Things to know

Regularly read by 50,000+ readers in over 140 countries around the world, "Dear Bro Jo" is published several times a month.

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, "Dear Bro Jo" is not an LDS Church website. (And Sister Jo thinks you should know that he's sometimes wrong, and often way too opinionated for his own good.)

Nothing here is meant to take the place of talking with parents, leaders, or Church authorities. Please, if you need serious help, talk to a trusted adult, leader, and / or professional counselor.

Please like our Facebook page, and check it often for Discussions, Notes, Events and just General Good Stuff!

Everything here is copyrighted. If you're going to quote any part of anything here, please get Bro Jo's written permission. You can reach him at

Thursday, June 29, 2017

New Girl - Part 4

Dear Bro Jo,

Hi, it's me, New Girl.

It's been a few months since I've emailed you, so I'm not quite as “new" here anymore. I've really enjoyed being here and finding opportunities to meet new people.

For a little while I was feeling like I was doing a good job in meeting guys, but I still wasn't really getting asked out on dates. Then suddenly I go to a party, and 2 different guys asked me for my number and ask me on dates.

Well, that was almost 2 months ago, and I'm happy to say that I really like one of those guys and things have been progressing very well!

Here is where my question comes. So this guy and I live 30 minutes away from each other, so we don't really see each other as often as I want to, but we have been seeing each other 2-3 times a week for a little over a month.  We talk every single day, and we've already held hands and kissed. The problem is that we haven't really defined our relationship.

Neither of us is going on dates with other people, and we've told each other how much we like each other and how much we enjoy spending time together. I guess I'm just confused why he hasn't brought up "the talk" to make things more official. In my mind, when I kiss someone, it means something to me and I feel like kissing is more of a commitment of being in a relationship.

When I kissed him, I assumed we would have the talk shortly after. I know there are guys out there that kiss out of lust, but I don't feel like he is that way. Because of conversations we've had, I know that's not the case.

So my question is, do you think I should just continue to let things happen how they are and let him bring up the talk when he is ready, or should I say something?

My family thinks that since things are going well, and we are still enjoying being together, that I should just wait and let him bring it up. I think I just feel confused because kissing to me means commitment, and I want to call him my boyfriend.

And I've had another guy ask me on a date, and I wasn't really sure what I was supposed to say.

I feel like not being official is keeping me from getting to know him on a more personal level and finding out what kind of guy he is.

Do my concerns make any sense?

Do I just need to listen to my family, and continue to be patient?

I've been good about being patient so far, but I don't know how long to let it go on like this before something should happen.

Can you please shed some light on my situation??

Thank you so much!


- New Girl

Dear New Girl,

It's not like you've brought up "the talk" either, right?  (FYI - Sister Jo and I were discussing this - the obsession some YSAs seem to have with the "NEED" for a DTR conversation - and we realized that we, she and I, have never had that conversation.)

If you have questions, ask him.

IMHO, two months and a little kissing does not make the DTR an urgent requirement.  Further, it seems like you're both spending all of your dating time together and really getting along, so in a lot of ways I think "why bother?  it seems like you already have your answer".

See, DTRs are for when you have No Clue what's going on; or, perhaps more accurately, when you sense that things are not progressing or there is a problem.

Sometimes I think we wreck things by pushing too soon or being to formal too early.  Relax.  Enjoy.  Talk.

Now I think the occasion of being asked out by another guy is a great opportunity for you to communicate with the guy you're seeing.  You could tell him that someone asked you out and see how he feels about that... how would he have liked you to respond?

But I think the more important question is to you:  did you want to go out with that other guy or not?

How you answer will tell you how You feel about this relationship, and That's probably what You need to be communicating to your boyfriend.

- Bro Jo

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

New Girl - Part 3

Dear Bro Jo,

I think you're right about me trying too hard. And I don't think it's really related to where I am or being new here. I think I have always had this problem and I'm not completely sure why. I think there are a few reasons that may add to it. I don't know if you are familiar with the color code at all but I might be able to explain my personality that way. I talked to you about how I'm shy. You are probably thinking that I don't seem very shy from what I've told you. But it's true, I have a very white personality, so I tend to be laid back and keep to myself and it's easier not to talk to people because it is scary. I know that is a bad thing, especially in a new place, so I really try to push myself so I don't fall back into white mode. Then the other part of my personality is very blue. I guess you could say the hopeless romantic type. I come from a family of blues and I kind of saw my older brother have a lot of the same problems with dating that I am having. Desperate to be in love, and then we try too hard. My brother ended up finding someone that was also blue, so finally it worked out for him. Haha it sounds like I have multiple personality disorder or something. I know when it comes to dating I probably try too hard, but I can't seem to help it. When I try to control myself, I sink back into white mode. I really need to find a healthy medium!

