Dating: Definition, Intentional Method, Timing & Touch


2 Fun Videos on when and how to date

Definition of a Date

The old-fashioned date vs hanging out

A Date Doesn’t Imply Continuing Commitment, Make Early Dates Simple and Not Serious

Post mission dating is serious

Paired Before Exclusive Dating

Inappropriately early pairing in dating in the name of hanging out
Emotional Before Passionate Intimacy

Do’s and Don’ts of Pre-Marital Dating Touch




2 Fun Videos on when and how to date:

A Christian Perspective of When to date (by Blimey Cow “Messy Mondays” with Jordan Taylor)

Christian Dating Secrets: Intentional Dating Toward Marriage (by Blimey Cow “Messy Mondays” with Jordan Taylor)


Definition of a Date:

“If you don’t know what a date is, perhaps this definition will help. I heard it from my 18-year-old granddaughter. A “date” must pass the test of three p’s: (1) planned ahead, (2) paid for, and (3) paired off.” (Elder Oaks – CES Fireside May 2005 The Dedication of a Lifetime)

The old-fashioned date vs hanging out:

“Simple and more frequent dates allow both men and women to “shop around” in a way that allows extensive evaluation of the prospects. The old-fashioned date was a wonderful way to get acquainted with a member of the opposite sex. It encouraged conversation. It allowed you to see how you treat others and how you are treated in a one-on-one situation. It gave opportunities to learn how to initiate and sustain a mature relationship. None of that happens in hanging out.” (Elder Oaks – CES Fireside May 2005 The Dedication of a Lifetime)

A Date Doesn’t Imply Continuing Commitment, Make Early Dates Simple and Not Serious:

“Young women, resist too much hanging out, and encourage dates that are simple, inexpensive, and frequent. Don’t make it easy for young men to hang out in a setting where you women provide the food. Don’t subsidize freeloaders. An occasional group activity is okay, but when you see men who make hanging out their primary interaction with the opposite sex, I think you should lock the pantry and bolt the front door. If you do this, you should also hang out a sign, “Will open for individual dates,” or something like that. And, young women, please make it easier for these shy males to ask for a simple, inexpensive date. Part of making it easier is to avoid implying that a date is something very serious. If we are to persuade young men to ask for dates more frequently, we must establish a mutual expectation that to go on a date is not to imply a continuing commitment.” -Elder Oaks

Post-mission dating is serious:

“Men, if you have returned from your mission and you are still following the boy-girl patterns you were counseled to follow when you were 15, it is time for you to grow up. Gather your courage and look for someone to pair off with. Start with a variety of dates with a variety of young women, and when that phase yields a good prospect, proceed to courtship. It’s marriage time. That is what the Lord intends for His young adult sons and daughters. Men have the initiative, and you men should get on with it.” -Elder Oaks


Paired Before Exclusive Dating:


Dr. Jason Carroll, BYU Family Life professor, explained in one of his lectures essentially this:

In our culture, we explore relationships 1 at a time, skipping the paired dating stage of going on dates with lots of people, and jumping to the exclusive dating stage. It’s not developmentally the ideal because you don’t get to meet very many people. We often become close physically before emotionally. We are holding hands etc., appearing as a couple before we are very emotionally involved with each other! We single out with a person when we should be developing multiple relationships. Dating multiple people was the norm in grandma’s day (when marriages were healthier on average! Way less divorce!), but today if you do this you’re called a player! Yes, we all want someone special, but we must go through the developmental stage of getting to know well lots of people. Paired dating with multiple people at the same time helps the “someone special” come faster, because you learn what “someone special” really means to you.



Inappropriately early pairing in dating in the name of hanging out:

“Don’t play with definitions – some teens in the church think it’s ok to pair off exclusively because they call it “hanging out” instead of dating. No matter what you call it, it still leads to spending time alone with one person and identifies you as a “coupled” person. If you pair off, the attractions and feelings you will have for that person are the same whether you call it dating, going out, going steady, or hanging out. When our prophetic leaders talk about relationships, they talk about principles and practices that apply – no matter what words we use to label those relationships…” -Dr. Jason S. Carroll, Marriage Compass


Emotional Before Passionate Intimacy:


Jason Carroll further explains that counterfeit intimacy is sexual/passionate intimacy before emotional and affectionate intimacy. It is when we put the cart before the horse and are overly physically romantic before even being emotionally intimate, getting to know one another extensively, etc.
Emotional intimacy means security, trust, safety, being open with each other, understanding each other on a deep level. Affectionate intimacy is any form of physical touch that shows connection which does not arouse the sexual response of our body and spirit. Passionate intimacy involves any form of physical touch that communicates love and passion that does arouse sexual response. Many 17-year old’s have no concept of the difference between an affectionate kiss, and a passionate kiss!





Do’s and Don’ts of Pre-Marital Dating Touch:

Jason Carroll again enlightens us on dating touch. There exists a behavioral chastity line. In dating we wonder, “what is the chastity line? The line when we are in trouble? The line where I must go talk to my bishop if we cross? What’s the most we can get away with when it comes to touching etc. before marriage?” This question which many have is fundamentally immature, but, for the sake of the 12-year old’s in the audience, and those who behave or think like 12-year old’s, we will address it. We must consider behavioral chastity, sexual purity, and sexual wholeness. The answers to this question are as follows:

We must treat each other with respect, not as lust items. God has commanded sexual intimacy be reserved for marriage, and sexual/passionate intimacy is incomplete without emotional and affectionate intimacy. Before marriage, we don’t do passionate kissing, lie on top of another person, or touch private parts of the body with or without clothing. Don’t arouse those sexual emotions in your own body. Don’t approach the edge of the cliff, just stay where you should be. Do things in their proper order and you will be safe. Yes, vulnerability is needed for a close relationship, but there is a healthy type of vulnerability, and an unhealthy type. These are principles shown in the “For the Strength of Youth, Sexual Purity”. The manual says “youth”, but that is because these things are to teach us while young the correct principles for how to act before married.


The opposite of what we hope for dating young people was expressed by one young woman. When asked how she knows if a young man likes her, she replied “if he will talk to me after sex.” Well do the scriptures say that in the last days, things will be upside down. Sexual intimacy is, according to God’s law, to be reserved only for a legally married man and woman who’ve made an at least lifelong commitment to each other. Sexual union symbolizes union in every other part of your life. It’s the most sacred symbol we have from God. Using this symbol when other parts of our lives are not aligned is debauchery, and belittles the human being down to a mere tool, un-respected, unwanted for who they are in their entirety, and void of the attitude of responsibility toward the natural consequence of sexual intimacy, namely the creation and rearing of a child whom is the spitting image of the 2 parents combined. I can’t think of a more powerful symbol from God to show us that children are both a prize and a responsibility belonging to its 2 biological parents. For more on this topic, see the discourse “Of Souls Symbols & Sacraments” by Jeffrey R Holland.



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