What would your response be to this question? We’ve asked young men and women all around the world, and while there hasn’t been complete agreement, most of you have told us there’s just not a lot of dating going on where you live—at least not a lot of dating in the traditional LDS sense.

For example, Felicity Lawrance says, “In England, the dating of my generation has become ridiculous. Here if someone asks ‘Will you go out with me?’ it really means ‘Will you be my boy/girlfriend?’ And if the answer is yes then you are boyfriend and girlfriend. It completely skips the period of getting to know each other!”

Some teens we talked to called this the “instacouple” phenomenon.

Kathryn Jones says that in Colorado traditional dating is “pretty much dead,” particularly when it comes to dating a variety of people. She explains, “If an LDS guy went on a date with a non-LDS girl one week and then went out with another girl who was LDS the next week, the non-LDS girl wouldn’t get it.”

So, exclusivity seems to be implied right up front, making it awkward to follow the counsel to date a number of different people.

This trend away from dating seems to be pretty consistent, according to what LDS teens are telling us. So is that a problem? Probably not when you are 17, but what about when you are 21? Your best bet is to hold fast to the teachings of the gospel, always uphold your high standards, and follow the counsel of prophets and apostles.

One great source for gospel standards is For the Strength of Youth, where it says on the topic of dating, “Good friendships can and should be developed at every age” ([2001], 24). While you’re a teenager, the point of dating is simply that—to make friends. In that spirit, dating—or getting acquainted—will always be alive and well.

Illustration by Steve Kropp