7 things Latter-day Saints do that make dating harder than it needs to be!
Dating has become toxic. We can see the adverse effects on the growing number of single people who are not only unmarried, but they are not even dating. So I started to ask dozens of real YSA’s why they think dating is toxic, these are the 7 reasons that came to the top.
1st. Getting Physical And Spiritual Priorities Backwards.
If the majority of dating problems could be boiled down to one issue this is it. We’ve got our priorities backward. We place a higher importance on their physical looks than the spiritual stature. Don’t let anyone tell you that physical attraction is not part of the equation because it is, but only part of it. Far too often we sort people by who is most attractive then we try to find the most spiritual one of them. IE Tinder, Mutual, and other dating apps. Instead, we should seek for the most spiritual people and find one we are attracted to.
“Believe that your faith has everything to do with your romance, because it does. You separate dating from discipleship at your peril.”
~Jeffrey R. Holland.
2nd. Taking The First Date Too Seriously.
To make a cooking show analogy, too often we treat dating like the finale of Hell’s Kitchen. One wrong move and you are not going to get a second date, it is extremely discouraging. Instead of Hell’s Kitchen, dating should be like Diners Drive-Ins and Dives. We should have a good time, get to know people and preferably have some good food.
“You can have a good time. Of course you can! We want you to have fun. We want you to enjoy life.”
~Gordon B. Hinckley
3rd. Blind Dates!
Blind dates get an awful rap in YSA culture. But if missionary work has taught RM’s anything it is that referrals work! So why do blind dates suck? Mainly it is because how we approach blind dates. We set someone up thinking “she will like him” and it leaves the date lacking because he has no interest or Vice versa. Or we stake our relationship on the outcome of whether they liked each other.
Instead, of trying to “find the one” to set your friend up with, try to help them have a good time. Be like “Hey I know you, and I know this girl, I think the two of you would hit it off and have fun. You should ask her out.” Blind dates like that are tremendous fun and actually effective. Remember to relax and to give people a chance!
“Don’t be afraid of blind dates!“
Sister Paige Holland
4th. We Want Someone Who Is Perfect.
Unrealistic expectations hurt everyone, as no one feels good enough. It is easy to fall into the trap of making composite expectations, it comes from our list mentality. Sister Holland at a Valentine’s Day devotional at UVU talked about unrealistic expectations. She told the Sisters that the Brothers are continually told to be realistic, but that girls were becoming extremely unrealistic. She then warned everyone that this habit is dangerous because it is unrealistic to expect a 20-year-old to have the qualities and attributes that often take decades to develop.
Instead of seeking someone who is perfect, seek for someone who is worthy. Ask yourself, do they love God? Do they keep their covenants? Are they honest? Often times if all three of these are “yes” you are on a good path.
“I suggest that you not ignore many possible candidates who are still developing these attributes, seeking the one who is perfected in them. You will likely not find that perfect person, and if you did, there would certainly be no interest in you. These attributes are best polished together as husband and wife.”
~Richard G. Scott
5th. Trying to read minds.
Seriously, stop trying to read minds. So often we read so much into the actions of others that if we stepped back and looked at ourselves we would look ridiculous! Maybe the reason he opened the door for you was that is how he was raised. Maybe he asked you on a date because he thinks you are beautiful and he wants to get to know you. And maybe she just always uses smiley faces at the end of her texts.
When we read more into actions than what is meant, we destroy any joy dating brings because we are always analyzing and trying to figure out what their motives are. Instead of analyzing their subtle moves or text messages, talk to them. It is far easier to read into a text message than an actual conversation. This also means if you like someone, just ask them on a date! No more cloak and dagger.
“Don’t text her! Use your own voice to introduce yourself to the righteous daughters of God who are all around you. To actually hear a human voice will shock her—perhaps into saying yes.”
~M. Russell Ballard
6th. Incorrect Understanding About The Millennium.
I love the Millennium, it is the promise that all things will be made right. If you are denied any blessing by the actions of others, God will give you an opportunity to have that blessing in the millennium. That is to say, if you try and can not find a spouse in this life God will not deny you that blessing because of the lack of options you had, and in the millennium you will be given that chance.
But it is not true that you can just hold out and reject good covenant keeping options who are not perfect because in the millennium you’ll get the perfect man/woman. The millennium is not for second chances, it is for denied blessings and fulfilling promises.
“No blessing, including that of eternal marriage and an eternal family, will be denied to any worthy individual. While it may take somewhat longer—perhaps even beyond this mortal life—for some to achieve this blessing,
it will not be denied.”
Howard W. Hunter
7th. Looking For Love At First Sight Or A Soulmate.
One of the most repeated counsels I’ve been given is. “When you meet her, you’ll just know and it will be magical.” Or “it will be love at first sight.” But the problem is that is not the rule but the exception. Most people don’t know at first, often it takes multiple dates before you can tell if there is something there.
With love at first sight also comes the myth of soulmates. The truth is marriage and dating take work. It is not some Disney Fairytale where it’s going to be easy. There is not only “one” person for you. The truth of the matter is simple, any two worth people who are willing to sacrifice and pay the price can make it work.
“‘Soul mates’ are fiction and an illusion; and while every young man and young woman will seek with all diligence and prayerfulness to find a mate with whom life can be most compatible and beautiful, yet it is certain that almost any good man and any good woman can have happiness and a successful marriage if both are willing to pay the price”
~Spencer W. Kimball
If you liked this article on dating, you will also like this one on dating from my YSA Bishop.