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Friday, May 3, 2013

Divorced Young and Dating Again

Dear Bro Jo,

I have to say I love your column and need to get your book.

A little preface, I will be 25 in a few weeks and was married for about 13 months before my spouse left me.

I suffered from depression, long story, and it just wasn't anything she could handle.

I have been divorced for about a year and a half now.

I have taken what I consider to be a huge leap considering some events that happened in my past, and after consulting with doctors and psychiatrists have been steadily on medication to help stabilize me mentally and emotionally for over 11 months.

I guess that is probably enough background.

Now for my question.

Dating in a YSA atmosphere after divorce. How do I do it?

I have been on a few dates (I can count them on one hand) but no real desire to continue a relationship beyond that. I worry that I may become too picky knowing many things that I learned I don't want in a future spouse.

Also I am hesitant to flirt with girls in my ward or stake because I know that a lot of them are 18-20 y/o and I would feel like a creeper when I find out!

I don't want to be a creeper but I also don't want to be lonely forever either.

- Name Withheld

Dear Little Brother,

A few dates for a recently divorced guy, especially one who has had to take the time to overcome some pretty important things, is actually pretty good.

So I wouldn't worry about that too much.

Now that things are being handled (that must always be a priority) you can focus on meeting more women and going on more dates.

Rather than focusing on "flirting", I recommend that you focus on being a Nice Guy who wants to meet new people and discover what makes them so interesting and valuable.

I'm a firm believer in the Ray Stevens Song "Everything is Beautiful", and "everyone IS beautiful in their own way".

If you can learn to see people in that way, if you can learn to focus on each individual's value, than you won't be a creeper at all.

Well . . . if you're sincere, anyway.

You don't want to be too involved in the expression of your opinions.

I'm reminded of an episode of an old sitcom where a guest character was so over the top with his "positive attitude" and admiration of all things that he was just too much to take. You don't want to be That Guy, either.

Treat everyone you meet, including YSA Sisters with reserved sincerity.

Flirt a little when you feel like it, but don't be over the top, and then you won't have to worry about how old these girls are. Conservative Flirting (smiling kindly, the occasional sincere compliment, and what I call "happy eye contact") are all a good place to call home.

As you get to know more people, and get to know them better, you'll figure out who's too young to ask out (I agree that 18 or 19 is IN GENERAL too young for you, but 20 and 21 may not be).

Relax, have fun, and if you'll take some slightly unsolicited advice, women are looking for The Three W's:

- Worthiness - as in, serving God and Going to the Temple

- Work - be hardworking in all that you do, have a job, have Good Goals and be working towards them

- Willingness - to treat her like the Princess (and eventually Queen) that she is by Divine Design

Chin up and stay positive!

Happy Sunday,

- Bro Jo


Mama Cheese said...

I second everything Bro Jo said, with one additional piece of advice: If you're in Utah, definitely get onto Tinder, the "meet people" iPhone app. It will prevent any "creeper" factor since you will know up front what each person's age is before you indicate any interest in them. There's a reason it's so wildly popular at BYU/UVU: it's non-scary and it works.

Happy meeting people!

Anonymous said...

He should ask Mama Cheese if she's ok with him meeting her daughter. Cheese sounds like a great girl anyway and I think that if they're both great people then they should get to meet.