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"Hanging-out"

I am sure that those of you who watched the CES fireside (windows media stream) given by Elder Oaks on Sunday were rather amused with how he addressed the decrease of dating and the increase of "hanging out" among young singles. I know that the girls were thrilled to hear the guys being admonished to take them on more dates - but what about the guys? What do you all think of this?

I am skeptical that things are going to change a whole lot. So now I am wondering - why DO we all just "hang out"? Is it really about the money? Are the guys being lazy? Are they really that intimidated? Are there so many options (meaning girls - especially here in Provo) that the guys don't want to pick just one?

I know that the guys aren't the only ones fault, but it seems like they have more influence on the situation. Don't get me wrong, I love to be with big groups of friends, it's easy and comfortable, but no one really gets anywhere with that. I don't want to sound like one of those angry, dateless girls - I just want some perspective on the matter.

Why I don't date, and also because I'm lazy

I've just never been so tired of trying to do something and failing in my life. And this is coming from someone who is no stranger to trying things and failing.

Everytime I do a cost/benefit analysis, it keeps coming up in the red. Or is it the black? Whichever one is bad.

On Dating and Excuses

I was talking to my Mom about this talk today and she shared an interesting perspective that I hadn't thought of yet. When a young man is of any age before his mission he has a message pounded into his brain over and over by his parents, his bishop, his Young Men's leaders, and anyone else who can get their hands on him.
"Don't steady date, don't single date, girls are evil, blah blah blah"

He heads on a mission which is the extreme example of abstinence from all girls in the church, and right before he heads home he is called into his Mission Presidents office and told to move onto his next mission in life, finding a wife.

He gets to BYU and is faced with the prospect of choosing from 1000's of eligible women. 1000's of eligible women who never go on dates because none of the other elders who came home have done what they were told to do by their mission presidents, and so after a few dates he realizes what taking a few girls out actually means, and then gives up. It's easier for him to sit at home and play Halo 2, and wait for the desperate girls in his ward to bring him brownies than it is to put some actual effort into finding a girlfriend.

I haven't had a date in over a year. A YEAR people. Between my roommates and I, I would be suprised if we even had 10 dates our entire sophmore year last year. Sure, we had lots of fun hanging out with a certain apartment in KH (SHOUT OUT TO KH11), but as far the dating thing, I had forgotten that dating even exists here at BYU.

Do I want to hang out this weekend, screw you, if you want to be a real man why don't you try footing the $8 bill for a dollar movie and ice cream afterwards at Fro-Yo.

I compare this to the problem that I have heard about among Newlywed Women in the church who have trouble enjoying sexual relations in their marriages because they feel guilty for doing something that they have been brought up to think is "bad".

Alot of boys say that they don't take girls on dates because once they take a girl out her thoughts immediately turn to marriage. MAYBE IF A DATE DIDN'T HAPPEN AS OFTEN AS A LUNAR ECLIPSE, she wouldn't need to get so excited about it. If I could have one date a month even, I would think "ok, its the 3rd Saturday of the month and its time for my monthly date". Not, "Oh my goodness, he wants to take me out, just me and him, and he will pay, he must really really really really like me and want to get married to me, I never get asked out ever, unless someone's Mom makes them, so him asking me must mean something really really big, which probably means that we will be married within the year, I want pink and green for my wedding colors, and a December wedding would be just right for me so if we go out 3 more times in the next 2 weeks we could probably get engaged, and we will name our first child Sully."
See what I mean boys?

Unfortunately the Pulse has to be the recipient of my frustration in this matter, boys do you have any real excuses for me?

Non-Member date

Elder Oaks has a good point. The brethren are likely concerned that the "hanging out" style of dating will cross over after marriage--if anyone wants to marry someone that boring. The apostles have such a wonderful way of seeing past the here and now and focusing on eternity. What will Eternity be like for a couple who sat around before marriage and then just had a tough time raising kids afterward? Will it be celestial? I'd say my man Dallan is right on the money. Get excited about celestial and enjoy every moment of it.
My parents always pushed dating "members only." (Sounds like Costco, huh?) Now, home from my mission, I went on a blind date with a wonderfully righteous non-member girl just to show my parents it could work. I was shocked to find there was no chemistry between us. Months prior I had a blast on a date with a not-so-good-Mormon-girl. The parents felt their efforts were successful. Strangely, when they found out she boozes at parties they didn't give me any herrangs.
Is it more difficult to date "out of the covenant" than inside? You all are so fortunate to have saints available for dating. Is there just one eternal companion for you to find like the ark of the covenant? I don't think so. But one should do his or her best to have congruent ideals upon courtship. That'll prevent arguments from starting after the sealing and all.

perspective from a non-bitter girl

Well, first I would like to compliment my dear friend alina on creating such a wonderful topic for me to indulge in.

