from over 50 countries!
(Check out this NOTE on the Facebook Page to see where your City, State, or Country ranks in our Around the World All-time Readership List.)

We published our first two books, "Bro Jo's Guide to Casual Group Dating", and "Bro Jo's Guide to Relationships", both of which have sold well at, and Deseret Book Stores, and can even be found at the BYU Library!

We're already working on new titles that we can't wait to bring to you.

We're humbled and grateful, and we look forward to this next year full of milestones!

Our best to all of you, thanks again, and God Bless!

- Bro Jo and Sister Jo

Friday, January 28, 2011

Non-member Crush on a Future Missionary

Dear Bro Jo,

My story is a little complicated, but your advice to others seems fair and helpful, so I’m hopeful that you can aid me as well.

I should start off by saying that I am not religious – it isn’t that I don’t believe in a God, but rather, I just haven’t found a religion that fits me yet. Many of the ideals that I already embrace are found in the LDS religion, and though I am still exploring my options, I am interested in learning more about the Mormon faith.

I happen to be friends with a young LDS man, and I have feelings for him. Very strong, powerful, overwhelming feelings. Though I would not say that I am “in love” with him, I will admit that I am not far from it.

Problem is, my parents will not allow me to date until I turn eighteen. He’s leaving for his mission by the end of the year, but I won’t turn eighteen until after he’s gone. Being that he’s leaving relatively soon, he is uninterested in pursuing a romantic relationship with anyone.

He knows how I feel about him, and though he’s made it clear to me that his intentions (for now? Forever? That he’s not made clear…) are only of friendship, he’s sending me mixed signals.

He’s a flirt, first and foremost, and he’s admitted as much. Though I’m doing my best not to flirt with him, he’s not at all reluctant to flirt with me. And though he’s busy with school (we’re both college students, though his load is much heavier this semester than mine is), he obviously tries to make time for me. We tend to spend our Friday or Saturday evenings talking, about anything and everything under the sun, and often until 4 or 5 in the morning. He’s also shared things with me that he admits his closest friends don’t know about him.

He’s coming to dinner in a few weeks, to meet my parents, so that they’ll allow us to go to lunch together, and he seems more eager to meet them than he should be.

Also, he’s recently asked me if I’d ever convert to a religion. When I replied that I would, if / when I found the right one, he responded that he thought that was a very good thing, even if it would not be applicable for a few years. Is it just me, or was he alluding to the possibility of me converting to Mormonism?

Though I’m a rather candid young woman, I’m not nearly straightforward enough to ask what he thinks of me, and am thus floundering in confusion over the situation.

Can you please tell me what this boy’s TRUE intentions are? His friendship is very important to me, and if that is all he desires, I can cope with that, but I don’t want to keep feeling this hopeful if that is indeed all he wants from me.

With much gratitude,

Confused Chick

Dear CC,

You know I really have no idea what this boy's intentions are.

The way he's acting it seems like he likes you (in a romantic way) regardless of what he's saying.

It also sounds like he's interested in sharing information with you about the LDS Church, which honestly may or may not have future-romantic implications. He may simply be a nice guy who feels you might benefit from and enjoy being a Latter-day Saint. It does sound like you've been looking, and he is likely in the mode of helping people find the Church (which I think is a good thing).

I enjoy my Church membership quite a bit; it's been an amazing positive benefit in my life. So, from my perspective, and given what you've said, I think you should (if your parents think it's OK) check it out. Attend some meetings, talk to some members, and visit with some full time missionaries in your area.

If at some point you do decide to be LDS it needs to be for you, not for anyone else (especially not for a guy that you may or may not ever date or have a relationship with).

If you haven't run across this yet in all of my stuff, let me tell you now that I don't believe that a Young Single Guy can be Close Friends with a Young Single Gal without them ultimately either getting together or growing distant.

Hope that helps,

- Bro Jo

PS: I'm happy to answer any questions about the LDS Church you may have. Any time.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Age Differences: 17 and 22

Dear Bro Jo,

Firstly I'd like to just say I love your blog!

I really, really really like this guy, and he's told me he likes me too, but the only problem is that I'm 17 and he's 22. I'm 18 in 5 months, but I know the age difference really bothers him, and I know because of this there is probably no chance of a relationship happening. Anyway, I was just wondering, what do you think about this?

Thank you,

- Name Withheld

Dear NW,

Let me ask a few questions.

Are you still in high school?

How did you meet?

Why you?

I mean, let's face it, he's a man and you're still a child . . .

It's a little . . . Creepy.

At this point the age difference SHOULD bother him, especially if you're still in High School. What, is your then 23 year old going to take you to your senior prom?

I don't think so.

He shouldn't.

And you shouldn't skip it or the Casual Group Dating you're supposed to be doing at this age, either. 17 and 22 is Too Far apart.

18 and 23 is better.

I'm much more comfortable with 19 and 24.

(See the difference?)

Yeah, I've known it to work, but I strongly advise both of you to date other people until the gap is less of an issue.

- Bro Jo

Dear Bro Jo,

Thank you so much for replying. Well, I'm in the UK, so I'm in college right now. I know it does sound creepy, and if it was someone else telling me then I would totally think the same. But when we talk and when we're together the age difference doesn't matter, if you can get that.
Thank you :)!!!

- NW

Dear NW,

I didn't realize you were outside the US; if you're already in college then the age difference bothers me less.

How did the two of you meet?

And what's his Church status?

- Bro Jo

Dear Bro Jo,

His church status is really good, and its part of the reason I like him so much. He served a mission and is such an amazing example to me.

