Things to know

Regularly read by 50,000+ readers in over 140 countries around the world, "Dear Bro Jo" is published every Monday, Wednesday and Friday (with occasional additional posts, too).

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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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Should Her Friend Be Jealous?

Dear Bro Jo,

I have a friend who is much older than me. (She is 25, while I'm 19) We become close the past few months and even roomed together for a semester.

She recently became friends with my cousin's roommate who is 19 years old. I was also introduced to him much later and we three would hang out once in a while.

He seemed interested in me and even asked me on a date but I don't date right now because of cultural reasons so I told him that and he was okay with that. We continue to talk and text.
Lately my friend has been acting weird, she has been avoiding me and just a few days ago she spoke to me regarding this guy.

She feels that I stole him away from her and that he no longer texts her as much and she’s upset that I as a close friend to her would do this to her. She thought that he and I had something going on which I cleared with her that I don't. We spoke things out, she said a few harsh things but I continued to listen and cleared things out one by one. She says she likes him a little but doesn't want to but is more hurt that he would jump from her to me.

He sees her no more than a friend so there is no mutual connection between her and him and I never thought she would like him because she would constantly urge me to go out with him, etc. So I would've never thought she would be interested.

The day we spoke about it, everything cleared up. Even though I was hurt, I decided to let it go. But the next few days she started to talk about this issue to other people other than me. (My cousins, my sister)

I was hurt that she thought this way about me. She still hasn't spoken to me about it or anything.
He is a great guy and I don't want to choose between people. I want to be friends with both of them. She straight out told me she doesn’t want anything to do with him anymore but I know she still cares.

I don't know how to take this? I'm not really good with talking about sensitive issues like this one. This boy is just a friend which I told her multiple times and our convos are very casual. I told her that it’s not my fault he doesn't talk to her but she feels that I betrayed her.

How do I act upon this? I don't know how to deal with this. How can I make myself feel less hurt and how can I help her as well? I'm just confused and lost.

-A Friend.




Dear Friend,

Don't do anything special.

Jealousy is something that makes people talk and act weird.

Be Kind.  Be Genuine.  And Be Patient.

If you're truly not interested in him, she'll figure it out eventually.

And she is going to have to figure it out on her own.

I will say, though, the one thing that she understands that you don't is that Men Can't Stay "Just Friends" with Women.

And, that said . . . you may want to think about whether or not you do, in fact, like this guy.

I don't think anyone should give up a Great Eternal Companion in favor of someone who isn't enough of a good friend to realize that they have no chance and you do.

Just a thought.

- Bro Jo

Monday, May 29, 2017

Does This RM Want to Date Her?

Dear Bro Jo,

Thank you for the time you take to answer people’s questions, you truly have a gift and a heart for helping people. I have a question of my own. For some background information, I’m 19, I go to a non-Church school in the south, and since home is so close, I come home every couple of weeks and go to a YSA ward when I’m home.

I’ve been going to this ward for over a year and have never gotten a date or anything there, which doesn’t bother me because nobody there really caught my attention. But a couple of weeks ago a new guy came, I’ll call him John. John’s one of those guys that I think “oh he’s too good looking and outgoing, he’d never go for me” so he never crossed my mind as a romantic option. We were in the same Sunday school class that day and afterwards John was talking to my friend and when walked up by her to get my stuff he introduced himself to me.

I found out he lives 15 minutes away from my home and just got back from his mission in Mexico two weeks before and he’s 23. Still thought nothing of this, he was so outgoing and he was talking to a lot of people. I got home and Facebook stalked a little and EVERYBODY from the ward wrote on his wall about how excited they were to have him back and that they should hang out. So John’s just a really friendly, really nice, genuine, good guy.

Anyway, I went to a game night activity the next Friday with my friend and John showed up AND he made a point to come talk to me and I just thought he was being friendly to everyone, but my friend said he didn’t say hi to everybody and that he made a point to come say hi.

I think him and this other girl (who’s Hispanic and just got back from her mission, but is going back to school next semester) might have a “thing” because she’s Spanish and he’s kind of still obsessed with Spanish stuff because he just got back from mexico and I know they’ve hung out and saw them talk at church, but I'm not sure.

