At the New Era we often receive questions about dating. We have also visited with youth from a variety of places and have found that there are some common questions that LDS youth would like answered. Here are a few questions from youth about dating, along with answers we hope are helpful.
Answers are intended for help and perspective, not as pronouncements of Church doctrine. What is the purpose of dating as teenagers?
Your ultimate goal is to spend eternity with Heavenly Father, and in His kingdom we will live as eternal families. So the ultimate goal of dating is to find an eternal companion you can make and keep temple covenants with. These skills will be helpful in your social interactions and then later in courtship and marriage.
It is good for young men and young women to learn to know and to appreciate one another. It is good for you to go to games and dances and picnics, to do all of the young things.
We encourage our young people to date. We encourage you to set high standards of dating. What is considered dating? How is it defined? Dating is when two people of the opposite sex arrange to pair up with each other and participate in an activity.
Some teens use the word dating to describe a couple that has decided to be exclusive, but this is not the kind of dating you should be doing in your teens. What is the difference between hanging out in a group and dating in a group? Group dating means that everyone in the group is paired up for an activity. Some teens report uncomfortable situations where a couple of friends pair off and the rest of the people in the group feel like they are tagging along on a date.
This places your friend in the awkward position of being a third wheel on a supposedly accidental date. Modern prophets have counseled us to follow this standard because they know that it will protect us and help us to be happy.
The age of 16 simply means you can now begin dating when you feel ready, starting with group dates. Dating before then can lead to immorality, limit the number of other young people you meet, and deprive you of experiences that will help you choose an eternal partner. But this very attraction becomes as a powder keg unless it is kept under control. It is beautiful when handled in the right way.
It is deadly if it gets out of hand. This rule is not designed to hurt you in any way. It is designed to help you, and it will do so if you will observe it. What should someone do if they find themselves getting into a relationship before they are old enough to date? Your parents or Church leaders can help you establish some rules.
Is dating before you are 16 a sin that must be repented of? Modern prophets have counseled against dating before 16, so willfully disregarding this counsel should not be taken lightly.
Part of that repentance should include a change of heart and a commitment to stop dating, if you are still under If you need more help in this area, talk to your parents or Church leaders.
What kind of dates are OK when you first turn 16? When you are just beginning to date, it is best to keep things light and fun. Focus on strengthening the friendships you already have.
For a list of fun dating ideas, see page Is it a type of sin not to want to date at all right now? No, delaying dating is not a sin. Many young people do not date during their teen years because they are not yet interested, do not have opportunities, or simply want to delay forming serious relationships.
Right now, relax, ease into dating, starting with group dates as you feel comfortable. It will be better for you and your future spouse if you gain some experience by getting to know people. Perhaps some young adults, especially men, have carried that wise counsel to excess and determined not to date before 26 or maybe even Gather your courage and look for someone to pair off with.
When is single dating appropriate? Following this guideline will help you have more fun and stay safer. As the old saying goes, there is safety in numbers. When you are older and in a position to consider marriage, you most certainly should single date.
Until then, talk to your parents about the decision to start single dating. Are occasional single dates as a teen wrong? Not necessarily, but make sure you understand why the Church encourages you to date in groups when you begin dating. For more specific advice, talk to your parents. This is an interesting question, because it assumes that leaving the Young Men or Young Women program may signal the beginning of the single-dating era of your life.
Why should we not steady date until we are older? When is it appropriate? What constitutes steady dating? The reasons for this counsel have to do with timing and safety. And people in that kind of exclusive relationship will probably want to begin to express their feelings physically. The longer the relationship goes on with no immediate prospect of marriage, the more likely a couple is to get into trouble. Please know the kind of person you want to be with. Please make sure that you help those you come in contact with.
Please point them in the direction of associating with many people. How often can you date a certain person? There is no set number. Talk to your parents and youth leaders about it, and learn from what other people have done and observed. When is it OK to call someone your boyfriend or girlfriend? The answer to this question depends on what these terms mean to you and others.
For now, just call them friends. Why is it so bad to steady date before guys go on missions? Before his mission, a young man should not be looking for a serious relationship. It may distract him from the call to full-time service he will receive from a prophet of God. It might create temptations and even expectations regarding the relationship. Neither of them needs that sort of distraction or pressure.
This is a good question to ask your father, uncles, or youth leaders, as well as recently returned missionaries. They will have a good perspective on the problems that come from steady dating before missions. And I would admonish you to date only faithful young women who also believe this and give you that encouragement. How should we ask someone on a date? Calling someone on the phone or speaking to them in person is best. Ask them if they would like to go with you to a dance or on a date on a certain day and at a certain time.
People should not feel pressured into a date and should be able to decline without feeling uncomfortable. Is it appropriate for girls to ask guys out?
This is a good subject to ask your parents about. Follow their advice and make sure they approve of your dating choices. But generally, these events are the exception rather than the rule.
If activities are more organized, guys may begin asking girls on dates more often. How should a guy treat a girl on a date? Young men should use good manners, even if the activity is casual. Go to the door to pick the girl up, and say hello to her parents. Even if she is a good friend, go out of your way to make sure she is enjoying herself.
Do not hesitate to show good manners by opening a door for them, taking the initiative in inviting them on a date, and standing as they enter a room. Young women, you can also show respect and dignity by being considerate and polite, extending simple courtesies to others. Should guys really have to pay for every date? Not necessarily, but if the young man is the one who asked the young woman out, he ought to pay. With a little planning, ordinary activities can become dates, such as going for walks or playing games.
What are proper manners for a girl on a date? A girl has the same obligation to show good manners as a boy. She should appreciate the efforts he goes to and thank him. She should talk to him and help him have a nice time.