I think another factor in my behavior is that I see all these other cute girls that are the super flirty type, and they can get any guy they want. Sometimes I feel like I have to be in competition or be
more like them to get guys to be interested in me. The end result is me trying too hard. I know that sounds awful, but too often I feel like dating is too much of a game, and I really don't like it.

What do I do? I know I have a problem, but I am not really sure how to fix it. I feel like I am lacking faith in knowing that Heavenly Father will help me find the right one eventually. That's probably why I tried so hard to keep my last relationship going when things were going bad.

It really has been great having a cousin of the opposite sex to go to things with. For some reason he doesn't really like the people in our ward. He thinks a lot of them are clickish and stuck up. So I have
been alone in trying to meet people in the ward for myself and I have been trying to help him meet them too. But he does have a lot of friends in other wards in our stake that I've been able to meet
through him. How exactly would he go about getting other guys to ask me on dates?

It feels like I have been in this "new place" for a really long time, but it's only been 3 weeks! Therefore I need to calm down a little. I just need to be reminded sometimes :)

- New Girl

Dear New Girl,

So hopefully now that a little more time has passed you've settled in a bit.

Going on the occasional group date may be okay, but make it rare.  Find that balance between Dating with a Purpose and taking Dating Too Seriously.

Yes, when a guy asks a girl out it's 95% likely that it's because he's attracted to her, but there's a HUGE gap between "I like you and would like to take you on a date to get to know you better" and "please be the mother of my eternal children".

HUGE gap.


- Bro Jo

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

New Girl - Part 2

Dear Bro Jo,

Okay so yeah I know it's good to talk to guys, not just flirt.

I've actually been doing that.

Let me explain some scenarios.

Scenario 1

One guy that I'm interested in getting to know better, I met at institute. The first time I met him, he ended up asking for my number as I was leaving, and he said "I'll have to show you around Bountiful sometime." Then it never happened. So I saw him at institute the next week and we talked for a long time. I felt like the conversation was dying down and I was there for too long and he was getting bored. I was about to ask him when he was going to show me around Bountiful, but then another girl came over and started flirting with him. That get's to be super frustrating, especially because that particular girl is leaving to go to school out of state in a couple weeks. So then a couple days later I was having a texting conversation with him and he was telling me that he got a new car. I tried to hint that I wanted to see the car sometime, but he obviously didn't really get the hint. He just said he was sure I would see it sometime. So I responded with, "Well, you can show me your new car when you show me around Bountiful." Then he said, "Oh yeah, we can do that sometime! (with a smiley face- you know that's important haha.) Then after that he changed the subject. I answered his question, and then haven't heard back from him since.

Should I bring it up again when I see him at institute this week?

I already feel like I've been forward enough and he needs to take some initiative!

Scenario 2

Okay, here is the story for guy number 2.

I met him at a ward service opportunity on a Saturday. I went over to him and introduced myself. I did some flirting, but he asked me a lot of questions about me and I asked some questions about him. Then the next day at Church he was sitting behind me in Sacrament meeting, so afterwards I turned around and said hi and invited him to come to the Sunday School class that my cousin was teaching because my cousin was really worried that people wouldn't answer his questions and make comments during the lesson.

So this guy came to the class and ended up sitting by me. Before class started, I asked him a lot of questions about what he likes to do, and asked follow up questions and showed my interest in what he had to say. Oh yeah I even took something he said and shared a story about how that was relative in my life. Then our conversation ended because the class was starting. After class, I asked him if he was going to fhe and he said no because he had a softball tournament. I kinda froze after that cuz I was really hoping to see him again during the week, but I didn't know how to respond. So I told him I hope he enjoyed priesthood, and then I left. I think I missed multiple opportunities during that conversation. After a week went by, I saw him at church again. I talked to him and asked how his softball tournament went and then I asked him more about his softball team and how often they play, etc. Then he was super nice and asked me questions about if I went to fhe and how my first week of work was. Then I asked him if he liked game nights, because I was planning one for that night. He said he loves game nights, so I asked him for his number so I could send him an invite. Well he came to the game night, and he was actually the first one to show up. (Just a little side note, I am living with relatives here.) So when he got to my house, he talked to all my cousins and Aunt and was very friendly. Then a couple other people came so we started a game.