Okay so how we met, haha kind of random and I know it will probably make the situation sound even more creepy but it's not as weird as it sounds I promise :P Okay so, he is the missionary that baptized me's brother. A couple of years ago the missionary that baptized me told me to add him on Facebook and that it would be likely that his older brother would accept me, so I did.

Anyway, his brother accepted me and we messaged back and forth a few times and then we didn't speak after that. He went on his mission and obviously I was a lot younger then and I didn't look at him in anyway other than a friend. Anyway, he returned from his mission last year, and then in January we began talking properly on Facebook, and then every night we started to talk on cam and mic for hours about everything. But, one detail I forgot to mention is that he is in Utah and I am in England. I know this is kind of weird but I don't believe that closeness has anything to do with distance. I have stayed with his family once earlier this year, and I am going back to Utah on the 1st of August for 2 weeks.

:) thanks.

- NW

Dear NW,

OK. Now that I have the whole story . . .

It's not as weird or creepy as I thought.

I'm not a big proponent of internet relationships . . . they lack substance and reality, but Sister Jo and I were Pen Pals for about 3 months between the one night I call our first date and the one day she says was our first date . . .

I think you'll learn a lot on this trip to go see him in August (I'm going to be in the Provo-Orem area in the beginning of August, so if you're around and you want someone to give him a stern talking to, let me know! Or you could just swing by and say "hello" . . . ) but one of the things that's going to have to come up, especially if there's any possibility of a serious relationship, is who's going to move. Not just later, when you're married, that's a given, but soon so you can live close to each other while you date. 5000 miles is too far for a serious courtship.

Good luck!

And keep me posted,

- Bro Jo

. . . . . . . .

Dear NW,

How did your trip go?

- Bro Jo

Dear Bro Jo,

It was the most amazing 2 weeks ever!! I loved it so much i was so sad to leave :( i'm thinking of applying to byu for autumn '11 if everything here goes well!

- NW

Dear NW -

Keep us posted!

- Bro Jo

Monday, January 24, 2011

Get a Clue and Make a Statement

Bonjour! Bro Jo,

Sorry I always run to you with my guy problems, but I've learned that my mother is kind of bias and my dad... well he just says let life happen, which may prove to be the right choice.

I'm not sure if I am getting mixed signals or if I am being a girl and over-analyzing everything. I suppose I'll start from the beginning... get comfy, I'll try to downsize it. Guy in my FHE group (We'll call him Hayden) that I have a had a crush on for a while, he is no longer in my group..

(Just a P.S. We have become friends over the past semester, so yes, your "guys and girls can't be just friends" mantra conquers yet again.)

It all started one night when I text him from my friends phone and he told me to just text from mine, I fought it at first but then I did. Truth be told, I wanted his number ha! So he and I texted off and on, he had a girlfriend at the time, so I tried to keep it very minimal. One night after FHE, when he didn't attend, I was going to text him but then decided it would be better if I didn't. Low and behold he text me to apologize for not being there haha. We talked a bit and I asked him why we weren't blessed with his presence, he said "well I'm not sure I know you well enough yet, but me and my girlfriend broke up." Honestly I had a surge of happiness and guilt and sadness for him all at the same time. He was single now, but I felt bad for being happy about that and I felt sad for him. Anyway I said I was sorry for him but he didn't seem to heart broken about it. Said he had been distant lately and she had seen the writing on the wall.

A few weeks later, probably about 4 or 5, he and I went on a double date, with my brother and his date. (Yes I asked him and yes I know you are against that). It was fun but it seemed like I was just a friend to him. He told me about his girl, I brought it up some how... he said he wasn't attracted to her anymore and it just wasn't working out.

Time passed we talked and texted. During the break/summer, we talked a lot, he almost came down to go horseback riding with me (down being about 4 hours away). Later on in the summer when I had gone home, he invited me to go to Utah for the weekend to a water park with he and his buddies, it was so tempting and he said he needed me to go, yeah he rubbed it on thick, but I couldn't go.

Summer ended I came back up to school and he invited me to a group thing., which was a lot of fun. We continued talking/texting. He texted me when he was bored at work...

One day I was out on a drive and I just so happened to drive by his house. (Really it was a complete accident, I had no idea he lived out in the middle of no where) I drove by and a few seconds later I get a phone call, from him asking if I just drove by his house. I explained that I didn't mean to, that I was just out driving; he told me to come back. So I did. I was there for a good hour and a half just talking and hanging out. When I was on my way home he text me and asked if I got home ok and said that I should come out more often, that I was always welcome, blah blah blah. Anyway within the midst of that conversation he and I planned to go shooting the next week.

Well the day before the date I text him to see if we were still on, he said he had to take a test and that it would probably too dark when he got out. I was bummed, and he didn't reschedule, boo on him. A couple weeks later I get a text from a friend that he was holding hands with what looked like his ex-girlfriend. Oh joy what a great text to receive. That kinda upset me a bit, but then it turned into frustration... But I was really trying to be happy for him and not let it bother me. A few weeks passed and I was at the temple, and he came to mind. I pushed it aside thinking it was just me wondering. But when I got home it came back, so I prayed and asked if I should text him or if this feeling was just me. I still felt like I needed to, so I did. I said "hey I was at the temple this morning and you came to my mind, how are you doing? Everything Ok?" He responded with "Ya, I'm doing good! How are you?" I really didn't feel like having a full-blown conversation with him so I said "I'm fine, just making sure you were." That is where I would've ended it. Nope not him. He answered with "Ya I always seem to have girl troubles.." Bah! I don't want to talk to him about his other girls. This is where I get confused. When guys start talking about other girls isn't that a sure sign that you are heading directly for the friend zone? I don't want to be in the friend zone with him. I really thought he was interested, am I wrong?