Ahem, I really don't understand why girls become so bitter. Do they think bitterness attracts guys? In my experience confidence is the thing that makes a guy notice a girl. Yes, you have to look cute for guys and it is an investment, but we all know we do not just get ready for guys -- we get ready for ourselves. Looks get you there, personality keeps you there.

Elder Oaks did mention that guys do need to take initiative more often, but some guys just don't realize you are interested. In my world, (which yes, might be different than everyone else's) If I am interested in a guy, I ask him out, if it works out -- sweet, if not -- oh well. Asking guys out is different, but I have done it enough to know how guys feel. And guys, it's really NOT that hard. Especially if you've gone on a mission, rejection should be cake for you. ;) Which, clearly, girls want to go on dates, so the chances of being denied isn't very high.

Quoting Zachy, "When it comes down to it all, I just want to get to know the person. What is the ideal way to know someone? is it sticking them in a situation where they are totally uncomfortable, out of there element, and on the defensive, or is it seeing how they handle themselves with others in a relaxed comfortable no pressure situation." I totally agree, that is how it is now. Elder Oaks talked about how we do need to get out there and go on more dates, making dates really not uncomfortable. Also, I kind of think it's fun, awkward situations bring about some fun stories. Plus group dates aren't exactly "hanging out" and they can be relaxed and a ton of fun.

I just got finished living in the dorms... exciting, I know. And every month we went on a dorm date and we asked our guy friends. We were hardly ever interested. They always turned out to be a blast, just going out with a friend. According to Elder oaks, dates can be cheap and need to be more frequent, taking the pressure off of dates. Then you aren't like, "Oh my heck, what are we going to talk about!?" More like, "Man, this is going to be so much fun." It's all about the connotation that you associate with dates. It's mostly the girl's fault, i must admit, for putting so much pressure on dates -- because we are psycho and we do happen to read into everything (guys, count on that). So, once girls stop acting like a date is definitely a sign of "you might be the one," then maybe guys will stop being lame and ask girls out for fun and not be scared about sending the wrong message.

Turning dating into a big elaborate production

I finally listened to Elder Oaks' talk this morning.

I liked his account of calling girls up with "What are you doin' tonight?" and then seeing if they wanted to take a walk downtown. He explained how dating shouldn't be the elaborate production we've made it out to be.

And it's true, dating has changed a lot since our parents' generation. What's with the whole, "If you want to take her out on Saturday, you'd better ask her by at least tuesday or wednesday?" What? Is she some kind of doctor's office? What's wrong with just calling her up and taking her out? Should we start signing a date contract as well? Maybe get the thing notarized?

Oaks also said that girls should avoid implying that a date is very serious, which I definitely agree with.

I've been in various situations where I've got, say, four different girls I'm interested in: two in whom I have solid interest, and two possibles. Unfortunately, the two possibles are definitely interested in me, to the point where, if I show them any interest, they get attached and start expecting the same commitment from me that they're willing to make to me.

So basically, the two possibles make it almost impossible for me to date them, because if I do, I'll end up unintentionally leading them on and hurting them.

Also, if I reluctantly get serious with one of the two possibles, I've now lost the chance to pursue the other two girls in whom I actually have solid interest.

Why would I cave in and get serious with one of the possibles who I still don't know well enough to have made up my mind about at the cost of my future chances with either of the girls I already have solid interest in?

I'm sure I'm not alone here. Do you other guys experience this problem?

--

Ok. I just re-read my comment and realized I should add something.

I think our parents were onto something with their laid-back approach to dating. There used to be a whole spectrum of relationships between being "friends" and being "serious", but a lot of that has disappeared during the last 30 years.

