Sister Jo and I have been discussing what we see as a sad trend among young people in the Church: Young Single Adults, men and women, giving up on wonderful relationships with wonderful people, sometimes not even giving these relationships much of a chance to start at all.
It happens for several different reasons.
We know that modern media has clouded and confused the definitions of love and infatuation; that the prevalence of Social Media and Electronic Communication is crushing meaningful connections and real conversations; and that Satan is working very hard to lead our young people away from eternal relationships with one of his greatest tools: fear.
Rather than take the risk and do the hard work that a Good Eternal Marriage requires (and reaping the blessings that come from all of that) excuses are made, worldly distractions and ambitions take over, and . . . well . . . like I said . . . opportunities are lost. Or, rather, thrown away.
Enjoy this week's series!
- Bro Jo]
Dear Bro Jo,
Sure thing. And sorry it was at 12:30. I have insomnia and forget people don't go to sleep as late as I do.
The young man I've been starting to see lately, I've never dated before. I met him a couple of months ago, and he seems to be a great guy. We get along really well, he honors his priesthood, and he's great fun to be around.
The thing is, I get really nervous when I start to get close to someone. I did have a pretty bad experience a while back with someone else, and I feel like I can't trust anyone anymore.
This bad experience was that I began seeing a young man when I was 18.
I knew him from school, he was LDS, I knew who his friends were, and he seemed like an excellent fellow. BUT as it turned out, he had a girlfriend.
He had started calling me his girlfriend, but there was someone he was seeing before me, and nobody told me. I was so angry and hurt. I felt like a fool.
The girl was mad at me, I had no clue she even existed, the guy tried to make up a couple of dumb reasons why we should keep seeing each other, and I left him. I didn't want to be "the other woman". It was horrible.
I don't know why this experience was such a trial for me. It's really ruined my dating expectations. I get nervous when I get closer to other young men out of fear they'll do the same thing (if not something similar) to me. I get scared that by getting close to someone again, I'll be making a wrong choice, or making myself more vulnerable to being tricked and hurt again.
There are young men that I've WANTED to date who have wanted to date me, but I get scared. I get so nervous, I quit contacting them. I make myself busy doing other things so that it all comes to a swift end. It's terrible. It's so hard for me to trust. I don't want to invest so much time into a relationship and then get stabbed in the back. I worry that if I get into another relationship, I'll get stuck in it. Or that it'll go completely bad and I'll be played as a fool again.
I feel lonely. I want to get close to people. I want to be able to be in a loving relationship, but I get so nervous and afraid that whoever I'm dating might turn into someone I never wanted to be with.
I don't know if any of this makes sense, but it's really hindering my social life. I feel so distant and unhappy, but every time I try to go on a date, every time I put some effort into trying to date like a normal person I get so scared. I freeze up and cut myself off. I don't know what to do.
Do you play sports or a musical instrument?
Are you in school or do you have a job?
- Bro Jo
Dear Bro Jo,
I have a job and I'm doing school at the same time.
I'm pretty athletic and am training to do a triathlon. I play piano.
I know that training for a triathlon requires you to push yourself physically. Sometimes it hurts. Your muscles ache. Your body is sore. You're tired. You work out even though you don't want to, even when you know today's workout is going to cause you pain. Right?
So . . . why do you do it?
- Bro Jo
Things to know
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, Bro Jo is not a spokesman or authority for the LDS Church. (And Sister Jo thinks you should know that he's sometimes wrong, and often way too opinionated for his own good.)
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