Hello Bro Jo!
I just discovered your blog and hoping I could ask you a question or two.
I'm 25, and never done a whole lot of dating.
I have never had patience for the immaturity of the YSA dating scene in the area I live.
I have a hard time finding people with similar interests, and I don’t want to spend time 'hanging out'....would rather make meaningful connections and do productive things.
So for the most part, I've always said no when asked out.
I've also not been looking, at all, for any kind of serious relationship.
My life is full with family, school, work etc.
Three months ago I met a guy at work who spent a month and a half trying to draw me out in conversation and eventually asked me out.
I surprised myself by saying yes, and we've been in a relationship for a month.
The problem I am facing is he is an inactive member, hasn't been to church in over ten years, and in the meantime has led a drastically different life than mine. He seems very nice, and thus far has been respectful of my physical boundaries(I was very quick to set those).
The thing is, its my first serious relationship and I don't want to let myself get carried away too soon or too fast. Especially as I ultimately want a temple marriage.
I really like him, more than I have liked anyone before. We have a lot of similar interests, our goals and dreams are align very well.
I am a fairly reserved person but from day one have felt completely at ease with him, and I sincerely enjoy spending time with him. We have intelligent conversations, and while some dates are movie nights, we do lots of productive things too.
He likes me a lot....fairly certain he is already naming our future children.
Probably an exaggeration but he does like me a lot.
I am holding back a bit...more than I want to, because of the inactive member thing. I have never met anyone I got a long with so well, or liked so much.
We've talked about God, religion.
He has come to church with me, and said he would be willing to make some changes in his life. I don't want him to make those changes because of me, and we have talked about that.
I guess my question is ...should I wait and see if he can make lifestyle changes and come back to church?
How long should I wait?
What should I look for to see if he means action or its just words? Is there anything I can do to help?
I don't think he really understands, when it comes to the Word of Wisdom...how important the standards of the church are.
Am I taking all of this too seriously, especially as its my first serious relationship?
Should I stop looking so far in to the future?
Sorry this was so long,
- Ever So Concerned
I certainly don't think you're taking this too seriously.
Nor do I think you should stop looking towards the future.
At 25 I think it's okay to wait . . . for a short while.
At most I'm thinking 3-6 months.
And even then, I think you need to see sincere progress during that time.
If he's going to Church . . . cutting those things out of his life that have made him unworthy to take the Sacrament . . . or to enter the Temple . . . if you can tell by his words and his actions that he is gaining his own testimony, if you can see the progress, if things are moving forward, then I think you're okay.
But if at any point he begins to try to drag you away from Church, be it subtly with invitations to do something else on Sunday, or angrily (perhaps by claiming that you're forcing or manipulating him), then it will be time to cut bait and move on.
The bottom line, I think, is that if the Temple is not clearly a goal for him, if you can't see him taking you there, if there's no progression in that direction, then you're wasting your time.
Give him at least three months to see how things are going.
If, between there and six months you feel like things are at a dead end, have a very honest and serious "I love you, but if you can't take me to the Temple, if you have no intention of doing that, then we'll have to part ways" discussion.
At least then you'll know.