After writing “8 Things Single LDS Girls Wish Boys Understood,” guys started coming out of the woodworks from my ward, former mission, as well as random people on Facebook. They all asked me, “when will you tell our side of the story?”
So I started talking with them, trying to figure out what they wished women knew. And their answers surprised me. A lot of LDS guys’ feelings are mutual: though we strive to honor the priesthood, we serve the Lord through church callings or missions, and we are trying to become the husbands and fathers our patriarchal blessings encourage to become. But many girls just don’t understand us.
I jokingly say 95% of guys give the other 5% of us a bad name. But sometimes, I feel like this is true, even within the Church. And even then, I’m sure the majority of guys are trying, but everyone can get nervous, say something stupid, or have a bad day, especially when a cute girl is nearby.
So, let me give you a glimpse into how many LDS guys feel. Here are nine things single LDS guys wish girls understood.
It is not only physical.
Let me start here. For most LDS guys, it is not all about the physical. Sure, that’s important to every relationship, and sure, every guy wants to have a healthy sexual relationship with their spouse down the road. But that’s the difference between guys within the Church and what you see on TV or the internet; we can control our desires and are not obsessed with sex or the physical side of things. We desire a relationship, something deeper, and ultimately we want a family.
We think differently.
Every guy will admit it, we don’t understand women. But women don’t understand us either. That is because we think differently. The first step to better communication is learning how we communicate and how we think. We talk directly. If we ask a question, we are seeking the answer to that question.
An example: “Where would you like to eat tonight?” We ask because we would like a straight reply, like “Panda Express.” Or, if you don’t care as long as it is not Taco Bell, then say, “I don’t really care as long as it is not Taco Bell.” Saying “I don’t care” when you really do puts us in an impossible spot to read your mind.
Asking you on a date is hard.
The courage it takes to ask a beautiful girl on a date is far more than you might think. It definitely took me by surprise. It is one of the scariest things I’ve ever done. And yes, if I am asking you on a date, I think you are beautiful. And honestly, for every guy that asks you on a date, there are probably two to five that just have not worked up the courage yet.
I am just asking you on a date. I’m not asking you to be my girlfriend or wife.
Seriously, I just want to take you bowling or hiking. I am not asking you to commit to a relationship or to marry me when I ask you on a date. I find you attractive, and I am asking you on a date because I want to get to know you better. If it sounds fun, give it a chance.
I understand school is a priority; I am not asking you to drop out.
I can’t tell you how many times I have asked a girl on a date only to get the reply, “I am too busy with school. I don’t have time to date.” We understand you’re busy. So are we, but you can take 30 minutes and grab a bite to eat with us if you’re interested.
Being nice is being honest.
In the quest to be nice, please do not lie to us. Being nice is giving us a shot, but then tell us straight. If you don’t want to go on a second date, tell us. Don’t lead us on or lie to try to let us down easily. Honesty is an attractive quality, especially in relationships. And it’s really important down the relationship road. If you can’t be upfront at first, how do you expect to be honest later on, when more emotions and chances to get hurt are on the line?
Lies, even white lies, hurt us more than the truth. Truth hurts, but if you are honest with me, I’ll accept it.
Honesty can, and will hurt. But it is the only path that leads to happiness.
A lot of girls think that their beauty is a weight or a dress size. It is not; beauty comes from within. You don’t need to be a size 0 to be attractive. Honestly, if you are trying, that is good enough for us. That effort makes you attractive.
Attraction is important in every relationship and is about so much more than your looks. One of the most frustrating parts of the dating culture is the double standard of physical beauty. If a guy mentions that he’s not attracted to a girl, people jump to conclusions and label him as superficial, rude, and narrow-minded. But if a girl talks about there not being enough of a “spark” or enough attraction in a relationship, she’s seen as justified to move on until she finds what she’s looking for. My sister was once told, “Before you judge a man on his looks, remember he does not wear makeup.”
But, it’s also important to remember that men are attracted to women for who they are and the qualities they have, not just their looks.
We hate the dating game.
If you like me, treat me with respect. Don’t tell me “no” and then expect a chase. If you don’t like me, tell me. But this dating game of the “pursuit” or the “mystery” is a joke. If we are asking you on a date, it means we see something in you that we like. If we ask you on a second date, it means we like what we saw and want to find out more.
Men are not always the best at explaining our feelings, but when we tell you something, we mean it. To guys, signs of affection are a big deal. We don’t give them out to just anyone. We hate the dating game and all the dating rules. We want to be ourselves and find someone who will love us for who we are.
Character is more important than the physical.
A false idea that I hear over and over again is that guys want the perfect girl. Most guys recognize that what we are looking for is potential and progression, not perfection. We realize, yes, physical attraction is important, but if you are ugly on the inside, no amount of makeup can cover that up.
Yes, I want to be physically attracted to the girl I date or marry. But far more important than looks is her character. Who you are and how you treat others is what makes you most attractive and beautiful.
If love is built on only physical attraction, it will fail as our bodies are guaranteed to decay. Whereas if you love their soul, you can grow together.
Jeremy Goff was born in Denver and raised in Orem, Utah. He served a mission in the Manchester New Hampshire Mission (’12-’14). He is passionate about many things: he blogs, loves food, family, politics, and religion. He travels for work and loves to visit temples and share the gospel along the way!
Follow Jeremy’s journey on his blog mylifebygogogoff.com or on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter.