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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

When All the Girls Around You Seem to Be "Waiting" Instead of Dating the RMs that are Already Home

[Dear Readers,

The comment below was originally made on September 17th, 2012, as part of the "Waiting for a Missionary" post from May, 2009.

I had told the writer I would respond the following week, and my response got missed for a series we were running.

The writer mentioned it again as a comment on the post from Friday, February 8, 2013, "Is Waiting a Waste?".

So, finally getting around to it, the comment and my response is below.


- Bro Jo]

Dear Bro Jo,

Thanks for writing about this issue.

I just found this blog today and this is the only thread I've read so forgive me if you've covered my concern elsewhere.

As I read the comments on this thread, I didn't see anything specific that touches the side of the Return Missionaries, that didn't have an MG, and who struggle with dating because girls will shun us off because they're waiting for "their missionary".

You made comments about "hidden motives" and so I'll specify that I do fall in this boat of RM's.

It's frustrating to like a girl and date her only for her to cut it short because she has a missionary. I read comments about girls saying that they'll date other guys because it'll make their love for their missionary stronger, but that's very inconsiderate to the RM.

Sure, the girl admires the missionary for being one, great, but I was one too!

I gave two years of my life to the Lord. Now that I'm back in the dating scene looking to date His daughters and find my eternal companion, it's very disappointing to have girls cut me short because they have missionaries.

They'll give me a date or two, but no more than that. I feel that they really don't give me a chance; it's as if they see me as "the bad guy I'm the scene that is out to ruin her relationship with her 'one and only'."

I understand that, as a guy, I have it easier to initiate dates with a girl because I do the asking.

I also understand that there are many girls out there who are available and are not waiting for a missionary.

At the same time, I don't know ahead of time whether or not a girl has a missionary. I've been interested in several MG girls and it hurts.

People will say "man up and find someone else." I try to move on, but I just wish that girls wouldn't wait for missionaries so that they could be available for the great guys around them.

We RM's already served. Some of us are jerks/players/bad/etc., but many more of us really want to do what's right and be a quality boyfriend and husband for our Heavenly Father's daughters....please give us a real chance.

I agree that no mission president wants missionaries to have girls waiting for them.

To go with that I feel that, if Heavenly Father unconditionally wanted a particular guy and girl to marry for a specific purpose, then He would have made it so that the girl met the guy as an RM. That way he would serve a faithful mission undistracted and she would grow and prepare better for marriage by dating in her prime years like he's supposed to.

Sorry for the long message. I look forward to hearing any input from you that addresses this issue from the RM guy’s perspective.

- JA

Dear JA,

I totally agree that Girls shouldn't wait . . . and neither should guys, for that matter.

And by “waiting” (lest the torrents of the obsessed begin again) I don’t mean “writing supportive letters and sending the occasional care package”, I’m talking about those people who act like they’re married, who stay at home, refuse to be open to other romantic possibilities, and might as well wear black armbands for all the Mourning Their Lost Love that they do.

In that I think you and I are on the exact same page.

(At least if they wore the armbands it would be easier for you to spot them instead of spending your Dinner and a Movie Money on “somebody else’s wife”, right?)

I also think you make an excellent point about "if she was meant to marry him, they'd have met later so she wouldn't have to wait".

But after that is where you and I part ways. I’m sorry, but there are just too many great, unattached, possible eternal companions out there for me to tolerate all of the whining.

We Old People have no idea how someone can go to the Big Box Store of LDS YSA Dating and not find someone to marry – it’s ridiculous! When we squeeze you for more information we invariably learn that it’s not that there isn't ANYONE, it’s that you have a particular person in mind, whether you've met them or imagined them (both are just as likely) and things just haven’t worked out the way you wanted them to.

I feel for you, I really do, but while you’re crying in your cocoa you’re missing dating lots of great people!

I've been brokenhearted. I've “loved and lost”. A lot.

But eventually I found someone.

And, frankly, it took a lot of effort. (And being married takes a lot of effort, too. Just ask Sister Jo, she’ll say the same thing.)

So while I feel your pain, and share your frustrations, I also don’t see any point in trying to convince a girl that she’s given her heart to the wrong guy. Seriously, who wants to marry someone that’s in love with someone else?

Maybe that needs to be the new opening line y’all use at the Y.

