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Monday, January 26, 2015

Transitioning to YSA

Dear Bro Jo,

Hi Bro Jo!

First, I must say that I really love reading your page and have learned a lot from the advice you post.

So, I'm in a situation that is probably similar to many other people my age right now; I'm a senior girl in high school preparing to go off to college next year and fully immerse myself in the YSA social and dating scene.

However, the boys in my stake are not the best at getting group dates together, so I haven't really been on any.

I was wondering if you had any tips for transitioning more smoothly from high school group dating to the single dating that YSA should be doing, when I haven't really even done any group dating before?

Thanks a lot for your time and help!

-In Transition

Dear In Transition,

I ain't gonna lie: it's going to be a touch more difficult for you than those that dated a bit.

The first thing I'd like you to do, please, is read the riot act to your Stake and Ward Priesthood leaders.

It's their responsibility to teach these young men how to date and that each of you young women deserves a few chances to be taken out.

If you've been active, going to Church Dances, being friendly and fun, looking and doing your best, and if they were doing their job, then you should have had a few dates.

Secondly, teach the younger sisters that you're leaving behind what they could do better than you did.
Tell them to host movie parties and game nights, teach them the value of talking to the guys - In A Nice Way - and testify to them of the value of Casual Group Dating.

Tell them that their insistence on "having a boyfriend" is driving Good Guys away and limiting their dating opportunities.

You're not alone; too many great girls never get the dating experience in high school that they should.
We need a major culture shift, and I think it's going to take a long time.

Now, as for you: despite everything I wrote above, don't freak out.

Some of the most amazing women date little or not at all in high school, and they've turned out fine. 

Like anything in life, look back at your experiences and use them to improve on the next go.

Here's a Quick List:


1. Put yourself out there. Go to everything, pursue your interests, be involved. It doesn't matter really which clubs or activities you enjoy, but do stuff. Get involved. Meet people.

2. Show genuine interest in other people. Yes, of course, guys, but girls too; you never know when some girl is going to say "you're so nice, you should date my brother!" The key to that is to Listen to other people when you talk to them. Ask people about themselves and take an interest in what they have to say

3. Be domestic and girly. Don't change who you are, but understand that Guys (in general) like girls that are, well, girls. Especially Church Guys. If you don't know the tricks to Good Makeup, Clothing and Perfume, figure them out. Learn how to make one heck of a cake, cookie or brownie if you don't already, and be prepared to randomly give treats you make to guys that you want to have take you out. My apologies to the neo-nazi-woman-hating-"feminists" out there, but this stuff works.

4. Date every halfway decent guy that asks. You want to be known as the nice girl that is open to dating, not the snob that no one can get dates with.

5. Don't be a buddy. No guys over at your place, and you don't hang out at theirs. Heck, make it a habit not to "hang out" at all. Guys are for dating, not for hanging out with. And you need to know this: guys are lazy by nature. Even the hard-working ones. Guys are the ones that invented drive-throughs, fast food, and the TV remote. If he can have you delivered to his place to watch a video with him while his rear-end is still on the sofa, there's no need for him to ever invite you to go anywhere.

6. Do the best you can with what you've got. Always try to be the "best you" you can be. Pajamas, and that includes sweats, shouldn't be worn outside your home. Not even to the gym. Change into gym clothes while you're there, then shower do your hair and makeup and get dressed nice before you leave to go home. Too many of your sisters are blowing it because they have an attitude of "I don't care how I look" (What the heck is this think with the nasty "jeggings" and sloppy bun???); if you don't care how you look, then no one else will either. And that's bad. There's more, but you get the idea. Have fun!

7.  Don't make First Dates out to be a bigger deal than they are.  (Or second or third dates, either for that matter.)  Guys, especially RMs, often (and correctly so, I might add) take girls out as a way to get to know them better.  Yes, they probably like that girl on some level, but it doesn't mean that they're in love . . . so relax.  Let any relationship that might grow happen naturally . . . but don't expect that anything is going to grow at all.  If it does, great!  And if it doesn't, well . . .  hopefully you had a nice time, a fun time, and got to know someone a little better.

- Bro Jo

Dear Bro Jo,

Thank you!

I guess in our area it is harder to date because everyone in the stake lives so far apart, but you're right the guys should be asking more.

Actually, recently I had an experience that proves what you said about getting casual get-togethers planned.

I organized a group of friends, boys and girls, to go bowling together.

A couple weeks after we started planning it, I got asked on a date by one of the boys in the group!

Also, I totally plan on being involved next year, and I think it will really help.

Thanks again for your advice and I'll definitely work on implementing it more!

- Excited for the future

Dear Excited,

Good for you!

I'm glad to hear that the Activity Setup thing worked for you.