He continued, said he was tired of relationships that go no where. This is when I thought "Ok Heavenly Father, I really felt like it was you that wanted me to talk to him... why? Why do I have to hear about this? What am I supposed to be learning?" Hayden said he had hooked up with his ex and it just hadn't been good. I told him he would have to explain his logic, given what he had said about not being attracted to her anymore.

Nothing much has transpired since this, rejection gets tiring Bro Jo, it really does.

Can you help me out? Am I being over-analytical? Or is he really interested and giving me mixed signals?

Thanks again, it's appreciated.

~ Disgusted with guys...

Dear Disgusted,

I'm wondering how you get anywhere when you drive because you CLEARLY CAN'T SEE THE SIGNS!

How many hints do you need?!?

You're old enough; if you like this guy, Tell Him! Lay it on the line.

"Hey, buddy, has it ever occurred to you that you keep having girl troubles because you're going out with girls that aren't me? Seriously, pal, I'm tired of hearing your sob stories and I have no intention of being your consolation prize. Are you smart enough to date me or should I move on?"

You have to be "jected" before you can be "rejected", and sadly many of today's LDS YSA guys are just too dumb or cowardly to see what's right in front of them and do something about it. So give him a push. If it doesn't work out, at least you'll know.

- Bro Jo

PS: You'll never catch this pot calling the kettle over-analytical.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Do the 6 L's of Kissing Work for Guys?

Hey, Bro Jo!

I just have a quick question. In your posts, you have the 6 L's to kissing, but that applies to girls. My question, however, How can a boy like myself pull it off?

Insert name here.

Dear Insert,

Well I don't really know what kind of boy your self is like . . .

I'd say the Lip Gloss is a no.

And you should be doing the dropping off, not her, so waiting a long time at the door may be bad . . .

The Look, Lean In, and Listen might work, though . . .

In general what a guy needs to do to get kissed is to put in the time, and while you're putting in that time, don't act like you expect to get kissed.

For more information, check out Chapter 4 of "Bro Jo's Guide to Casual Group Dating".

- Bro Jo

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Readers Note: "Like" us on Facebook!

Dear Readers,

If you haven't already, jump on over to the "Dear Bro Jo" fan page on Facebook. (Click HERE)

There you'll find some of Bro Jo's most popular lists and notes, like:

  • Bro Jo's Levels of a Relationship
  • Bro Jo's Relationship Dictionary
  • 10 Things a Guy Can Do to Make Himself More Attractive
  • How a Girl Can Get a Boy's Attention
and much more!

You can also find out who's reading "Dear Bro Jo" around the world, connect with other fans, and join in our topical discussions, like:

  • Waiting for a missionary
  • Is it flirting or not?
  • Deal Breakers
  • Break-up Stories
  • How to ask a girl out
  • What guys are looking for in a girl
and much more!
Plus get updates and head's up on events and upcoming posts.

Check it out!

- Bro Jo

Friday, January 21, 2011

Dealing with Bullies

Dear Bro Jo,

I have been reading your blog for a while now and for the most part I think the advice you give is great, I am even starting to see your point with the whole Girls and guys cannot be close friends thing. Of course, I will always disagree with your views on whether or not it is right for a girl to wait for a guy while he is on his mission. But this has nothing to do with Elder F and I.

Actually this is about my little sister...

Up until two years ago my sister Bekka and I were really close, there is just under a three year age gap with us, She'll be 16 in a couple of months - I guess she isn’t so little anymore. We used to talk about everything! We'd go the cinema together, we'd stay up late at night and we had tones of inside jokes & she was first to know when I met Elder F. anyways you get the point.. It all slowly began to change two years ago & I guess I got so distracted that I didn’t really notice how much we were drifting. These days we fight. It’s gotten to the point where no one can talk to her without it turning into a fight. No one but her school friends.

We recently found out that Bekka has been getting bullied in school - it’s gotten to the point of her skipping class to avoid the bullying, which is really hard for me to sit back and not do anything about, when I was in school with her It was always my job to look out for her, or at least that’s how I saw it, I never had that when my brother was in school, I learned to defend myself by the time I was 13. I now sometimes wonder if I babied her to much? Maybe if I'd let her fight her own battles the way I had to fight my own she'd be able to handle being bullied now?

I'll be honest, I don’t like her friends but they are the only friends she has. Her best friend smokes, takes drugs, drinks and is pregnant (- I know all that as fact because I am friends with her older sister) I worry that the way they act will influence her. I don’t know what to do! Any time I try to talk to her she becomes really moody, tries to hid things, lies and turns every conversation into a shouting match between us. I need to get through to her! I can’t lose my sister the way we lost my brother.

Any Ideas on how I can finally find a way to talk to her?


ps - I changed her name

Dear Sister,

Thank you for the name change.

And thanks for sticking with me even though we won't always see eye to eye . . .

Your sister may be going through lots of different things . . . I'd like to know some more specifics on the bullying . . . but I think ultimately what she needs is to spend time with you. I suspect much of what she's going though is that she's lonely.

Do you live at home or nearby?

Can you hang out with her, just sisters, without being condescending or judgmental?

I know that can be hard, especially when you know she could benefit So Much from what you have to say . . . but I think right now she just needs you to be her unconditional friend. Don't give your opinion unless she asks, and even then see if you can guide her to what's right rather than tell her what she should do or change.

If you can do that, if you can simply be her "cool big sister", you may find that it fixes a lot.

For her And for you.

- Bro Jo

Dear Bro Jo,

No one knew Bekka was being bullied until two weeks ago when she came home from school with a black eye and crying. That’s the trouble with Bekka, She never asks anyone for help until she can’t handle things anymore. From what she told my mum and me, there is a group of girls in her English class that are making her life a misery.