“Hi, I’m considering asking you out on a date . . . no pressure, just a lot of fun and a chance for us to get to know each other better. I’m a pretty honest guy, and I respect honesty; so let me just ask right now, are you ‘waiting’ for some other guy? Because, as great as you seem to be, I don’t have time or money to waste.”

What do you think?

As you ponder that, let me add this:

Love is the reward of the courageous; loneliness the territory of the whiny and negative.

Chin up, Amigo!

It will get better.

- Bro Jo

[And for you Sisters Reading this, he's totally right, you are making serious mistakes not giving these RMs an honest chance. - Bro Jo]


Anonymous said...

I fell like girls can never win here. Either we get a bad rep for not wanting to date pre missionaries and then if a girl dear johns a guy we get hated on too. THEN if we try to wait for our missionary we get hated on. If we get married young everyone judges us but we HAVE to be available for every guy who wants to date us. So pretty much we can't win. I am not a prize to be won, I am a human being who has emotions and feelings and who is living in a really complex world with complex emotions and all I ever do is get critiqued by chauvinistic men in the church who get mad if I wear a skirt that is too short but won't talk to me if I wear a skirt that is too long. It is ridiculous. And for the record just because a girl is "waiting" for a missionary doesn't mean you can't still try to win her over. I had a missionary at one point but I ended up writing him off and marrying someone else. Why? Because my husband was willing to fight for what he wanted and put effort into things. A lot of girls just use "missionaries" as an excuse to get out of dating someone they aren't interested in anyway. We are not items on a convenience store shelf so treat us like human beings and learn how to treat us right so we actually want to date you.

Dave Johnston said...

Hang on, Anon.

If by “here” you mean “life”, then you’re right: in this Great Big World there’s always going to be someone that disagrees with our actions or point of view, even in the Church. People are varied.

That we just have to learn to live with.

The Gospel and The Lord are Consistent. That we just need to live to learn.

But if by “here” you mean this column, I’m sorry but you’re mistaken.

1. I see no problem with dating before a mission; in fact I highly recommend it.

2. I have consistently said that missionaries become better and more focused once they cease to be dreaming of the “special friend” back home, so you won’t find me hating the “dear john” writer.

3. I don’t hate people who choose to “wait”; I just think it’s ill advised.

4. I’m not sure what you mean by “getting married young”, but I don’t think 19 is too young for a girl or 21 too young for a guy . . . so long as they’re prepared and making a wise decision.

5. I don’t know of anyone who says “instead of being happily married at 21 you should have stayed single so you can date all these other guys”; anyone who says that is, IMHO, being dumb.

6. As a son, husband, father, and All Around Good Guy, I've never considered a woman “a prize to be won”; and, Believe Me, I’m acutely aware of female emotions and feelings!

I’m honestly not sure what has you all worked up . . . perhaps it helps to vent here, and you’re always welcome to do so, but you’ll need to anticipate my honest response.

Including: no one should dress immodestly, and as a married woman I find it troubling that you’re concerned with wearing skirts long enough that other people check you out.

And: I applaud your encouragement that Young Men fight for the woman they love, and your husband’s courage to do so.

Further: I think what you said about treating women well so that they’ll want to date you is something many, many young men need to learn.

Life can be pretty tough; I invite you to take a deep breath, and realize that whatever is making you so frustrated and angry isn't that big of a deal. Let us Be Grateful for all that we have; let us ignore the unrighteous critics, embrace the counsel of good people, and give thanks for the love and fellowship we have in our lives.

If people say things that bother us, we need to consider making a change in our lives. If it doesn't bother us, then we need to learn to let it go.

- Bro Jo

Anonymous said...

By here I meant in life. I got a lot of grief from people for dating a pre mission kid I also got a lot of grief for breaking up with him. With regards to my comment about skirt length it wasn't me in particular I was talking about just girls in general and most of the girls I hear that about don't even dress immodestly. I have heard so many guys make rude judgmental remarks about girls dressing immodestly but then the girls who do dress modestly are made fun of for the way they dress. I just feel like no matter what we as women in the church do we will always be doing something wrong and guys will always be complaining. I took a lot of heat for getting married when I did because everyone wanted me to go on a mission but then now that the mission age changed guys are complaining about girls going on missions and how they are losing their dating pool. I just feel frustrated for the female gender that we always have to take the blame. Guys complain if we don't accept dates but then still complain if we go on a date if we aren't interested because it "leading them on" women will never be able to meet the absurd expectation that the church has for them. I was so lucky to meet someone who was the person I needed to marry. But prior to meeting him I felt so frustrated with all of the attitudes and expectations for what I should be doing.

