Things to know

Regularly read by 50,000+ readers in over 140 countries around the world, "Dear Bro Jo" is published every Monday, Wednesday and Friday (with occasional additional posts, too).

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, Bro Jo is not a spokesman or authority for the LDS Church. (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.

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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 dearbrojo@gmail.com.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Why Won't He Kiss Her?

Dear Bro Jo,

How long does it take until a guy kisses you?

I have been going on dates with this guy since forever (5/6 months) and what I have from it?

Nothing.

He gives me all the signs that he likes me, but not this specific one.

I'm freaking out because I don't know if he is just playing with me, or what's going on in his mind.

Does that mean that I'm not kissable?

Because that is what I'm starting to think.

Yes, we hold hands, we have all this physic contact that shows me that he likes me.

Am I right?

Ok. So, what am I doing wrong?

All this time going out together, and not a single talk about our relationship.

Nothing.

Should I give up on him?

Should I stop answering his texts, and pretend I don't care?

I thought we were over this phase, but apparently we are still on "high school dating" phase, which we just hold hands and laugh at each other the entire day.

- Frustrated




Dear Frustrated,

I could recommend that you read Bro Jo's Guide to Kissing or The 6 L's of How to Get Kissed ... 

But what I don't understand is, if you two know each other so well, have been dating for this long, and have this "great connection" and all ... then why are you asking me and not him? 

Where is it written that you have to just wait around wondering how he feels??? 

Communication, dear sister; it's the key to any good relationship. 

No, don't confront him. 

In between all of those great "laugh all the time" moments, have an Adult Conversation. 

Tell him how you feel, and ask him the questions (perhaps in a much less dramatic way) that you've asked me. 

Be Understanding. 

After all, if he didn't like you he wouldn't be putting in all of this time and effort... 

So there's got to be some reason. 

And don't come across like you're begging, either. 

I mean, talk to him; do some teaching about feelings, expectations, and relationships; but also Be Considerate of his feelings, too. 

Be Prepared to get kissed. 

But don't just chuck this great relationship if he's not ready.  Wait until you hear what he has to say. 

Good luck! 

Talk to him soon.

And tell us how it goes. 

- Bro Jo

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

She's 20 and Still in School; He's 26 - Is That a Problem?

Dear Bro Jo,

Aloha Bro Jo!

I hope you will have some insight on my predicament…

I have been dating an RM for the past five months and I'll be completely honest I've fallen head over heels for him.

The only problem is that we're at two different stages in our lives,

He is 26 and graduated and currently working and I just recently turned 20 and am currently still attending college.

We absolutely love spending all the time we can together when I come home from school on the weekends and I wouldn't want to be with anyone else.

The only problem is that not only he but also my parents hate the age difference.

I try to overlook it since it is only 6 years… Should I worry?

And is it going to get harder since we are at two different places in our lives?

Or am I over thinking the whole situation?

Help??

Mahalo,

- Confused College Girl




Dear College,

I'm sorry, I just don't see any problem with him being 26 and you 20, or him being out of college and you still working on your education.

Couples, regardless of age, are often "at different places in their lives"; that's much less important than how you deal with those types of things.

Our world is full of people . . . and things . . . that work against Eternal Marriages.  Telling us that we're too young, or we need to focus on worldly things first, or that marriage is too difficult, too expensive, too hard . . .

Or one that I think is The Most Destructive:  that you shouldn't "settle" for the person you're currently dating.

None of which is true.

And marrying a Temple Worthy person who loves and cares for you, who will help you work towards raising an Eternal Family . . . should never be considered settling.

He me iki ia,

- Bro Jo

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

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Depression, Counseling, and Moving On

Dear Bro Jo,

I've been I guess depressed for a while for many reasons really and I can’t seem to get out of it.

- NW




Dear NW,

Depression is a very real thing, with several possible helps.

Some thoughts:

  - Have you talked with anyone about your depression?

  - Is your depression constant? Or does it seem to come in waves?

  - How do you deal with being depressed? What makes you feel better? Do you find that you do things that actually make it worse?


BTW - Sister Jo is an advocate of eating ginger when depressed. Ginger cookies. Ginger snaps. Stuff like that. She swears by it.

