Loved his comments and agree. Especially liked this: 'Why not, instead,
focus on ways to date without making a big mess?"People who are
mature, adjusted and faithful should be able to causally date til they know if a
possible combination of people may lead to something more serious. If it does, great. If not, it should not lead to
'messiness" That just sounds like a lot of real immaturity.
GREAT point! The idea that dating within a ward could be messy is probably good
advice for the youth under 18. Single adults are probably a little weird if
they go to a singles ward instead of a family ward and then refuse to date those
in their ward. Why are they there in the first place? Either the "I
don't date those in my own ward" response is a cowardly cop-out for
"I don't want to go out with you" OR the person who feels that way
doesn't realize what singles wards are for.
Would it be so bad to date people that are not mormon? There are great people
out there who belong to other faiths and who have no faith at all.
It seem to me that if your going to church, your trying to turn your life over
to God. Why not let Him have a say in the matter. Love is more than a conclusion
it's the ability to get into the spirit of things.
Shaun,You are correct that there are terrific people of other faiths
and some who may not claim any religious affiliation at all. The reason for
dating within the LDS community goes beyond that, though.Dating is
courtship, and ultimately courtship is for a achieving and then nurturing a
marriage relationship. First, marriages benefit from couples sharing mutual
standards, goals, beliefs, etc. Marriage can at times be complicated enough
without adding the strain of conflicting religious views.Second, LDS
members believe in eternal families, and that can only be attained by having the
marriage relationship sealed in a temple ordinance. This, of course, requires
both the bride and groom be active LDS members.Thus the focus of LDS
members dating other members.
Also, the purpose for adult singles congregations is to establish the most
favorable environment possible for finding prospects for courtship. To attend a
singles ward with a personal policy of not dating other ward members would be
like going to a restaurant, being seated, and then refusing to even look at the
menu or place an order.
We had 44 members of our ward get married to members of our ward, just in the
last year. The fear of rejection will always be there. Fear not and ask. If
they say no, move on. But don't stop asking.
One part of the equation that can not be ignored is the drama created by other
people in the ward that you have no control over. Years ago I dated a girl in
my singles ward a few times and it didn't go anywhere. I thought we were
still friends, but her friends started gossiping about me and giving me the
stink eye in sacrament meeting. I found out later that the girl had felt hurt
so her friends decided to attack me. Yes, I know they were just being immature
and they weren't worth worrying about. But it is a real drag having to put
up with that kind of behavior when you go to a church meeting. The only way you
can control such immature drama is to simple not date people in your own ward.
Unfortunately, most singles wards have quite a few people, men and women, who
are immature and act like they are still in junior high school.
People should stop worrying about what their peers think and go have fun. It
doesn't kill anyone to get to know someone who isn't "hot".
When someone makes a lame excuse it's because they aren't attracted to
you and they don't want to get to know someone they aren't attracted
to because what would happen if your friends and family see you with someone who
isn't a trophy to parade around with and you end up actually liking them.
Both men and women lose out on a lot of great people because we are so fixated
on our hormones and egos.
Relationship conflict is part of life and it happens when dating as well as when
married. If you can't deal with conflicts among you and your ward members,
how are you going to deal with it when you live with the person under the same
Anyone who uses the excuse that they do not date within their ward is creating a
problem. Suppose someone moves into the ward whom they are attracted to and
really want to date. That would be messy.
I can't imagine why anyone would have even dreamed up a "rule"
about not dating people in their own ward. The thing that is messy (or messed
up) is that too many people are accepting the wider US society's notion of
what constitutes dating. Dating in the form of either mixed gender socializing
or courtship shouldn't get messy. No more so than would attending a ward
social. If a courtship doesn't workout, then adults ought to both be able
to move on. Would anyone consider a "rule" about not dating
someone in the same zip code, or town, to be reasonable? I certainly hope not.
That is really the same thing as this notion of not dating someone from the same
Get over yourselves people. Life is messy, deal with it.No good and
no growth comes from living in bubble of protection.Without misery
there can be no joy.Without bad there can be no good.
MG: "Church isn’t a company, and that particular rule (no dating
within the congregation)is not put in place by some church “HR
manager.” So it shouldn’t be enforced through social
pressures."Two points to make. 1) Mormon Guy, all rules are
enforced through social pressures, even the ones published by the Correlation
Committee and vetted by General Authorities. Second point. 2) Let
church worship be about church worship. You were perfectly happy until the
Church said you were not, and it said you were not (and could not) be happy
until you were married. And, of course, the Church has convinced you that the
only place to find such a spouse is within its walls. How about instead of
trying to fill a void in your life that was not there until the Church created
it, you simply attend church to worship Jesus Christ. He never taught a sermon
on "Oh, my heck! I'm not married!"
The original article did NOT specify that this was a young adult ward/singles
ward. As has been pointed, this is the primary purpose of forming such wards.
Gossiping and bad mouthing those within a ward you have unsuccessfully dated is
grounds for church discipline; so, the rule would be ill advised.As
to youth... while they don't "date" until age 16, the reality is
some do anyway and it is pretty normal to begin pairing off at age 12 or even
sooner. Within the same ward, be it Primary or the YM/YW program, it's a
bad idea to get in relationships within your own ward as you have 6+ years of
dealing with the fallout.
As a former YSA Bishop, I find that not dating inside the ward is and was a lame
excuse, and is a further delay tactic in fulfilling Priesthood responsibilities.