I didn't sit by him and didn't really have much of a chance for interaction. He ended up having to leave the game night early because he had stuff planned with his family. Tonight we had a stake FHE and we bumped into each other. I said something, and he said something in response, and then quickly walked away to where his friends were. The game night and my experience at FHE have kind of left me feeling discouraged. I don't know if I'm doing the right things to show I'm interested, or maybe I'm doing too much and it's freaking him out (I've had that happen before).

Where do I go from here?

Scenario 3

Guy number 3 is still very much in the works. I haven't had much opportunity to talk to him, but I am working on it!

My Aunt that I am living with is strongly encouraging my cousin and I to do double dates. I'm not a super big fan of double/group dates (depending on the activity) because you don't really get to know your date. However, if my cousin is the one planning the date, he can get certain guys to ask me on a date. Do you think that is a good idea? My worry is that guys might be freaked out and feel like I put my cousin up to it. (If you haven't noticed, I worry a lot because I have had a lot of experiences with guys being freaked out and thinking I'm too forward. I don't really know what I'm doing wrong. I have definitely seen people who are way more forward than I am!)

Sorry I have given you an overload of information and questions in this email! Haha I hope you're okay with that!

I just started working at Deseret Book last week, so I was doing some research on our website, trying to familiarize myself with the things we sell. I have a tendency to be drawn to books about dating, so I was reading about your book and on the page it talks about your blog. So I went and checked out your blog. I will probably end up reading your book because I like your opinions on Dating. Thanks for sharing that with us!


- New Girl

Dear New Girl,

I think Boy #1 has had his chance.  Move on.  If he comes around, be open to an invitation, but for now I just think he's testing the waters, so I wouldn't put too much stock or importance into that one.  (Be careful not to get trapped into Too Much texting, it's impersonal, does little to advance a relationship, and you really loose so much of the nuances of a conversation; talk to real people, in person.)

As for Boy #2, I think you're doing the right things.  Don't be too aggressive; you don't want to come across as desperate . . . even if you are, because you have no reason to be.  Relax!  The phrase "when you stop looking for love, it will come to you" is, IMHO, absolutely true.

Forward doesn't work for everyone; I have no idea why, but I know it has little to do with attractiveness or lack thereof.

I respectfully disagree with your Aunt.  You're both Too Old to be dating like High School students.

Sounds to me like your Aunt is hoping your cousin will do more dating, and hoping you'll be his excuse and trainer.

Yeah, he needs to date more, but not with you tagging along.

Instead I think you two need to conspire to set each other up on Serious Single Dates.  You each have the ultimate advantage!  An opposite sex person in your ward with whom there is truly no possibility of dating who can tell you exactly what the other side is thinking of you, the information you need to know to attract those you like, and who will set you up on dates so you can hang back and play it cool; doesn't get better than that.

I think it's great that you''re outgoing and flirting and all of that . . . but I just keep feeling like you're . . . trying too hard.  For reasons I only partially understand, Good Guys get pushed away when girls are too aggressive.  I know that sounds contradictory from a guy who's often telling girls to go out and get guys to ask them out . . . maybe it's because you're so new in the Ward . . . maybe it's because of the demographic of where you're at . . . but I just get the sense that you need to back it off a bit.  Keep talking, keep meeting, keep being a little flirty, but give some of these guys a little space to clue in on their own.

Not forever.  Just give it a try for the next few weeks and let's see what happens.  Settle in.  Give these guys a chance to get to know you.  Let them see how fun and smart you are.

- Bro Jo

Monday, June 26, 2017

New Girl - Part 1

Dear Bro Jo,

I am 23 years old and just graduated with my Bachelor's degree. I just decided to move to a new state a few weeks ago to have some change and eventually go to grad school.

