Readers’ Forum Jan. 12


When you meet ‘the one’

How do you know when you meet the one? Will suddenly everything be clear and open? Honestly, I don’t think it works like that. I am afraid that too often people wait for a powerful sign to confirm that they are dating ‘the one.’ I recently have had a lot of friends, coworkers and classmates ask me how I knew I was supposed to marry my husband. My reply is simple: “I didn’t know if I was supposed to. I wanted to marry him.”

Marriage shouldn’t be feeling obligated to marry someone because you have been dating a while. Now, I’m not saying people should make sure they rush into marriage. Go at your own pace for sure. However, I think that you should really want to marry the person you are in love with. For me, I had gone through a year of post-mission dating life before I dated and married my husband. It was tough sometimes and I felt like something was wrong with me. I was meeting and going on dates with wonderful young men, but I did not want things to go farther than a few dates. However, with my husband, he was someone I wanted to continue dating. Then I realized I wanted to spend every day with him. Then I realized I wanted to spend eternity with him. That’s the key people, find someone you want to marry, not someone you are supposed to marry.

– Diana Briscoe
Fort Collins, Colorado


Dating: feast or famine?

Sister Wendy Nelson just validated what the majority of BYU coeds seem to feel about dating these days. It’s either feast or famine with an increasing emphasis on the famine. Why is that? It seems that the universal complaint among Provo singles is that there is simply not enough dating, so why aren’t we doing something about it?

In my opinion, dating has become way too serious. It feels like first dates only happen once you decide you like someone, and by date three, you’re basically engaged. We all seem to have forgotten that dating should be a low pressure social experience for meeting and getting to know people and courting is for all of that other complicated stuff. Expensive dates heighten the sense of seriousness. When a nice guy plunks down $40 or more on a first date, any rational female mind would automatically think “That’s half a textbook or groceries for a week!” and start to feel uncomfortable. The larger the financial investment, the more pressure girls feel to yield a return. If she’s not sure how she feels, she is likely to bail quickly rather than give him a chance. So what’s the solution? Boys, ask a different girl out every weekend for a free or inexpensive but thoughtful date until you find a girl you like enough to take out again. None of us should feel like we have to find the elusive perfect partner before we can ask for a phone number.

Now, if this were a dating Q&A someone would inevitably ask about whether or not girls should ask boys on dates. I’m not going to say they can’t, and I’m not going to say they shouldn’t. In some cases, I think that is a very appropriate thing to do. However, if you ask the brethren they will say that young men are primarily responsible for initiating dates. Personally, I aspire to find someone that listens to what living prophets have to say and takes their counsel seriously, and I hope that dating and marriage is enough of a priority to them that they have bothered to find out what has been said. So while I could ask more guys on dates, I don’t really want to be the primary chaser because I don’t think I’ll end up with the type I’m looking for.

Just a quick note about rejection. Boys, I know it sucks to get rejected. As a missionary, it happened to me dozens of times a day and it never got any easier. But know that it sucks for us too. My roommates can testify of the many occasions that I have melted into a flubbering puddle of ineptitude on the floor, phone in hand, agonizing over a phone call to be made to decline a date with some poor unsuspecting young man. We want to be able to say yes, and we wish we could make you all happy, but we also want to be unimpeachable in our conduct and never accused of leading a guy on. Rejecting and being rejected is never fun on either side, but unfortunately, it’s an inherent part of the process.

So, what will you have today? Feast or famine?

— Emily Christensen
Atlanta, Georgia

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