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18 comments

  1. What are some good date ideas for couples who have kids?

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    1. Find another couple with kids with whom you can switch baby sitting the kids for every other week. That way you can have one week of free babysitting in return for babysitting for free for the other week.

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    2. That's a great idea! Someone should create an app that can facilitate this.

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    3. I think it is fine to find some things that you can do at home (e.g., games, conversation, dessert, etc.), but as often as you can, it is important to get out of the house together. Sometimes a change in scenery can do a lot for a couple, especially if it happens on a regular basis.

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  2. I'm just wondering about how to have those important conversations before marriage, like talking about what their goals are, how they handle money, where they stand on intimacy (or maybe that'd be better during engagement, I don't know). I feel like these are awkward conversations to have because I and most people aren't used to having such deep conversations on such topics that are so close to home. Any tips on how to start those conversations?

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    1. You need to start with where you are in the relationship. What I mean by that is don’t have deeply personal conversations if your relationship is not yet deeply meaningful. Don’t share things all at once and too much too soon. You have to take a measured approach. One way to start is to talk about things at a factual level (“my parents divorced”) and move more deeply into your opinions (“All of my siblings handled the divorce differently”) and emotions (“my parent’s divorce was the most difficult time in my life…”). Dr. John Van Epp uses this approach, which he calls OPEN (Observation and facts, Perspectives and opinions, Experiences and emotions, Needs and relationship responses; for more on this, see his book How to Avoid Falling in Love with a Jerk), and it can be really helpful.

      Even though you are being careful to not share too much too soon, there may still be times when some conversations are awkward. At that point you may just have to go for it. Some conversations don't get easier until you start talking about them.

      Regards to talking about sexual intimacy: The reality is, for most single people, talking about sexual intimacy with someone whom they are sexually attracted to is going to provoke more sexual feelings (and make it more difficult to maintain sexual boundaries). There is wisdom in refraining from these conversations until your relationship is sufficiently matured (and for some conversations on this topic, it may just be best to wait until marriage). I recommend following the counsel given in the For Strength of Youth (see the section on Sexual Purity on lds.org) in making decisions on what you should talk about pertaining to sexual intimacy.

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  3. What should we do if we feel like we are being blamed for everything or when anything goes wrong, we feel like it's our fault when it's both of our faults?

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    1. There are two parts here: the blaming of others and the blaming of self. First, if others are literally blaming you for EVERYTHING, they probably have some issues. Chances are, they don’t blame you for everything but do blame you for more than you would like. The first thing I would recommend is to see if you can identify any truths related to their accusations. If there is, make steps to improve yourself. After you’ve done that, move on with your life and stop worrying about their blame (blaming others is one of just many ways that people shrink from personal responsibility).

      For the self blame: Follow the same path. Identify honestly things you could do better, work to improve them, then let it go. Holding on to it won’t be helpful.

      You may also read the Common Cold of Marriage #3 article and study the boxes. Whatever you do, stay out of the wrong boxes!

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  4. How does the way you view the guys who are interested in the girls you like affect dating? Many times I see it as a bit of a competition, and other guys as competitors for the girl's attention, and therefore tend to think very negatively of them . Obviously there's lots of latitude for this question, but how can I improve my view of "my fellow man", even when they're interested in the same girls I am?

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    1. Honestly, I wouldn’t worry about it. I would catch myself when I started dwelling on it and would certainly never act out in frustration or anger. The fact that you feel a little rift is because you feel threatened. That’s normal. Try to stop worrying about things you can’t control (you can’t control whether or not a particular girl will choose you) and focus on what you can: be kind, improve your attractiveness, act lovingly to your neighbor (even if you like the same girl).

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  5. How can I tell if I should change my dating approach? Honestly girls never give feedback on why they aren't interested in me, many times they never say they're disinterested, they just fade away and ghost out.

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    1. That stinks man. My recommendation would be to find a girl you trust (and trust will tell you the truth) and ask her what she thinks you could do to improve your approach, appearance, demeanor, etc.
      For the record: girls who "ghost out" and "just fade away" are often acting like cowards. It would be better for them to directly (and kindly) tell you that they are not interested. They often think that this is the kind approach, but it's not.

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  6. I get a lot of dates from guys who are just...off. They try to cuddle on the first date or try to force me to hold their hand. I go to service activities, I go to places where the spirit can be felt. I'm not a loose girl and I surround myself with good people, but I only seem to be asked by people I'm not attracted to/or are looking for trouble. I'm friendly, sociable, and kind... So why don't I get asked out by good guys? Guys tell me I'm pretty/cute/beautiful but never ask me out. Should I

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    1. A few things. First, you obviously have an approachable persona about you, and I wouldn’t change that. That is a good thing. It means that you are, like you said, friendly, sociable, and kind.

      Second, don’t be too quick to judge. Someone who may appear “off” early in a dating situation may be very much “on.” If there is ZERO physical attraction that is one thing, but if someone is less attractive or appears to be “looking for trouble”, there may be some wisdom is reserving judgement. Early in a relationship, what we believe about someone is made up more from our own stereotypes and perceptions than what they actually say or do. So reserve judgement and give some of these guys a second chance.

      Lastly, (and now I am just guessing on what was supposed to follow “Should I…”) it’s okay to ask a guy out, you just have to be thoughtful about it. Here is the principle: it’s a good thing to send the subtle message to a guy that you are interested. This can help facilitate feelings that he could have for you. But you don’t want to appear desperately interested. You might try causally suggesting that “Hey, we should go ______. Do you want to do that next week?” If you’ve done that, you have sent the message that you are at least interested in getting to know him. Afterwards, I would scale back your forward-ness so as not to be perceived as desperate. There is more I could say on this, but I will probably just have to put it all together in a blog post :)

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  7. Hey! There's a guy I like but we don't know each other very well. I want to go on a date but he hasn't asked me. Because of this I'm afraid that he doesn't return the feelings, so if I were to ask him, he'd say no. Should girls ask guys out?

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    1. It's okay for girls to ask guys out, but there is some caution with it (see above). I would start by initiating conversations with him. Orchestrate situations where you can be around him and talk with him a little bit. After that, find out something he likes to do and then ask him if he wants to go do it. Afterwards, lay off a bit and see if he reciprocates any interest. That's just one approach to take.

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  8. How would you decide if it is time to start dating a particular individual exclusively? What questions should you ask yourself? (Assume both individuals are of an age that dating exclusively would be appropriate.)

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  9. This is a great question. Honestly, in my opinion, the timing of becoming exclusive is not as important as the timing of when you start thinking about marriage, talking about marriage, and getting engaged. I think couples should date exclusively for a long enough period that chemistry levels come down to a normative level so that they have a more realistic perspective of who this person is. The problem with thinking and talking about marriage is that chemistry levels are likely to increase as soon as you do. So, most important is to date long enough to understand who they are as a romantic partner when chemistry isn't dominating the relationship.
    Now, to directly answer your question. When to become exclusive? When you have spent enough time observing them in a variety of situations to feel that you can increase your level of trust and commitment in the relationship. That's pretty vague, but what do you know about how they treat strangers? Roommates? Others? If you are pretty ignorant of these things, you probably ought to date them non-exclusively a bit longer. However, if you get to a point where you are not "officially" dating exclusively, but pretty much acting like you are, just be sure you are not pushing the relationship to the next level too fast.

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