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Monday, February 1, 2016

Transitioning from Shy Missionary to Serious Single Dater

Dear Bro Jo,

Before my mission, I was always a pretty shy guy. More so around my family, and I don’t know why.

My parents are awesome and would never judge me for something I’ve done or am doing. But I’ve just never been able to open up to them the way I should.

The same with everyone who aren’t my closest friends. I can talk to them and be open and loud. But with my parents, I’m silent.

While In the field, I learned how to be outgoing and confident.

I could talk to random people and make them laugh, and I just didn’t care what anyone thought of me.

That constant objective of finding people, and helping them gave me a confidence that I had never had before (I never knew how having a clear objective, or having pure love could make me so outgoing and confident).

But since I’ve gotten back from the mission, I’ve lost that confidence.

I still feel it very hard to open up to my parents, or talk with people. Even more so than before the mission!

Talking to people who I haven’t seen in two years is painful (Hugs or handshakes is a decision that scares me. I never know which to do with casual acquaintances.).

I thought this would ware off after a month, and I’d be back to who I was before. But it’s been almost two months, and I’ve lost a lot of self-confidence.

During my last interview with my mission president, he told me that I never reached my potential in the mission. He told other missionaries that they had reached their potential, but apparently I didn’t give as much as they did.

I felt that I served the Lord well.

Not perfectly.

But that comment made me feel like a failure.

Now I think back to my mission, and more often than not, I see where I failed.

I sometimes avoid looking at things that remind me of my mission.

Now I feel like I’m in a little bit of a rut.

I know you speak / blog about dating, but I figure a back story helps.

I am at that stage of my life where I should go out on dates, and that requires self-esteem.

I can move on from all this, I learned a little bit about repentance on the mission (apparently not enough), but how can I build up the confidence to talk with a girl when I really doubt myself?

I feel if I could just get back into the dating scene, back into a normal life, I could get some confidence again.

Feel normal.

But how do I get that confidence to even talk normally, let alone date?


- Lacking

Dear Brother, 

(I don't think you're "Lacking" anything.) 

I feel impressed to tell you that you may have misunderstood your Mission President. 

I don't think he wanted you to go home thinking that you were a failure; I think he wanted you to understand that, much like baptism, a mission isn't the end of our journey, but the beginning. 

For you it was clearly the beginning of your deeper understanding of the Gospel and Atonement; it was the beginning of you seeing what you can accomplish when you believe . . . In Yourself. 

The potential you have is limitless (I ask you to consider what we learn in the Temple about that). 

Not everyone is a huggy-tell-everybody-everything-always-open kind of a person. 

Heck, I think too many of us are Too Open. 

Your job, whether Elder or Member, is to be the Best You, not to be someone else. 

And as for dating, it's really no different than sharing the Gospel. 

(I often say that Casual Group Dating is great Mission Prep.) 

You found your confidence because you stopped being worried about what people would think about you. 

Even though it's time for Serious Single Dating, that concept still applies. 

Focus on being The Best You, and don't put to much emphasis on those first few dates. 

They're just dates, man! 

Don't wait for a girl you think you're already in love with, just go out to have fun and get to know someone better. 

And, like so many things in life, it will get easier if you stop talking yourself out of it and just go do it. 

Go on . . . Go ask a girl out right now! 

Trust me, it really doesn't even matter whom. 


If she goes, great! 

Have fun. 

If she turns you down, her loss. 

Go ask someone else. 

Take it from a guy who gets piles of emails every week from Young Single Sisters . . . they're just hoping you'll ask them out. 

Keep it simple. 

Many, many, many, in fact I think most, RMs struggle making the transition from No Girls to Go Date; you're not alone. 

And you're going to be fine. 

- Bro Jo

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Confidence comes from doing hard things. On your mission you learned to talk to strangers and now you can use that skill to talk to girls- they are all potential eternal companions. Talk to them and listen to the things they value and enjoy. Find a girl you have some common ground with but also some differences to allow for personal growth and that makes her more interesting. Set goals to accomplish hard things like play an instrument or run a marathon or travel to a strange and far away foreign country. As you discover what you like and what you are good at invite girls to come along for the journey. For example, a hike can be a great date because you get to know someone and exercise at the same time. What is great about dating is you can change companions anytime you like:) But if something does not work out then look back at the relationship and appreciate what was good and think about what can be improved. With every relationship transfer you should be becoming a better eternal companion. Pray for courage and take the opportunities God sends your way. Fear is the opposite of Faith. So Elder be believing, have faith that God has prepared an awesome young woman for you to marry. God knows what you need and you just have to do the work to find her:)