I really love it so far, and it seems like there are a lot more dating possibilities here. It's a little bit hard being the new girl, considering I have an introverted personality, but I've really pushed myself to be outgoing and introduce myself to a lot of people. I've had a lot of success in making friends and meeting guys so far. I'm not a naturally talented flirter, but I know a lot about flirting, and it is actually kind of easy for me to do when I'm first meeting a guy.

I feel like I am good at sparking guys' interests, but then after that I have a couple problems. First, I feel like once I've sparked a guy's interest, after that when we interact I get really nervous and forget everything I know about flirting. The introverted side of me comes out again. And second, if we are at a game night or some sort of social activity, when other more flirty and outgoing girls come along, I am overshadowed. How do I keep guys interested after I have initially sparked their attention?

And how do I keep from being overshadowed from other flirty girls?

There are 3 guys right now who have sparked my interest, and I feel like they might be interested too.

However, I feel like their interest is dwindling away for reasons which I have already explained and I haven't even had the chance to go on dates with them. I really need some help!

I know you have advice about how a girl can get a guy to ask her out. After the fact, I always seem to realize that I had the perfect opportunity, but didn't think of it in the moment because I was nervous, and just excited to be talking to the guy in the first place.

Do you have any wisdom to shed upon my situation? Thanks!

There are a lot of opportunities that come with being the new girl, I really don't want to miss out on them!


- New Girl

Dear New,

Flirting is great, especially as an icebreaker, but I think you're at the point now where you can go beyond that.

I call it "talking" . . . and it works great!

Once the interest is sparked, reel a guy in by talking to him.  The best technique is to ask him questions about himself, listen to what he says, and respond with clarifying questions.  Avoid the temptation to "make everything he says about you"; that's when you ask a question, he answers, and you tell a story about yourself.  People do that because they like to talk and they may even think they're building rapport, but really it's just a huge turn off.

When he asks you about you, be a little coy, but don't push away.  What I mean is, don't let him just say a blanket "so . . . what about you?"  Have him work a little.  In a "flirty way" respond with "well . . . what do you want to know?"  Stuff like that.

If you get really involved, and the conversation is going great, look for the opportunity to say "I'd love to talk to you some more, you should ask me out on a date for this weekend".  That may be more forward than you're ready for, but at some point you're going to have to let him know that he's going to have to put in a little more effort, and that you're worth it.

Have fun!

And, remember, a first date is just a first date.

- Bro Jo

Sunday, June 25, 2017

What If You're Too Shy to Get Dates? - Part 4

Dear Bro Jo,

In the last few months I tried this Set-up game with some of my friends. It never worked. Nothing ever happens. I guess us girls are not as united as we should be. Or maybe everyone kinda lost hope already haha.

I'm in a new singles ward. People are nice. Girls there are very competitive, which is kinda scary because I'm not when it comes to men. Boys don't do any asking.

I went to a few dates after that email. 3 or maybe 4. I was asked out by text by all of them.Things got to a point where I just started accepting the reality of it. Now I'm dateless again. I am starting to think that people just don't do it anymore.

But anyway, enough with the drama, haha. I like one boy. We were great friends about a year ago, and he's back in my life again but he's far away. At the beginning it seemed like he liked me and he's a awesome guy and that's why I started liking him too. But because he's far, we can only talk via social media and I'm awful at it and now he's ghosting. So my hopes of seeing him when he comes back to school is almost gone now and hopes of something happening..... oh boy.

I didn't wanna sound so negative. Maybe it's the rainy day. But this is the update. Thanks for your reply!

- Too Shy

Dear Shy,

I've heard some girls tell boys "I'd love to go out with you, but you'll need to ask me in person or give me a call; texting is just too impersonal, plus I'd like to know that it's actually you asking and not someone playing with your phone".

I like that a lot.

Keep in touch with that other boy.  Never know what might happen when he comes back to school.

Chin up!  All of this effort is worth it, I promise!

- Bro Jo

Saturday, June 24, 2017

What If You're Too Shy to Get Dates? - Part 3

Dear Bro Jo,

Well, I try to talk with people. For example, at the beginning of the semester I decided I wanted to meet more people. I talked with a few people, and a few guys I might be interested in. They talked with me, they said hi for a few days when they saw me walking around school. And now, guess what?

