By Christina Broadbent
For many students, the benefits of dating within the ward outweigh the costs – but others consider it a dangerous situation.
Lachelle White, 20, a junior from University Place, Wash., majoring in communications, said dating in the ward makes sense because the students who live nearby often are the closest friends.
“I think the most successful relationships come when the couple has a solid friendship first,” White said. “That’s why ward dating works out.”
Dating in the ward is also a lot easier because the people are those who you see the most, White said.
“There’s just more opportunity to get to know someone well if they are in the ward,” she said.
Bishop Kevin Cox of the BYU 132nd ward said he has witnessed over 10 intraward marriages every semester he has been a BYU bishop.
“Dating within the ward is more often good than bad,” Cox said.
He said problems only arise if a couple goes through a breakup.
“Often one person still has feelings for the other and it is hard for them to be around each other,” Cox said. “Eventually someone moves out.”
Justin Wood, 22, a sophomore from Las Vegas majoring in economics said he started dating someone in his ward but the relationship didn’t work out.
“Things were awkward the rest of the semester,” Wood said. “Dating in the ward is dangerous.”
Another problem some students find with dating in the ward is an increased amount of pressure from other ward members.
Rob Lambourne, 22, a junior from San Jose, Calif., majoring in accounting, met his fiance in his ward.
“When you date someone in the ward everyone knows about it, so they are always asking when they can expect an invitation to the wedding,” Lambourne said. “That’s a lot of pressure.”
Sarah Meik, 20, a junior from Tallahassee, Fla., majoring in business said challenges also arise from gossip.
“It’s easy to have misunderstandings when there are all kinds of rumors going around the ward about who is dating who,” Meik said.