Keep it up!

And hopefully others will learn from your example.

- Bro Jo


Anonymous said...

The sweats not even to the gym is ridiculous. If I'm on my period and want to be comfy guess what I really DON'T care about how I look and if a guy can't be sympathetic to a girl during "that time of the month" not looking her best well I don't want him to be the one I get pregnant with. I use the fitness center at my school and hate changing in the locker room or bathroom stalls and the showers are horrible and there really isn't a way to doll up in there either. If a guy sees me in my work out clothes from my apartment to the car or from the car to the fitness center I don't see the big deal are we supposed to give this illusion that girls don't sweat or that we are able to comfortably work out in our pretty clothes. As long as I don't wear my workout clothes for more than 1-2 hour a day, including workout time, the only thing a guy should think is oh she works out which mean she must care about herself. Pajamas should only be worn in the house but sweats aren't pajamas.
sorry for the long rant I just hate it when guys or girls think that all members of the opposite sex need to look their best all the time.
I agree with your other points though effort should be put into how you present yourself the majority of the time I just believe everyone is allowed to have am off day here and there. Eceryone sjould be able to make one homemade meal and desert well, thats just common sense.

Bro Jo said...

What I see on campuses is a lot of "I'm in sweats because I'm going to the gym . . . in five hours . . . after class . . . after tonight's class . . . or tomorrow's".

And then it's "I didn't feel good", "I don't have clean laundry", "it's Wednesday".

Look, everyone is entitled to occasional - very rare - sweats day, but I think we can all agree that if we look around we'll see that it's not the exception, it's the rule. People (girls AND guys) are too lackadaisical about their appearance, and those same folks seem to often be the ones complaining that no one asks them out.


- Bro Jo

Azteroth said...

I agree with both the comments above about the sweats. I totally like to look nice for my husband (even when we were dating), but I never wanted him to expect that I would look amazing all the time. Fortunately we went on a couple trips together before we got married (a stake trip to Nauvoo and a family trip camping) so he knew what I was like after 48 hours on a bus or a week without showing. I like to look good for him (it's how I caught his eye, after all), but he also got to know the 'real' me.
As for the reason I wanted to comment, I'd like to point out that makeup is not as nessicary as you've made it sound. a woman who knows herself and her own inherent value doesn't need to wear makeup to look or feel good. by all means, she should still take care with her appearance, dress nice but modest, do something with her hair that speaks to her personality, but wearing makeup is not in any way nessicary to getting a date. (I'm not anti-makeup, if a woman wants to wear it she should, if she doesn't, then she shouldn't feel obligated to put on a mask)
A genuine smile and interest in another person (as well as laughter and genuine, kind personality) will get a woman a higher caliber of man than any about of makeup. :)

Bro Jo said...

What I said was "know the tricks to Good Make-up, Clothing and Perfume". I did not say it was "necessary to wear make-up to get a date".

HOWEVER I think you may be missing the point (which I think is ironic given something you said that I'll mention in a moment), which is that when we fail to look our best, when we fail to be our best, we must understand that we're likely attracting no one.

Everyone who reads the post is likely going to come up with their own twist or bias, and that's fine. But if we truly love people we need to sometimes remind them that they could do more, be more. We love them regardless, but failure to encourage improvement is often more damaging than the lie we tell people when we gloss over everything.

Lastly, I whole-heartedly agree with what you've said about the value of a future spouse seeing his girlfriend both with and without makeup (when I met the future Sister Jo she was in the middle of a hard and sweaty work day, in shorts, a t-shirt, and with her loose bun all over the place - I thought she was adorable!), but we can not dismiss two things:

1. looking your best is how you caught your future husband's eye (which is, of course, the entire point of what I've written)


2. all of how a woman (or man, for that matter) presents herself is the "real" her; makeup or not; positive attitude or not

Excellent comments!

Thank you for writing in,

- Bro Jo

Azteroth said...

I agree with what you said about looking your best and being your best. I suppose I simply inferred that you felt wearing makeup was essential given the way I it was stated in the post, given that it is a topic I am passionate about. I know you prefaced it with 'Dont change who you are' but it still came across to me as saying that a gal who doesn't wear makeup is insufficiently feminine.
Perhaps this is more a reflection of my own personality than what you actually said. :) Thanks for the response, this is an interesting blog to read.

Bro Jo said...

Thank you for the kind words.

I apologize for being unclear.

I appreciate your perspective.


- Bro Jo

Michelle N Lurvey said...

And to the sister who asked the question. Even if you do all of the above things, it will not guaranteed you date/relationships/marriage. Sometimes Heavenly Father has a different plan for you than you think it should go. Just keep your trust in Him and have some fun dating/making friends while in the YSA.