Anyway, the next day my friend convinced me to Facebook message him telling him that my friend and I were looking for something to do and we heard about another activity that night but was wondering if he knew any details. He messaged back saying he couldn’t come, but told me who to ask about it. It was just a ploy to get to talk to him, I already knew about the activity haha.

At Church the next day he came up to talk to me and was asking if we made it to the activity and that even though he couldn’t make it that we should hang out some other time. So my friends think he likes me and that I should Facebook message him about the next activity I go to, to see if he’s going. I’m not convinced he likes me and I don’t like making the first move!

So, finally my question is do you think he is interested in me at all?

And I really would like this to go somewhere and as cheesy as this sounds, he seems so perfect, like everything I ever wanted in a guy: RM, strong testimony, super nice, kind, funny and way cute!

Should I wait for him or make another move?

And sorry this is so long!!!

-Confused




Dear Confused,

I have no idea if he's romantically interested in you or just, as you say, being a nice guy.

I say wait another week or two (at the most) and give him a chance to make a move and you a chance to gather more information.  Missionaries need some transition time, you know.

If, after say 4-6 weeks of flirting and hinting he hasn't ask you out, you'd still like him to, but you're not sure where he stands . . . ask him.  "Hey, are you thinking about ever asking me on a date?"

It's not as forward as you might think it is.

If you can't bring yourself to ask, you could always get a friend to ask him if he's ever going to ask you out . . . but I think it's better if it comes from you personally.  In person.  No FB messages or texting!

- Bro Jo

Friday, May 26, 2017

Crushes at 15

Dear Bro Jo,

I am 15 years old, and I've never been boy crazy. I've only liked three boys my whole life, including the one I'm going to tell you about.

I am a very smart girl and I'm used to being the smartest or close to that in my classes. However there is this boy in my first period honors orchestra class who makes me feel inferior. I'm not too bad at playing my cello; I'm even the section leader. But I've only been playing since 7th grade, and I don't know everything, especially about theory. He has been playing Suzuki violin and piano since he was 4.

On top of all of that he is in several 9th grade honors class. And just to make it all worse, he’s in 8th grade and I'm in 9th. (For only 15 more days!)

But wait, it gets worse.

When we were both babies, his dad was my parents’ bishop and all of their older kids know my older siblings. But barely know each other because we were babies. There’s another variable in the problem. I have a mild case of Asperger syndrome, which is basically a social disorder. It’s fun.

So, I can’t figure him out. Half the time I think he likes me, and half the time I think he thinks I'm an alien from mars. As if it isn't already hard for me to talk to him, he says the weirdest things to me and I never know how to respond. He’s a very interesting kid, and everyone thinks he’s perfect.

He’s super smart, amazing violinist, great dancer, I guess he’s pretty good looking, and he’s always right, (in the eyes of others.) examples of times we've kind of spoken: once my friend and I were in the orchestra room standing by the stand rack, talking about how my mom was a cheer leader and boy crazy and how I'm not anything like that. He came up in the middle of our conversation and said "sounds like you've got a reputation to live up to" with a weird look on his face and weird tone of voice.

Then he grabbed a stand and walked away. Another time on tour we were setting up and I was carrying four chairs. I was looking behind me while I walked, when I looked forward he was right there, and I thought he spun, and then he grabbed two of the chairs and kept going without saying anything. In orchestra I would be playing and then glace of at him, and he’s looking at me, (because he has it all memorized) then he smiles and keeps playing.

Weird things like that.

Once we were tracing little kids’ hands and telling them what instruments they should play based on their hands. He walked up to me and said" my hands are bigger than yours and I play the violin. Then we put our hands together and measured and he looked at me, it was way weird.

They aren't ever really conversations, just weird short things like that

I can’t decide if he likes me or not and if he does, I have no idea what to say or how to talk to him.

What’s your impression?

- The Cellist


 
Dear Cellist,

Now, see, I would say that three crushes by 15 is a little boy crazy...

And being this hung up about a guy at your age is also a little ... nuts ... too.

I'm sure he likes you at least a small amount  ... and as you say, why wouldn't he?

Look, there's nothing wrong with how you feel or having a crush.   Enjoy it!
But other than writing about it in your journal and practicing your flirting, there's not much else you should do.

