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Monday, November 28, 2016

Is It Okay for Single Adults to Date Outside the Church?

Dear Bro Jo,

Hello again!

I find myself in somewhat of a place I have never been before and need advice from someone not emotionally involved. I am certainly hoping that you and Sister Jo can give me some advice.

I wish I had had someone with your wisdom that I could have asked questions of a long time ago. But there you have it, I didn't.

I think I told you my ex was ultra-abusive. I might have been better at seeing the signs had I had more extensive experience dating but prior to my marriage I wasn't asked out a lot, almost never, and dates consisted of group events mostly set up by me, or other activity directors, etc.

Even though I don't go out on a lot of dates I watch a lot of people, I pay attention to what goes on around me.

After this divorce ten plus years ago, I find myself in the same spot. I have not been out on a single date. I have been with several group dates, again almost exclusively arranged by myself.

A lot of my guy friends see me as someone to talk to, someone who solves problems, someone who can make things happen.

I have followed your suggestions for getting dates.

Nothing.

I actually have a good guy friend who bluntly asked another guy why the heck he wasn't dating me. his response - we are just friends.

I have asked my guy friends what they see in me, good and bad. I have been told I am the life of the party, the light in any room, the nicest girl, they say I a one of the most active women they know, church wise, etc.

ll positive, even though I asked for honesty good or bad, it all came back good.

So what is the deal?

I live in a very rural place which I love but it also cuts down on the amount of single guys available so I make it a point to travel to dances and other activities in bigger areas, including Utah where I go on business occasionally. I dance, but mostly because I have good guy friends who will ask me or I will ask them, (they are good enough friends to know which songs I like, etc.)

I have been on several of the dating sites and recently it was suggested I try a newer one, Plenty of Fish. It doesn't delineate between LDS or non LDS, but it will allow you to stipulate non drinking, nonsmoking, non-drugs, Christian, etc.

So I met a guy on there who is catholic (and can I say for the record that I always thought Catholics were Christian but after multiple conversations now don't believe that). he is a very good guy and very much like me in all points except that he isn't LDS, and he doesn't have a very good concept of Heavenly Father, etc.

Major conflict there.

He also lives in on the other side of the country.

But I do like talking to him, I have been teaching him the plan of salvation, etc.

He thinks I am wonderful, he wants to date me, he is sending me a Christmas gift, he is very chivalrous, perfect gentleman, in fact MUCH more so than any other single guy I have met in the last ten years bar none...

If this guy was a high priest, current temple goer, etc, this relationship would be a foregone conclusion. But he isn't.

I already go to the temple once a week and when I get further along in life and the kids are out of the house I really want to serve in the temple. that's a major goal that I won't be changing.

Bro Jo, I am not in any hurry here at all. I have three kids still at home and while they want a dad I am not going to rush into any relationship - I can't afford to because it isn't just me and my future at stake. I am thoroughly enjoying the conversations, the attention, and having someone think I am wonderful but what the heck do I do from here?

I do not want to lead this guy on, I am just flat out too honest for that and he is too good a guy.

The biggest mess I see is women getting married because they are lonely. I know what that feels like but I have also been blessed with good friends who help balance out the loneliness. It has taken a long time and a lot of therapy to undo the horrible voices in my head from my ex-husband telling me how I would never measure up and for the first time I am actually hearing a man tell me that I am worthwhile and it isn't a line to see how far he can get.

So there you have it.

Your thoughts please, as well as those of Sister Jo.

I have no desire to have a part member family, as a huge part of who I am is the gospel. I told him that what he is attracted to is the light of the gospel, not me, but he says he thinks it is me.

A huge chunk of me is service and I used to take a verbal beating from my ex when I took time to help others. I don't ever want to go into another relationship where a guy puts me through that again as it is so much of who I am.

This guy is an active catholic, active as in attends church several times a week. Good heart, helps others, sees things positively, just like me. Just missing the light of the gospel.

Ironically several members of my family served missions where he lives, I just moved my folks back in August and I wouldn't have a single problem hooking him up with the missionaries once he is ready, if he gets to that point, and that is a big if...

There is always the chance that when he comes to visit (he is already thinking and talking along those lines) that the height thing might bug him too much but he says it doesn't. Even meeting me he might realize that he is in love with a pipe dream.

That thought stays in the back of my head and I also realize that part of the crap I am fighting against are the horrible words of the ex. I know I am worthwhile, I know my Heavenly Father loves me, I also know that I am supposed to get married again (Heavenly father told me that, not anyone else.)

I think that I can wait to find the right guy for me but I think I am invisible to all of those guys.

UGH!!!

Thank you for your time and service to others. You are a wonderful asset.

- A Friend




Dear Friend,

In general I feel that, for someone who has Eternal Companionship as a goal, dating someone who is Not Yet a Member is a waste of time.

Now, helping a person become a member of the Church . . . that's an EXCELLENT use of our time.

Membership need not be a requirement for friendship, of course, and never should be.

But Serious Single Dating?

Yeah.

I don't think you should waiver on that.

Be Patient.

- Bro Jo




Dear Bro Jo,

Thank you for you advice!

We had another conversation the middle of last week and I told him the story of the 2000 stripling warriors and about the title of liberty (as I have a copy on my wall and it is a big part of who I am).

He told me that he would love to read the book of Mormon which is a good thing as I am sending him one for Christmas, marked with some of my favorite scriptures.

He really is a good guy, and I am glad there is a whole distance between us as it gives me time to adjust and have some good conversation before we meet. I am enjoying the friendship.

Thanks again!

- A Friend




Dear Friend,

Anytime!

- Bro Jo

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I had a Stake President once say that it would be better to not be married in this life than to marry someone who is unwilling to join the church; One gives you hope for Eternal Glory in the Celestial Kingdom in the future, and the other sets you up to be a ministering angel in the next life. I thought that was a pretty bold statement, but I have thought about it a lot over the years!