Things to know

Regularly read by 50,000+ readers in over 140 countries around the world, "Dear Bro Jo" is published several times a month.

This is column is just one guy's opinion, and while he does his best to keep what he thinks, says and writes in-line with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, "Dear Bro Jo" is not an LDS Church website. (And Sister Jo thinks you should know that he's sometimes wrong, and often way too opinionated for his own good.)

Nothing here is meant to take the place of talking with parents, leaders, or Church authorities. Please, if you need serious help, talk to a trusted adult, leader, and / or professional counselor.

Please like our Facebook page, and check it often for Discussions, Notes, Events and just General Good Stuff!

Everything here is copyrighted. If you're going to quote any part of anything here, please get Bro Jo's written permission. You can reach him at

Wednesday, November 19, 2014


Dear Bro Jo,

I just came across your page and love reading your advice!

First off, you probably get a million emails, so I thank you if you take the time to read and respond to mine.

My situation is, I am almost 23, female, active in YSA ward, pretty, funny, tad shy but friendly.

I have never kissed a boy (besides a kid who tried to stick his tongue down my throat in 4th grade, but that dosen't count).

Its strange, I know.

I used to worry a lot about it, like whats wrong with me?

Am I ugly?

...Still bothers me a little but I know I'm not ugly or have a defect, I just haven't given anyone a chance or acted interested in anybody due to a lot of stress in my family life.

My real question is about this guy I have been hanging out with that I really like, he is 30 and has had a few serious girlfriends, he knows I haven't had any serious relationships but not that I have never been kissed!!

What if it comes up before he kisses me?

How do I tell him?

Have any funny ways to break it to him if he asks?

Oh, and I read your L's on getting kissed and plan to use them, but is the first official date too soon?

We have hung out with friends a few times and gone to the gym and after he bought me lunch, so was that considered our first date?

I dont know!... but I'm pretty sure he is in to me, he called me and we talked for over an hour and he told me after our gym "date" he would really like to hang out again.

Oh, and this is a pretty dumb question but what do I do if he does kiss me?

Like, do I let him do all the work?

Or is there a way to do it?

Will my lips just know what to do?


Maybe, Im just way over-thinking all of this?

But, I like him a lot and I don't want to scare him off when he finds out he'd be my first kiss!!!

I know your advice will help!

Thank you!

- Ready to Be Kissed

Dear Ready,

Thank you.

And it's not "a million" . . . but I do get quite a few.

First of all, 4th grade counts, so yes, you've been kissed.

Not well . . . but kissed none the less.  So you can let go of that worry.

I doubt he's going to ask if you've ever been kissed.

In fact, at your age and his if he does . . . well . . . that's a weird question to ask . . .but if he does ask "have you ever been kissed", I think the best response is a coy "not by you".  (Smile, wink.)

The L's really work.  (For the original column, "The Six L's of How to Get Kissed", click HERE.)

And yes, I typically say that the first date is too soon.

However . . . despite my best efforts . . . I couldn't help kissing the future Sister Jo on the first date . . . and that's worked out pretty well.

Most importantly, and I can't emphasize this enough . . . STOP HANGING OUT!!!

Let me make this super clear, because y'all have obviously not been taught correctly:


1. Once you're ready for Serious Single Dating (back from the mish for guys, out of high school for girls), then it's time to Date With a Purpose.
No, that doesn't mean that you go from nothing to a proposal on the first date, what it does mean is that you stop hanging out, stop playing around, stop being a baby about all of this.
("I'm not ready" is invalid - a date is not a proposal, and if you delay Dating with a Purpose . . . well, that's where many of you will end up writing me at 27-32 freaking out - and rightly so - that you've "missed your chance"; it's not entirely true, but the feelings and concerns are real.)
And stop being selfish.  Putting video games, school, career, travel, lifestyle, etc. ahead of an eternal family is, IMHO, not God's hope for us.  Pretty sure that's in some kind of Proclamation somewhere . . .