And that means you can worry about whether or not he likes you a lot less.

- Bro Jo





Dear Bro Jo,

Thanks for writing me back. when I wrote you, I could not really explain it the way I wanted to, see the whole thing about all of the details and being confused and wanting really badly to figure it out, is part of Asperger’s.  Kids with Asperger’s tend to fixate on things and want to know everything about it. I did not think I was boy crazy; all of the others seem to like that many boys a month, not in the past few years.

I'm kind of quite most of the time, I'm not the typical social life obsessed gossiping super dramatic teenage girl.

Because of Asperger's, I really dislike a lot of social situations, and am kind of socially immature I guess, but in all of the other areas of my life I'm smart, and good at the things I do. I’ve always just kind of been aloof to all of the social stuff going on around me, and now I want to be able to clue in and be able to talk to people and understand them and their facial expressions and body language.

I guess that's why it all sounded "a little nuts" my life is kind of crazy, as I'm getting older I realize that not many people think the way I do, and I'm trying to learn to make it work, and am trying to understand the way most other people communicate and what things mean what to them, because for me, everything is different.

I think very thoroughly through everything.

Anyway, I kind of have a naive childlike understanding of social things; I'm not sure if you've dealt with people like this before, but could you explain a little bit about flirting since you mentioned it before?

Now that I know I have Asperger’s, I really want to get better at being social.

Thanks again (especially for the time),

- The Cellist




Dear Cellist,

Asperger’s or not (which you mentioned in your first email, btw.) I think you're pretty darn normal when it comes to being your age and socially awkward.

And I don't think you're nuts, but like many of us you do and think some nutty things.

Being flirty starts with smiling and looking and progresses to talking and touching.

For now, just focus on talking to guys, being nice and listening to what they have to say.

- Bro Jo

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

What If Your Friend is in a Relationship Too Young?

Dear Bro Jo-

I am in need of some advice.... shocker right?!

I have a friend that I am really worried about.  She is a great girl, but she keeps getting into these really serious relationships that move very fast.  Then, they break up and she plunges into another intense relationship.

She is only 16 and her current boyfriend is 18 but they are already talking marriage and kids even though they have only been dating two months.  They even had a photo shoot "just for fun" at the temple...

She's also planning on going on a mission, but the choices she is making aren't exactly leading down that path...but she won't listen.

Whenever I talk to her about it she just says "I set my boundaries, and he knows what they are" and changes the subject or talks about how great he is for "accepting her boundaries."

How do I help her understand that she is making the wrong choices?  I don't want to see her get hurt or in trouble because that is where it is leading.  I know she is going to regret the choices she is making one day.

She has had a pretty tough life and her family situation isn't exactly ideal, so it's possible that she's turning to these relationships to find some sort of fulfillment or to make up for something she is lacking at home.  But obviously she should find her value from God!  Not some boy.  How do I get that through to her??

I know I can't make her decisions for her... but I want to help!!  What do I do??  I don't to seem too pushy either...

-Anonymous




Dear Anon,

Nothing.

There's nothing you can say that will change what she's doing.

She hasn't asked for your help or interference and she hasn't asked for your advice.

Let me teach you something about "young people in love":  . . they're pretty closed off to anyone telling them that they're making a mistake.

Every single one of the Jo Kids knows that I think being in a "relationship" before you get out of

High School is a bad idea.  To date every one of them that has gone to high school has been in one.

Or more.

I've written a lot about why that happens, and why I think it's a bad idea . . . but the bottom line is that once the Jo Kids' "relationships" have ended, they agree that, while it had fun moments and they enjoyed it at the time, it really wasn't worth all the hassle and drama.

But while they were in them?  Nah.  They all thought they were the exception.

As does the one that's in a relationship right now.

And there you go.

If she asks your opinion, give it.  Gently.

For now love her, show her support, be her friend, and suggest them as a couple when the guys who ask you on Casual Group Dates are looking for dating buddies.

Set the example.

- Bro Jo

Monday, May 22, 2017

Are They Dating?

Dear Bro Jo,

So here is another of my dilemmas: 

So I've known this guy for quite a while now, we used to go to seminary together but then he graduated and didn't see him as often.