Nothing. Most of them pretend they don't know me. They stop talking with me for no apparent reason, and I just can't find a way of starting talking with them again. And it is something that ALWAYS happens. And when it happens with some guy I was interested in, they always start hanging out with some girl after they stop talking with me. It got to a point that I can already see it happening every time I meet someone new.

To prove my point, here is something that happened recently:

A few weeks ago I met a guy. He introduced himself to me and was very charming. I thought he was cute, but I had to go to class so I didn't think too much about it. About a week later he saw me at school again and came talk with me. We talked for a few minutes and he asked for my number and, of course, I gave it to him. A few days later we saw each other again and he was with some friends. He said "we should go on a date on the weekend" and I said yes. He said he would contact me to plan on doing something and he never did. He is after another girl now.

I don't understand it. If I say yes, they will think I'm too easy. If I say no, it isn't helpful at all because if I want to go out with the guy, why would I say no? Does it make sense?
I haven't been asked on a date in a very very long time. The one guy who did ask me out, did it because he wanted to add one more name on his list. I know that guys like when they have competition, but I can't even pretend I have a lot of guys after me. And, it affects my self esteem and confidence, which make things even worse.

 - Too Shy

Dear Shy,

Sometimes we have to fight to stay positive.

Sister Jo says the best way to do that is to be of service to other people.

Stop dwelling on the bad and frustrating things in your life (hard to do sometimes, I know) and instead look for the positive stuff, the blessings, the things to be grateful for.

You may be pleasantly surprised when you learn just how attractive other people find those that are happy and positive.

- Bro Jo

What If You're Too Shy to Get Dates? - Part 2

Dear Bro Jo,

Well, I know what my friends will tell me. I never talk about guys with them because I don't want them to think I'm desperate or that I just don't get dates because no one asks me (which is true, but I don't need to tell them that).

But WHEN I DO talk with a friend about some guy I think is cute but I don't know how to become friends with them, my friend will always tell me that I am too shy.

I had a friend telling me once that my problem is that I don't compete with girls. For example, when I like a guy and I see that he has other girls interested in him, I don't try to catch his attention. I just accept it and become disappointed that he didn't notice me. I understand how it is a problem; however, if I see she has more chances with him than I do, why should I try anything?

Also, I'm a bit childish. I'm still one of those girls who develop crushes in guys inside of class because they are cute, or funny, or they seem like a very nice person, but they are not my friend. I don't know how to approach them in this situation either. I always think that if someone wants to talk with me, they will come and talk with me. If they don't and I try talking with them for whatever reason, I feel like it doesn't work out very well.

Reading this now, it sounds a lot like I'm socially awkward. Maybe I am a little bit, but I try to pretend I'm not. :D

My friends tell me that I have to change the way I am (or the way I act around guys and flirt) so I can attract more people, but that's not very easy. I tried and I still try, but it's not like I have a switch button in my brain.

- Too Shy

Dear Shy,

"Knowing" what your friends will say and actually asking them are two different things.

And you don't have to ask a room full of friends; just one or two close trusted ones.

I don't believe in "too shy".  I think learning how to talk to someone, how to ask them about them, how to show genuine interest, are all valuable skills that everyone needs to learn to develop.  You don't have to be the type of person that's the "life of the party" to get to know people better so that they're comfortable enough with you to ask you on dates.

Who cares if some other girl seems like she has a "better chance"?  What if he likes you more!  What if you're the kind of sweet, quiet, kindhearted girl he's been looking for and he never gets to meet you because you don't give either of you a chance?

You don't have to become someone else.  Just be the best you you can be, and give people a chance to find out how great you are.

- Bro Jo

Friday, June 23, 2017

What If You're Too Shy to Get Dates? - Part 1

Dear Bro Jo,

I have a question for you, but I think I'll need to explain what is happening first.

Well, I'm a 20 year-old girl, I live in Utah and I don't go on dates. Not because I don't want to. I really do, but guys don't.

There is something about me that don't attract good guys AT ALL.

All I have after me are Salt Lake City creepers.

It makes me very frustrated because I try my best. I try to look good with what Heavenly Father gave me, but it seems that it doesn't help too much.

I try to talk with people and participate (even though I'm extremely shy). I try to go out with my friends and meet my friends' friends.... Nothing works.

Boys get interested in every other girl but me. I don't know what I am doing. And my friends seem to get guys asking them out pretty easily, and they don't do anything. It just happens.

