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Dating

Get answers to questions about the standards of the Church. Choose a topic above to see more.

  • Why is it bad to steady date before guys go on missions?

    “Young women, . . . avoid steady dating with a young man prior to the time of his mission call. If your relationship with him is more casual, then he can make that decision to serve more easily and also can concentrate his full energies on his missionary work instead of the girlfriend back home. And after he returns honorably from his mission, he will be a better husband and father and priesthood holder, having first served a full-time mission” (Ezra Taft Benson, “To the Young Women of the Church,” October 1986 general conference).

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  • How should a guy and girl treat each other on a date?

    “The young women want young men to respect them and show them common, sincere courtesy. Do not hesitate to show good manners by opening a door for them, taking the initiative in inviting them on a date, and standing as they enter a room. Young women, you can also show respect and dignity by being considerate and polite, extending simple courtesies to others” (M. Russell Ballard, “Away from the Blinding Dust,” New Era, May 1991, 50).

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  • What kind of dates are all right to go on when I first turn 16?

    “When you begin dating, go with one or more additional couples. . . . Plan dating activities that are safe, positive, and inexpensive and that will help you get to know each other. Go only to places where you can maintain your standards and remain close to the Spirit” (For the Strength of Youth, 4).

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  • Is it OK to kiss a lot?

    For the Strength of Youth says: “Before marriage, do not participate in passionate kissing …” (36).

    Elder Richard G. Scott said, “Keep your expressions of feelings to those that are comfortable in the presence of your parents” (“Making the Right Choices,” October 1994 general conference).

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  • Is it wrong not to want to date at all right now? What if I don’t date until I’m in college?

    Not all teenagers need to date or even want to. Many young people do not date during their teen years because they are not yet interested, do not have opportunities, or simply want to delay forming serious relationships. However, good friendships can and should be developed at every age.

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  • Why do I need to wait until I’m 16 to date?

    President Gordon B. Hinckley said:

    “The Lord has made us attractive one to another for a great purpose. But this very attraction becomes as a powder keg unless it is kept under control. It is beautiful when handled in the right way. It is deadly if it gets out of hand.

    “It is for this reason that the Church counsels against early dating. This rule is not designed to hurt you in any way. It is designed to help you, and it will do so if you will observe it” (“A Prophet’s Counsel and Prayer for Youth,” New Era, Jan. 2001, 13).

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  • How much physical affection can I show while dating?

    “Before marriage, do not participate in passionate kissing, lie on top of another person, or touch the private, sacred parts of another person’s body, with or without clothing. Do not do anything else that arouses sexual feelings. … Avoid situations that invite increased temptation, such as late-night or overnight activities away from home or activities where there is a lack of adult supervision. Do not participate in discussions or any media that arouse sexual feelings. Do not participate in any type of pornography” (For the Strength of Youth, 36).

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  • How can guys encourage girls to dress modestly?

    “Young men, let . . . young women know that you will not seek an eternal companion from those that are overcome by worldly trends. Many dress and act immodestly because they are told that is what you want. In sensitive ways, communicate how distasteful revealing attire is to you, a worthy young man, and how it stimulates unwanted emotions from what you see against your will.

    “Those young women who do embrace conservative dress standards and exhibit the attributes of a devoted Latter-day Saint are often criticized for not being ‘with it.’ Encourage them by expressing gratitude for their worthy example. Thank them for doing what is pleasing to the Lord and in time will bless their own husband and children. Many young women have returned to righteousness because of the example and understanding support of a worthy priesthood bearer. Perhaps a group of you could frankly discuss your concern in an appropriate setting such as a Sunday School or seminary class. Will you begin a private crusade to help young women understand how precious they are to God and attractive to you as they magnify their feminine traits and divinely given attributes of womanhood?” (Richard G. Scott, “The Sanctity of Womanhood,” April 2000 general conference).

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  • Is it OK to have a steady boyfriend or girlfriend in high school?

    For the Strength of Youth teaches, “Avoid going on frequent dates with the same person” (4). President Gordon B. Hinckley counseled: “When you are young, do not get involved in steady dating. When you reach an age where you think of marriage, then is the time to become so involved. But you boys who are in high school don’t need this, and neither do the girls” (“Some Thoughts on Temples, Retention of Converts, and Missionary Service,” October 1997 general conference).

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  • What is the purpose of dating as a teenager? If I’m not “looking for someone” during high school, why bother dating at all?

    “Dating … can help you learn and practice social skills, develop friendships, have wholesome fun, and eventually find an eternal companion” (For the Strength of Youth, 4). When you’re a teen, dating helps you learn how to interact with others, make friends, have fun, and learn and practice respect and courtesy. These skills will be helpful in your social interactions and then later in courtship and marriage.

    “When you are old enough [at least age 16], you ought to start dating. It is good for young men and young women to learn to know and to appreciate one another. It is good for you to go to games and dances and picnics, to do all of the young things. We encourage our young people to date. We encourage you to set high standards of dating” (Boyd K. Packer, “You’re in the Driver’s Seat,” New Era, June 2004, 8).

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