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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Off to BYU

Dear Bro Jo,

I originally wrote this as a comment on your February 13th post, When All The Girls Around You Seem To Be Waiting.

However, it exceeded the character limit by a just a smidge:) So here's the 'ole copy/paste:

I don't know about JA, but I think that opening line for dates is perfect!

I intend to go to BYU in the fall, and frankly I'm feeling a bit uneasy about the dating scene, myself. 

Some of this comment is for JA, some for Bro Jo, some for both.

I am BEYOND excited at the idea of there being a sea of genuinely Good Guys to date.

However, I am 18!

And as we all know, there are a lot of anxious-to-be-wed RMs.

In fact, with the announcement, that'll be most guys. I don't want to get married for another couple of years, at LEAST.

And on top of that, yes, I do have someone I hope to be able to consider when he returns from his mission.

As long as I'm still open to dating other guys, even getting into a relationship with someone if I so choose, I don't think there's anything wrong with that. Do you?

I could go into details about why I really want to keep the heavy stuff (talk of marriage, engagement, etc) off the table next year, but it is enough to say that the missionary is only a small part of it.

Also, from what I've seen with other people, I think a lot of girls just use the missionary as a scapegoat/excuse when they're just not interested.

Look at all the e-mails Bro Jo gets from the Dear Johned and the Dear Johners.

There is one pattern: if she's honestly likes you, she will keep going out with you, despite whatever missionary she has.

This is one of those harsh truths, but it is a truth nonetheless.

Only a small percentage of the girls with missionaries are actually so blinded by their "love" for "their guy" that they can't consider other people, but there IS a reason she chose to wait.

Obviously, she really cares about him. Respect that, don't push it too hard, and I guarantee things will go much better, because moving too fast will definitely establish you as "the bad guy", with most girls.

I speak from the experiences of both myself and several MG friends.

When I've dated guys since My Missionary (pardon the phrase, Bro Jo, I know you hate it) left, I've always been open from the start, and I'll say something like "Hey, there's something you should know.

There is someone I really care about, who is very far away.

So if I ever seem like things aren't going as well as you'd like, it's not that I dislike you. " I say that rather than telling the whole story because it's short and simple, and also because it's easier to understand than the whole standards thing (there aren't any member guys of dating age for hours in any direction).

They always say "Yeah, that's fine. No problem", and I think everything is fine. Then on literally the second date, they're trying to kiss me and ask to get in a relationship, and when I turn away and say no, they get really angry, even though I asked them not to move quickly at all. It hurts that they would disrespect my feelings and comfort zone so much.

By pursuing so hard, so fast, it feels like they thought the feelings I have for my missionary didn't matter or weren't even real.

And that, my friend, eliminated any chance they had of going on another date with me.

Summary advice to JA: If she's an MG, take it slow, and you just might have a good shot.

Seriously dating an MG takes patience.

That patience shows her that you respect and recognize her feelings for the missionary, and it honestly makes her like you more.

When an MG goes on a lot of dates with a Legitimately Nice Guy, she often feels guilty and confused when she starts liking him. Taking it slow lessens that uneasiness, or even eliminates it (which is how you win her over).

If you rush it, of COURSE she'll emotionally go back to solely the missionary.


Here's where you really come in, Bro Jo:

It's been a long time since I lived somewhere with date-able guys (date-able = mentally/emotionally stable, good standards, able to speak a language I understand, age 16-23), so I'm really at the "I just want to get to know people, have fun, learn, grow, prepare for when I DO want to start looking for an EC, and all that jazz" stage. BYU will be great because everyone will understand standards and things, but I am legitimately worried that it will be the same thing all over again, but worse because it's on a bigger scale (going from high school guys looking for relationships, to RMs looking for an eternal companion?!?).

My question is:

What's the best way for me to get that across to a guy, especially an RM, without giving the impression JA and others seem to have of all MGs?

Also, like Cheese (many of my favorite posts on your blog are her stuff), I've already been getting creepy proposal-like things.

How do I best avoid those without stomping on people's hearts?

Is there any way to tell when those things are coming?

Do all guys start when-you-get-married q/a conversations with the ulterior motive of proposing in the near future?

Any other essential BYU dating advice?

I can handle normal plain old just-for-fun dates.

Those are cake, and I enjoy cake. But the "MUST HAVE RELATIONSHIP OR MARRIAGE ASAP" guys are plain intimidating, and I seem to encounter more and more of them as I get older.

And I'm not even old yet!

Though older girl friends who tell me dating horror stories don't exactly reassure me either, haha. 

Past Solely Group Dating, But Don't Want Anybody To "Put A Ring On It" For A Good While (or as you're coming to know me by my regrettable plethora of letters),

- Melody

P.S. Sorry for the novella.

Dear Melody,

No, I don't think there's anything wrong with you being open to dating whomever asks, but willing to date a guy you already know when he comes home should you still be single and each of you still interested . . . that's what I've been suggesting for years!

I think your comments about girls "waiting" often using that as an excuse or a crutch and that going away if she meets a guy she likes is absolutely spot on; I appreciate your candor and honesty.

I think the key to dating at the Y (or any college or institute, frankly) is a lot like attending sacrament meeting or a conference: you get out of it what you put into it; your attitude will have an awful lot to do with your experience.

My general advice is, like going on a mission, Be the Best You You Can Be.

Be Happy.

Be Positive.

Be of Good Service.

Don't make too much out of a First Date.

Or a Second.

Or a Third . . .

And Be Open to meeting new people. 

Don't worry about what might or might not happen or when.

Anyone, guy or girl, who's more focused on commitment instead of getting to know someone better is missing the point.

You'll meet some of them (it sounds like you perhaps already have), and that's okay; it's all part of the experience.

Heck, it happened to Marjorie Pay! It can happen to you!

Laugh it off and move on.

Happy days,

- Bro Jo

1 comment:

emily said...

I totally agree about the "focusing on commitment" vs "getting to know someone". It is a relationship KILLER. Be careful. Just get to know someone, don't get emotionally attached too soon; it is likely to scare them away, stress you out, and prevent a good relationship from forming.