Now we are both in YSA and we just currently volunteered at a youth activity. Before that, we had been talking for a while on Facebook about random stuff. Most of the time he will initiate conversation and I will just respond because I'm nice (well I Friend Zoned him a long time ago, and I think he did the same, mostly because he used to like one of my close friends a few years ago, it was reciprocal and sincerely I never had a romantic interest on him) he just recently suggested to hang out (he also said that it was very sad how little he saw me, and my friend the one from above and my sister). 

I was going to just ignore this since I've decided I won't hang out with guys. 

Only dates. 

But a few hours later he mentioned it again. but since he included the whole package(sister and friend) then what should I do? 

Should the four of us hang out??? 

(Just for the record, I thought it was weird he mentioned my sister since  she is younger than me and they were not really friendly to each other, they were more like acquaintances) I don't want to use one of the get-a-guy-to-ask-you-on-a-date lines (I could but what if he just really want to hang out?) and as I said before, I don't really see him in that way, although I never reject a first date, but as I say before, I barely see him so what do I do? 

I don't want to seem rude or anything. Besides, he is leaving for a mission pretty soon.A part of me tells me that this hanging out will just be friends catching up but another part of me tells me there is something off. 

Please help! :)

Thanks a bunch!

- Em




Dear Ember,

Sounds to me like he wants to get out of the Friend Zone.  I think including your sister is either a sacrifice he's willing to make because it will get you there.... or he has a thing for your sister....

I say stick to your standards when it comes to not hanging out.


Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Does She Love Him? Or Just "the Idea" of Him?

Dear Bro Jo,

Hi!

I am the one who sent you a message on Facebook. As what you've said better to send you an email. :)

Uhh, I really love this man. I do not know what to do.

Before my best friend told me everything that they'd converse but they had one left secret that she didn't tell me... I'm really saddened these past few weeks because of this. Because a friend of mine saw this missionary at the Manila Temple during a Temple tour and he asked that missionary if my best friend and him were close with each other?

And did they exchanging emails?

And that missionary told them the opposite that my best friend hath told me...I want to know the truth behind both story... but I do not know how?

I sent a text message to my best friend about this... and she responded: "Come to think of this... I wouldn't even benefit a thing if I give you false hope...I still have one last thing to tell...Told you it's meant to be untold in due time...”

I really want to know the truth. If only I could talk to that missionary I already did but I don't want to be a cause of distraction and I really want to be worthy enough for him.

I do really love this man...

He really influenced me to become more a better person and a better latter-day saint.

I kept on striving to become worthy enough not just for him but I have this strong testimony because I've been born and raised in the church through my parents...

I do always include him to my prayers even his family...

There's a time that I really want to give up but as I knelt down and cry unto the Lord I received an instant answer... sometimes in the scriptures and mostly through my best friend... that was really the time that I almost want to give up because I was thinking that it would went vain..

But she told me everything except to that last secret... am willing to wait for this missionary... in fact, he'll comes home soon...

What am I going to do Bro. Jo?

Thanks for help in advance!

I'm 21 years of age.

- Name Withheld




Dear NW,

I just don't see any reason to worry about this at this time.

You have no way of knowing if you love him or simply love "the idea" of him, and won't know until he comes home and even then if And Only If the two of you actually date.

As I have said, until then, you should continue to gain dating experience by going out with any decent guy that asks.

- Bro Jo

Monday, May 15, 2017

About To Graduate and Never Had a Date?

Dear Bro Jo,

I'm a Senior in high school, I'm 17 years old, and I've never been on a date.

I am on my stake's youth council, and while I was getting my ecclesiastical endorsement from my stake president for BYU, he asked me if I date. It was a little mortifying to say that I've never been on a date, in fact, I haven't even had an actual crush since 8th grade, but I had to say it. It was especially bad since in my stake they push dating so much, in the casual setting of course. I haven't been telling boys that I'm not interested in dating or anything, and I many of my girlfriends go on dates frequently, but I just can't seem to get one.

Honestly, the closest thing I have had to a date, was going to dinner with my good friend since 3rd grade, my other girlfriend, and his 14 year old brother. I mean, I know this isn't a date, but it was the closest thing resembling a date I can count. I also don't count my Mormon Prom, considering I hardly saw my date the entire time, and I don't count Mormon Winter Formal, because for that I brought one of the boys I am friends with in the Special Education class I work in.

