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Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Why Won't the Girl He's Been Dating Commit? (Part 1)

Dear Bro Jo,

I've been going out with a girl for several weeks now, and we recently talked about whether or not we were going to call each other boyfriend/girlfriend.

During the conversation, the girl said something I'd never heard of before.

She said that in her family they don't do exclusive relationships.

I'm quite confused, because I don't understand what it means to be in an official relationship if it isn't exclusive.

Is this advice that's commonly given in some Mormon circles?

Or is she just stringing me along until something better shows up?

Thanks for your time,

- Name Withheld

Dear NW,

Tough to say.

I'm guessing you're under 18.

Lots of young people, some with the encouragement of their families, some regardless, choose to not be in serious or exclusive relationships until they're old enough for it to really mean something (as in "this may lead to marriage . . . SOON").

That's not just something that's confined to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, either. 

While it may be comfortable and common for pre-adults to form exclusive relationships, I never recommend it.

I know you all do it.

My kids have done the boyfriend-girlfriend thing in High School . . . often picking someone I think is really a super person.

But I don't recommend it.

Too much drama.

Too much time.

Too much energy.

And WAY Too Much temptation.

It may very well be, NW, that she's not stringing you along; she may just be mature enough to realize that neither of you are at a point in your life where you should be making those kind of commitments.
Be a kid.

Loosen up.

Have fun with your friends!

Keep your life as drama free as you can at this age.

Casual Group Dates.

That's what I recommend until someone is old enough to be considering marriage.

- Bro Jo


Anonymous said...

What would you suggest in a similar case if it's two young single adults in which, at least the guy, is a return missionary? Maybe not with the same reason that the girl in the original post gives, but the same situation in which a girl a guy has been dating won't commit?

Bro Jo said...

There are a lot of factors to be considered, but if an adult couple is well past the first few dates / months, and either person is unwilling to be exclusive, then they don't care about the other person as much as themselves. They're using that person as a "place holder" until "someone better comes along".

Which I find cowardly and unfair and immature.

When you realize that you're someone's back up plan, you need to do yourself a favor and get out of that relationship right away.

- Bro Jo

PS: If you'd like some specific advice for your particular situation, please send me an email.