And what's the consequence of this? Less dating, less marriage, and CES talks from the brethren about it.

Why? Because a lot of guys are hesitant to (basically) go from being friends directly to being serious unless they're totally head-over-heels for the girl, which in most cases they're not.

There are a lot of dates (and consequently, marriages) that don't happen because guys don't want to commit themselves to something they're unsure of.

So, I think we should go back to our parents approach of dating multiple people at once until we decide to take things further by getting serious with one person. That way everybody has a good feel for all their options and doesn't have to make commitments before they know what they're getting themselves into.

But currently, it seems that that's not how we do it. We force each other to choose up-front. One day two people are just friends, the next day they're seriously dating and are to have eyes for no one else.

Now, I have heard it all.

I don't understand why "guys" need to be told what to do. They are 21 to 28 years old! They are rational adults that have free agency. If they want to postpone marriage, then no one has the right to guilt them into it. If they don't want to date, then that is their decision. Don't guilt them by telling them they won't make it to the celestial kingdom for not spending all their meager college funds on average looking, demanding women .

How can you justify treating RMs like children? Almost all of them have gone off to totally diverse parts of the planet, learned a different language, helped others come to Christ, and are college educated. They are not morons trying to shirk their "duty".

Moreover, no one should ever be guilted into marriage. If you are reluctantly being led into marriage because you think it is your "duty", you are an idiot.

Study: Meanness in Girls Can Start as Young as 3

This doesn't help :)

I can't get the right link to go through, so if you want to read the story, just look for it at http://tv.ksl.com/

I'm so glad that I live in th

I'm so glad that I live in the southwest. I never have a problem with guys asking me out on dates. I have to say no though. I have a missionary. But you poor BYU girls. Good luck with the guys.

kmac

It must be so hard having to turn down guys for dates. How do you do it? If I remember correctly Elder Oaks said something about not turning guys down when they ask you out, maybe you just tuned that part out. Your missionary must not be a very good one if all he does is send you things that remind him of you. You should help him out and let him focus on his mission, he's there to serve the Lord, and having you distract him cheats the Lord. You must have a misconception of what goes on at BYU, since you clearly have not experienced it. There is a lot more dating opportunities than you would expect. It's a lot of fun. The whole "hanging out" argument is not because girls don't date, it's because relationships don't really get serious. You should try to open your options, because you never know what could happen with your missionary. There is nothing wrong with dating or going out with other guys. Don't close the door to all other guys, because they aren't your missionary. You were 16 when you met him, I tell you what, I wouldn't marry probably any of the guys I knew when I was 16. I've learned so much about different guys since then. I don't know how you could possibly know what you want in a husband when you are so young. Take a second without your rose colored glasses and get over yourself. Oh, and good luck with your missionary.

wow

You're right, I don't know anything about your town -- because this whole website is about Provo. Crazy how that works, Provopulse... hmmm. So, when you said you have to turn down guys all the time, you meant what? You're right, you are so focused on being happy that you are distracting your missionary. So, wait. You won't be missin out if ya'll don't hook up, because of your plethera of guy friends, of which you are attracted to none? Wow, what a good point. I am basically astounded by your intellect. I don't think Whitlin was telling you to go date people you aren't attracted to, fool. But hey, maybe your bishop is right, maybe you should settle, because maybe your missionary IS the only option for you in this life. But how about you just not worry about making sure. Sit in your room with your guys' song playing as you stare at his picture and add a sticker a day to his chart which tells you exactly how many days until he comes home. That's the way to do it, for sure.

huh?

Some church leader says that we shouldn't go on group dates? or spend time with friends?
Maybe it's just time for him to realize that he is OLD and grew up in a different environment. Sheesh!

besides, I'm still waiting for Jennifer Garner to get a divorce......

off 'hanging-out'

This culture is very distinct in that it demands a lot from the young men, i.e., two years of your life, thoughts, and soul to an organization followed up with years and years of service. And then when your finished with that two year mission, you have the mantra of 'marriage' over your head each and every time you take a girl out.

So, I can see why there would be an increase of 'hanging-out' because there is much less pressure on individuals to DTR while they are just sitting around and getting to know each other.