- Bro Jo




Dear Bro Jo,

I've mentioned it before to a couple people.

It seems to come in waves like when I go to bed and have time to think or sometimes at school I feel like breaking down and crying cuz nobody talks to me or sits with me or even really notices me.

Honestly being depressed kinda scares me.  I don't want to be like this.  This isn't who I want to be.

A lot of the time talking about my past sometimes it makes it worse but at the same time it helps.

I cry a lot like almost every night. I dont think I have ever tried ginger for it . . .

Hmm something to look into I guess, right?

- NW




Dear NW,

Absolutely.  Ginger is highly recommended.

The other thing Sister Jo recommends, VERY Strongly, is Service.

Doing good things for others Always helps us feel better about ourselves.

I'm off to bed, but I'll be up early.

Feel free to email me whenever you need.

Even if it's just to vent.

Make that appointment with your Bishop!

And remember: you're a great and valuable person!

Why?

Because Heavenly Father says you are!

Let me know how things go.

Best,

- Bro Jo




Dear Bro Jo,

I love doing service!

Thank you so much.

I’m sure you will hear from me more.

Thanks again and I will make that appointment.

Thank you,

- NW




Dear Bro Jo,

Here is my big update!

I talked to my Bishop and I am now seeing a counselor.

I think it is helping a lot!

This guy that left on his mission . . . well I kinda liked him and he was saying he loves me and that he would wait for me after he is back and I am gone.

However today I found out he emails like thousands of girls and that his number one is his girlfriend who he told me was just his friend.

I kinda expected this because he cheated on his girlfriend with me and he cheated on me with the girl he is dating now... it is a huge mess.

Anyways I am really sad and wanted to get your opinion on things.

- NW




Dear NW,

My opinion is that you're well to be rid of him.

- Bro Jo




Dear Bro Jo,

I've been trying since the first time he hurt me.

But I think going on my first real and proper date with a guy I know is great will help.

- NW





Dear NW,

Undoubtedly.

- Bro Jo




Dear Bro Jo,

Thank you!

You actually did help.

You got me re-excited for this date!

 - NW




Dear NW,

Anytime!

- Bro Jo

Monday, December 21, 2015

She Needs to Repent, and So Does He . . . but He's Leaving in a Week

Dear Bro Jo,

I need to repent and so does he but he is leaving in a week.

Hello my name is (withheld).

I have a friend that is leaving on his mission in about a week and he is unworthy to enter the Temple and I don’t want him to leave knowing I could’ve done something to change that. I have tried before but nothing has happened.

He has gotten into porn and masturbating and he used to cut and has threatened to do it again.

He has also sexted me and kissed me and made out with me all while having a GF.

He has touch me inappropriately and has gotten me to do things I am not proud of and am trying working to get rid of.

I need help idk what to do.

- Name Withheld




Dear NW,

You need to ask the Lord for help and comfort, and then you need to go talk to your Bishop.

Some of what you mention (making out with you while he has a girlfriend) qualifies him as a bad guy, but isn't the type of stuff that would preclude missionary service.

Some of the other stuff (the cutting, the porn, the sexting) are bigger issues.

Your Bishop can not only help you Spiritually overcome your own concerns, but he can warn the Bishop and Stake President of this Young Man so that they can help him get the help he needs before he goes.

If what you say is true, and I have no reason to believe it's not, the longer he hides his sins the bigger the fall will be, and he may end up taking others (like his future missionary companions) with him. 

So call your Bishop right away.

Tonight or first thing in the morning, and tell him you're having some Spiritual challenges that you need to talk to him about right away.

And then do.

As a dad of three young men on a mission, I can tell you from my perspective that I hope someone like you, who has the information you do, would speak up before one of my boys gets stuck with a companion who is not worthy, mentally ready or spiritually ready to serve.

The boy is not just in spiritual danger . . . he's in emotional and physical danger as well. Cutting is serious stuff.

He needs help.

More professional help than either your or I can give him. By calling your Bishop, you may just be saving this young man's life. 

If there's anything I can do to help you, please let me know right away.

God bless,

- Bro Jo




Dear Bro Jo,

Idk what ward or stake he is in so idk how to contact anyone about that I know I need to talk to my Bishop as soon as I can to clear my stuff up.