They call her names, make fun of her for being a Mormon, make inappropriate jokes about her and throw things at her when the teacher is not looking. She's told the teacher what’s been going on, but the teacher hasn't been taking her seriously at all. When the girls found out Bekka had been to the teacher -- they attacked her on her way home from school.

She hasn’t given us the full story. ---but I found out a lot from a few friends of mine that are in her English class, The black eye isn’t the first time the girls have attacked Bekka And from what my friends can tell, some of Bekka's so called friends have been joining in with the fun.

I think your right. I think she is lonely. And more scared than she is willing to let on.

My friends - who are all guys, have promised to keep an eye on things in class and let me know if things carry on or get worse. I hate that someone is hurting her and I can’t do anything about it!

I do still live at home, and I am trying to be there for her as best as I can but she isn't making it easy. I'm going to keep trying though.

- Sister

Dear Sister,

I'm not sure where you live, but physical injury is a crime (assault) around most of the world. Since the teacher isn't doing anything, go to the principal or dean. And call the cops. Get everything documented right away. The longer you wait, the more difficult it will be to protect your sister. This is not an issue of little kids on the playground, this is a targeted physical attack, and needs to be taken very seriously. Your parents need to be taking action. If they're hesitant in any way, please have them contact me. If they email me with their phone number and request me to do so, I'll call them.

No one should have to endure physical abuse at the hands of another, LDS or not.

- Bro Jo

Dear Bro Jo,

There is no need to worry on that one, After Bekka went to bed tonight I told my parents everything I found out, They are going to the school tomorrow to talk to Bekka's head of year and the school Police officer - My mum is brutal when it come to talking to teachers, it’s like they have no choice but to listen, take her seriously and actually do something about it. --- The problem is if Bekka refuses to talk to the police they cannot do anything about it.

- Sister

Dear Sister,

Well . . . sort of. A victim need not necessarily testify in the case of an assault. Again, this can depend on where you are . . .

I think confiding in your parents was a Very Good Idea - sounds like your mom will be a big help.

I hope your sister speaks up on her behalf.

Either way, I think you should take her for a treat and a walk.

She's lucky to have a sister like you.

- Bro Jo

PS - Keep me posted, will you, please?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

What is Love?

Dear Bro Jo,

I've recently been on about three or four dates with this RM named Mike. I enjoy talking to Mike and spending time with him. He has a unique and quirky personality. I feel comfortable with him. In fact, so comfortable, that we cuddled on the first date, held hands on the second, and he tried to kiss me on the third.

My roommates think this is all very fast.

Is it?

I'm not really sure if I want to be exclusive with him, which is why I didn't want to be kissed. I can't picture myself being 100% happy that he's my boyfriend. At this point I can't see myself marrying him. I can't see him really getting along with my family.
Is it too premature to be thinking so far ahead?

I told Mike that I did like him and enjoyed spending time with him, but that I wasn't ready to be exclusive yet. I want to get to know him more.

I'm not super excited whenever I see him. No butterflies, no racing heat, natta. I'm not anxious when he's away, nor do I wonder how his day has been.
It seems as if I don't care. I feel heartless and confused. He's an amazing guy. Why don't I feel anything?

I feel overwhelmed with guilt and stress in trying to figure this all out. Yes, I love the physical and the cuddling. I'm starting to wonder if maybe that's all I like.
What do I do now that I've strung this guy along? Is there any hope that my feelings will change? Should we stop all the physical stuff?

All of this worrying is starting to negatively affect my schoolwork. I need to get this sorted out.

--Near NCMO

Dear Near,

Have you ever heard the adage "men fall in love with women they're attracted to, and women become attracted to the men they love"?

I think it's true on many levels. I think you've written before about spending time with men and being a little physical with them even though you don't find them attractive or exciting . . . (if it wasn't you, it sure could have been.)

As I see it, there are two issues here:

1) You expect that the man you end up with is going to . . . trying to be polite here: rev your engine all the time. That's going to be a serious problem. Even if you fall in love with (note that I said "with') a guy who gets the "heat racing", that won't necessarily last. We all get older, we all get fatter, we all get balder. Just like it does with girls, the physical stuff fades for guys, too. Too many people, ESPECIALLY LDS YSAs have this misguided notion that one day someone who's so chiseled, so beautiful, is going to fling open their apartment door, lit by the rays of heaven, and announce "I am here to woo you, oh object of my every desire!"

Get real! Love doesn't work that way. LIFE doesn't work that way.

You like this guy, you like spending time with him, and you want to get to know him better, so do! Maybe you'll gain passionate feelings, maybe you won't, but while I agree that passion is wonderful, and I do think every marriage needs at least a little, Eternal Companionship does not require desire. Ultimately sex is an expression of love, not lust, regardless of what Hollywood thinks.

2) The second problem is a little deeper, and frankly scares me a little. If we only had the first issue I'd say "aw, heck, kiss the guy, and if you like it, kiss him again!", but you're doing something that throws flags for me: it sounds like (again) you like the physical stuff, and want to cuddle and hold his hand and blah blah blah, but you really don't even like this guy. All of the "he's a this" and "he's a that" sounds like excuses to make out, even though you haven't. "He's a great guy Bro Jo, and I love being touched, and even though I don't like him he IS nice, so I let him touch me." (Maybe that's what your roommates are talking about; although in general I don't think you're moving too fast for a college age woman; perhaps it's just too fast . . . for you.)

I don't know, something's going on here with you. If he's such a great guy, and you like being cuddled by him, how can it possibly be that you don't feel anything?!? It's like, I don't know, you're getting in the way of you being happy . . . and that has GOT to get resolved or yours will be a very lonely life.

I wonder, do you think maybe you're expecting more out of a relationship than is real? Is it possible that you're afraid to be happy? Are you too self involved?