I had many marriages within in my ward and had several young men that would not
date sisters within the ward. The interesting correlation is young men that
dated within the ward seems to have married sooner, I part because they were not
putting boundaries on the sprit.
What person hasn't seen the dating couple who come to church and sit with
each other.. holding hands. Two weeks later.. they are no longer sitting
together and are on opposite sides of the chapel. How often does that have to
happen before you have the guy on one side..and all the girls he has dated on
the other... to say.. hmmmm I don't think I will date anyone from my ward.
I could not imagine having to attend the same sacrament meeting and Sunday
school class with all my ex's. Now.. if it works out with the first one
you date.. hey.. no problemo. But life is not always that smooth.So.. I can see why someone might want to impose that rule for themselves. Even
dating can be an emotional roller-coaster. Some people get more
"attached" than others and if your feelings for that other person are
not the same, some get real hurt and emotionally respond in turn. If one looks
at dating as just doing something with someone else.. going to a movie, etc..
then fine. But there is always someone who wants to "take it to the next
If the idea of not dating anyone in a single's ward becomes commonplace,
expect the church to disband single's wards and send you back to your home
Las Vegas Aggie's comment about dating within one's ward for the
purpose of marrying sooner being a priesthood responsibility seems to miss the
point of church - which if I remember is to worship Jesus Christ and serve our
fellow man. We are not livestock for you to tend. Each of us is a person of
worth, whether or not we choose to marry. In the United States the
only way for most working-age adults and families to avoid poverty is to work.
While it is true that children born into single mother households will be far
more likely to be poor than if they had been born into a two-parent household,
those who are born into a two-parent household, postponing education to raise a
family will likely result in your children to be just as poor (refer to the June
5, 2012 testimony before Congress from the Brookings Institution). The lesson to be learned is this: if your belief system requires you to force
human beings into marriage, please wait until they are mature and experienced
enough to make an educated decision about their future. Early marriage =
"I don't date in my ward." Dumbest rule ever. I lived in the
mission field. Our college ward was made up of YSA's, SA's, and
families, mostly people who worked/taught at the University. At one point or
another I went out with every YSA male in the ward. Eventually I married one of
them. This guy is both dishonest and has the wrong rules.Dishonest--He clearly didn't want to date this girl or he would have
broken his "rule". He didn't "let her down gently" by
saying this. He lied. A more honest answer would have been something along the
lines of, "you are really nice and I'm super flattered to be asked out
by you, but I'm not really interested in you and think it would be
dishonest of me to waste your time (and possibly money)". Better would be
to say yes and then if he didn't enjoy the date, to say something kind at
the end of the date that indicates this is a one time thing. I agree with
previous posters that he could be missing a great friendship/future spouse.
Wrong rule--If you are casually dating then don't kiss, don't hold
hands, don't spend all of your time together. When you date like this
there is no physical commitment and you can feel good about dating more than one
person at a time. If, after a few dates you aren't feeling like taking
things further, there should be no embarrassment. When you are going steady (I
believe BYU speak calls this DTR-Define the Relationship), that is the time to
hold hands and have some brief kissing. Even then, don't go into the
passionate stuff and if you break up, there's room for respect without
embarrassment. And finally, the most important rule is to be kind. Generally,
if you are kind and also honest, there is very little need for drama,
embarrassment, or "messiness". And if your jilted X does try to create
drama, take the high road. Smile and be nice to everyone. Your future spouse
Whatever happened to just social dating for fun in the LDS community. Why do the
first dates always have to be about Mr. or Mrs. Right. When my sons and
daughters were part of the Southern Alberta singles wards, one date, and BAM!!,
your were going steady, practically engaged. Very frustrating. Both men and
women in singles wards need to lighten up and enjoy life. Have fun with each
other. Put a limit on the number of dates with a person, if you want. Surely,
you are smart enough to determine by date three or five or ten, that you either
want to get serious, or not. One young lady told my son her number was three
dates. After date three, they both knew there was not going to be a fourth and
parted amicably. No wonder so many men are putting off marriage.
Not dating someone in your ward is utterly ridiculous and misses the whole point
of the gospel. If you were to ask a General Authority about this they would
say, YES! date everyone in your ward. Date them all twice just to be sure. Date
the friends and family of people in your ward. Date people who use to be and
will be in your ward. Just get out and date. Again, the young man who said
this was just trying to say no to this young woman nicely. If a young man is
really interested there is no "rule" that will stop him.
@glennsmithI understand the temptation to want to just have fun when
dating, but just having fun is the reason why so many young adults are now
having a problem finding a companion. It seems like the popularity of just
having fun and hanging out started about 12 years ago. The purpose of dating
when your a young adult is to get married, period. My sister went to a Church
college and did a lot of hanging out and having fun. She turned down a fine
young man who proposed to her. She liked him a lot but felt like she wanted to
be single longer. She went 7 more years before she found someone she wanted to
marry. She admits in retrospect that she should have married this young man
when he asked. General Authorities have commented on this and have warned young
men that they have a duty to be serious when dating.
How about this: start the YSA wards at the age of 24 and get rid of the age
limit. If a person is single, they are single whether they be 25 or 60. Also,
many are claiming that men are putting of marriage in higher numbers, I think
that may be due to the fact that the women in the church are increasingly
entitled and nitpicky. They simply cannot appreciate a good man. The
pressures, and culture that the church and its people push on single people can
do alot of psychological damage, especially to those who aren't able to get
married to someone they would like to be with.