I would feel awful if he brought other missionaries down.

I wish I could do something more to help him.

Thank you so much!

- NW




Dear NW,

If you know he's leaving soon, I imagine you know where he lives and what mission he's going to be serving in and which MTC he's reporting to.

And, certainly, you know his first and last name, right?

- Bro Jo




Dear Bro Jo,

I know his first and last name and the MTC yes and where he lives, what will this info do?

- NW




Dear NW,

Knowing where he lives is all your Bishop will need to know should he feel it appropriate to find out what stake he's in and who his Bishop is.

The mission he's been called to, which MTC he'll be training in, and the date he's leaving will help the Bishop confirm that he's got the right guy.

Now, all of that said, are you okay?

- Bro Jo




Dear Bro Jo,

With this yes.

Other stuff idk.

- NW




Dear NW,

Do you want to talk about that other stuff?

- Bro Jo


[Readers,

We'll continue the remainder of this post this Wednesday.

- Bro Jo]

Friday, December 18, 2015

Should She Move On?

Dear Bro Jo,

I'm sure you get a lot of these every day, so I hope I'm not making your job more annoying. I normally wouldn't do this and I go to my parents for all of my advice, but I've been intrigued at the responses I've read on your blog, and I thought maybe I could ask you for your professional dating opinion. I've also read your book, Bro Jo's Guide To Relationships, but I couldn't find what I was looking for.

First I'll start with some background. I'm a BYUI student coming up on my 7th semester. I'd written a missionary, who came back in December and he wasn't "ready" for a relationship so I decided to break it off with him.

Long story there.

He just didn't grow as much on his mission as I would have hoped a missionary would have.

During that time of writing I'd been on A LOT, of dates, but never been in a serious relationship because I'd always compared them to my missionary, and never really "felt it" with any of them.

Well after things ended with my missionary, I was sorely disappointed. It's been almost a year since that happened, and I am so grateful it didn't work out with him because he didn't have as much substance as he should.

Also he was a taker, not a giver. He never really appreciated me and I bent over backward for the guy. I'm just being honest.


Anyway after the break up, I guess you could say, I had been on a few dates, and life had been pretty okay. A return missionary I went to high school with had a real interest in me and decided to pursue me.

At first I was not interested, not because of any red flags, but because I just wasn't. I didn't know him in high school, we hung out in two different crowds, and I just wasn't interested in getting to know him after high school.

There wasn't anything I found wrong with him, and he's an attractive young man, but again I just wasn't "feeling it." I actually got to the point where I told one of his friends I wasn't interested.

I know pretty snobby of me.

Well I can eat my words now.

So any way, he tried really hard to get my interest. He remembered things I would say. He knew I wasn't a fan of constant texting so he would make sure to call me every weekend and invite me out. He was a real sweetheart. I guess I just wasn't used to a cool guy really caring about me and giving continuous effort. It was just weird to me.

After I had told his friend I wasn't interested, I found myself really regretting what I had said, and I realized I was giving up a shot with a really great catch, who really cared about me. Shortly after that realization we started dating. It was the first time that I felt like I didn't need to worry about making someone stay interested in me. I could really be myself. It was also the first guy I couldn't complain about because he did everything right I guess you could say.

He truly cared and he made it known.


We got to know each other for the substantive things.

We never kissed, not that I didn't want to, but I made it clear that a kiss to me was commitment, and I wanted us to actually get to know one another before anything physical.

So we got to know each other over the course of 2 months. I had really enjoyed my time with him, more than I thought.

He's talented, fun, magnetic, personable, stylish (it doesn't hurt), sweet, hard working, spiritual, not to mention flat out hilarious, etc. As I got to know him I realized he was everything. He was my "list," and I didn't realize that at first. I just had preconceived high school notions.

It's more important to be the list than to find it, I realize that, but I'm just appreciating his qualities. I realized that he was someone that made me want to be more because he was so much more. Well unfortunately before getting more serious Bro. Jo he broke it off with me.

He said that he felt that it wasn't the right time for him to be in something "like this." (Yeah another one who wasn't ready, but this is a completely different guy from the guy a wrote.