Love isn't about you being excited, it's about wanting to excite the person you love.

You know, the Spirit doesn't feel like a "burning" for everyone; some people never, and some people only a few times in a lifetime.  Love can be like that, too.

If you're honestly not attracted to him, do him a favor and cut him loose. But before you do, you might want to take a good look in the mirror and ask if your expectations of what love and attraction feel like are unrealistic. You kind of sound like "Ann of Avonlea" (might want to go watch that this weekend).

- Bro Jo

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

How Far Can You Go If Things Are Serious?

Dear Bro. Jo,

I'm in a serious relationship with a worthy return missionary and we have plans to get married. We're not engaged YET, but we've had all the suggested pre-engagement discussions and whatnot and it is inevitable.

I was told once that I should not even engage in French kissing with anyone until marriage. I have not followed this rule with my boyfriend, and I do admit that I've perhaps even done a little more than that. I don't regret or feel badly about any of it, because I know that we really love each other. I also know that it won't go anywhere that could potentially prevent us from going to the temple when the time is right. So, I ask you- are the guidelines such as no French kissing, necking, petting, etc. simply there for younger people in less serious relationships? Or are they really things that should be completely avoided until marriage? My boyfriend and I both have strong resolves not to "go all the way" until marriage- because we both care about each other and want to be a forever family.

When I French kiss or "neck" him, I never feel the urge to go any farther- and therefore don't see the wrong in doing so. Should I feel badly for engaging in the activity I already have? Should I stop and wait until we are married?



Dear Inquisitive,

No, those guidelines are not just there for the young.

The problem is that you don't know. You hope. You trust. Those are both good, but you don't Know.

For all of your resolve there are even greater forces wanting you NOT to get married in the temple. But worse than that, you're playing with the line and justifying your actions. What's going to happen once he does propose? Are you going to say that everything shy of intercourse is okay?

Let me tell you now, as the father of seven children and one who (I'm hoping) is more sexually experienced than you or your boyfriend, the further you go the more difficult it is to stop. Let's face it, the physical stuff feels GREAT! (That's why you have no regrets, why you don't feel bad.) But just because something feels good, doesn't mean that it's appropriate.

Look at it this way: what if he doesn't propose? I know, I know, you're all positive and stuff. Blah, blah, blah. But, just for the sake of argument, what if it doesn't work out? Do you really want to have to tell the next guy how far you went with the man that's not your husband?

I have no problem with two adults who are in a committed relationship passionately kissing, and I'm not so old and naive that I don't realize more goes on. What I'm telling you is that your attitude is dangerous. Please understand, Satan does not want the two of you to get Sealed for Time and All Eternity in the Temple. The closer that gets, the closer he's going to encourage the two of you to get. I often tell couples that once they get engaged they should spend most of their time chaperoned lest the romance of the engagement lead to sexual temptation.

The "little more than that" you're doing is not okay; knock it off.

You don't have to feel bad, but you should definitely stop. You may not want things to go farther, but guys are more physically charged than girls; if you love the man do him a favor and stop revving his engine.

- Bro Jo

Monday, January 17, 2011

Backed into a Corner

Dear Bro Jo,

Sorry to bother you again so soon but I have another question which I am hoping you will be able to answer.

I am sixteen and have been enjoying reading your blog every couple of days!

I was just wondering if you could tell me your opinion and if there is anything I can do. There is a young man in my ward who is almost 17. Recently my friends were of the opinion that he liked me, and that he might even ask me on a date. But last week one of my friends at church asked this boy who he liked and he said no-one. When me and my friends found this out later we were a little confused as we thought he liked me and I was eagerly anticipating the possibility of a first date. He is a nice guy, a gentleman and a worthy priesthood holder. We sometimes talk at church and activities and once he had said that he should take me ballroom dancing sometime. I had kept an eye out for anything that meant he might likely and so did my friends. But now I am not so sure.

Is there anything I can do? Or do I just need to sit back and pray that one day I will be asked on a date?


- Hoping

Dear Hoping,

What did you expect him to say?!?

"Yes! I love that girl over there! She has beautiful eyes and I want to buy her flowers every day!!!"

Come on! Even if he does like you, and he probably does, no guy is going to put himself out there . . . unless he's uncommonly confident, or creepy. Once he does that it's like saying he wants to be your boyfriend, and if he has any brains at all he'll avoid that trap like a fox during hound season. You've backed him into a corner, and no one likes that. Plus, at 17 he should be Casual Group Dating. That includes you, your friend, that girl over there, and several others.

That doesn't mean you have to sit back and do nothing.

Be friendly. Flirt. Be talkative. All that girl stuff that let's a guy know that if he asks you on a Casual Group Date you're going to say yes.

And don't date just him, either.

- Bro Jo

PS: Thanks for reading!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Sowing LDS Pre-Mi Oats

Dear Bro Jo,

I was reading the discussion board on your facebook page, and I just want to ask a little more about "the game"...

I met a guy recently who asked for my number, and we got along extremely well, and all was going great. We'd message each other, he was there for me during some rough patches (I've just moved away to University) and he'd tell me I was beautiful and amazing etc. Then he started going a bit silent, and I was putting in all the effort, initiating conversation and everything. We'd be texting back and forth, but if he didn't want to reply to something specific I'd said, he'd just stop. Completely ignore me until the next time conversation sparked up, maybe a day or two after.

I was trying to be 'forward', saying "you're going to take me on a date, right?" (Which, by the way, HE had suggested FIRST, but had never followed through on) and now I think I've scared him off. I asked him about a party he was having, and he said he didn't want me to come and be disappointed because he's not as amazing as i think he is. Also, he said that when he'd realized how great I was, he remembered he'd be going on a mission next year and couldn't date me seriously. So what, don't date me at all? I'm just completely confused as to his intentions and his honesty. I want to believe him, but it's all highly convenient.

