“To the Young Men on Dating,” New Era, Apr. 2010, 6–7
Young men, dating is when you ask a young woman to participate and interact with you in a planned social activity.
Dating can be a wonderful learning experience for both you and the young women you date. You can learn a lot about yourself, and you can develop understanding, respect, and appreciation for God’s extraordinary and precious daughters.
It may seem a long way off now, but marriage is one of the most important decisions of your life. Your teenage years are not the time to make that decision, but proper dating will help you prepare to make that decision when it is appropriate. Dating will give you opportunities to develop social skills that will help you become confident and attractive to the young women you date. You’ll come to understand and be attracted to those with the qualities and characteristics that will be important to you in an eternal companion. Proper dating will also help you be worthy and prepared to marry in the temple for time and all eternity the right person at the right time.
All of this will contribute to your enjoying one of the greatest blessings of life: a happy and successful marriage.
The Lord’s prophets have counseled you not to date until you are at least 16 years old. When you start dating, date only those with high standards and in whose company you can maintain your standards. Always participate in wholesome activities that allow you and your date to maintain self-respect and to remain close to the Spirit of the Lord. It is especially important to have pure thoughts and feelings. Avoid having a relationship where there is talk or behavior that is sexually oriented. Avoid being alone with your date or staying out too late. You are both responsible to help each other maintain the sanctity of the priesthood and womanhood and to protect each other’s honor and virtue. Always be kind to and respectful of young women when you ask for or accept a date and throughout all of your dating experiences.
When you begin dating, go with one or more other couples. Avoid going out with the same person too frequently or developing a serious relationship too early.
Remember to maintain balance in your life when you date. You should not date so often that it harms your family relationships or keeps you from doing well in school or developing skills and talents. Make sure your parents meet and feel comfortable with the young women you date.
We encourage you to participate in well-planned dating activities that are simple, positive, inexpensive, and that will help you get to know the young women you date.