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Monday, April 20, 2015

Why Teen Guys Don't Date . . . and How to Fix That

Dear Bro Jo,

I haven't read a lot if your stuff but what I have read, I really enjoy!

You are very wise and give the kind of advice I would give. Props for that!

So I just had a question you probably get a lot and you may not know the answer to, but I am going to ask it anyway.

I am 17 and I feel like guys in my town don't date unless they are into the girl/in a relationship. This really bothers me!

Why should you have to be in a relationship when first, the prophet has counseled against it and second, it isn't worth it!

I have been there and it stinks.

I guess the question is why don't guys ask girls on dates more often?

Why does it have to be a school dance or a major event for a guy to ask a girl?

I hope this all made sense and hope to hear back from you.


- M

Dear M,

Sister Jo and I believe that guys don't ask girls on dates because they don't have to.

Outside of our moral standards, it's the same thinking that keeps guys who are having sex with their girlfriends from proposing to them.

Why put forth any effort or show respect when you don't have to?

After all, if you're getting what you want with no commitment and no effort, why bother?

See, their parents and leaders don't teach them the value of Casual Group Dating when they turn 16. (There are lots of reasons why, none of them are valid.)

They fail to understand that it builds good social skills, helps to prepare for missionary service, and teaches skills that will help them find an Eternal Companion when they get older.

And, let's face it, as a group you girls don't require them to date you. It's a sad circle, really.

See, guys get to hang out with girls, hold their hands, kiss them, even say that they're "dating" . . . without actually taking girls on dates.

And in the long run it's the girls who get cheated.

Not just the girls who are being (yes, on some level) used by these boys, but also those girls who don't get asked out because their sisters let them down.

The next question you ask should be "what can I do to fix it?"

I believe that you have several tools.


     1. Ask them. Hold their feet to the fire. In a group setting, perhaps even a Sunday School or Seminary Class, ask the boys (as kind and sincere as you can) "if the Prophet of the Church suggests that we not Seriously Single Date until we're old enough to get married, and we're advised to go on Casual Group Dates at this age, how come you righteous priesthood holders aren't setting up more Casual Group Dates and asking us girls out more often?" (I'd love to know what they tell you, by the way.)

     2. Talk to the Young Men Leaders and ask THEM the same question, this way: "How come the young men in our Branch / Ward / Stake aren't setting up Casual Group Dates more often and taking us girls out on dates? How come they're in exclusive relationships? Aren't you teaching them correct principles?"

     3. Talk to your girl friends about all of this. See if you can't, in a loving way, help them to see your point of view. Teach them that dates need not be a relationship, nor should they say that they're "dating" a guy if he never actually takes them on dates. Help them to understand that a date need not be expensive or complicated, and that a first date is not a proposal. Nor is a second or a third.

     4. Keep your attitude positive and friendly. Though you may feel understandably bitter, no one wants to date, or dance with, a sour puss.

     5. Don't hang out, but do put together some Group Activities. No one says that boys and girls can only do things together at EFY or on Mutual nights. Movie parties, game nights . . . as the boys get to know you girls better they'll be more comfortable asking you out.

     6. Read the Dating Rules. Share and discuss them with your parents and peers.

     7. Teach your future sons and daughters the value of Casual Group Dating. It might be the best thing you can do to change the culture.  Sister Jo, much to my amazement (because she's awesome!) dated very little before I came along. I suppose that worked out very well for me . . . and the Jo Kids, but because she shared many of the frustrations that you have now, that's a large part of the reason why this whole "Dear Bro Jo" think even exists.

Cultural Change takes a long time, and it requires effort on BOTH sides of the situation.  Be Patient, but also Take Action.

- Bro Jo


Lisa said...

Some guys don't date because they are not interested in dating right now. They want to focus on school and, stuff. Even in the strength of youth it says some teenagers are not interested.

I know how she's feeling though. When I was her age there were a lot of guys who chose to "steady date" though. The parents even encouraged them to steady date in my ward. So there were no boys to date. They just passed me by like I was invisible. That is still going on in the ward with the youth.

She can try to get together and, get to know guys her age from other wards.

Anonymous said...

What I want to know is why grown men don't want to date! Afraid to grow up, maybe? I have too many guy friends who never ask girls out, and I wonder if a) they're even attracted to women, or b) if they're just too afraid to grow up. Maybe that's all a bit harsh, but I seriously wonder sometimes.

Bro Jo said...

Not that these guys need me to stick up for them, but I can answer your question.

Yes, what you've said here can be true...

but other things can be true as well.

Sometimes girls put no effort in to looking their best.

Sometimes they put up walls and are unapproachable.

While it's true that guys are nice to girls they find attractive there's a huge chasm between being nice and wanting to jump on you that many girls seem to ignore.

Many of you make too big of a deal out of first dates.

It takes a lot of courage to ask a girl out; confidence can be shattered by unkind and inconsiderate people.

(Which is not to say that you are either of those, but girls who make giys feel like it's okay to ask them on dates get more dates.)

Bro Jo

Bro Jo said...

I submit to you, though, that the question you should be asking is how do you get some of those guy frients of yours to ask you out.

Bro Jo