As it happens, I did go to his party (3 hours' drive away) and 95% of his guests were girls, many of whom obviously 'like' him. He talks the way he talked with me to many girls, yet it seems like I'm the only one who's completely hung up about him and not getting anywhere. He asks other girls on dates. His best friend was at his party, and said "Oh, so you're Emily." All I said back was "yes," but I in my head I was thinking 'is the fact that he knows me a good or a bad thing?!'

Have I just got an unhealthy outlook on dating/flirting? Am I going about things the wrong way? It started out so great! Is he playing a game? I'M GOING CRAZY, HERE! :S

- Crazy

Dear Crazy,

Is this the same guy you wrote me about 10 days ago? Where you said you "feel pathetic and obsessive. I'm checking his facebook page every 5 minutes, my phone every 5 seconds. I'm in absolute despair that he's offering to take other girls out on dates when he once promised me the same thing and it never happened"

- Bro Jo

Bro Jo,

Yeah, it is. I felt slightly less pathetic when I explained myself a bit more.

- Crazy

Dear Crazy,

Fair enough.

I don't know that you did anything to scare him off . . . that is until you drove three hours to attend a party that you weren't invited to. Yikes!

You mentioned before that he's less than a year out from serving a mission, it sounds to me like he's sowing some latter-day oats (that's where a pre-mi goes around dating / kissing / flirting as much as possible, often trying to line up as many mission-letter-writers as he can before he goes) and you've gotten swept up in it.

The comment from the room-mate in conjunction with the non-invite implies that the boy didn't want you to know what he's doing, perhaps because he thinks you're special, or perhaps because he just flat out didn't want you to know what a weasel his other face is. It's not "good or bad", but it is a warning. Clearly, though, you need to perform a little preemptive surgery; it doesn't sound to me like this guy is a great as you thought, or as interested in you as you thought. They can't all be gems.

Besides, he's leaving soon and you should be focusing on guys that are available. Let him sow his oats, just don't be one of them.

- Bro Jo

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Asking a Guy Out

Dear Bro Jo,

I am a sixteen-year-old. I have a friend in my ward, who is not sixteen for a couple of months. I was thinking of asking him to a dance at my high school, (which he does not attend). Is it weird for me to ask him out before he asks me out? We would be in a group of friends. I am not sure if he will ask me out before the dance. The dance is 3 months after his birthday. So we are both sixteen by the time I would ask him out.


A Sister confused about dances.

Dear Sister,

No, don't ask him. Make it a policy to NEVER ask guys out unless it's a special girl-ask-guy event where all the girls are doing the asking (and even then you should limit yourself, whenever possible, to asking a guy that's already taken you out).

Get him to ask you.

- Bro Jo

All right. It is just a special occasion because I might be moving out of state at the end of the year. It is a girl ask guy dance though.

- Sister

Dear Sister,

If it's a girl-ask-guy dance that's okay, but don't expect "I might be moving" to be something I'd accept as an excuse to ask him on a regular date. I've written it a thousand times: the best way to drive a Good Guy away is to over pursue him. It makes him think you have no value, can be emasculating, and also (frankly) can be scary.

Have fun at the dance!

- Bro Jo

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

When Push Comes to Shove

Dear Bro Jo,

I have been reading your blog and I think that your idea of guy can only ask girl on a date is a little old fashioned. Quite frankly, if it wasn't for me asking most of the time I wouldn't have any. Could it be I'm not giving them a chance?

Possibly, but we're usually friends before I ask and it always seemed like I needed to give them a shove in the right direction. Anyway, what do you think I should do? I have a really say, different personality and I'm afraid that many people get the wrong impression when they see me and are around me.

Not to mention I act really strangely around cute guys, because I'm nervous which really is quite a bother. So I tend to ask people to dance and such because I don't think they would otherwise and then since I'm also very awkward, I usually do something wrong.

One more thing, I live in a very small branch with no guys my age so if I get to go to stake dance it's rather rare.

Sincerely, Strangely Awkward

Dear Awkward,

I'm not entirely certain what you're asking my help with . . .

I don't see what having boys your age in your branch has to with stake dance attendance; if you want to meet more LDS boys your age and getting from your branch to where they're held, try getting a group together from your are to go (Church dances aren't just for members you know). You could also host a dance in your area; heck, make it a tri-stake dance and invite everyone!

I'm not sure what you mean when you describe yourself as having a "weird personality", but I can tell you that most young people feel awkward and fear doing something dumb around the opposite sex. It's actually quite normal.

The only thing "wrong" you seem to be doing is doing all the asking for dances and dates. (You don't mention if they're Casual Group Dates, but I hope they are.) It may be "old fashioned" (remind me to debate that term some day), but there are some pretty important reasons why guys should do the asking (and the calling and the pursuing). I've written about those reasons a lot, but suffice it to say that Good Guys are turned off by socially aggressive girls. It's emasculating and gives the guy the impression that the girl doing the pursuing isn't herself worth being chased.

There are of course, guys who like girls to be aggressive; they're either the kind of guy that doesn't want to put forth any effort, or the kind of guy that plans on taking advantage.  Either way, the aggressive girls come off as . . . well, "easy" (or, as I said, at the very least as not having much value).

So my advice is for girls to encourage guys to play the traditional, "old fashioned" role. No matter how weird or awkward that girl may be.  Show the boys around you that you do have value and if they're Good Guys (and Smart Guys) they'll ask you out.

- Bro Jo

Friday, January 7, 2011

Should you tell a future spouse if you've had sex?