What should I be doing?

Any flirting advice to shy girl?

I kind of wish that boys realize that I'm there, but nothing works.

There's either something wrong with me or something wrong with them. And I don't get what it is.

- Too Shy

Dear Shy,

You know, without knowing you better I can't really say that you're doing anything wrong.

You may want to check out things like:


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



which might answer some of your questions, but I think you're ignoring a great resource:  your friends.

The girls AND the guys.

Ask them why no one is asking you on dates.

What they have to say will likely be quite valuable.

And let me know what they say.

- Bro Jo

Monday, June 19, 2017

Does He Like Her?

Dear Bro Jo,
A friend of mine told me about your blog and after reading a little bit I was wondering if you could help me out with a recent problem.

So, story time.

There's this boy that I have been spending a lot of time with recently.

Like, we've seen each other daily for the past two weeks where before we hadn't seen each other in a long time.

We flirt, mess around, play with family members, and just have a really good time together.  I've had a thing for this guy for a long time now, but when we met I was in a relationship, then when I broke up with the guy I was considered off-limits because his best friend liked me.

Now we're both single, I dealt with the best friend, and I still like him.  And throughout the last two weeks I thought we were getting along perfectly!  ...and then he killed it by telling me that he was looking for a relationship with someone else... Someone unlike anyone he'd dated before, and I don't fit that category.

I'm your standard Molly Mormon, someone who follows all the standards as best as possible and sometimes I feel like that isn't the most attractive thing in the world to do.  It's considered too "goody-two-shoes."

But anyways, we've talked about relationship stuff over time.  We've talked about what we want in a significant others, life in general, and have gotten to know each other really well.

Time goes on and I had the chance to do something extremely nice for this guy, something he wasn't expecting.

So I take the chance, and do this kind deed.  Well, when he discovers what I've done he tries to give the thing back and I won't let him.  So, instead he asks me on a date.  Did I get a pity date?

Like a date that's only happening because he thinks he owes me something?

I accepted the offer and am really excited for it, but fear being crushed.

Should I keep flirting with this guy and see where it goes?

What do I do?

Does he like me??

How do I know?

I'm not entirely sure what's happening... help?


- Lost and Confused

Dear Lost,

If you're under 18 you make sure the date is a Casual Group Date, go on lots of those with lots of different guys, and stop worrying about relationships.

For now.

If you're Serious Single Dating age then you go on the date, flirt, be and have fun, and see where it goes.

We guys are just as Lost and Confused as you all are.  Perhaps he said what he did to see if you liked him... perhaps he's discovered how much he likes you ... maybe he's just seeing if there's a possibility of something more, and maybe he's just being nice.

If it means anything, this would be more of a "thank you" date than a "pity date".

Just go out and have fun!

Enjoy the journey.

- Bro Jo

Friday, June 16, 2017

What Does It Mean When He Stops Texting Her?

Dear Bro Jo,


Thank you so much for making such an awesome blog! Your advice for LDS youth today really is priceless. Every week I look forward to reading the new posts.

But now I have a few questions of my own for you! Some quick background on me though, if it might help you understand my situation better. I'm a junior, and almost 17. I am a member of the VLC, as you put it. I love hanging out with my friends. I'm decent looking, and I'm pretty funny and friendly. I have a testimony and 'm committed to keeping the standards outlined in For the Strength of Youth.

I'm sure you're busy, so I'll make this as quick as I can:

At the beginning of the school year, I went to a group activity with several youth from my ward. While there, I met the cousin of one of my friends from my ward. I didn't really talk to this boy much, but I thought he was cute. Then, a few weeks later, my cousin ended up getting this boy's number from my friend and made me text him. I was kind of nervous to do that and thought that it was unconventional, but as it turned out, we kind of hit it off and texted quite a bit, off and on, for the next few months. (I know that texting is definitely not way the best way to communicate, but since we go to different schools and live about 30 minutes away from each other, it's the easiest way.) Since we started talking, we've gotten a group of friends together a couple of times-one time it was my idea, the next time it was his. I realized I was starting to like him, and I was pretty sure hat he liked me, too. I thought that he might work up the courage to set up a causal group date sometime soon, and I hinted a little bit that that would be fun.

