Answers to Your Top Dating Questions
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“Answers to Your Top Dating Questions,” New Era, March 2016, 12–15

For the Strength of Youth

Answers to Your Top Dating Questions

Answers to Dating Questions

Photo illustrations by Christina Smith

Ah, dating. That’s one topic everyone loves to talk about, right? We talked to lots of youth and even asked about dating on Facebook, to find out your questions or concerns. Ashley R. even posted on Facebook that boys “intimi-DATE” her. (Clever, Ashley.)

Here are the top questions you asked about dating, along with answers from other youth! So, have a look at what other teenagers are saying about dating.

Why can’t we date until we’re 16?

“The prophets say it’s best to not go on dates until we’re 16, and even then, to go on group dates. It’s for our own safety and protection, and we’re not really mature enough for dating until an older age.”

Ashlynn H., 14, Texas, USA

“Maturity is a big factor. When we’re older, we better know how to speak to people and keep up a conversation.”

Seth B., 18, Colorado, USA

“We are encouraged by prophets and apostles to wait until we’re older to date. The stress of breaking up when young can be traumatizing.”

Tyson B., 13, Utah, USA

“It’s a Church standard. Waiting until we are older helps protect us from being tempted to do bad things.”

Hannah H., 13, Alabama, USA

Why is it not a good idea to steady date as a youth?

“It’s not a good idea to steady date in high school because it limits the people you can meet.”

Hunter W., 15, Washington, USA

“You don’t get to meet other people and there is a higher risk of participating in immoral behavior.”

Violet W., 15, Utah, USA

“When you’re younger, you want to hang out with different kinds of people so that you can explore different options. Later, when you’re ready to think about marriage, you’ll have an idea of the kind of person you want to stick with.”

Wendy F., 16, Utah, USA

“We can get too attached to one person and not be able to meet and get to know other people.”

Tyson B., 13, Utah, USA

“People ask me all the time why I don’t have a boyfriend, and I just tell them that the prophet has suggested that we don’t steady date before our missions. I don’t want to be the person that makes it harder for someone else to go on a mission. So, I try to build really good friendships with people, but I don’t steady date anyone because I want myself and those I date to be completely worthy to serve missions without anything holding us back.”

Sarah M., 17, Colorado, USA

“I tell people I won’t steady date or go one-on-one until I’m at an age when I want to be married, like after high school. While I’m in high school I’m still trying to prepare myself, focus on my studies, and discover my identity. When I’m older I’ll be a step closer, a littler wiser, to being able to be committed to someone else.”

April B., from Facebook

How do you encourage a guy to ask you out?

“Talk to him, dress modestly, and smile!”

Bailey K., 14, Utah, USA

“You can be assertive in telling a guy that you would like to go on a date with him, and see what he does with that information. For most guys who don’t ask girls out because they fear rejection, it will be music to their ears.”

Jordan J., from Facebook

“Make yourself stand out in a good way and talk to the boy you would like to ask you out.”

Zach H., 15, Utah, USA

What kind of dates are fun?

“I strongly recommend going on dates that will allow you to communicate with one another, get to know more about each other, and strengthen the relationship you share. For example, a picnic is a great way to bond. Walks or hikes give opportunities to appreciate what’s around you. Athletic activities such as bowling are very enjoyable. Think simple. The littlest activities can be the most fun!”

Melania M., 14, Ontario, Canada

“I like fun things. I love doing spontaneous things like going on hikes or going to the arcade. I like it when the date is cheaper so I don’t feel weird that they spent a bunch of money on me when we’re just friends.”

Sarah M., 17, Colorado, USA

What do I talk about?

“The important thing is to comment and ask questions, therefore causing a conversation to occur. Open up to him/her about your thoughts/feelings on a subject and then ask theirs. In return, ask thoughtful questions about their responses. If you can’t think of a topic, look at the first thing you see and branch off of it (i.e.: a flower, ‘My family’s garden has some awesome beets in it this year. Do you have a garden?’). These tricks were what got me through many awkward moments.”

Katie, from Facebook

“Starting a conversation and continuing it with your date can be tough. When it comes to communication I recommend finding out about the person’s interests to see what you have in common with him or her. For example, favorite things. Talk about the gospel and how much you love it. Don’t be afraid to express yourself through words. Talk about goals and future plans. Talk about family and friends. Or even past memories. Even crack a joke once in a while. Remember that one topic can lead to another, creating a consistent conversation!”

Melania M., 14, Ontario, Canada

“My mom once gave me advice for talking during stake dances when you get to those awkward moments when there isn’t anything to talk about but the song is still going, and I have found it works well for those same moments at dinner. She said that you can ask the most random questions like, ‘What color is your toothbrush?’ Or ‘If you had to pack one suitcase and leave right now, where would you go and why?’ Something random and fun and conversational.”

Stacie, from Facebook

People often assume you’re in a relationship after one date. How can I casually date different people without hurting anyone’s feelings?

“I think the best way is to make your date understand that you aren’t ready and don’t want a relationship at the moment.”

Zach H., 15, Utah, USA

“It is so hard to casually date without getting a bad reputation. I tell people I can’t date until I’m 16 and that I plan to keep things casual by group dating.”

Alli C., 14, Alabama, USA

“Explain to the people you date that a date is an activity to let you get to know each other better. Dating exclusively is for furthering your relationship status and for progressing towards marriage or being a couple, and we’re not ready for that. Explain your standards of dating. You can even use the For the Strength of Youth pamphlet.”

Corbin J., 17, Washington, USA

Can I date people who aren’t LDS?

“Only date nonmembers who have the same values and standards. It is also a good way to share the gospel.”

Tessa J.,14, Washington, USA

“Yes, as long as you keep your standards and make sure that your nonmember friend knows what your standards are.”

Violet W., 15, Utah, USA

“You can date nonmembers to become friends, but remember that you want to marry someone who is worthy to enter the temple.”

Tyson B., 13, Utah, USA

“Yes, but they really need to have the same standards as I do.”

Alli C., 14, Alabama, USA

“As long as you keep your standards and let them know your expectations, it’s okay to date nonmembers. You can create a good missionary experience out of spending time with nonmembers. Just be careful about what their influence can do to you.”

Corbin J., 17, Washington, USA

When is it OK to kiss?

“If you can’t date until you’re 16, you probably shouldn’t be kissing either. And when you do, it should be a quick kiss.”

Tessa J., 14, Washington, USA

“This is a very tough question because situations are different for everybody. It changes from culture to culture but these are some general guidelines. I wouldn’t kiss for the sake of kissing. I wouldn’t kiss anyone if it is something that changes my character for the worse. I am trying to keep the commandments and be a good person. If kissing becomes an obstacle in the way of celestial glory, I won’t participate.”

Corbin J., 17, Washington, USA