Things to know

Regularly read by 50,000+ readers in over 140 countries around the world, "Dear Bro Jo" is published several times a month.

This is column is just one guy's opinion, and while he does his best to keep what he thinks, says and writes in-line with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, "Dear Bro Jo" is not an LDS Church website. (And Sister Jo thinks you should know that he's sometimes wrong, and often way too opinionated for his own good.)

Nothing here is meant to take the place of talking with parents, leaders, or Church authorities. Please, if you need serious help, talk to a trusted adult, leader, and / or professional counselor.

Please like our Facebook page, and check it often for Discussions, Notes, Events and just General Good Stuff!

Everything here is copyrighted. If you're going to quote any part of anything here, please get Bro Jo's written permission. You can reach him at

Monday, December 28, 2015

What to do When Girls Want High School Boyfriends Instead of Dates

Dear Bro Jo,

I hope you don't mind, but I've got a bit of a concern you might be able to help with...

I'd consider myself a good kid. Priest, Eagle Scout, 3.6 GPA, decent student, Choir VP (after one year of participation), Swim captain after four years, basically, an all-in-all well-rounded individual.

I've enjoyed being a "proper gentleman", holding doors, being polite, resurrecting chivalry, etc.

I've got a few dates under my belt, so I guess you could say I'm a "seasoned veteran".

All of them but one have been with LDS girls in my stake or school.

That one is the sticking point...

Over the summer, I invited a girl I got to know in Choir to go kayaking around on the lake.

We had several mutual friends, I had invited her to come hang out with us more often, and decided, "what the hey? Let's ask her out once."

Good girl, good standards, good company.

It was a lot of fun and we both enjoyed it.

None of my other friends were in town, so it was just her and me. (there's one blunder).

I thought I had made it clear that this was a non-committal, friendly date, but that apparently wasn't the case...

There wasn't much time between then and school resuming, so I saw her again then.

Homecoming was coming up and I wanted to ask her, but I decided to ask another friend (LDS, who also happens to be in choir) who I hadn't dated yet, had seen over the summer, and thought I'd have a better time with.

I did.

It was a ton of fun!

I didn't regret it, but this was my second big one.

But to backtrack, word spreads in High School.

Before the dance, she found out I had asked this other friend and confronted me after school.

She accused me of leading her on, being thoughtless, not respecting her feelings.

My hasty explanation (under heavy pressure) made the situation worse.

Three strikes, and I was out for the count.

Since, we've made up-ish (we're talking comfortably to each other again).

I know I botched a ton here and I've been working to avoid making the same mistakes in the future. 

Yeah, this was months ago, but my questions remain:

1.  How can I more clearly communicate For Strength of Youth guidelines and Church standards to non-members that I might try to take on dates?

2.  How can I let her know that this is not a move to become her boyfriend (because I'm planning on going on a mission this summer-I can't be distracted by a gal back home!)?

3.  Will she/peers really care that this is what my stance is, considering the almost overwhelming pressure to pair-off and get involved in a committed relationship in High School?

I have two good (LDS) friends that have fallen hard for each other (and have since sophomore year) and I'd rather avoid that entirely.

How can I better fight that pressure and still take good girls on good dates?

 Sorry about the length. I may have taken one too many AP English classes...

- Guy from Seattle

Dear Guy,

You start by going back to the Dating Rules, learning from the mistakes you made in the past, and not repeating them.

You can't control everything everyone thinks.

You could try apologizing to this girl, you could try explaining things, and maybe it's worth a shot, but she sounds to me like she's a bit of a relationship bully who's lashing out because she made some assumptions and got her feelings hurt.

You can't rationalize with irrational people.

Sharing the Gospel, which I think ultimately is what your question is about, starts with living the Gospel.

We need not be perfect (which is great, because we aren't), and it's important that we don't give the impression that we think we're perfect, either.

We testify of the Atonement by being humble and repentant.

We testify of the principles in For the Strength of Youth not by preaching them, but by doing our best to live them, not by judging others by their contents, but by explaining to others (when asked or the opportunity arrives) that we choose to live those principles (just as following all of God's commandments is a Choice) because of our testimony of the blessings that come from doing what we know is right.

We don't convert others, we provide opportunities for learning, invite the Spirit, and let him convert them.

(An important fact for all of us to learn, especially missionaries.)

- Bro Jo

No comments: