Don’t Smother or Pester
To help facilitate a successful dating relationship, it is usually wise to allow the man to be the initiator, no matter what age you are. If he makes the effort to contact you, arranges to see you, and takes care of the details, you can be fairly certain that he wants to be with you and has some idea of the basics. In addition, it is an interesting truth that the more self-initiated and independent effort a man puts into building a relationship with a woman, the more he comes to value her. You can encourage him in this by giving him time and space to decide for himself if he wants to pursue you. If he chooses not to, it may hurt, but not as much as if you initiate the relationship and then come to realize he is not interested. Worse, you may discover he is just spending time with you until something better comes along or he figures out an acceptable time and way to end things.
During my early acquaintance with my husband, I allowed him to make all the phone calls and appointments and contacts because I felt those were his prerogative until I knew him well. That entailed more than a few nail bites as I waited for him to call me. A confident woman does not need constant reassurance.
Maintain the Lord’s Standards
If we do our best to keep our thoughts and behavior within the standards the Lord has set, we will surely receive blessings. My husband told me that during our courtship, as he left the home of a married daughter, she playfully called out, “Now, Dad, remember who you are and what you represent.” He and I have laughed about this daughter’s loving admonition as she mimicked the exact things her father had said to her when she was dating. We also knew that her words were true and that Heavenly Father would bless our courtship as we conducted ourselves in a manner consistent with His commandments. He will do the same for you if you keep your courtships and dating experiences wholesome and within the parameters outlined by our gospel standards.
Look for Peace
Marriage is the most important covenant you will ever make. When I seriously considered others before I met my husband, something always obstructed the relationship; it somehow wouldn’t work. When I prayed and fasted in other situations, sometimes I felt nothing, sometimes I felt confused, and sometimes I felt overcome with sadness. With those other dating opportunities, I always felt I would be settling for someone not completely right for me—even if he was a wonderful individual. When I met and began dating Elder Oaks, it was a most peaceful and pleasant experience. It was not hard or traumatic. I loved him and respected him. You should only consider marriage with someone that you love and respect with all your heart. Anything less will be inadequate eternally.
When I met my husband I met my best friend. There was romance, but more important, I found someone I felt comfortable with—someone with whom I could pull weeds in the garden, wash dishes, pray, and confer over problems. I enjoyed his company more than anyone else’s and came to depend on his honest feedback and wise advice. I could confide in him, and I had complete confidence in him. He would also laugh at my jokes.
Trust is the basis of every loving relationship. All we say and do contributes to the trust we develop with our family and loved ones. Others will come to rely on us in direct proportion to our reliance on the Lord and our obedience to His commandments.
Lead image from lds.org
In a Church that is focused on family, singles can feel somewhat discounted and discouraged. Oftentimes the very resources meant to support people can inadvertently cause pain. In the bookA Single Voice, author Kristen Oaks addresses questions such as:
- What is “the single best thing you can do” as a single person in the Church?
- Are there ways to ease the transition from a singles ward to a home ward?
- What are some specific ways to make single life happier and more fulfilling?
- What are some tips for coping with the unique challenges of holidays?
- What are the key decisions that singles need to make?
A Single Voice addresses these concerns and offers valuable insights, personal reflections (including the story of the author's courtship and marriage to Elder Oaks), and rich advice for living life to the fullest as a single member.