Things to know

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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Is It a Date?

Dear Bro Jo,

I am a 14 year old girl this is my first year in high school and this boy I've known since elementary school has started to ask me out on single dates and of course I said no.

He has asked me about 4 times now.

Every time I have said no but he this time he has invited his friend (another boy I have known since elementary) and he told me to bring one of my friends.

At first I said no and then I thought about it more.

The date would be at the mall so its nothing romantic or anything.

Plus I have been at the mall with 2 guys and 2 girls before as friends and it was never a problem.

I talked to my mom about it and she said it would be fine as long as we just went as friends.

My mom has known this boy as long as I have and trusts him, as do I.

I am just scared because I don't want to do anything that was wrong so I decided to ask you for a second opinion on what I should tell him.

I care about this boy a lot and I don't want to hurt his feelings but I also don't want to compromise my values in the least.

I would never date before I was sixteen but if I don't look at this like a date would it still be wrong?

Sincerely,

- Confused and Frustrated




Dear Confused,

Right or wrong, at any age, two boys and two girls going to do something is a date.

Sure, a Good Date means "Plan, Pick up and Pay ", but even if those things are missing simply the act of being paired off can make it a date.

And even at only 14, there's no such thing as "just friends" where this boy (or any boy, really) is concerned.

(And, believe me, this boy absolutely is thinking of this as a date, good guy or not.  And yes, even the Mall can be "romantic".)

I invite you to share with your mother that this boy has repeatedly asked you on dates, a fact I'll bet you left out when you asked her if you could go.

Then I think the two of you (you and your mother) should re-read For the Strength of Youth and other guidelines that prophets have given about dating.

Talk about why you think such guidelines have been set, and talk about the blessings we're promised when we follow the counsel of the Prophet.

Sixteen is just around the corner, little sister, and so is Casual Group Dating.

Good Things come to those who wait.

If it helps, I'm happy to explain to your mother, or any parent, why what makes something a date, and why it’s dangerous and not "cute" for children to go on dates and have boyfriends and girlfriends before the time is right.

- Bro Jo

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