Learning this in class has totally changed the way I approach dating.

In Elder Oaks address “Dating Versus Hanging Out”, he teaches us the 3 criteria for a date.

A date is:

  1. Planned ahead– meaning there is a plan set forth of what will happen on the date, how long it will last, what materials might be needed, etc.
  2. Paid for– either monetary means are met, or resources are provided to accomplish the date plan
  3. Paired off– it is obviously who is with who. As opposed to hanging out, each individual is paired with another.

From The Family: A Proclamation to The World, we learn that a male’s role in the family is to preside, provide, and protect (lots of P words today).  These three roles go with the criteria of a date.

As the boy plans the date, he shows his presiding role. He leads out in carrying out the dating activities, and oversees the plan being fulfilled. As he pays for (or obtains the resources/materials for) the activity, he fulfils his role as a provider. Being paired off allows the male to protect his date for the night, he is in charge of her safety and comfort.

A women’s role is to nurture, and that can take on so many different ways in the dating scene. She is able to weave her nurturing and caring ways into the different aspects of the date.

Dating Roles

Seeing dating from this point of view was somewhat new for me. I have always tried to look for someone who would be a good husband and father, trying to keep the future in mind. But looking at it in this way has helped me to see HOW I will know if he will fit in the roles of a husband and father, and how successfully he might fulfill them. I have loved observing and evaluating the way a boy plans a date. The way he carries out the date, and the way he lives his day to day life is very telling about the way he might provide, preside, and protect in a future family. This is so huge for me in finding someone I want to spend forever with.

It has also changed the way I have approached dating. I feel that I am more aware of opportunities to serve my date, to help him feel cared for and nurtured. Guys really do notice when you go out of your way to help them feel comforted and cared for.

“I believe that the most important single thing that any one ever does is to marry the right person, in the right place, by the right authority” Bruce R. McConkie

This new perspective on dating is so great. When we are dating, we need to realize that we are not just dating for the heck of it, or not just engaged for a wedding day. We are dating to find someone we will spend eternity with! I feel like we use that phrase so often, it might have lost some of its umph. WE ARE GOING TO BE WITH THIS PERSON FOREVER. He will be my husband, and he will be a father to our children. That’s a big deal. Realizing that and really getting to know someone through Talk, Time, and Togetherness is so important. Marriage is a big deal. The way in which we date and who we date is a big deal.