Dear Bro Jo,

Okay, so I don't really know how I can put this so I might aswell just be blunt and say it (trust me I'm cringing while I write this). I had sex. I went to my bishop about it a few weeks ago. Before you say it, I know how bad it is, what a bad person I am etc. It's seriously ruined my life and not a day goes by where I don't wish I didn't do it. Anyway, it's been playing on my mind a lot recently, and I just wondered, would the fact that I'd had sex be something that I would have to/should tell my future husband? I just feel so unworthy to marry anyone at all, do you think guys will think the same?

Thanks xox

Dear Little Sister,

By virtue of being a child of God you're a good person; you did something you shouldn't have, you recognize that, and are going through a repentance process, and that's good too. Whether or not sin ruins our lives has a lot to do with what we do about it. Remorse is part of repentance. Remember, the Lord says he won't remember the sin any more, not that we'll forget it. The notion that you'll know you've repented because you won't remember what you've done is a Church myth, not doctrine in any way. It's remorse that helps to keep us from sinning like that again.

Your life isn't ruined. It may feel that way for a while, and that's okay. It IS different, though.

No, you shouldn't have, and now the way you feel is helping you understand why.

Discussing the mistakes we've made in our past needs to be part of the courting process. A potential spouse has the right to know what they're getting, especially if past events effect who we are and how we view life. A future husband, or wife, has the right to know if they're not the first person you've had sex with. (And they have the right to know how many partners, how often, as well as just how far you have gone and with whom - even if it wasn't all the way to sex .)

That doesn't mean you have to wear a scarlet letter or tell everyone you meet or every guy you date. Not at all. In fact, I don't think it should even come up until you're at the point in a relationship where you've started sharing all of your hopes, dreams and secrets. (In "Bro Jo's Guide to Relationships"   I talk about how we don't get to this step until right before we're engaged, which is Level 9 in the "Levels of a Relationship".) Until then, keep it between you, the Bishop, the Lord, and perhaps one or two intimate friends and parents as the Spirit dictates. There's no need for the world to know about your past indiscretions, and that includes your future children.

Dates, especially the first few, are NOT confessionals.

When it finally does come up, could that scare a guy off?

Yeah, it might. You have no control over that, and that's part of why you'll want to save the information until you're in a Serious Relationship. If a guy really is in love with you, if he really does want to marry you, if he really has a testimony of repentance, then he will likely still marry you. It might bother him, and that's fair. You should expect that. But better to start a marriage being open than to keep something this big of a deal a secret.

Share this information with a guy you just started dating and he'll be either be much less likely to stick around or he'll think you're telling him because you'd like to sin again, and you don't want to be thought of in that way.

If the person you're engaged to regards it as very important that they marry a virgin (and there's nothing wrong with that as a criteria) then you may not be the right person for them. Sad . . . but fair.

You're not temple worthy right now, but you can fix that.

And you should.

And you are.

Keep the faith, and keep pressing forward,

- Bro Jo

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

How to Handle Drama and Deception While Keeping Your Friends

Dear Bro Jo,

I have a question concerning something that happened with my friend.

Today my brother proposed to his girlfriend, and is now engaged. I texted a few of my clothes friends to let them know because that's kind of big news. One of my absolute closest friends texted me back saying "-name withheld- (my brothers now fiancé) is an idiot”.

I thought she was saying this because my brother and fiancé are only twenty, and my friend is against getting married young. She is always talking about how people who get married young are stupid and how it makes her sick, etc. (I don't necessarily agree, but that's her opinion so I usually respect it). So I responded "even f that's true you don't even know her. You're just prejudice against anyone that get married young. You know some of them do actually know what they are doing better than people a lot older than them." I wasn't trying to be inflammatory, but admittedly I was a bit offended she had called my friend and future sister-in- law an idiot. I tried to just blow it off though.

Then she sent me this "It's not about being too young, would you marry someone like that? Because I thought you had higher standards for your eternal happiness than that." I was shocked because I wasn't expecting that at all. I didn't want to cause drama, but my brother is my family and I was going to stick up for him so I replied "ya I would marry someone like my brother." and left it at that, and my friend hasn't responded. I was very hurt by what she said. He's my brother. If she had said something about me, fine, but not my brother.

I have stuck up for her family so many times, and just can't believe she would say that. I would never have done that to her.

My friend has many amazing qualities, but one thing that I've had to overlook to be her friend is that she can be very judgmental of people. In some ways she has lived a very charmed life. (ex: once during a church lesson we were talking about trials and our teacher asked her "what are some of your trials." she responded "I don't have any. I guess I'm just very blessed.").

She sees everything in black and white, and in all our years of friendship I have never heard her say she was wrong. Which is part of my dilemma. I don't know how to react to this because I don't want to cause drama, but at the same time I am not going to let her talk about my family like that. I doubt she thinks she has done anything wrong, and I just don't know how to react to what she did without making things worse. I don't want to lose my best friend, and am not the kind of person to throw away a friendship over one thing, but at the same time if she can't apologize for insulting my family as while as attacking my standards, I don't know if that's someone I want as a friend. I don't want to lose my friend, but I also won't be another person's door mat.

What should I do? (oh ya we are kinda a pair of three. Me, her, and another girl are all best friends, and I don't want my other friend to feel like she has to be in the middle. I also am friends with this girls whole family (they are in many ways like a second family to me), and I don't want to lose that either.)

Please help me do the right thing. I just want to do the right thing.

- Worried

Dear Worried,

If you don't want to lose your friend you do the only thing you can do: let it go.

