Friday, August 13

The Miserable, Amazing World of Dating

As all young males in the Church know, the Brethren have commanded us to date. I've read a few recent statements that make me wonder about the universality of that mandate; if I ever have the opportunity to talk with a general authority on the subject, I'll ask if dating is something that all men should be doing. For myself, I think that dating girls - as far as developing relationships with others - is important at this stage of my life.  Hopefully I'll someday find a girl that I can fall in love with and marry, but, if not, I can still make friends through dating. Add to that the fact that I'm a priesthood leader in my ward and I need to set a good example for other guys... and you get my drift.

Dating girls is rough. It would be rough even if I were attracted to them. But when I have absolutely no desire to touch them, sit next to them, play with their hair, or hold their hand, dating becomes a massive ordeal.

First I have to figure out who to date. Most guys have it easy - they can look at a girl and say, "Wow. That's an attractive girl." And then they ask her out on a date. I, on the other hand, have never thought a girl was attractive. So my first determinant is if she can hold a conversation. Then I figure out what to do on the date, find a time that works in my and her schedule, and actually ask her out. Dates themselves, for me, are totally platonic. We spend the whole time talking, engaged in some type of activity. We go on a hike, or serve at the food bank, or make dinner for each other, or whatever. I'm not a dinner and a movie guy.

When I finally find someone who's interested in spending time with me and can hold her own in a conversation, then dating isn't all that bad. But, ultimately, I end each relationship when I realize that it isn't going to work out. No sparks. And every marriage prep class I've ever taken says that sparks, while not the center of a relationship, are essential for a great marriage.

Is dating dishonest when I know it probably won't work out? No - I'm doing the exact same thing that everyone else is doing - trying to see if there is any possibility of a spark. Dating is only dishonest if I pretend to love a girl when I don't. I date to learn about people, to make friends, and hopefully to find a possibility of marriage in the temple. Maybe I'm running up a permanent dead end, and there will never be a possibility in this life. But I feel it's worth trying. There are a million girls out there - and maybe there is one that is right for me. The only way to know is by dating.


  1. I wonder GMG, I don't think we have been commanded to Date. Elder Oaks, in his wonderful talk "Dating versus Hanging Out" even mentioned that there are exceptions to every rule, including his. If ever there was an exception from the "commandment" to date I think Gay Mormons would be just that.

  2. David:
    ...There are exceptions. And maybe, as far as finding a wife goes, we're an exception in the dating world. From my perspective, the only way to know, barring a revelation from God (and that one definitely has not come to me), would be to date.

    Even if I knew that I couldn't get married, I think that dating, at least for me, is still worthwhile. It's a way that I can lift people and learn from them. A way to see into their hearts and become a better missionary, develop friendships, and identify things I want to change in myself.

    Thanks for commenting.

  3. I am a girl, and I dated a guy in high school who turned out to be gay. Our relationship never "sparked"; I dated him because he'd liked me since middle school (and because I was afraid to say no). Sometimes I wonder if he "liked" me because I was LDS and as such wouldn't date until I was 16--therefore giving him a girl to like, which would make him normal, but a reason not to date her. It all turned out really badly in the end when we broke up, but I learned a lot from the experience. I'm not upset or offended that we dated, and we have since reconnected and we both have positive feelings about each other. The experience taught me a lot about love and forgiveness and about how we really are all children of God. I never set out to date somebody who wasn't attracted to me, but what I learned from the experience is something I would never give away. Sometimes girls are afraid of dating somebody with SSA, but in my experience we go through things in life for a reason and sometimes we do things we never thought we would do and learn wonderful things from it. When we are true and faithful, God will bless us with loving and open hearts to understand others who are different from us.

    So, I guess what I'm trying to say is that I think that it's great that you're dating! Dating is not only about finding an eternal companion, but it can be about getting to know wonderful people who are meant to fall in love with and marry somebody else, but we can touch each other's lives in the process.


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