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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Dating Questions

Dear Bro Jo,

I have two questions.

The first is more of an actual situation.

I like this guy in my ward. He's a good guy , nice etc. And I've been on a couple of group dates with him.

But I've known him for so long that I find it hard to think of things to keep the conversation going. I had a look at your list of things to talk about on a date but most of that stuff I already know.

So I was wondering if you had any suggestions.

The second question is more general.

I don't know if you have the answer but I figured I may as well try.

I want to know how to change my mentality about things.

It seems to me that I always know the rules. I know what I should be thinking or feeling but then something happens and I get jealous or cranky or something.

I suppose it's a tendency to think of situations as the world would think of them. Like wishing I could just have a boyfriend or wishing that the guy I like would stop flirting with my friend and her sister as well. So is there a way to change the way I think?

Cause I can easily tell myself that I should just be group dating so it doesn't matter, but that doesn't stop me from feeling as though something should be happening.

Any ideas?


Over Being Seventeen

Dear 17,

Once you know all of the trivia stuff, what's left are deeper, more meaningful conversations.

You find out each other's opinions about stuff. Current events, politics, conference talks, people you know, things you've learned are all never ending topics of conversation.

You can talk about goals and plans and hope and dreams.

Of course all of that may be much deeper than a 17-year old wants to go. That's also part of why you're supposed to be dating lots of different people at this point in your life.

As for your second issue, and please understand that this comes from a logical kind of a guy, what you need to change is not your brain, but your heart.

Nothing is wrong with having thoughts and feelings, but if you want to align your life more with that of the Savior (and I'm not saying you need to, only commenting because of your expressed concern) then you need to do those things which He would have you do. 

And you know what the Sister Jo answer to that is, right?


- Bro Jo

Dear Bro Jo,

Thanks for that.

Sorry to be a bother but when you said about dating lots of different people that reminded me of another question I had.

I live in an area where our ward and stake boundaries are quite geographically large. Which means that the people my age are spread out and a lot of them I only know by face or name.

In my ward there are about 3 active priests. And that is matched by 3 active laurels.

So when we had our priests and laurels ball the four of us who were available went as couples together and we have been to a few other things as kind of double dates.

One guy does most of the organizing and other than the ball nothing has been officially labeled as dates.

The thing is if it wasn't for these two guys I wouldn't be dating at all. I know of some people in our stake who go on actual group dates but most of the guys who would do the asking are either now in YSA or are people who I've never spoken to.

I don't know how I'm meant to date lots of people when no one is dating?

How can I go on three dates and then stop when there is no one to date in between?

Am I meant to start saying no just on the principle that I should be meeting new people?

Or just enjoy the fact that I can date at all?

As for that second question - I think that was exactly what I needed to hear.

It really touched me and made me want to stop thinking and start doing.

So thanks again!

- 17

Dear 17,

A lot of my readers your age will say that you should be grateful that you're dating at all . . .

And they're right.

Some of them would point out to you that anytime you go out with kids your age in even numbers, especially if the guy plans, picks up, and pays (but not necessarily), where people are paired off (but again, not necessarily) it's a date, whether you call it that or not.

And they'd be right, too.

But let me add this: Casual Group Dating need not be limited to only members of the Church.

(I commend the two young men in your stake that are taking the initiative!)

All that needs to happen is that the Dating Rules be followed. Expand your dating pool! 

Plus, think about it: with two guys and two girls, all you have to do to keep it casual is to switch who's going out with whom every other month. (See "Bro Jo's Guide to Casual Group Dating").

It's as simple as that. Relax and have fun!

- Bro Jo

Dear Bro Jo,

Okay that's a comfort :)

I just wanted to check it wasn't inappropriate.

Thanks so much!

 ~ 17

Dear 17,


- Bro Jo


Anonymous said...

I totally relate to the first question! Bro Jo, what about in the context of a dance? I have a couple guys in my ward who I've known for many years and I pretty much know everything that is customarily asked about during a three minute song. Three minutes is kind of brief for deep ideas though too. Are there any intermediate topics easier to discuss during a short dance? Being 17 can create some tricky situations, it's true.

Dave Johnston said...

Hi, Mac!

At that point I think you go topical:

- talk about the dance / DJ / music
- talk about what's in the news in the last couple days
- talk about what's happening locally or at school
- talk about upcoming events (elections, sports, concerts, movies, shows, parties)
- get updates on the things you already know (classes, family, missionaries, stuff going on at school)
- talk about current media (songs, movies, TV shows, internet, books)
- ask opinions on what's going on in the world around you on . . . well, anything!

Go into dances and dates prepared to be interesting!

- Bro Jo

Anonymous said...

Awesome, those are some great suggestions! I've tried the first one before and mentioning the song is a good way to start, but after that I think your other ideas are a great way to continue.