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Friday, May 8, 2015

Can Anybody Really Make Eternal Marriage Work with Anyone?

Dear Bro Jo,

Thank you for being a blessing and serving others with your straightforward and sound advice.

I wish I’d found your resources in my teenage years.

I have recommended your website and book to many teenagers and adults I know though, so hopefully they can also benefit.

Anyway, the question I have for you may sound kind of crazy, but it’s something I’ve been wondering for a long while. I have followed the church’s council and actively single and group dated in the three years I’ve been out of high school.


And truly, all of these experiences have been for my benefit and education (according to my Optimistic side).

At my YSA Stake Conference a few months ago, the stake president gave an emotional (on his part) talk about how concerned he is of the YSA being single and the low rates of marriage worldwide.

Obviously I can’t recite the entire talk to you, but he literally said “Please Brothers and Sisters, stop being so picky.

Open your eyes to the possibilities and realize that marriage is the best thing in the entire world.”

I don’t doubt what he said, and trust me, I’d love to fall in love, but he made it sound like any two strangers could fall in love.

Do you believe this is true?

I’ve heard other conflicting advice about this, and I've beaten myself up emotionally about it many times.

I've had opportunities to get married, but never felt my feelings or devotion went deep enough to see those relationships going the distance.

In fact, because I knew my last boyfriend loved me so much, I drug the relationship out way too long while I tried to force myself to fall equally in love with him.

You can imagine how that ended.

In your book you talk about how older people find it much easier to enjoy the companionship of another and get married without much pickiness in their second marriages; but on the other hand you said if a person has to ask whether they're in love, they're probably not.

I've heard instances of arranged marriages working out well and I go back to Nephi and his brothers taking Ishmael's daughters to wife.

They certainly didn't have the option to be picky!

I don't mean to discredit personal revelation by any means, and I do feel all these relationships ended because I was listening to the spirit and my heart. I also understand that marriage is much more about me becoming the right person than finding "the one".

Sometimes I get sick over it though, because if anyone's been trying,

I've been trying.

So why, in so many instances, am I finding myself disappointed and being the one who has to say goodbye?

People who truly are in love truly are in love, there is no denying it. I believe in it, I just don't understand it.

So where do you find it?


- Break-up Pro

Dear Friend,

No. I don't believe any two strangers could meet and fall in love. That's ridiculous.

But I suspect that's not what he was saying.

It IS true though that any man and woman that are selfless and love God and willing to serve each other can be Great Eternal Companions.

The reason, dear sister, is because marriage is not about Love.

(I'll pause should you want to read that again and digest it.)

It's about Trust and Sacrifice and Communication.

Perhaps you're still single because you haven't dated a Good Guy yet.

Or perhaps it's possible that you just haven't reached a point in your life where you've met someone whose happiness you’re willing to put ahead of your own . . .

That, dear sister, is True Love.

And often you don't find it; it finds you.

Meaning that when we search too hard, stress out too much, instead of just letting things happen, opportunities are missed.  Even driven away.  People want to be loved because of whom they are, not just because someone is desperate for companionship.

So don't stress out.


Keep dating.

And if you feel the need to focus on something, focus on being the type of person who someone would be lucky to marry instead of whether or not every guy is "the" guy".  (Which is a myth, by the way.  No such thing as only one person out there for each of us.)

And, of course, as Sister Jo says: let yourself be often found in the service of others. When we are of service we relax and become humble and grateful and open to possibilities.

Remember: if none of the guys around you are smart enough to recognize what a great catch you are, that's not your fault.

- Bro Jo

1 comment:

Lisa said...

Bro Jo? What do you mean that love is not the reason we get married. I thought trust, sacrifice and, commitment were the definitions of love.

I agree how hollywood portrays love isn't the reason we get married. I know that getting butterflies in our stomach is not the reason why we get married or it is a good reason. But I grew up believing that the definition of love was putting someone else's needs before your own. I just believe love is an selfless act and, so is marriage.