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Monday, August 22, 2016

The Difference Between High School Dating and Post-High School Dating

Dear Bro Jo,

I'm 19 and just got done with my first year of college.

After reading through more of your posts, it's got me thinking.

During high school I didn't get asked out.

To be honest, I wasn't interested in dating though I would've gone if a nice guy had asked.

So I definitely wasn't heartbroken, and most of the time I didn't feel like I was missing out on much.

I never pursued dating but I am a little surprised I didn't get asked--I have nice features and take care of myself, though I am quiet unless I have something to say.

Most of my friends were girls and I've always been happy with having just a few good, close friends to spend time with. I've always been the type of person who has been myself 100%, known what I want, and known who I am and I'm very grateful for that.

It's made a lot of decisions easier for me. Even though year at University was different, (I got asked out more than anyone I knew and had a lot of fun and a few not so fun dates. I even ended up finding a guy I really liked by the end of it),

I'm wondering exactly what would the benefit have been if I had dated in high school?

Do you think I've "caught up" in a sense?

How can I better transition to dating/pursuing dating now that I am interested/realize it can be fun? 

Also, two random questions:

     1) is it ever okay to text a guy a picture of yourself?

I told him to use his imagination as far as remembering what my face looks like ha.

He didn't mean it in a sexual way, though we do have a date this weekend.

Along with this, he's a nonmember.

     2)  Generally speaking, what is the protocol for dating nonmembers so as to not lead them on/get hurt as a YSA?

I don't see any point in dating someone I already know I don't want to marry, but a couple dates seems harmless enough right? 

Thanks in advance!

- Kellie

Dear Kellie,

The benefit of dating in High School, in my opinion, is that you could have started your dating experience in a much less high-pressure situation;

Casual Group Dating is, by definition and moniker, much easier to start with than Serious Single Dating.

That said, it sounds like things are going very well on this front, so I don't really see that you need any advice as far as transitioning.

Keep having fun!

As for your "random questions" (I have found in my experience that, despite the label, these are never "random') . . .

My gut instinct is to say, no, it's never a good idea to send someone a picture via text. Even if it's a totally appropriate and modest head shot, you need to realize that nothing you send electronically is ever really private.

At the very least, be extremely cautious.

(You know, Little Sister, you'll go very far in life if you ask yourself questions like "why does this guy want my picture?" I'll let you see if you can guess The Real Reason.)

Sister Jo says that a girl should always want to keep the guy interested and guessing, and she says that there's a lot of Girl Power in being Mysterious.

*Side note: call me skeptical (I prefer "realistic"), but whenever someone feels the need to say that something IS NOT the reason, it's always actually the reason. 

Secondly, I frankly think it's a waste of your time and his money to date non-members at your age and in this stage of dating.

While I agree that superficially a couple of dates seem "harmless", I counter by asking you: what's the point?

Look, if you were still in High School and this was a Casual Group Date, I'd say by all means "go"; but at this point in your life you need to have certain criteria that all of your dates need to meet, and I think "worthy, active priesthood holder" is the bare minimum.

I mean, unless this guy is sincerely investigating the Church, I wouldn't bother.

That's not to say that you should be mean, but . . . certainly not.  And I'm sure he's a nice guy, but again, what's the point?

Since it, at least at this moment, has no hope of going anywhere, then it's kind of like you're taking advantage of him.

Even if he doesn't care, that's not a good thing.

And since things with this guy aren't going anywhere, doesn't that mean that every moment you spend with him is a moment you're not spending with a guy who could possibly lead to a relationship that IS going somewhere?

- Bro Jo

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