I'm not one to put pressure on people, really I'm not. Just because I want actual commitment doesn't mean I want a ring. I never even talked to either of these not ready guys about marriage).

He said he felt like he needed to date more, but he had no one in mind. I guess maybe he didn't feel he had relationship experience.

I don't think you have to go through hundreds of heart breaks to gain experience. Experience is a relative term, and furthermore he dated so much in high school.

Way more than I had.

He then gave me a 2 page letter with all of the things that he loved about me in it.It was very tender, and heart felt. The letter also said how much he actually trusted me, and that he still wanted us to hang out.


We didn't have much time to talk because we both had places to be.


After that we messaged for a while, and he told me that he had sat out in the rain hoping I would be okay. I told him that I would be fine, and that I trusted that he was doing the best thing....

I told him that I didn't want to try and be friends, and that I didn't want to see him date other girls.I had said that, but because he had actually talked to me about his feelings and didn't avoid me as a lot of guys had done, I felt that I could eventually be his "friend," again, or at least that we could talk normally, just because I don't believe in that friendship term.


Well, that happened a month ago...


We started talking again recently, and we've even hung out a few times because we have the same friends.

The first time it really hurt, because old feelings were rehashed, but he said that he still felt super comfortable around me.

Yay more crying!

I invited them all over this past Sunday, and he actually stayed 3 additional hours after everyone left, and talked to me on our front porch.

We just talked about whatever like we used to. Not about our relationship.


3 hours Bro Jo.


My question has nothing to do with being friends, because like I said I don't believe in that term. My question is why?

Why would someone who was, and is still I know it, so smitten with me not want to commit to me?

He was so whipped.

He would do anything for me, and he says he still would, but he doesn't want to be my boyfriend?


All his friends say it's nothing personal, and they can't even find a reason.

I just feel like he's still in high school.

We aren't 16, we're almost 22 we can be serious about dating.

I know he still likes me, I know he hasn't been on any other dates by his choosing.


Girls like him, PLENTY of girls want to date him. He's a good looking, likable guy.

I have been on one date since the official split, but I still have feelings for him.

I didn't think I would feel this deeply about him, but I do. I truly admire him.


If I could get back together with him, I would in a heart beat without doubt. It just stinks, it really does.


You finally feel even-stevens in a relationship and for no reason it just ends.


Maybe I'm just looking in places where I can't find answers, and maybe I'm hoping for closure that you can't give me, but I just can't let this go.


How could I forget about someone like that?


How could I forget about someone so absolutely everything, so unique, so eccentric, and feel okay with life?


He's not replaceable.

I want to get back together with him, I do.


Should I stick around, and then call it quits if it's not going anywhere?


We have the same friends, so it's hard not to see him all the time?


I guess I could get new friends, but they are truly amazing to me, and a support.

There is something holding him back, but there's obviously more he can't let go of. He said he would be stupid, and missing out not to be around me.

Come on, at my house for 3 extra hours?


You said in your blog that guys don't stick around for a significant amount of time unless they are interested in a girl.


I'm sorry I'm overly analyzing, but it doesn't add up to me. It's not typical, and I still feel so good around him.I always feel at peace with him, always.

I know it's the Spirit.

Then what's wrong?

Does he just feel he's not at a place to move into the next step of life? I'm sorry this is unbearably long.....

Thank you so much if you actually get through it.

Again I appreciate it.

Sincerely,

- Not Getting Any Younger




Dear Not,

I'm not sure if this is so much because of what you said, or just something I feel based on what you've said . . . but I just get the sense, little sister, that the problem isn't him . . . it's you.


You kind of come across as cold and controlling. And, frankly, unappreciative.


More than affection, even more than sex, guys want . . . need . . . to feel appreciated.


Yes, sometimes that comes in the form of a smooch; and sometimes it's an actual out loud expression ("thank you", "I love you", "you're the greatest!"); and sometimes it's in the things that you do.


Now, before you get defensive and start telling me "but Bro Jo, I do all of those things!” ask yourself exactly what you're asking me: Why would a guy who clearly likes you, who likes spending time with you (3 hours!), and with whom you have such a great connection, tell you he wants to date other people BUT NOT DATE THEM?