I guess my question here is, are guys this generation less willing to ask girls on dates in general, or is it that I am just not dateable? I feel like I am disappointing my parents and stake leaders by not dating, because they are so concerned that if I don't date now, I will have a hard time getting married later. I guess I just don't know what to make of this whole situation.

Sincerely,

A Dating Virgin




Dear Dater,

First of all, it sounds like you've been on at least three dates, whether you count them or not.

Secondly, I think you need to reign in the drama a tad.  I doubt your lack of dating experience is a disappointment to your stake leaders.  Trust me; no one is in a meeting saying "how can she ever amount to anything if she doesn't date in high school?"  Because it’s not like you have opportunities and you’re shutting them down, right?

Right???

Finally, while I'm flattered you asked (and I thank you for reading and writing in), the truth is I'm not the person you should be talking to.  Sure, I can help with things like:

Bro Jo's "HOW a GIRL CAN GET a GUY to ASK HER on a DATE"

but you've got a great collection of girlfriends who are dating and know you much better than I do.  Ask them.  Ask them why they think they're getting asked out all the time and you're not.

Because, little sister, Information Precedes Revelation.

Once you know, then you can decide whether or not you need or want to change anything.

Oh, and while I'm thinking of it, not having a "crush" since 8th grade isn't a big deal.  Just be you:  a great girl whose value comes from God, not from boys.

- Bro Jo

Monday, May 8, 2017

Graduating BYU and Still Single?

Dear Bro Jo,

I recently just graduated from BYU-Idaho at 21 and just turned 22.

I feel like almost everyone lately has an opinion on my non existing dating life. I attended BYU-Idaho for a little over 3 years in which I completed my bachelor’s degree.


While I was at BYU-Idaho I went on a total of five dates.

I attended my singles ward and was very social but I simply wasn't asked on very many dates.

I did have a crush on one boy while I attended school but that ended up with me getting led on for almost a year.

I had a love/hate relationship with one of my best guy friends from high school that lasted on and off  for five years and that just ended recently in us  no longer being friends.

One of my first problems is everyone doesn't understand how I graduated with going on around five dates when you are at  one of the "dating capitals of the church".  

I never really dated in high school I didn't go to homecoming or prom the only dances I went to were girl choice dances.

I think I went on a total of three dates that were not dances.


Now that I've graduated I've currently moved in with my parents, for the next year until I attend graduate school.

I'm attending a family ward with my parents and teach in the primary.

I attend the single ward activities whenever I can which mainly includes FHE and occasionally institute.  I feel like my family (aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, parents) and friends are constantly asking me if I'm dating.

When I respond that I haven't gone out recently they explain how dating is something that I need to be doing, and tell me how important it is.


Obviously I know that dating is important.

The Brethren of the Church emphasize dating, and there was a big push on it at BYU-Idaho.


But I don't know what to do when I don't get asked on dates.

I'm being social I go out to the single ward activities.

I have many friends that I hang out with whenever I can.

I currently have a job though which is at an Elementary School which keeps me busy as well.

I've been set up once but there wasn't any more interest there than the first date.


I'm sick of being told that I need to go to the singles ward. I do what I can but I also have a calling and I love being with the youth of the Church.

I don't know how to respond to these questions anymore either.  These questions bring up sadness and frustration.

I admit that it makes me sad I can't get a date but I don't want to dwell on it either. I try to move forward and be happy with my life and not worry about dating.  I would rather have a happy attitude than dwell on the fact that I can't get a date to save my life.


I always say  joke and say I'm done with dating but if you never really started then how can you be done with it?

I know that I'm only 22 and I still have plenty of time in the world. But why doesn't anyone else see it that way?

I know that I obviously can't please everyone.

But how do I get everyone off my back about dating?

I figure that eventually I will start dating it just hasn't happened yet.


Don't we always say there is a time and reason for everything.


I would really like to stop being asked every time I see someone how my dating life is going and why I'm not dating.  

Please any help and advice that you have I could seriously use!


Thanks,

- The Dateless 22 Year Old




Dear Friend,

Yours is not an uncommon story . . . but please allow me to explain what's happening.