- Bro Jo

Monday, January 3, 2011

Age Differences: 18 and 27

Dear Bro Jo,

I turned 18 in July. I have finished my freshman year of college (I started college early), and I'll be moving out in two months. When I was attending college, I dated quite a bit. I went out with several returned missionaries. They were great, and I always had fun. I've dated guys that are between 21-25. I've always been mature and I was going to school and acting like an adult, so it didn't feel weird or unnatural. In fact, I find it easier to talk to people older than I am, rather than people my age.

Now, a few weeks ago I met a great guy while spending the day in a town about 100 mi away. We spent a day together with some other friends. It was super fun, and the next weekend he made a 2 hour drive to come up and take me on a date. It was awesome. We get along great. We both have strong testimonies. He served a mission. We both love our families. No pressure; we just got to know each other better. We've had some long phone conversations, but not all the time.

So what's the big deal? Well. He's 27. It doesn't really bother me that he's older than I am, but he's graduated from college and is looking into a career and marriage. I'm a sophomore in college, and still a bit inexperienced. Do you see a potential problem? Right now, we're very open with our friendship. Neither of us wants to rush into any relationship, but we have talked about possibly moving into a more serious relationship eventually. I feel good about it, but the age difference is on my mind. What are your thoughts?


- Eighteen

Dear Eighteen,

Well . . . let me start by asking you "why is the age difference on your mind?"

- Bro Jo

Dear Bro Jo,

Because I think we might be at different stages of life, and my mom thinks it's weird. And he's done a lot of stuff. He's visited many countries, speaks a few languages, has a Master's etc. I find that fact a little intimidating, even though his personality isn't intimidating at all.

Dear Eighteen,

Have you kissed him?

- Bro Jo

Dear Bro Jo,

Nope. I don't kiss on first dates. And not on second dates. Or third dates. I call it my "No Party Favors Policy". :) On our date, he put his arm around me and we kind of held hands for a minute. Mostly because we were outside watching our friend run a race and it was freezing cold.

And I gave him a hug at the end of the date. That was it.

- Eighteen

Dear Bro Jo,

Not to put you on the spot, but it does help to clarify some things. (Nice policy, by the way.)

See, I'm not sure that you're at the point of concern yet. (I might need some clarification on your "first date"; so, essentially, your first date with this guy was going to watch a friend race, during which you held hands a little and hugged at the end of the date; is that right? And did he drive up to take you on a date, or two see your friend race and thought it might be fun to take you along? Was it his friend or yours? I can't picture an 18-year old and 29-year old having many mutual friends . . . Did he buy you something to eat? Did you do anything else? Was it a date or flirting with an older guy that took you to an event?)

It doesn't seem to me like the two of you are "courting", or necessarily even "dating". You mentioned that you're not serious at this point, and other that some verbalized curiosity, I'm not sure if you will be. You're young, he lives far away. . . maybe . . . but maybe not.

More to your question: if something does materialize, do I think the nine years is a problem?

Not to be noncommittal, but I see it as something that could possibly be a problem, but isn't yet. (Does that make sense?) Nine years at your age IS a big leap. Like you said, the two of you have very different life experiences.

Can it work? Sure. But the dude graduated high school when you were in the 4th grade; you're barely an adult and he's been one for ten years. that's got to effect how much the two of you do (or don't) have in common; what you have to talk about. When it comes to life experience, unless he's phenomenally immature (perhaps that's something your mom sees), then it will be very difficult for the two of you to relate. I know, I know, you're extra-mature and he's youthful, but still . . .

I think you're right to be cautious at this point. Remember, you're the one that said that the age difference is on your mind; that means on some level you're a little concerned, and I think that's wise. Take it slow. Keep dating other people. Let's see what happens.

Like I said, it IS a big gap given your current ages, but let's wait and see. It just seems really early to tell if it's an issue.

I'm not saying "don't", I'm saying "it's unlikely" and "be aware".

Keep me posted,

- Bro Jo

Dear Bro Jo,

Thanks, that does help!

A couple things I wasn't clear on (sorry about that): His cousin is one of my good friends- we met through her-I went down with her when she visited family. Then, we watched her race when he came up. It was one of a few other things we did, including him taking me to lunch. It was a date, but we did spend some time hanging out with his cousin/my friend. He did drive up to take me out.

We're definitely not courting. We've talked about how we'd be fine with going on dates with other people. Maybe nothing will come of it, but I hope something does. He's a very wonderful guy. Even if it never comes to marriage (which it may not), I'd love to date him just to learn and get to know someone awesome.

If it does materialize, I don't see any problems. I met his family and love them. He met most of my family. I'm close friends with his cousin, who thinks the world of both of us. The problem I see is if we get married and he dies and I'm left alone for years. I mean, I'm fairly independent. I've been working since I was 15. I bought my own car. I worked my tail off to get a 4.0 so I could get a scholarship and avoid debt. I'm smart, and I can see the Big Picture. So immediate logistic problems? Nothing big.

I think what you mentioned is what may be bugging me. Simply that we've had different life experience. And he's for sure youthful- not immature. But simply the fact that I'm trying to find ways to make it feel totally normal for us to date, is a flag for me. So I'm being careful.

Thanks for the thoughts and advice. I really appreciate it. Slow is the way to go.


Dear Eighteen,

If you'll let me add a note: don't make marriage decisions based on life expectancy. Ultimately the time we have here is not only finite, it's just a blink in the grand eternal perspective. Being sealed for Time and All Eternity to a wonderful person whom you love and who loves you is worth doing even if your time together here is only one day.

Few people want to grow old alone, but there's no way to predict how much time on this planet two people will have together. Plan for eternity, and let life happen.

- Bro Jo

Dear Bro Jo,

Haha, I guess I should think of it more that way. I like to think that I'm a Big Picture person, but I guess I wasn't thinking quite big enough. Well, thanks for the thoughts. You're a great help.