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Friday, March 20, 2015

How to Deal with a Boy Before Her Mission

Dear Bro Jo,

(This is a long message, and I’m sorry for that, but I need someone to talk to that I feel won’t judge me unfairly.)

I am turning 19 in 3 months and after fasting and praying I’ve begun my mission papers.

I went to see my Bishop this past Sunday and he helped me get started on the process.

During our talk he asked me the questions for a temple recommend.

I could truthfully answer that I am chaste, but when he asked if I had any moral issues that I hadn’t yet resolved with a Bishop (I’ve recently moved) that’s when I hesitated. I confessed to him that I have done some things with my boyfriend that I’m regretting.

Even though I still have my virginity and the things we’ve done aren’t as extreme as some things I know my friends do, I knew I needed to take care of it.

I explained it all and he said it wouldn’t require disciplinary action, but that I should talk to my boyfriend and tell him he should see his Bishop too.

He added that depending on the reaction I may need to consider ending the relationship.

I’m going to see my Bishop again next week with a status report.

Later that day, I saw my boyfriend.

I just went to his house to play some video games and watch movies (we do that now and then after Church).

He could tell something was on my mind, and finally I just told him that I was repenting of what we had done months ago and that maybe he should too.

We took some space for about half an hour right after that.

No words spoken.

Once we did talk though, he broke down crying, telling me how hurt he felt.

He listed so many things, like how he never feels good enough for me despite all his trying.

He told me how he agrees with the Gospel 100% but not so much the organization of the Church (mostly because of the rude, judgmental people in his ward growing up) and stuff like that. I can see his point, especially since I knew some of the people he had to deal with.

But there are rude and judgmental people wherever you go, right?

I don’t remember everything he said, but let me back up a bit.

He’s not just some boy I’ve met this semester in college and had an infatuationship for.

We were best friends through high school and began dating senior year.

I’ve never had a friend like him, and he says the same about me.

At this point in our relationship, we’re pretty much just best friends with benefits, meaning we don’t do much PDA (on the occasion that we do any) or have lovey dovey conversations all the time.

Our main conflict we face though is the Church.

I’ve always been a churchy girl, always done what’s expected of me.

As I mentioned before, he doesn’t fully agree with the organization of it.

I can respect his reasons, but I’ve always expected myself to marry a 100% churchy guy cause that’s what they always teach in young women’s.

I’ve come to realize that I don’t want someone who is really die-hard Mormon, but definitely someone who is active, can take me to the temple, and can hold the priesthood.

He goes to Church with me and he is going to go on a mission once this school year is over, but sometimes I worry if it’s mostly to avoid disappointing me and his family.

Bottom line is this: if my Bishop suggests next week that I end this relationship, will I be happier, or will I be miserable not having my best friend to help me through this really stressful time?

That’s what I’m trying to decide.

And besides that, if I end it with him, that’s probably the end of it forever.

I can’t think of anyone I would rather marry in the future than my best friend. Someone who cares about me even when I’m being dramatic or weird. And vice versa.

People make it sound so easy to end a relationship and find someone else who will care about you a lot, but it isn’t.

Even if I did find someone that would care about me, what if I wouldn’t be able to care for them completely?

Does all of this make sense?

I didn’t date a lot in high school and I’m aware that I’m not the person every guy wants to ask out. 

And where I’m going to school it’s harder to find good LDS guys than it is at BYU.

So basically what I’m saying is that:

1) If I need to end this, do I have the strength?

2) Would it make me happiest?

3) It would destroy him if I ended it with him, I know from past experience. But more than that, I would lose my best friend, and would I ever have such a good friend again? I’m good at making friends but true friends are hard to come by.

4) I don’t know if I could live with myself. What if I found out later in life that he ended up changing and being everything I wanted after all? It happens, but I also know not to invest too heavily in it.

5) I don’t want to just meet some guy in college and get married in 6 months (I live in Utah). I know I would want to get married once I was into a guy, but I want to really know who I’m dating/marrying and that’s easier when you’re not dating (at least, from what I’ve learned and experienced).

6) I realize boys aren’t my main priority right now, but my mission is only so long and it’s life after that.

7) This repentance process has been hurting me mentally so much, and now that I’ve typed all this I think this is the reason. I feel I’m being forgiven but that I’m not done with this yet. That I’m not quite free.

I just want this to end, but I’m not sure I’m willing to do WHATEVER it takes.

Thanks for reading my long letter. I already feel a bit better getting this off my shoulders.

I know this is all my decision, but I know you give honest answers, and that because you don’t know me you won’t judge me, both of which I need right now.

- Complicated Pre-Mish





Dear Pre-Mish, 

And an honest answer you will get. 

I bet you'll feel pretty bummed out when you and this boy breakup. 

Then, perhaps after a time, you'll feel comforted. 

Maybe even relieved. 

I do think this relationship needs a change. (I also think this guy comes with a lot of emotional baggage, is a bit unstable, puts himself ahead of you, lacks maturity, does not consider you "just a friend ", and has a lot of issues he needs to work out. . . . on his own.)

First if all, the hanging out playing video games needs to stop. Dangerous situation that.

Secondly, you need to be mission focused. That means no boyfriends until you get back (and make no mistake, he's your boyfriend).

It will be difficult, but worth it.

And who knows?

Perhaps you holding him to a higher standard and showing him your determination will inspire him to better connect with his Savior. . . . And do some much needed growing up.

- Bro Jo




Dear Bro Jo, 

Thanks so much for the advice. 

I took it and I feel much better already. 

I'm almost done with my papers and I'm really excited for what's coming up. 

Thanks again! 

- Excited Pre-mish




Dear Excited,

Good for you! 

We'd love to hear when you find out when and where you're going! 

- Bro Jo 




Dear Bro Jo, 

I just remembered you asked me to let you know when I got my call. I got it in Decmeber,  

I'm going to the (location withheld) mission! 

- Excited Missionary





Dear Excited,

Congratulations! 

- Bro Jo

1 comment:

Laura said...

My answers to those questions (even though the writer is likely on mission now):
1) Only you can decide that. But I don't even know you, and yes you do.
2) Being happy is a choice. You do what you know is best and choose to be happy, to find the happy, in whatever you choose.
3) Yes, you will have such a good friend again. It's hard to believe, but it's how I got through my breakups before I met my husband: If this relationship is so great, but it's not what I'm supposed to be in/what Heavenly Father has in store for me, imagine how great the real deal is going to be! You really can't even imagine! (And I can attest, when you do marriage right, it just gets better and better - even when you think it can't anymore!)
4) When you breakup with someone, their choices are their own. Yeah, they may change for the better, good for them. (chances are, you being out of their life allowed them to really take a look at themselves and change.) It's of no concern for you anymore. Be happy they changed for the better, and leave it at that. If it took you leaving for good to get them to change, then you don't need to go back.
5) Then don't. Nobody says that's how it has to be. I do recommend Bro Jo's guidelines of a long courtship and short engagement, but you can decide exactly how long all that is. It absolutely doesn't have to all be condensed into 6 months.
6) Sounds like later in the letter you've sorted this out. I'm glad. Mission should be your main focus since you've made that choice :)
7) Listen to that prompting. Heavenly Father is always ready to forgive us completely. However, even though he GIVES it completely, we have to be able to ACCEPT it completely. That often means there are changes we have to make in our life in order to literally be capable of fully accepting the atonement. At this point (in the letter) it sounds like there's still something blocking YOU from completely receiving the gift of complete forgiveness. It's there waiting.