Your friends and family look at you and see the beautiful, fun, smart, talented young woman that you are.  They see all that you have to offer and they know, much better than you do, that you would be a great Eternal Companion for many young men; perhaps some they know.

They don't understand how you're not married yet, not because they think anything is wrong with you or that you're a failure in some way . . . but the truth is that they have NO CLUE when it comes to what the Real Dating Culture is . . . even at a Church school.

Yeah, you could be more open to going on dates than you are . . . Sure, you would have more prospects if you were attending the Singles Ward . . . Yes, they are seeing something you don't when they express concern because they know that the longer you wait the more difficult it may be to find someone.

BUT . . .

They also can't accept that any of this is their fault.  As parents and youth leaders, Bishoprics and Stake Representatives, they failed to teach Young Men to date.  They may have complained, but they taught no skills.

You could get more dates.

You could widen your circle . . . hangout less . . . be less afraid of getting married (let's not pretend that's not at least a small issue here, my friend) . . . learn to flirt better . . . learn techniques that get guys to ask girls out . . .

And that stuff might indeed help . . .

Typically does.

Sure, at 22 you still have time . . .

But I'd like you to consider just how fast the last 5 years have gone . . .

The next five aren't going to be any slower . . .

And if you think finding a Good LDS Man to date is tough at 22 and just out of college . . . just talk to the many great sisters that are still single at 27 . . . or 32 . . .

You can choose to be sad and frustrated . . . but I will not sit here and agree that you CAN'T get a date.

I'm sorry, but that's just not true.


I have a problem with my weight.  I don't get to work out much (which might be more excuses than reality), and I love food.  Add to that I get depressed whenever I feel like I'm having "a fat day" . . . and . . . well, let's just say it's a constant challenge.

But the truth is, if I really wanted . . . I mean REALLY WANTED . . . to drop 10 pounds I could change my lifestyle.  More walking.  Fewer cookies.  Less time at work.  It honestly wouldn't take much.


You could date more if you wanted to.  We all can.


If you need some advice with that, I can help.


Whether you're okay your dating life with the way things are (nothing wrong with that, it's your life after all) or not, don't let the concern that others have for you affect you in a negative way.

They mean well.

They think you're awesome!


Let that help you stay more positive.


A positive attitude, by the way, is one of the most attractive features in the world!


Cheers,

- Bro Jo

Friday, May 5, 2017

When Everyone Else is Getting Married

Bro Jo,

I'm a 22 year old returned sister missionary living in Provo. Which means I'm in that grand time of life where everyone around me keeps getting engaged and married.

Except for me.

My love life is a bit lackluster, I go on a few first dates a month that never turn into second dates, even if I want them to.

But believe me, this is definitely not the state I want my social life to be in,

I'm actually really working to meet new people and work towards relationships and marriage! With this holiday season just passed and the influx of engagements on my Facebook newsfeed,

I've noticed a trend in my thought process.

I am catching myself being very judgmental and negative about seeing people in relationships or getting engaged- and these are people that I know and want to be happy!

A lot of it stems from feeling really behind because I've never been in a real relationship despite my best efforts while I see other people (sometimes a lot younger than me) find success so quickly and easily.

So I guess my question for you is: What can I do to change my mindset and just be happy for them?

How can I get it into my heart and not just my head that their success doesn't mean I'm a failure?

Sincerely,

Unlucky in Love




Dear Friend,

It might help you to know that the truth is that MOST people who attend BYU do not get married before graduation.  If they did, there'd be more Married Student Wards than YSA Wards . . . and that's just not the case.

Sister Jo says, and I think she's 100% right, that the best way to feel better - regardless of what's going on in our lives - is to be of service.  Perhaps make it a new habit that whenever one of your friends announces their engagement that you do something special and nice for them . . . something where you can use your talents to make their lives a little brighter . . .

Feeling judgmental and negative from time to time doesn't make you a bad person . . . it just means that, like the rest of us, you've got something to work on.

You're certainly not a failure.  Look at all you've done and accomplished!

Look at all with which you've been blessed!

Now, you haven't asked me to help with your dating life, but we Old People often exercise our prerogative to give advice even though we haven't been asked . . . so here you go:


Bro Jo's List of What to Do If You're Not Married Yet

1.  Don't be in too much of a hurry.  Treat First Dates very casually . . . in attitude; I'm not saying to dress super casual or to be cavalier, just not to make them into too big of a deal.  No pressure.  You're just there to get to know someone better.