If you were in his shoes, why would you behave that way? 

Why would you say those things?

Therein, I think, is your answer.


Now, let me tell you one more thing: if I got a letter from a guy who said "Bro Jo, I've been dating the same girl for two months, she's great! We spend all kinds of time together, and I love being around her, but she refuses to kiss me until we 'get to know' each other better" . . . I'd tell him to Move On.

Not that kissing isn't important . . . but it's not unimportant, either. 

It's not just commitment or sex. Yes, it can be those things, but it’s also a sign of affection and love and appreciation.

Given the other side of the story, I'd think "wow, man; she's kind of using you a bit; I'd never propose to, let alone marry, or even be exclusive with, someone I'd never kissed".


I'd tell him to not force himself on you, and to certainly not pressure you into anything you're not ready to do, but at some point he's got to be wondering "Is this what I want for Time and All Eternity? Am I just her escape from being in her 20s and unmarried, or does she really find me attractive? Do I want a marriage devoid of passion? Devoid of spark?"


Does that make sense?

It concerns me that you describe him as "whipped".

A lot.

I'd tell any guy whose girl thinks she's got him whipped to get . . . the . . . heck . . . out of that relationship NOW and go find him a girl that loves and appreciates him more than herself.


Look, I think you should make him cookies or brownies or something, go deliver them in person, tell him the truth (that you love him!), kiss him - a Good Kiss (preferably on the porch, not alone in his house), and look in his eyes and ask him how he feels.


It's a bit of a risk, but if you don't take it I think you're going to be regretting sitting around and letting him go for a very long time.

If, and I mean IF, you can respect him . . . which I'm not sure you've been doing.

At least, I'll bet he's not sure he can see that from you. If you can't, if what you value most is that he'll do whatever you want, then do the guy a favor and let him go find someone that actually loves him. 

But, I'm telling you now, I think you'll be making a mistake.

Better to change your heart than to be alone.

- Bro Jo 




Dear Bro Jo,

I appreciate your honesty and advice.

I'm sorry if I came off controlling, and cold. That really is just not me... :( .... I wish I could actually talk to you in person, but I understand that you only have so much to work with.

I know kissing isn't wrong...

And I never really unappreciated him.

I wrote him letters too, brought him lunches, held hands, cuddled...

But if you think there is more I can do then okay.

You're right, I do come off as selfish, and I do have some changes I need to make. I will take what you said into consideration and do my best to make it work .

Thanks again!

- Not




Dear Not, 

If all of that's true, and I believe you, then what do you think the problem is?

Maybe you should ask him.

- Bro Jo 

Monday, December 14, 2015

Sister Jo Says "Learn to Sew!"

Dear Bro Jo,

In past emails I asked you about the red dress on the cover of your Guide to Relationships book.

You mentioned that Sister Jo sews, to make things modest.

Does she have a blog for LDS women wanting to learn to sew in order to keep our clothes modest?

I just bought my first sewing machine and am very excited!

- J




Dear J,

No, J, no blog.

But Sister Jo says that there are probably all kinds of classes you can take where you live.

Try asking at places that sell sewing machines and fabric.

She also says that you should check out Pinterest, which has lots of great ideas and links to millions of sewing blogs.

Congratulations!

Good luck. And have fun!

- Bro Jo




Dear Bro Jo,

My grandma said shell teach me basics while I'm home and I’ll take a class when I get back to BYU-I.

Thank you,

- J




Dear J,

Grandparents are the best teachers!

- Bro Jo




Dear Bro Jo,

They are aren't they!

My great grandma taught me how to crochet and now I'm making her a blanket

- J




Dear Readers,

Sister Jo learned basic sewing from her mother and grandmothers and aunt and leaders and others, but her skills grew out of necessity.  She started making clothes for herself because she was frustrated that she could never find quality items that we could afford.  Then she began making Halloween costumes for our children, and now makes original formal dresses for our daughters.

She insists that that sewing is a skill that anyone can learn, and feels very strongly that more of us, guys and girls, would be greatly blessed by learning how to create our own clothes.

- Bro Jo

Friday, December 11, 2015

Taking One More Step

Dear Bro Jo,

Hey, I have a question for you, and would love to hear your opinion.