Why is 'hanging-out' so wrong? Are people not getting married fast enough? My friend just got married after a 1 month engagement and dating cycle. It seems like we should stress less on marriage, and focus on finding the right person and what the 'right person' is for us. We need more training and education in that department and less in the 'marriage' for all, all the time department.

Give me a break

When it comes down to it all, I just want to get to know the person. What is the ideal way to know someone? is it sticking them in a situation where they are totally uncomfortable, out of there element, and on the defensive, or is it seeing how they handle themselves with others in a relaxed comfortable no pressure situation. I love going out, picking a girl up with high expectations that this is going to be a great night, and then 5 minutes into the evening it's just awkward silence as we begin to interview each other for the position of a merger for eternity.

I've totally had to change my missionary tactics over time. I couldn't cold contact anymore as that always lead to the quote, "totally hot, totally phsyco!" The only other options lay in references from members or friends and family, but I've been on more blind dates than Ray Charles, and they never seem to work out because it's just too random of a pairing, and it never says much for people that need to be set up. Then theres getting to know people in our classes, which is great, but I've never had luck in it.

So, here we are trapped in a mormon paradise, with saturdays warriors "the one" doctrine stuck in our minds,hoping against hope that we can fullfill our second mission before we get too old and people start wondering why we got picked over, when in fact we are not willing to settle. We have been taught our entire lives to hold high standards, high standards of beauty, character, testimony, but know that we get to BYU, and we can't seem to find those we are told to lower our standards. I gotta say, I never have failed to ask a girl out because I didn't have the courage, but I have failed to ask a girl out because I already knew it was going to be a waste of time and resources to find out an answer to a question I already knew: no, thanks; I'm not interested.

LOL!

If I could have one date a month even, I would think "ok, its the 3rd Saturday of the month and its time for my monthly date".

LOL, you're making it sound like Home Teaching.

a Year!

"I haven't had a date in over a year. A YEAR people."

Why on earth don't you simply ask a male out on a date? Why do you have to depend on a man to take you out on a date? You have a job, right? You can afford to take a guy out. I'm sure there are plenty of guys who would enjoy a free movie and dinner with some nice company.

jen- I like how you vent you

jen-
I like how you vent your frustration. You should tell us more about yourself personally, and maybe we could have a discussion on your personal situation. I think it would be interesting.

How to be a player.

A friend of mine is graduating and leaving Provo soon, and during the fireside I was at his house with some mutual friends and I missed it. My dad saw the broadcast and called me after it was over. The first thing he asked me was "What are you up to?" and I said, "Oh, I'm just hanging out..." Talk about poor word choice.

Right on, Mason. Because a date means so much more than it used to, there's a stigma that comes with being a person that dates around. Obviously, if I go on dates with a lot of different girls, I'm either flaky or just playing the field.

MUAHAHAHAHA

I liked Robot's comment :)

It's true, nobody should be guilted into marriage. Also, I think that a GIRL giving this kind of ranting is a little bit...eh...sorry but it sounds pretty desperate to me.

I think that Church leaders talk about the "next mission" because there are (and I know TONS) lots of guys that come back from their missions with the idea of "playing the field". You know, "hanging out", nothing serious, just casual NCMO. This is the very opposite to those guys that think that after their mission they have to look for a wife the same way they did tracting on their missions.

I think that either attitude will eventually be harmful. The "player" will miss several opportunities because of his immaturity and he also multiplies his chances of getting in "problems" (yes, this happens at BYU too, maybe not as serious as in other places but still). the "tracting" guy might jump into a serious relationship without having the chance to really know the person.

I think the problem is that people tend to asscoiate TIME with the problem ("I want to wait 3 years before start looking for a wife" or "I want to be married within the first 6 months after getting off my missions"), and time is not the problem. The problem is the ATTITUDE. Both attitudes I mentioned earlier are the reasons of concern for Church leaders.

I think that when someone is SINCERELY on the lookout, meeting lots of people, not getting involved in a relationship too fast, but NOT AVOIDING marriage, then we are fine.

great points, jambabe

"Ahem, I really don't understand why girls become so bitter. Do they think bitterness attracts guys?"

Wow. Thank you for helping us out. It's like Jen is trying to guilt the guys into taking her out.

