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My 3-Word Formula to Choose Your Love—And Love Your Choice

For many of us, President Monson's counsel to

“Choose your love and love your choice.” When Thomas S. Monson made that statement, I thought I understood what he was saying. 

I still think that I get the second part—love your choice. To me, that means being committed. 

But what does that first part mean? How do we choose our love?

We often get so lost in trying to understand what it means to choose our love, that we never gain what we want (or at least want to want): marriage. Or better-put, a great marriage.

For years I was convinced that I was doing my part to get married until I realized recently that there was a three-word formula. It is a formula for helping us all to choose our  love—not just waiting around for him or her to appear. 

  1. Open. 
  2. Service. 
  3. Time.

See, not long ago, I met this girl. She was pretty, smart, and motivated, but we weren’t really one another’s type. I thought she was a little too high-strung, and I could tell she thought I was immature (turns out one of us was right—her). I never asked her out, but we became good friends. Then one day, I thought to put the “choose your love” counsel from President Monson to the test and see if I could really like her. So I decided I would make myself vulnerable and not even care if she didn't like me back. Every time I saw her, I would give her a compliment, try to make her day a little better, and be more eager to help her out. Basically, I served her. Not in a creepy way, but in a way to help her day be a little bit better. 

Over time, something happened. 

Week 1: I did not feel much of a change.

Week 2: I started to notice myself glancing at her more often.

Week 3: I caught myself thinking about her randomly. 

Week 4: I noticed butterflies.

Week 6: I was looking forward to seeing her. 

Week 7: I really liked her . . . a lot.

I realized this was the same lesson I learned on my mission with difficult companionships, but I didn't think it would translate into romantic relationships as well. But why shouldn't it?

Gordon B. Hinckley said, “If every husband and every wife,” (and I don’t think he is excluding singles,) “would constantly do whatever might be possible to ensure the comfort and happiness of his or her companion, there would be very little, if any, divorce (“The Women in Our Lives,” General Conference, Oct. 2004). By the same token, if singles follow that advice, there would be many more fulfilling relationships.

I finally decided to give myself a chance to fall in love by being open to the possibility of it and by giving service and time. 

  1. Open.
  2. Service.
  3. Time.

That is how you fall in love.

That is how you stay in love. 

Sure, she might not have ended up feeling the same way about me, but at least now I know that I have the power to choose.

If you want to fall in love (either again or for the first time), just apply Alma 32 to your relationship. 

Plant it (be open), water it (serve), and look after it (give it time). And if it is a good seed, you are giving it a chance to grow. The more we serve someone, the more we love that person. Why do you think Christ loves us unconditionally forever? We fall in love by serving imperfectly for a few hours a week, yet He served us perfectly for our entire life. Imagine what love He must have for each of us.

If you want to love someone, you might try this choose your love formula out. 

If you have lost a little bit of the fire and want to kindle that flame back up, you must try this out.

Love is one of the most important things in life, and I, for one, am done waiting for fickle-footed fate to drag me to it. It's my choice.

Now if only there were a formula for getting someone to try this out on me . . .


My 3-Word Formula to Choose Your Love—And Love Your ChoiceFor more dating advice from Zack, check out his book, Dating Never Works. . .Until It Does, and his blog, bowlofoates.com.


Zack oates

Zack Oates

Zack Oates is an entrepreneur, newly minted husband, hot tubber, and blogger (but not in that order, necessarily). He lived in Ukraine for two years serving an LDS mission and started a nonprofit in 2008 called Courage to Hope, which works with victims of domestic violence. After working at an ad agency in NYC, he founded his first company. Four years later, he sold that startup and returned to BYU for his MBA. He has been a founder of seven other startups, rung the NASDAQ bell, has been to 36 countries across 6 continents and currently lives in Salt Lake City with his wife working as a consultant for the LDS church and on his own business.

Check out his new book, Dating Never Works. . .Until It Does, or his blog, bowlofoates.com.

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