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Regularly read by 50,000+ readers in over 140 countries around the world, "Dear Bro Jo" is published every Monday, Wednesday and Friday (with occasional additional posts, too).

This is column is just one guy's opinion, and while he does his best to keep what he thinks, says and writes in-line with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, Bro Jo is not a spokesman or authority for the LDS Church. (And Sister Jo thinks you should know that he's sometimes wrong, and often way too opinionated for his own good.)

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Monday, September 1, 2014

One Girl's Story - Part 7: A New Guy

Dear Bro Jo,

I'm just finishing up my fifth semester, and last week I went on a date with a guy.

We totally hit it off, and it was so fun.

Since then, we've seen each other almost every day, we went to dinner with his parents last night, and we have another date tonight.

He's held my hand, but we haven't kissed.

I've really been impressed with him. He's very smart and ambitious, funny, and very active in our ward. He's best friends with his sisters, adores his mother, and respects his father. I really like him, and he really likes me, so there's definitely relationship potential.

So here's my question. At the beginning of the semester, about three months ago, I found out that my parents are divorcing. They are currently separated, and have been off and on for about a year. I was devastated, but I didn't let it ruin the rest of my life. I still have excellent grades, a good job, and close friends.

Even though this has been so incredibly difficult for me, I've used this trial to grow closer to my Savior. My testimony has grown so much this semester, and I know everything will be ok, and my life is in the Lord's hands. I'm secure enough with myself and my testimony to not be completely shaken up, but I'm still sad and grieving.

My family lives about 10 miles away from my school, so I'm able to go home fairly often.

So do I tell the guy I'm dating about my family situation?

Do I tell him now?

Do I tell him if we start dating exclusively?

Do I tell him before he meets my family?

I don't want to just spill all my family problems to him when we've only been dating for a little while, but it is a big part of my life right now, so I feel like it would be important for him to know.

It's possible that I won't end up in a relationship with him, but I want a plan just in case.

What are your thoughts?

At what level of a relationship is information like this to be disclosed?


- CG

Dear CG,

I know the culture at your school is weird . . . but it sounds to me like you're In A Relationship already.

He may be a little too slow (or too shy) with the smooching, but Holly Heck, you're together all the time and he had you meet his parents.

Not to rush either of you, and I understand you each feel like you'll need to have the DTR first (btw - looking back, I don't think I EVER had a "Determine the Relationship" talk, even with Sister Jo), but I'd say something is already happening. I hope he's not too dumb to realize it.

Anyway . . . It IS interesting that you've met his parents, and with yours only 10 miles away that he's never asked about yours . . .

Of course, it IS still early in the process . . .

I'd say, in general, that you need to wait a little longer before telling him about your folks.

That's deeply personal information, and unless he asks, it should wait.

If he does ask, something like "what is your family like?", then I think you should use that opportunity to tell him.

If he doesn't ask about your family in the next few dates, that may be a red flag, but I wouldn't worry about it just yet.

One step at a time.

Hopefully tonight he'll try to kiss you. (If it helps, check out "The Six L's of How to Get Kissed"

And thank you for sharing your testimony of the Savior!

- Bro Jo

Friday, August 29, 2014

One Girl's Story - Part 6: The Break Up

Dear Bro Jo,

Thanks Bro Jo!

I AM worth the effort. (Funny side note. I've never been on this end of a breakup. I'm always the one who ends it. So I feel like I'm walking upside down. Not quite sure how to take it. Hmm. Karma. I have a sudden empathy for all my past boys. :))

I guess a week feels long when you're dating someone, but in reality it's a very short time.

I can wait two weeks.

And if nothing happens, his loss.

 - CG

Dear CG,

His loss indeed.

- Bro Jo

Dear Bro Jo,

I just wanted to send a quick note to let you know how it turned out. I waited two weeks and then sent him an email that basically said, "If you don't feel like dating, that's fine. But I have no idea what you're feeling. Come on, man. I'm worth a phone call."

