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Friday, May 31, 2013

Preparing for a Mission: How Does He Switch from "Boyfriend-Girlfriend" to "Casual Group Dating"?

Dear Bro Jo,

Hi,

In the beginning of my letter I would like to say sorry for my English, which is not that good, I do not come from English-speaking country.

I am a member of the Church for 5 years... But, there are still some things, which makes me thinking what should I do.

I have a trouble, I am in age before mission, but I am already a priest.

I also have a girlfriend who is not member.

I saw already a link with similar situation, but that one is a bit different.

We are together as a couple for 9 months. But we never get too close, we always talked, and veery rarely kissed.

But the thing is... that we started talking about the future. Marriage, etc.

I am just a bit more over 17 and I really don't know what to do.

In my country, the Church is not that big, we have only one district and few branches there is only one another YM who is preparing for a mission as well... but what do you think I should do now?

I don't really think that is a good idea to decide about my eternal life in the age of 17...

Another question.... if it is a bad idea... how to end this all up?

Well, I am veeery confused... I miss her every day, and I just love talking to her and cheer her up.

I'm looking forward to receive answer from you.

-  H.anonymous.




Dear Anon,

I know that it's common for boys and girls to try the Boyfriend-Girlfriend Thing at your age (in every country, just so you know), but as you know I don't recommend it. 

I think you should switch from Boyfriend-Girlfriend mode to Casual Group Dating and Group Activities. 

That's not going to be easy; you clearly really like this girl and anything that she sees as going the opposite direction of advancing this relationship towards marriage is going to upset her.

There's no avoiding that, and you're just going to have to deal with it.

She's going to see you telling her that you no longer think it's a good idea for you to be exclusive as a break up . . . and, in a way, it will be.

You can, and should, try to lessen the blow by telling her how much you like her, how you want to keep dating her (but only on Casual Group Dates), and how you think she's great but that you have specific spiritual goals (a mission) after you turn 19, and a girlfriend just isn't the right thing for you right now.

She'll likely be sad, and perhaps angry, and she may choose to react in a very negative way.

The best things you can do are to stick to the plan, smile and be nice, and prepare to weather the storm. Better now than later.

When it's all over and people begin coming up and asking you what happened and why, speak of her fondly and positively; tell them that you think she's great, but now is just not the right time for you to be in anything serious.

If they press you further, explain that you intend to serve a mission for Jesus Christ through your Church, that it's very important to you, and that missionaries don't have girlfriends until they've finished serving and come home.

Your country needs you to be an example of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the joy that comes from being in His service; I believe others will find that joy through the examples you set.

May the Lord continue to bless you,

- Bro Jo

Oh, and don't worry about your English. It's a tough, often nonsensical language, and you're doing very well.

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