"Looks get you there, personality keeps you there."

Another good point. It seems that most girls at BYU think guys are too shallow if they even think about good looks first. I think you should make this a motto for all girls to look at and comprehend: Guys go for looks, but they stay for personality.

"Elder Oaks talked about how we do need to get out there and go on more dates, making dates really not uncomfortable."

I'm not sure if I fully agree with you. I think that there is nothing about FatCats that is uncomfortable; it's the stranger you take to FatCats that makes it uncomfortable. So, as long as the person you take on a date changes, there will always be uneasiness.

"It's mostly the girl's fault, i must admit, for putting so much pressure on dates --"

While I think it's true that there is a lot of pressure, I don't agree that it is the girl's fault. It's the mantra that is put into their head from church leaders, which implicity and explicitly state that they shouldn't date anyone they're not going to marry. So what's the point on going on a date unless you might marry the guy? Which means that there is a lot of pressure to determine if the guy is eligable for the eternal merger before you even know him!

All great points, Jambabe. It's refreshing to hear a confident woman that understands the male plight at BYU :^)

Corrected link

For some reason Provo Pulse isn't correctly parsing text that contains ampersand characters, so it's messing your link up.

For now, you can get around the problem by using tinyurl.com. You just have to enter your original url and it generates a new url for you that tinyurl.com will redirect to your original url. (That probably made no sense.)

Anyway, here's the link to the story.

And wow, that's a great article. I think I'll post it as it's own story on the main page.

Re: Now, I have heard it all

Guys who are between 21 and 28 should never be told what to do ever. They should be free to mess around and do whatever they want, because after all they are adults, and who is an apostle of the Lord to tell them what they should be doing.

You would think that the Lord had some end goal in mind here, because we don't know anything about that. I mean, isnt the purpose of life to do what you want, not to gain an eternal increase with an eternal companion?

Mason have you ever heard of

Mason have you ever heard of girl complaining because the date wasn't elaborate enough? Rather, most of the girls who go out that I talk too really appreciate the simple little things that boys do. They may not always get too excited about a date and dinner, but a hike up the canyone with ice cream afterwards always makes girls happy.

I remember a boy in our Ward freshman year who had the same idea that you did, dating multiple people until you settle down and choose one for awhile, and he would come over to our aparment for hours asking our advice on the matter. Guess what, all of the girls in the apartment agreed with him. We all thought it was a good idea for him to be dating multiple people at one time, and I think the only girls who would disagree would be catty girls that nobody really likes anyways.

The only thing that must be noted is once you kiss a girl you have just narrowed your options down from the 5 your were casually dating, to 1. Girls don't like it when you are kissing multiple other girls at once. So if you can keep your lips off of them, then there is no problem with pursuing multiple girls at once.

So go ahead, take out every girl in your ward if you life, I am sure they would all appreciate and enjoy it.

Scare-de-Cat!

Mason, girls are very affectionate, true. That's obvious. I am. But I think you are stretching it a little to far. Girls think of their wedding from age...what...3. Guys are thinking of ways to push girls away at the same age. I listened to Elder Oaks talk, and I agree with him that guys are just scare-de-cats. However, I don't know very many girls who are phsycotic about marring someone before or after the first date. Personally, I have a very laid-back realtionship. I love it when he does little things for me...picking a fresh flower for me...holding doors for me...and my favorite is when he takes me for picnics in the meadow by his house. I'm 16 and he's 20 (currently serving a mission). Now he sends me stuff in the mail like a card with our poem Footprints, or once he sent me a bus ticket stub with numbers that added up to 18, saying that that was the age I will be when he returns and he would tell me what he means the day I give it back to him. See...little sweet things. He was thinking of marriage 3 months after we started dating...and it snowballed from there. What's wrong with commitment? Are you the committed type? If not, I think you're just trying to cover yourself with excuses for not being the committed type. Dating is not a serious thing unless you and the person you're dating wants it to be. You act as though any girl you date is going to sucker you into marrying her. We aren't evil ya know. Simply cute, sweet, and committed. It's crazy to hear you talk about not being afraid of anything other than 'haning out' b/c I don't know very many guys who aren't in a serious relationship by the age of 15. Even the 'players' are planning marriage w/their g/f after high school. To me, you just sound scared. You'll find that every guy in a serious relationship wouldn't have it any other way. Word of advice: next time you take out a girl...do little sweet and inexpensive things. Most girls aren't very comfortable going to a big fancy restaurant on the first date. Try roller blading or something...it worked with my boyfriend.