(Not exactly what I said, but that's the idea.)

He emailed me back saying that he was in Hawaii and would call as soon as he got home, unless he was able to catch a flight to Japan.

He did catch a flight to Japan and was there for a week.

He sent me some pictures while he was gone, but he wasn't able to call.

But he did call me as soon as he was back in the states.

(While he was sitting in the Seattle airport actually.)

He told me that he had just needed to take a step back and think about it for a while.

His last girlfriend dumped him just before I met him and she burned the relationship pretty badly, so I can totally understand him being a bit hesitant (although he didn't say that was why he was nervous. I'm just guessing).

So he was distant for that week.

And then the other week and a half I didn't hear from him, he was traveling.

(His friend got him tickets last minute or something. It was very sudden.)

He still wants to get to know me, and still thinks I'm great, just needed some space.

I'm not resentful, so I still want to at least be friends.

He called me last night and we talked for about an hour, and it wasn't awkward at all.

I suppose that means we're still friends at least. I'm a little more cautious now though, because I think every friendship/relationship needs really good communication, and he didn't show that very well.

But it also needs patience and understanding, so I'm willing to be that.

I'm not going to chase him.

He can chase me.

Plus, I'm going back to school in less than two weeks, so I'm certainly not going to lack boys.

However, he's really amazing and pretty much blows everyone else I've dated out of the water.

Right now, I'm torn between totally falling for him again, and trying to hold back because I don't want to be super attached to someone who could drop me without warning or explanation.


Well. That's where it stands.

Merry Christmas!!! :)

Thanks! -CG

PS. I bought a copy of your Casual Group Dating Guide for my brother for Christmas. He turns 16 in 2 weeks. He loves it. :)

Dear CG,

Sounds like things are as well as can be expected.

At some point you may need to come out and tell him what you told me:

"hey, I think you're the most amazing guy I've ever met, but I can't wait around for you to feel the same way about me. If you want this to happen you'd better make a move before I'm no longer available".

When and if the Spirit inspires.

Merry Christmas!

- Bro Jo

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

One Girl's Story - Part 5: The Older Man

Dear Bro Jo,

Hi, I emailed you a while ago asking about dating a guy.

He's 27 and I'm 18.

You told me to take it slow and be careful.

So I did date this guy.

I went down with my friend/his cousin to see him one weekend, then he came up to see me a couple weeks later etc.

It's a two hour drive, and we've spent about four weekends total together.

Besides visiting, we've had great phone conversations.

Not everyday, but usually once or twice a week.

We both really liked each other, and we got along great.

No pressure, but enough attachment to make the drive every few weeks.

We've never kiss-kissed, just held hands and kissed on the cheek.

So here's where I'm confused.

He came to see me two weeks ago.

We texted a bit throughout the week after that, then I called him on the following Sunday night.

We talked for 3 hours.

That was the last I've heard from him.

Not a single text, phone call, or email.

I texted him twice to tell him something (and to hint that I wanted to talk) but the conversation didn't go anywhere.

So I'm assuming that he's moved on and doesn't want to date me.

Which makes me sad, but I'm not torn up over it.

I just feel like we were close enough (and mature enough) to merit at least a text or call that said he didn't feel good about dating me and the always cliche and unrealistic offer to "be friends".

So here's where I'm stuck:  Do I totally let it go and not contact him at all, or do I ask him about it and try to stay on friendly terms?

And if so, what should I say?

- CG

Dear CG,

You've contacted, he responded, just not in the way you wanted.

I say wait a little.

Let him come to you.

(You ARE worth the effort, aren't you?)

 He could be very busy, or forgetful to the point of being inconsiderate, but I agree with you: he's acting like it's over.

At the very least he's unsure.

Either way he should talk to you about it.

If you don't hear from him for two weeks, it will be time to call and hold his feet to the fire.

If he doesn't answer and won't respond, write him off as a coward and, sadly, move on.

Relationships sometimes need a little time and space.

Be patient.

- Bro Jo