However, during winter break, we stopped talking pretty much completely. I know that we didn't, don't, and shouldn't be talking all the time, but I thought it was odd that pretty much all communication had stopped. I've texted him a couple times recently to say hi and try to carry on a nice, casual conversation like we used to before, but he has seemed to be busy or something every time. As far as I can tell, I never did anything to offend him or turn him off.

Do you have any idea why things would have unexpectedly changed like this?

Did I not show enough interest in him when I was around him or when I was texting him?

My cousin (the same one that made me text him) says that I should tell him sometime soon that I like him.

Somehow, she thinks that doing that would be beneficial in some way. Should I follow her advice?

Should I just straight up ask him what changed?

Or should I just be glad that I got to know him a little bit and move on?

I'm pretty clueless, so any advice for this situation in general would be much appreciated.

PS-just to clarify, I have never intended to have this friendship go any farther than a friendship. Sure, a casual date now and then, but nothing more since we are young and should only be casual dating :)

Thank you so much for your time and advice!!

- Left Wondering

Dear Wondering,

You know . . . I don't think you should read too much into the change in behavior.  He could be busy with something new in his life, or just busy with that stuff that comes up at our age (school, work, family, Church . . . )

It could just be normal boys being dumb stuff.  (Which is not necessarily negative . . . especially at your age.)

Even if he's decided that he wants to spend his time and attention on someone else . . . as painful as I know that may sound . . . that is in no way a commentary on your value, attractiveness, or a negative comment regarding how cool and fun and smart you are.

I don't agree with your cousin.  If you pursue him more than you have at a time when he's backed off it's probably going to come across as annoying or desperate.  The ball is in his court.  You've made an effort, and the next step needs to be his.

I mean, if you see him, say at another gathering or a stake dance or something then by all means you should not ignore him.

Say hi.

Be Pleasant.

Maybe even (in a lighthearted way is best) give him a bit of a tough time for not texting you as much as he used to.  (If he counters with "well you don't text me as much, either" I think your response should be "when guys initiate contact it makes the girl feel special; when girls do all the initiating they come across as desperate".

Wink.  Smile.  Touch his arm.

Valuable lifelong skills you're learning here.

- Bro Jo

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

How to Get a Date Instead of Hanging Out

Dear Bro Jo,

So once again I am back here up at BYU-I.

I don't have a lot of dating experience.

There is this new awesome guy that lives in my complex. He just got back from his mission in Australia. I am trying to put myself out there just a little bit. but to be honest I’m not really sure what to do or not do.

I have only ever been on 2 dates.

I have fallen into a couple of "Hangout" situations. I am trying to avoid those, but I’m not sure how to go about this. can you please help me?

- Inexperienced

Dear Inexperienced,

Here's what you do:

1.  Don't invite him to your house, and don't accept invitations to his home.

2.  Flirt, a lot, lest he think that your unwillingness to "hang out" means you're not interested.

3.  Be prepared to spell it out for him when he either isn't getting it fast enough or asks why you're such an enigma.  Tell him that you'd like him to ask you out, and that you know that if you ever cross over into the "friend zone" it's never going to happen.

Good luck!

- Bro Jo

Monday, June 12, 2017

Should She Date the Non-member

Dear Bro Jo,

I'm fifteen and a half, and I was asked out by a non-member. Here is the conversation (on Facebook):

Boy: Hey, I've been meaning to ask you this for a few months now. Will you go out with me? I'd like to get to know you better. I feel like I don't know you well enough for the amount of time I've known you. I'd ask you in person but I have no idea what your schedule is like.

Me: Yeah! I'd like to! But, I can't until I'm sixteen (Sept. this year). Also, it has to be a group date, and the date has to include having dinner with my parents. So, if you don't mind waiting another eight months, yes I will go out with you. And thank you for asking!

Boy: Thank you! I'm willing to wait as long as I need to, and I'll follow any rules your parents set.

After that, we kept in contact to find out more about each other. One of the questions he asked was "What are you looking forward most to this year?" I gave him my answer and then he responded with "I'm really looking forward to dating you"

Later, he sent "I'm gonna be very happy in seven months"


- Sprite

Dear Sprite,

Is he creepy or do you like him?

Because if you like him and he's willing to follow The Rules, I say Casual Group Date him!

If he's creepy . . . well, that's a slightly different story.  You'd certainly want to discourage him by ceasing the "contact".

- Bro Jo