Surviving young single adult dating can be brutal; so brutal that there is an entire class dedicated to the topic this year at BYU Education Week called “YSA Dating Survival.”
Utah State University Institute teacher Stephen Hunsaker approached Education Week officials last year with a proposal to present a class about YSA dating, and was told that maybe five people would show up because not many youth attend. But he got the green light and decided to proceed.
From day one, his venue has been packed full of young adults eager and ready for dating advice.
Students raised their hands, eager to ask their questions about how to “become normal” again after missions, how to have healthier relationships and how to get over their fears about dating. Those in the class laughed frequently and frantically took notes.
Hunsaker said he hoped that the class would help alleviate the false perceptions people have about dating and help them have more positive dating experiences. On Tuesday, he focused on the false beliefs people have about dating that warps their view of reality.
“I hope that in this course we can find what’s real [in terms of dating] and help free you from the bondage that might be hindering your relationships,” Hunsaker said.
He began the class by discussing the principles behind dating and how people need to change their beliefs in order to change both their behavior and dating outcomes.
He demonstrated how people who use only external factors when deciding who to date will often have negative experiences that hinder their overall dating experience.
On Wednesday, he spoke about correcting worldly views of the physical relationship in dating.
Throughout his classes, Hunsaker mixed both spiritual insight and humorous anecdotes.
“You’re out with another human being you don’t know,” Hunsaker said, explaining why dating can be so scary. “Nobody’s normal on a first date.”
That’s why a second or third date can be important in determining whether there is potential for a relationship, he said. He also explained that when people are afraid to date — and ask themselves why are they dating — that is a natural part of the process.
Hunsaker reiterated dating advice given by LDS apostles, and encouraged read a speech, “Be Not Afraid, Only Believe,” by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, given to Church Education System employees in February 2015 and found online here.
Hunsaker’s will focus on understanding how revelation plays into relationships and how to remove communication barriers in dating during his last two Education Week sessions, held in W-111 Benson Building at 3:10 p.m.