There is this man, he is 24, and I met him about 2.5 months ago.

We team-taught an anatomy program at an elementary school together this past semester at BYU.

He is definitely different from other boys that I have dated--he is much more introverted and reserved.

We can talk for hours though and never get bored.

He actually initiated our first conversation outside of school-related things, so I feel like that is a good thing.

Anyways, he is new to Provo, so I invited him a couple weeks ago to go see a movie with a whole bunch of friends.

It was not a date,

I just invited him to come hang out because he's new and I know he doesn't have a ton of friends.

We had a fun time, and it was good to get to know him a little better outside of school.

This past week, he gave me a ride somewhere i needed to go (he's very kind, always willing and wanting to help me out in whatever way he can), and I invited him over as a friend to hang out, lots of people, again I just want him to feel welcome to a new place.

However, I won't deny that I do like him, and I'm fairly confident he also likes me.

Tonight, I just so happened to have 2 tickets to the Christmas devotional in SLC, and none of my roommates wanted to go, so I just asked him if he wanted to go.

He did, so we went, and spent like 5 hours together this evening, and I had a really good time.

I definitely got to know him better, and I want to go out with him on some more dates, but I just don't feel like he is going to ask.

He is just one of those people who is content with life as it comes, and life is busy for him, and he is reserved by nature, and I could see him just not asking me out in the future, even though I'm fairly certain he likes me.

I think he just really needs to go at things at his own pace, in his own time.

I'm fine with giving him some time (I don't think he dates much due to his reserved personality, and I don't think he has ever had a girlfriend, or kissed anyone, or anything like that, even held hands with a girl).

What should I do?

I've taken some initiative on the whole thing because I thought he needed a little push, and I just really like spending time with him as a friend, but he needs to take the initiative now.

He is giving me a ride to the airport in a week or so because I'm flying home for Christmas, and I TA for a class that he is taking, so I see him at reviews, but those things aren't dates. I just would like your take on things. . ..

I've never been interested in someone quite like him.

Normally the guys I like are outgoing, loud, and quite the open book.

This guy is just . . . different.

Anyways, I look forward to hearing your response.

- BYU CoEd




Dear CoEd,

I think you can go one more step.

Tell him what you've told me: that you like him and want him to ask you out.

You have nothing to lose.

- Bro Jo

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Cheese and the Digging for Compliments Guy

Dear Bro Jo,

So I have a... An acquaintance, we can call him the Gold Digger.

I see him at Church most weeks, and went to his house to a movie party his step brother invited me to one time.

Recently I mentioned to all the young men in our ward that they looked better with short hair.

The next time I saw them 3 had gotten haircuts, including the Gold Digger.

Now today he finally got the courage to ask me on a real live double date!

I said sure, and as soon as I said yes he started being all creepy the way he was texting me, and he started digging for compliments.

I thought only insecure girls did that?

He texts me "It’s no nice you aren't ignoring me."

Less than 2 minutes later "Do you think my baseball pants make me look muscular?"

I say "go to bed" he says "Don't you think I look so much more attractive with my hair cut."

Me "good night" him "You don't need to act like this now that you already agreed to go on a date".

I don't respond.

Moments later "I think I need to work out more. What do you think?" and on and on and on.

Umm... What do I do?

He's never really talked to me before other than in the hall at Church.

- Cheese




Dear Cheese,

I'm not certain if you're using the phrase Gold Digger the way I do ... but that doesn't really matter.

I think the best course of action is to not engage.

Simply ignore the creepy, fishing for compliments texts.

(You know I think y'all text too much to begin with.)

Even a "Go Away" text is still giving him attention, and thus encouraging him.

Good thing this is a Double date!

Otherwise it might be best to cancel.

- Bro Jo

Monday, December 7, 2015

How Can a Guy Get a Girl to Stop Waiting for "Her Missionary" and Like Him Instead?

Dear Bro Jo,

I originally wrote this as a comment on your February 13th, 2013 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.

Savvy?



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

It's been a long time since I lived somewhere with dateable guys (dateable= 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.

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




Dear Bro Jo,

Haha, thank you.

I will definitely keep all of that in mind.