2. First Dates are No Big Deal.
Guys need to ask everybody and girls need to say yes to everyone who's not on the list of offenders and abusers on the bulletin board at the police department.
(By the way, girls, if you haven't checked that list out, I suggest you do at least once a month.)
There's no such thing as Too Old, Too Fat, Too Shy, Too Different or Too Whatever at this stage.
First dates are how y'all are supposed to get to know people, NOT by hanging out with them.
(This, by the way, is where Many Many of you have it backwards.)
Because the lack of formality in a Hang Out versus a Date means that you're not really getting to know the person well.
In one-on-one situations people act differently, the conversation is more personal and intimate (The Conversation, you guys; I'm not talking about other "intimate" stuff), and you get to know The Real Person.
And NEWS FLASH - it may take (and almost always does) more than one date to get to know someone. (Duh!)
If you go on a date and have fun (which you should be cause you should both R-E-L-A-X) and the person seems interesting and you're remotely attracted to them - at all - then you should go on one or two more dates with them.
At least.
And YES, unless you're head-over-heels for them, you should be dating other people, too.
THAT'S part of what will keep things from getting Too Serious Too Soon.
When you space out your second and third dates with others in between, then no one is breaking out the wedding notebook too soon.
And, for the record, while I don't think waters should be muddied in the first couple dates, if there isn't at least a "good night" kiss at the end of the third to fifth date, then you both need to realize . . . well, heck, let's just say that at the end of the third date I think there should be some kissing, and if either of you isn't interested in kissing the other then let them move on to someone else.
Have the kindness and courage to call it off and let them get back to dating everyone else.

3. Once you get to the point that you want to keep seeing Only That Person, then yes, by all means Formalize Things a bit.
For many of you this means having the DTR (Determine The Relationship) conversation.
I asked Sister Jo. We never had one. Didn't see the need.
We were going out with only each other all the time (several times a week), so it was pretty clear there was no one else.

4. AFTER you're in an exclusive Not-Dating-Anyone-Else Relationship, THEN you can start Hanging Out.
However, until the Eternities End (or you're no longer together) you should make every effort Keep Dating at Least Once a Week.  Go Out (movies on the sofa don't count).
Sometimes life won't let that happen, but you need to continue (especially after marriage) to get away from your home and daily routines (and kids) to spend time together holding hands and talking.

5. If you find yourself doing the exclusive thing with someone for three months, you need to Ask Yourself Whether or Not You See This Relationship Going to the Temple some day.  (Ask them, too.)
NO, that doesn't mean I think you should necessarily propose at the three month mark, but you should know by then whether or not you have any intention or desire AT ALL to be with this person forever.
AND that they feel the same about you.
(Very important, that.)
If the answer is no, then let them go.
And if you're unsure, the answer is no.
If you've been getting to know them (like you're supposed to) and spending all of that time together and you have no desire to spend time with anyone else, then you should have thoughts about Forever.
If you don't there's no reason to expect that's going to magically change after you've spend a few more months (or years) together.
Don't let yourself get caught in the Casual Relationship that's Going Nowhere because it's Comfortable.
Old shoes are comfortable, but if they smell bad or aren't good for your feet you need to toss them.

6. I believe in Long Courtships and Short Engagements.
How long?
In LDS culture, if you're unselfish and doing your due diligence (and the other person is, too), then barring other circumstances (and I understand that there can be lots of those) I think 6 months is long enough.
The only reason to not officially plan a marriage at six months is that you haven't put in the work you should have getting to know the person (and their family) up to that point.
If you're not ready to commit, then it's time to quit . . . to quit looking and realize you've got a great person in your life and you need to make that relationship permanent.
There's no shame in being aware enough of one's self and situation that you can admit things are not working.
Does that mean the relationship needs to be perfect?
I hope not!
I have no doubt I make Sister Jo roll her eyes or get mad at least once a week (she says much more often, btw).
Marriage, good marriage, is about Communication, Trust, and Selflessness.
That's what makes it work.
And if you can't see that at all in six months . . . well, there's just too many other available people out there.  
I'm not saying everyone should be married in 6 months!  
I AM saying that at the end of six months of exclusive dating if you don't care enough to make a plan, care enough to let them go.  
Just realize that may be the dumber of the two options.

Now, as for you, Little Sister . . . the lips know what to do.

Kissing gets better with practice, so don't worry if you're (or it's not) amazing the first time.  It almost never is.

Those kisses you see in movies?

So fake.

Trust me, to get a kiss to "look right" (whatever that means) on film . . . well . . . let's just say it ain't like real life.

As for him finding out he's your first kiss . . . I don't see any reason why you need to tell him that now, or soon after.

Maybe tell him on your 10th wedding anniversary . . . or your fiftieth.

- Bro Jo


Rebecca Chavez said...

Thanks so much! I've been a RM for a month now and after teaching the plan of salvation for 18 months and hearing how important it is to get married, I've been feeling pressure to date again with no idea how. This really inspired me, and I will definitely be reading back on this. Do you by chance have a page with creative date ideas?

Bro Jo said...

Sure do!

Check out this NOTE on our Facebook Page:

- Bro Jo