Readers’ Forum Feb. 14


Campus culture discourages dating

In a study conducted several years ago by BYU professors Top, Chadwick and McClendon, they reported over 96 percent of BYU students said marrying in the temple was a very important goal. One of the best ways to get married is to date — very few people get married without dating! However, there is certainly a dating famine on the BYU campus.

In 2015, a BYU student named Bradley Anderson identified some of the flaws in the BYU dating culture. After surveying approximately 1,000 students, Bradley discovered the average BYU student has two dates per month; that’s like doing two sit-ups a month and hoping to get “abs of steel” — it’s just not going to work.

Years ago, individuals rushing into relationships, complete with short courtships and even shorter engagements, identified the BYU dating culture. Now, the pendulum has swung in the opposite direction. Many students on campus are procrastinating, or at least delaying, the opportunity to fall in love. Many others are comfortable in the safe haven of “hanging out.” Granted, hanging out has become a great way to meet new people, but it is certainly not a means to an end.

So what’s the problem? Perhaps good ole’ fashioned fear is the best answer. Some students have grown up in environments that have not been family friendly. They worry that the same negative patterns they saw growing up will be perpetuated in their own families. Perhaps others are still caught up in believing that there is only one right person for them.

What is most frustrating to me, as the father of seven daughters, is to watch the dating dance between couples. You know: the game playing, the posturing and the politicking. I watched one of my daughters who wanted to respond to a text from a young man pursuing her. One of her sisters told her not to respond to his text immediately. She said, “Wait for about two more hours and then respond. You don’t want him to think you are too eager.” I have watched another daughter in love purposely “lock all systems down” and not show the young man interested in her that she was remotely attracted or interested in him — even though she was. That will teach him!

Let’s stop the dating games and have some real fun — actually dating.

Mark Ogletree

BYU marriage and family professor

‘My one’ vs. ‘the one’

BYU — a sea of strange and beautiful fish — is pretty much full to the brim with academic and eternal potential. The courting game is played vigorously, haphazardly or perhaps not at all. Regardless of courting status, practically every student at one point in their BYU academic career will have this question flit across their mind: Could “the one” be here for me?

We seem to put so much emphasis on finding a suitor, that sometimes school feels more like a heist than a purely academic occupation. Maybe this is the perfect plan for our future generation—floods of BYU students joining in matrimony to strengthen the world. But because of the huge selection of prospects all within city limits, students hesitate to commit.

Saying no to a date when you really don’t feel it is fine. But what if you’re far into a good relationship and realize the other isn’t your knight in shining armor or woman of your dreams? The roaring sea calls back to you enticingly.

Are you hesitating to continue forward because your relationship might remain unchanged in all eternity? Because perfection might be around the corner?

Despite romantic drama advertisements, Love is not a spark. Love is a beautifully dynamic and deliberate decision. Choose every morning that: “You are my one.”

Reika Liu

Orem, Utah

Organs for Valentine’s day

As Valentine’s Day is here and we think about love and hearts, let me suggest you show your love with kidneys, lungs and liver as well. Currently, almost 800 people in Utah are waiting for a life-saving organ transplant. A simple yes on your driver license or state ID card shows the love to those waiting. If there is not a yes on your license or ID card, registering online at is quick and easy.

How about considering donating a few dollars on your Utah State Tax return to the Kurt Oscarson Children’s Organ Transplant Account?

Working for Intermountain Donor Services, I have met people whose lives were saved through donation and families who found comfort knowing their loved one saved lives. During this time when we typically think hearts and taxes, please expand that thinking to other organs and voluntary contributions.

Dixie Madsen

Public education manager, Intermountain Donor Services

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