Dave Johnston said...

All of that goes both ways.

Girls are picked on when they shouldn't be.

Guys are picked on when they shouldn't be.

Everyone blames everyone else . . . everyone complains . . .

If it's the SAME people complaining about things like "skirts too long" and skirts too short" . . . well . . . those are just unhappy people that no one can please. Them we dismiss.

But, again, I submit to you that you're allowing hyperbole to bring you down.

Don't you think you're being a bit unfair?

Aren't there lots of people who aren't judgmental?

And isn't some of the criticism valid from time to time?

I mean, sure, we're all judgmental from time to time . . . it's frequent sin of many of us . . .

I guess what I'm trying to say is . . . let it go. Don't let the shortsightedness and negativity of others rule your life.

Perhaps you'd like to borrow my copy of "Pollyanna"?

- Bro Jo

Megan said...

I feel like no matter what someone is going to feel picked on. I talk to guys who complain constantly that the girls they like don't notice them or think of them that way, then I get the girls who complain that guys aren't asking them out.

It doesn't matter. If guys aren't noticing you then they don't matter. If a girl won't notice you, move on. There are many other girls and guys out there to be focused on.

Anonymous said...

My RM brother seriously does go around saying "I don't have time or money to waste" to girls because he wants to seriously date, and the girls he asks write him off, and people who hear that he does that tell him he's being narrowminded. Don't let that stop you, JA! He's a great guy doing what he has to do, and I personally wish a guy would come along other than my bro who says that. The girl who takes you up on it is worth the time and money :)

Anonymous said...

If you go around approaching girls that way, on a first date, then most of them will write you off and call you a creeper, at least at BYU, where you have some of the cream of the crop YSA guys and yet the girls complain that most of them are creepy.

Dave Johnston said...

Who's fault is that?

And what do you think is the solution?

- Bro Jo

PS: I still hold true to the belief that the only difference between a Creeper and a Serious Love Interest is how "hot" you think they are.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes, I feel the youths have been so engrossed in whatever they experience/see in the world today that even you would have immense challenges if you were to date today Bro Jo.

Dave Johnston said...

Of course I would!

Heck, I had a pretty tough time way back then, too!

(Have you read about the time I got dumped twice in like, 12 hours, by the same girl?? Brutal.)

- Bro Jo

Anonymous said...

Dumped twice is nothing, mate. I got dumped on my birthdays.

That's the YSA today.

Dave Johnston said...

That's awful!

I had a girlfriend get together with my buddy (who didn't know we were an item, btw)on one of my birthdays.

We all have horror stories, I suppose!


- Bro Jo

Nancy said...

Hey! I agree with Bro Jo. Man up and keep looking. I'm one of those single sisters not waiting for a missionary that never gets asked out on dates, and I would sure like some practice with the dating world!

Anonymous said...

Perhaps he can try asking out some older sisters in his area. I think they would be less likely be waiting for a missionary

And totally agree with Nancy, there are plenty of girls who would love to be asked out and are not waiting for missionaries

Anonymous said...

It's easy to just drop the "oh it's easy, there are many single girls who don't get asked out" phrase. But where are they? Maybe they're "all around" but it doesn't feel like they welcome date invitations unless it's from a guy that they know in their ward or class. What's the point of having so many single girls around if they make it feel so complicated for guys to ask them out? They go about their day looking creeped out, as if asking them out would be a bother.

Dave Johnston said...

It's easy because . . . it's true.

Widen your circle.

And Be Less Creepy.

- Bro Jo

Rebekah Tiberend said...

Let me tell you- I'm a young, single YSA NOT waiting for a missionary... it seems like guys won't even give me a FIRST chance, let alone the infamous second date. I feel so done with dating and am ready to go and crawl into a cave or something (yes, I know that won't help, but being out in the open, talking to guys, la la la... isn't helping).

Bro Jo said...

Maybe it's time, Rebekah, to put on a little pressure.

Check out:

Bro Jo's "How a Girl Can Get a Guy to Ask Her on a Date"

- Bro Jo

Shayla said...

Amen to the "how hot you think they are" comment... Personally, I appreciate honesty, and an idea of where the other person is coming from. I'm dating because I'm looking for Mr. Right, and so knowing if we're on the same page is fine by me. It doesn't mean we're meant to be, that wedding bells are ringing, just that we're not wasting each other's time.