I don't think I've been worried for ...myself. I know everything will work out for me how it's supposed to, one way or another.

It's more the fact that I hate knowing someone is upset because of me, regardless of my surety of the rightness of my decision, and it always makes me feel like a terrible person.

So I generally avoid getting into those kinds of situations as best I can, but at the same time I'm also one of those "if I feel it is the right thing for me to do, I'll do it regardless of the opinion of others" people.

It is sometimes a catch-22.

But again, it'll all work out.

Thanks again!

-Melody




Dear Melody,

Anytime!

- Bro Jo

Friday, December 4, 2015

Online Dating - A Follow-up

[Readers, 

In September of 2012, I posted an email that asked about online dating. You can read the original post HERE.

Below is the follow-up that the original writer sent me. I am aware that many of you, particularly those at Church schools, are using swiping apps as a means of finding dates. 

As an Old Fashioned Guy I'm just not sold on how effective this is. It strikes me as superficial, and more about "hooking up" than about creating a meaningful, long-term relationship.  

What are your thoughts?

- Bro Jo]



Dear Bro Jo,

I saw that you posted my email, I was very surprised ha!

But I realized that I never told you how it went, so I thought I would update you.

I tried it for a month, and got tons of messages and requests and stuff, I went on a few dates but it wasn't really my thing.

Most of the guys that I had contact with and that I was actually interested in never seemed to follow through on wanting to meet, they would say it or we would talk for a while but we never actually met.

The few I did actually meet up with were okay, but just not guys I would be as interested in.

There were a few I would really have liked to meet but we just never made it work, and one of the hardest parts was the distance, I did not want to actually "date" someone online, as-in through emails and such, but more I wanted to meet people through there and date the more traditional way, so trying to get together when we lived far away was kind of difficult.

Overall I guess I'm glad I tried, but I don't know if I will try it again, maybe though... I also think the stigma is still holding me back some, I know that it probably shouldn't but I just can't get over it yet...
I am still definitely struggling with meeting new people and I am hoping to move soon to get to a new area,

I date quite a bit, but without much success so far.... Hopefully soon!

- BP




Dear BP,

Dating "quite a bit" is a good thing.

Relax.

Have fun!

When it comes to meeting new people, sometimes I think it's like food storage: trying to do it all at once, whether it's stocking a 2-year supply from scratch or meeting either a bunch of new people or that special guy is just too much to handle; it's overwhelming!

Just buy one can of soup.

Meet one new person.

Get to know one new guy at a time.

And you're right; it's much easier to get to know people in person than over the internet.

- Bro Jo

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

A Bunch of Questions

Dear Bro Jo,

Ok so some background.

I'm 21, female, YSA, Activities CoChair, and outgoing.

I have tons of friends and no issue meeting new people.

Now I use to be inactive and have been back for close to 2 years.

Also I am a little on the heavier side but by no means crazy overweight.


Dating issues:

Why do LDS girls feel like they need to be married by 24?

I'm way mature for my age and could be married but most girls I know are not ready to be married and the ones that are now realize they were ready.


Why is it acceptable to be newly married and live with your parents?


Why is it that LDS guys go for girls out of there league?

Let me explain. In the real non LDS world if a guy rated a 6 out of 1 (ugly) - 10 (hot) he goes for a girl who is around a 5-7.

In the LDS YSA dating ALL men go for a girl who is a size 6 or smaller and is usually way out of their league and they look like the "Molly Mormon" leaving a lot of women who have no chance till they get older and date older men who usually are divorced or finally wise up that they can't get those girls.

Numerous of us YSA have talked about this and the guys don't realize it.


Why won't guys date in the ward or date for fun?


Why do guys friend zone more then girls do?

Girls friend zone mainly due to lack of attraction.


Do guys not like when girls are forward because they say they do but yet it's the shy girls getting married?


Church perspective:

Why is it that they make short garments and long garments?

Shouldn't they be a set modest length?

Why do Mormons stick out like a sore thumb and all of us fit into the stereo type and are shown in Mormon ads as "Molly Mormons"?

Why does the Church make people who have a past write a letter to the first presidency about everything they have done before they are allowed to serve a mission?

The Church teaches if all is handled through the repentance process and priesthood it is a clean slate remembered not and forgiven.