I concur

Well, once again, praises to alinap for creating such a neat post! I must admit, reading these comments has entertained me for a good fifteen minutes. Anyways, to go along with the "girls reading into things" I must make a comment. I have a firm belief that girls were born with this standard compartment in their brain that's sole purpose is to be obsessively analytical. I am a girl, I know I do it.

At times I catch myself doing it and I quickly shake out all-too-quick judgements from my head. However, there are times when I don't realize that I am reading too much into something and I have my dear friends to bring me back down to earth. To this I say thank you.

However, there are times, when I will go on a date with a guy or start chilling (notice I refrained from using the term "hanging-out") with a new guy and my friends get overly-excited for me. Not that I am not excited, but they build it up even more, making me even more excited, thus encouraging over-analysis. So my whole point in this tremendously long post, was to say that girls and anyone else who hypes up a small simple date that their friend went on, you need to calm down and let nature take its course. Otherwise when things don't work out between your friend and her beau, you will be hurt as much as she is, thus increasing her sadness.

Okay that was super-long, probably pointless. But hey, I am bored.

Snap!

Snap!

Hahahaa

You got served K mac! And, I whole-heartedly agree with Jambabe. There are plenty of dating opportunities for girls at BYU, just some choose to play the "poor me" card. I feel so bad for you that you have to "turn down people because of your missionary". Ha, I have fun dating around, maybe you should try it. If you are still here when he gets back then maybe you actually were meant to be. If you sit around waiting, you will miss out on getting to know other guys and will either wonder "what if" or hate yourself when you and him don't work out.

You are so right Jambabe. I

You are so right Jambabe. I guess I was just too focused on being happy. But losing my love and experiencing heartache again (he wasn't the only guy I've dated) sounds so much better. I definately think you are right. I'm way too young to know what love is and to know what I want in a husband. I guess I shouldn't listen to Helen's advice when she waited for Seth at the same age as me...they're getting married in a couple of weeks...just a year after he came home. Or my Young Women leader who also married the man she waited for. Or my bishop, who got a "Dear John" letter on his mission...and is encouraging me to wait also. What was I thinking waiting on him? You, who knows nothing about me or the poor variety of guys in my town, sound so much wiser than them.

Hey relax, she's, like, 17.

Hey relax, she's, like, 17. I'm sure we were all like this at 17. Um, except for guys. At least I certainly wasn't like this. Okay, this whole thing has fallen apart. At any rate, relax.

Actually, I mark off each

Actually, I mark off each month. I find it goes by quicker than days. And you totally read me wrong about dating other guys in college. I didn't say I was staying in my state. And your right about this being for people in Provo. I accidentally got on this site looking for "I can't...I'm Mormon" shirts. So this is my last post, it's pointless. Ya'll are just assuming my situation and I yours. So applaud, I'm out.

Re; a Year!

Ah yes, good question.

When I want to start dating seriously, I will. The thing is, I don't mind how things are right now, I always have more than enough ways to fill my time, but my frustration comes from the few talks that we have been given that mention (or focus on) our need to start dating seriously, which is aimed towards the male members of our LDS society. I do not sit at home pining for suitors, in fact I know a big reason that I don't date is because I am so busy that I don't have time to make the appropriate arrangments to position myself in front of a male so that he might one day thing, hmmmm she is interesting maybe I would enjoy dating her.

It cannot be denied that in our LDS culture, as well as American culture, it is often expected that the girl does the flirting and the boy does the asking.

In a very stereotypical fashion I think of it this way. It is a girls responsibility to spend money having good makeup, beautiful hair, getting her nails done, cute shoes, the right top, desirable bottoms, jewlrey, hair products, accessories, etc etc etc. Why are things like this needed? Because a girl who does these things looks like/has confidence in herself, thus sending out a signal to the male population "Hey I am datable".

The girl pays $100's of dollars to be cute, the boy pays $30 for the date. Is that too much to ask?