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Regularly read by 50,000+ readers in over 140 countries around the world, "Dear Bro Jo" is published every Monday, Wednesday and Friday (with occasional additional posts, too).

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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Cheesy Wednesdays: Cheese Gets a Boyfriend

[Dear Readers,

Welcome to another episode of Cheesy Wednesdays, where we follow one reader's forays and foibles though the world of LDS Teen Dating.

I've posted several letters from Cheese (and her friend, Mac) over the years; in fact, you can find them by clicking the "Cheese" Label on the side, but it's been a while so I'm going to be posting several of them over the next few Wednesdays.

Enjoy,

Bro Jo]


Dear Bro Jo,

I’m afraid I’ve done something stupid; I have acquired a boyfriend.

Don’t worry, we’re being good; strength-of-the-youth appropriate behavior, etc.

But I worry I might be doing something I’ll eventually regret. I’m not old enough for a serious relationship!

I’m supposed to be dating “every one,” not “just one.”

Mama and Big Cheese are really scary about it.

They are like, “We don’t love this but we can’t stop you. You’re a big girl, you can make your own decisions.”

I expected them to freak out and order me away from him . . . but when it’s my decision . . . .

I like him too much to just leave without a good reason.

And who are we kidding?

If they did tell me to leave him I’d probably just go behind their backs anyway.

Here’s the thing: I've never liked a guy this much before. It was totally unexpected.

The intensity of it feels like an ambush!

I’m having trouble thinking clearly.

Years of Mama and Big Cheese droning on about the dangers of “relationships” are echoing around in the back of my head, but this doesn't feel dangerous or evil.

It feels quite the opposite.

I LIKE it.

I LIKE this guy.

I LIKE how I feel when I’m with him, and how he treats me.

I LIKE how we make each other better people and everything.

Here’s my question: isn't there some way I can keep him? Pleeeeeeeeease? It’s like a cute puppy! Once you pick it up you never want to put it down! Help me understand what could possibly be bad about this.

- Cheese



Dear Cheese,

There are LOTS of reasons why it's a bad idea to be in a relationship at your age . . . and I'm sure you've heard all of them, if not from me, than certainly the Cheesy Parents, right?

But it's like you said, if we tell you to knock it off, unless you're looking for an excuse to break up with him (and at this point you're not), then the emotions and hormones you're feeling will drive you closer to him than farther.

What you're feeling IS good and normal . . . it's just that the timing is . . . premature. 

And that's what's bad.

Relationships are living things; they either grow or they die.

And when you're in High School both of those things have their drawbacks.

We don't grow TO marriage, we grow THROUGH marriage, with a wedding being one of the significant markers along that path.

Sister Jo and I are still nurturing and growing our relationship.

At your age there are things you can do to slow the growth, like only going on Casual Group Dates, not being alone together, no late night communication, limiting the PDA, and dating other people in between dates with each other. If you don't slow things down, you run the all too common risk of doing things out of order (and I know you know what I mean).

When it dies (and if you don't get married to this guy, the "relationship" will, by definition, expire) then you'll have some un-fun teen drama to endure.

Can you keep him?

I hope not!

I hope he's the type of guy that at one point, perhaps a while from now, will dump you in favor of a mission. 

(Heck, I think a guy should get away from any girl that thinks he's like a new puppy! HA!)

For now Be Careful, Be Smart, and learn some stuff along the way.

 - Bro Jo

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