2.  Don't hang out.  Not until you're in a relationship, and even then you should be formally going on a date at least once a week.  We like to hang out because it's comfortable, but the thing is that the frequent hang-out often leads to nothing happening . . . ever.

3.  Don't be negative when you're talking to the other opposite sex, especially on dates.  Being down or complaining is a surefire way to kill any chance of a second date.

4.  Always look your best whenever you go out.  No one is impressed with sweats and sandals.  Those of you walking across campus looking like slobs have no idea how many people you're turning off.  There are times to wear causal clothes, but instead of being lackadaisical look for opportunities to take your ensemble up a notch.  How we dress is an outward reflection of our inner attitude, and people pick up n that.

5.  In addition to your regular studies, find a hobby or class or opportunity where you can learn a new skill or grow an underdeveloped talent.  Take a ballroom or swing dancing class!

6.  Find ways to lift others, in conversation or deed.  Helping them feel better will help you feel better.

7.  Don't settle for being someone's buddy, pal or back up.

8.  Don't pass over good choices because they don't seem to match your list, or ideal, or expectation.  And never allow someone to make you think you're "settling" by being with someone you like.

9.  Flirt.  Laugh.  Compliment. Touch.  Kiss.  A guy will never be a boyfriend nor a girl a girlfriend if he or she is never treated like one.



You're not behind.  Trust me.


At your school you're not in last place . . . you're not even in the back half.


It's all going to be okay.


- Bro Jo

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Should You Date Before Your Mission?

Dear Bro Jo,

Is it okay if you never go on a date before your mission?

I'm thinking I won't.  Think I'll be okay?

I feel like now is the time to go so I won't question the Lord.  Just wondering if I  am missing much, or if dating after will be really difficult without prior experience.

Thanks,

- Just Wondering




Dear Wondering,

I think Casual Group Dating helps to prepare one for a mission.  So if you haven't gotten your call yet, I think you should go on some dates if you can.

And, yes, dating is a little more difficult when you come back and it's time to Serious Single Date and you have zero dating experience.

Not impossible, and not a difficulty that can't be overcome, but certainly more difficult.

That said, if you try and it just doesn't happen, don't worry too much about it.

- Bro Jo

Monday, May 1, 2017

Followup to "He's Ready to Give Up Looking"

Dear Readers,

I thought you might like to read this followup to "He's Ready to Give Up Looking" from March 31st, 2017.

- Bro Jo



Dear Bro Jo,

Hey, I recently noticed that you posted my letter to you on the blog. I thought you might like an update on my life.

I don't know if I took every thing you told me to heart, but I definitely did take another look at what I was doing with my life so that I could focus on what I could control.

I've learned a bunch about myself and realized that I had many things to work on before I was ready for dating seriously or marriage. I really feel like I've grown and matured a lot over the course of these last two years.

I'll be graduating with my master's degree in May. Have been dating that girl I talked about in my first letter for about a month and we'll be getting married in July.

And I don't think I've ever been happier. She recently told me that she initially rejected me not because I wasn't enough, but because she knew that if we dated we would get married and she wasn't ready for that yet.

If you add this onto the original letter, I just want to let anyone who reads it know that Heavenly Father truly does have happiness in store for all of His children. It may not seem like in the moment, but the blessings do come and there won't be enough room to receive all of them.

The windows and doors of heaven will be open to those who are ready and worthy to receive them. And the blessing come according to His timetable, so a little bit of patience can go a long way.

-(Maybe not so) Undesirable

P.S. I always thought it was funny that you suggested I attend a family ward, because there's not a YSA ward or even branch in the area where I live so I've been attending a family ward this entire time.




Dear Brother,

How great to hear from you!

I believe in your original email you told me that you were in a regular ward and I missed that.  I've wondered why.  My best guess is that was at a time when I kept thinking that YSAs would be helped by occasionally attending family wards . . . which I still think is a good idea.

Anyway, congratulations to you and your companion!  Happy for you both!

And thank you for sharing your testimony.

Cheers,

- Bro Jo