Yet they make you right a letter and where it as though it is still part of you.

Why are girls turning to a mission (not all this way) but they see it as I'm not getting married might as well?

Why are some people disfellowshipped because they had sex but others not?

Even in same situations only thing different was the Bishop?


I will start with these questions and hope to hear back.

I also appreciated a lot of the question answer post but I think it would be neat if you put out a question and posted people's responses.


Such as what is a good cheap date?

Should women ask men out?

How do you show a guy you are interested?

Pros and cons of BYU?

What are activities your YSA Ward has done that you liked?

Pros and cons of moving out? With roommates? With friends?

- Name Withheld




Dear NW,

I'll do my best to address your issues as you've listed them.

Before I do, let me say this: I'm glad you've come back to activity - good for you!

Okay. Here we go!


1. Marriage isn't something that anyone is every truly "ready" for.

There are several things like that in life. You have to live it to really understand it. IMHO too many people put things like this off because they feel the need to know everything . . . to prepare for every contingency . . . and the truth is, there's No Way Anyone can be fully prepared for marriage. I'm not convinced that the push to be "married young" (whatever that means) is necessarily any stronger inside the Church than it is outside. It's a cultural thing. For every study someone finds that says that people should wait until they're older to get married, another one can be found that touts the virtues of being married young.

What I will concede is this: I agree with the prophetic advice that marriage and family should not be delayed for selfish reasons or worldly pursuits


2. .I think there are indeed times when it makes sense for multiple generations to live under one roof, but generally I don't recommend it. I think there's a lot of good from a young couple getting out from under parental wings and struggling to make it on their own. And I think a lot of parents are doing their children a disservice when they, IMHO, over-shelter them. Literally. Barring extenuating circumstances, Sister Jo and I have no intention of letting our children live at home when they're first married.


3. No explanation necessary; I've seen what you're talking about. I blame both the guys AND you girls. First of all, I think all of you (including those of you at home) are being Way Too Shallow. I don't think one should limit themselves to dating only one pre-determined type, and I think there's some truth in understanding that you're going to attract the type of person you are, but I also understand that some people are just universally a little (as my kids say) "a little easier on the eyes" . . . and it's no surprise that those folks get more attention.


4. Many guys do date for fun and within their own ward.


5. I wouldn't say that guys "friend zone" more; I think it's the opposite. I think guys do stick girls in a "back up zone", but guys typically don't spend any "friend time" with girls they have no interest in or attraction towards. Girls, on the other hand, will collect guys as "friends" that boost their ego but they have no intention of every being romantic with.


6. Most "Good Guys" find girls that are too aggressive socially to be a turn off. Lots of guys are lazy. Those guys like it when they can sit around and do nothing while girls "hang out", making them cookies while they play video games. Don't confuse "shy" with "polite" or "attentive".


7. There is no such thing as "long garments and short garments". All garments are a set length relative to the other measurements of the material. Sisters at the distribution center love to laugh at the girls (and guys, now) who come in asking for "garments for shorts". People who alter their garments are in violation of the purpose and spirit of them.


8. I believe that some people carry themselves with the light and attitude that should accompany someone who is a disciple of Christ, and that shows in the way they act and the way they treat others and they things they do, don't do, say and don't say. I see nothing wrong with that.


9. Your "letter" comment isn't entirely accurate.

While there is a part of the application that talks about your testimony, and some things (such as tattoos) need to be documented, a letter outlining every sin ever committed is not part of the application.


10. Doesn't everyone want to feel like they're doing the best things with the time they've been given that they can do?


11. All Church disciplinary action has but one function: to help the member return to full fellowship with the Savior and to know of the blessings of the Atonement. All situations are different, and one of the burdens of the call of Bishop is to know how to help each individual member.

No two different situations can fairly be compared in the way that you're trying to compare them.


All of your other questions (and most of the previous ones as well) have been answered (multiple times) on both the Facebook Page and the Blog site.


Feel free to search both - there's lot's of great stuff in there!


If I've missed anything or you need some clarification, please write again.

- Bro Jo

PS:  It's okay to have doubts and questions, but as the saying goes, Doubt Your Doubts Before You Doubt Your Faith.