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

Monday, December 22, 2014

Are They Boyfriend and Girlfriend?

Dear Bro Jo,

I usually am not one to be writing in but I've been struggling with some decisions.

I'll just go on and give you the low down. There's this guy that I have known for a while now. We started liking each about a year ago. I wasn't sixteen when I first started liking him but I am now and so is he.

At the very beginning we decided together that we were going to follow the counsel of the prophets and not steady date each other.

We decided would go on dates with each other but made sure that we went on dates with other people to not get into that trap. Whenever we get a little too close we always talk about it and fix it.

Our relationship is much more emotional than anything else.

We can always talk about anything without having to worry about it.

But here's the problem. He is a very very strict Mormon (which I'm not saying is bad but he takes things a little too far sometimes) some people lately have been saying I'm his girlfriend which he corrects them and tells them that I'm not and I do the same when people tell me he’s my boyfriend.

We have been trying (and succeeding) in doing the right thing for the past year but since people have been saying that he's taken it seriously even if we aren't steady dating.

We have talked about ending our "relationship" for a couple of days now but for no other reason than he is worried that we are steady dating from what other people have said.

And to him it's the extremes.

We have to either stop dating or just keep trudging on.

I took it upon myself to write down all the good and bad things about what we are, fast, and pray about letting him go and stop dating him all together to save his sanity.

But every time I've prayed about it I don't feel like it's right to end it.

He had been studying (as have I) about what's appropriate for how young we are and we both have completely different opinions about what we are and what's the right decision to handle it.

I don't want to just end dating altogether, but I want to do what he thinks is best for him.

How can I make the right decision about that when I feel like it's wrong?

I don't even know if it made sense and it was kinda vague but that’s technically the situation.

If you have any questions please ask away!

- Confused?

Dear Confused,

Not only does it sound like some people are right when they say that you're his Girlfriend, it sounds like that's exactly what you want to be. I understand the sentiment . . . and the denial.

With all due respect, he's right, you're wrong.

Casual Group Dates are what's appropriate at this time in your life.

"Relationships" are for him when he comes home from his mission, and for you once you're out of high school.

That doesn't mean you can't date him anymore, or that you can't still like him (and he you), or that you can't still talk and be nice to each other.   (I agree that "all or nothing" is Way Too Extreme . . . but he may be trying to tell you not that's how he feels, but that's how he thinks you feel . . . and if so, it sounds to me like he's right.)

Follow the Dating Rules.

Be not sad; but enjoy what you've got and what's within what's recommended.

For now, yes; I think you need to cool things off with this young man.

- Bro Jo


One thing that I didn't address with this letter writer is a Doctrine I think many people misunderstand.  I often have people tell me that they think a particular behavior or action (or lack thereof) is "okay" because they "fasted and prayed about it" and "feel that it's okay".  But the problem is often in the question that they're asking God.

First of all, the whole idea of asking God's permission to do something you know is wrong is . . . well . . . wrong.  (Think about Joseph Smith and the lost manuscript.)  We have our agency, so God will give us advice and council (some folks call those things "commandments" or "rules" ) but he then gives us the freedom to follow or not.

Secondly, when we seek revelation we need to not be asking about what we want, but rather seeking to know what God wants.

Remember, personal revelation is what God tells us through the Spirit that we need to know so we can help others, not what we want to hear so we can help ourselves.


- Bro Jo ]

No comments: