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

Friday, June 17, 2016

Overcoming His Relationship Anxiety - part 1

[Dear Readers,

Part 1 today.  Part 2 on Monday.

- Bro Jo]

Dear Bro Jo,

I’m an RM who just got back from serving his mission in (location withheld), and I was hoping for some advice so I bought your book and I’ve read it. It was very helpful but there are still a couple pointers that I wanted to get that I didn’t find in the book.

Several years ago back in high school I did not follow the Church guidelines to avoid steady dating. It was kinda a shocker to me when this girl I liked in seminary asked me on a few dates, and before I knew it we were going out steady.

It kinda caught me off guard since she asked me plus I was really shy and didn’t really want anything to do with anybody in that way, but the thing is that I cared about her & she was like my best friend.

We clicked very well together and had a lot of fun.

That young woman was like my best friend and my sister but was also a love interest at the same time. Her family is really cool too and overall we all got along.

Anyhow, after a year things kinda came apart and we separated.

A lot of it had to do with our being so young but also it was due to my inability to properly articulate what I felt. My being insecure and not confident also had a negative impact from my end.

Although we didn’t get back together in high school I still liked her (we had several breakups but in the very end I choose not to get back with her, even though I wanted to). In a way it damaged our great friendship at that time which was quite regrettable.

That was when I understood why the Brethren ask teens to avoid steady dating and so I went on group dates but never got in any other relationship before leaving on my mission. Fast forward two years and I’m back at BYU.

Since serving a mission I’ve changed in a lot of ways,

I have better ‘inter-companionship’ and communication skills and am more caring for others as well as more confident.

After coming back to the Y we, the same young lady and I, started texting each other again and communicating through Facebook, then we started just casually hanging out, before we knew it we went on a few dates.

Not long after I wrote her a letter to see if she wanted to get back together and she responded that she would.

Anyhow, we’ve had a lot of good times and have gone on multiple dates since then and we have progressed in our relationship.

We're at the point where when she goes grocery shopping she invites me to tag along, and vice versa. 

We like being together even if it means just to go pick something up at Walmart or meds at Walgreens.

Part of me is really scared of the idea of us being separated, and sometimes I stress out because I read too much into the little things.

It’s annoying because I thought that I got over that ‘no confidence’ ilk while I was in the mission. 

Also it took a lot of confidence to get to this point, to even consider asking her on dates let alone to be together.

I recognize that I’m being insecure and am not having confidence which is really aggravating because I thought I slayed those demons a while ago. I am not always insecure, it’s more like I have ‘fits’ of insecurity where I really start feeling unsure about us or in other words that she might break us up or that I said something really stupid, etc etc, but despite my fears everything has been progressing relatively well, and unbelievably quickly.

Most of the time I’m alright.

So essentially what I’m asking is how do I overcome those ‘fits’ of insecurity and low confidence that are triggered by reading too much into little things?

Also, is it normal for that to happen?

It seems in part that it stems from my fear of facing that great amount of emotional pain that I felt when we broke up back in the day.

How do I overcome that fear?

More than anything I want to be with her and we’ve been communicating well, I just don’t want to drop the ball on my end.

Everything has been going smoothly but I still get really anxious sometimes for no reason.

So what is the root of my problem?

Thank you for your time and consideration,

- RM Facing Down Old Demons

Dear RM,

I'm not certain of the psychology behind why you're reacting the way you are, but as an RM you surely know what the opposite of fear is . . .

And you know how we strengthen that opposite.

Some of us (including yours truly, by the way) suffer from insecurities.

We're just wired that way.

It never totally goes away.

We can either let it cripple us, or channel it in a way that motivates us to serve and succeed.

If I'm feeling insecure in my calling (am I doing enough? am I the right person? am I who the Lord needs?), what would you tell me to do?

Do you see what I'm driving at?

You have the power to take these negatives and turn them into positives.

Deep down I know that Sister Jo loves me and would never leave me. But there are times when I worry about how much I'll miss her if something ever were to happen to her.

She appreciates confidence.

So when I'm feeling that way I go buy her some flowers.

And when she asks why, I tell her because I'm smart enough to know that sometimes a beautiful woman deserves flowers.

Her reaction always helps me feel more confident in our relationship.

Get it?

So one last thing, my friend . . . and I mean this: Marry Her.

She's everything you could ever hope for in an Eternal Companion.



And don't let her get away.

- Bro Jo

No comments: