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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

You Marry Who You Date

Dear Bro Jo,

Okay so I've heard the phrase, "You marry who you date" practically my entire time in young women's but I never really thought much of it.

That is until I recently got in a relationship. (I am 17.)

It seems like everything happened so fast, I liked a boy, he liked me and then BAM we are in a relationship. 

All my friends have been really happy for me and supportive of the relationship which I loved but now I think I'm having second thoughts. This guy he is a really strong Christian but even if things worked then we couldn't get married in the temple because he isn't a member.

My dad was recently converted after 25 years of marriage to my mom but before that it was a strain on my family and I wouldn't ever do that for my future family.

Recently the guy asked me what my life goals were, just out of the blue. Getting sealed is one but I didn't tell him that because I thought that it would make him feel guilty or make things uncomfortable (those are stupid excuses, I was really just being stupid...)

Anyways, relationship-wise everything is going good and not too fast so none of the friends I've talked to see a reason to break it off but like I said, I've been having second thoughts and I don't know what to do.

P.S. Since the first week in our relationship he's been saying "Love ya", "I love you", "Kinda love you", etc. 

He's been my first boyfriend so I didn't know what else to do besides say it back but I had to convince myself that first.

After I got my head back I told him that we shouldn't really say it except very sparsely so it won't become rote, but that didn't change much after two weeks.

Sincerely,

- Confused




Dear Confused,

You know . . . sometimes I believe that people communicate with me about stuff because they need to hear a specific message, even if it's not what they think they want to hear. I'll bet this qualifies as one of those times.

Despite how you feel and what your friends say, I don't think 17-year olds should be in Serious Relationships. There's too much drama, too much pressure, and too much temptation.

Look, I get it. It's comfortable, it's flattering, it's romantic . . . It's exciting . . . And teens tend to pair off. (Including the Jo Kids once in a while.)

But none of that makes it a good idea.

Heck, even in their teens our kids have occasionally dated people that we've thought "wow, wouldn't that be a great marriage match! "

But it's too soon.

Moreover, as I believe the Spirit is testifying to you, regardless of the eventual success of your parents, marrying a non-member is just not a good idea.

Too many struggles.

Marriage is hard enough without that hurdle to overcome.

Can it be done?

Sure.

Is it a good idea?

No.

In fact, the two qualities I want the Jo Girls to find in a husband are :

1. Worthy and active priesthood holder, and

2. Guy who works very hard on good things.

The rest doesn't really matter to me.

Now is the time for you to be Casual Group Dating. And I have no problem with you going on Casual Group Dates with non-members, including this guy (although I don't think he'll be too excited about his change in status) so long as you follow The Rules (and I don't think he's going to like that either) .

Worries can often be promptings of the Spirit, especially when we're not doing what's exactly right and we know it.

- Bro Jo




 Dear Bro Jo,

Thanks, yeah I think most of the time advice is what you know but don't want to hear.

I totally agree with everything that you said, but how do I go backward and explain all of this?

Especially with the "I love you"s all the time. They kinda freak me out because now that I've got my head I don't feel like I should be saying it at only 17 but I've said it in the past...

 - Confused



Dear Confused,

You don't have to explain anything. Feelings change, and teenage "I love you"s are by no means binding and permanent.

And saying "I love you" because you feel obligated, or pressured, isn't a good thing.

We learn as we go; that's one of the great blessings of life.

 - Bro Jo




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