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Sunday, April 17, 2016

Should She Pursue a Mission or the Return Missionary?

Dear Bro Jo,

First off, I want to thank you for what you are doing.

To be an author of relationship advice is one thing, to do it for LDS kids is another! What blessings must come your way to help inspire the youth's desire to be sealed to their spouse for time and eternity!

Now to put my trouble across less eloquently, I've been having a mind versus heart going on inside that's left me in a sort of rut. I have a friend who has been close to my family since I was little.

He was my brother's friend while I was younger but has gotten closer to me since his return from his mission one year ago. We do things together at least every weekend now; casual things as friends.

We went on dates before but that soon sizzled out and we stayed really close since. The problem is, since what tiny flame there was burned out, I've started to actually feel like I like him.

I'm trying to stay away from the phrase "falling in love", because I know that I'm probably not in love with him as of yet.

However, I also know that he has no interest in me more than being his friend, so I'm stuck not knowing how to move ahead or fall back, so I'm in a rut.

To top things off, I decided a while back to go on a mission.

I'm not wanting to let something so minute hold me back, but I don't want to take these potential feelings for him with me on my mission. I don't want to feel like I'm missing any chance with him every time I read a letter he sends. And I've been feeling like if he were to tell me that he feels the way I do, I would want to stay home and work on that relationship.

So I'd like your advice on a few of things:

1- Do you think it's worth trying to pursue a further relationship with him, even if he probably isn't interested?

2- Is there a way, if things just don't work out, to get over these feelings so I'm not taking them with me on my mission?

3- Are these feelings a sign that I perhaps should not even go on a mission?

And anything else you think may help would be greatly appreciated!

Sincerely,

- Patiently Waiting




Dear PW,

I sense that this may be an Age and Timing issue.

If he's already home from his mission for a year, that means he left pre-age change, which would make him at least 22.

You haven't even put in paperwork yet, so I'm guessing you're at the oldest 18 . . . possibly younger . . . possibly still in High School.

If those things are correct, little sister, at this point you're just Way Too Young for him.

If you were say 19, and IF he hadn't brushed you off with the "just friends" line, I'd say confess some feelings and give it a shot.

But at 17 and 22?

No.

Stay focused on school and a mission (should that be what the Lord has in store for you).

Go on Casual Group Dates with guys your own age until you graduate, then, when you're an adult, branch out to more Serious Single Dating.

If you are mission focused, don't get too serious until you get back.

If a mission is not in your future, and IF you're still interested in this guy when you're 19 and he's 24 and IF he's still single and IF he's interested in you at that time, then I say give it a shot.

For now, there's nothing wrong with having a crush, and I'm sure he's a great guy, but don't let it pull you from the things in your life that are going on right now; don't let this crush keep you from dating in your own age-bracket.

- Bro Jo

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