Things to know

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.)

Nothing here is meant to take the place of talking with parents, leaders, or Church authorities. Please, if you need serious help, talk to a trusted adult, leader, and / or professional counselor.

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Friday, February 5, 2016

Is She In Love with Her Friend's Brother?

Dear Bro Jo,

Dating = not my strength.

I guess I will just throw it out there that I am 20, and live in good, ole Provo, UT where the Church reigns and dating (for me) seems to...well, not.

But that's not my point.

I have interest in the brother of my best friend.

He is a really awesome guy!

She knows about it, even encourages it because she believes he and I would legitimately work well together.

The first time I met him he actually gave me priesthood blessing because I was very ill.

I have since talked to him here and there, but nothing much. I always think I have gotten up the nerve to talk to him, but when it comes down to it, I always bail at the last second.

I am normally a pretty outgoing, friendly person, but he is so intimidating.

I have talked to my friend about it and she just kind of laughs and says he is just "that way."

Which is fine, but makes my life difficult just a bit.

How do I work up the nerve to actually talk to the guy, when he is so serious, I feel like he might punch me in the face (over exaggeration, but, you get the point)?

- McStruggles




Dear McStruggles, 

I don't get the point at all. 

I think your problem is that you're putting too much emphasis on the situation and too much stress on yourself. 

You have no idea if this will even turn into something. 

Talking is just talking, and those first few dates are just dates. 

Your eternal happiness does not ride on everything going perfectly with the only perfect guy in the universe. 

So relax. 

Get over it. 

Pray if it helps. 

But you need to dig deep and take the risk. 

Not just to talk to him, but you may even have to suggest to him that he ask you out. 

If you don't you're going to regret it. 

Serious Single Dating does not mean that we take ourselves or every date too seriously. 

- Bro Jo

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

How Can a 16-year Old Girl Get Guys to Be Her Friend and Ask Her Out?

Dear Bro. Jo,

Hello, I love your advice.

I am a 16-year-old active LDS girl.

I am also a varsity cheerleader and AP student.

Now, your natural stereotype would be that I would get guys easily. Sadly, no.

I turned sixteen over the summer and have yet to have a date.

I am smarter than the A-typical cheerleader, and I take hard classes . . . I wonder sometimes if that's one reason?

Guys don't tend to like smart girls.

However, in looks, I feel I am perfectly equivalent to the majority of the cheerleaders and I am simply very confused why I am universally not appreciated by guys.

Granted, I have yet to try your advice on how to get a guy to ask you out, because I am slightly shy.

Not completely, I talk to most people very willingly.

I went to a more private-like school in my youth, and was basically very exposed when I went to high school. I had never had any "guy friends" in fact, I still don't.

So, question: How do I get guy friends?

How then do I get these guys to ask me out?

Thank you,

- June Bug




Dear June, 

Hello!

I'm not sure what you mean by "get guys" . . . (sigh) but I think you need to stop looking to their attraction (or lack thereof) to you as a sign of your value or appreciation. 

You're shy. 

They're shy. 

Everyone's shy . . . 

Your goal here, IMHO, should not be to "get guy friends", but to learn how to talk to guys. 

Those are very different things. 

The first one leads to guys telling you about all of their other girl interests and ignoring you, their "pal". 

The second is a valuable communication skill that will help you in school, mission (if that's for you), marriage, and life in general. 

See, if you focus on talking to guys, asking them about them, and (this is the big one) LISTENING, then you're on the right path. Friends hang out. 

You don't want to do that. 

Potential Dates are nice and require effort. That you want. 

If you're not sure where to start, throw a video party or game night. Invite tons of Guys AND Girls. 

Check out Bro Jo's LIST of FLIRTING DO'S and DON'TS for ALL AGES found in this post: HERE.

And then, when you're ready and if it's needed, put those "How a Girl Can Get a Guy to Ask Her on a Date" tips to work. 

Oh, and one more thing: if you go all through High School and end up going on few, or even no, dates, please understand that happens to lots of girls who are pretty and smart and talented and fun. 

It happens because boys are scared and dumb and not well trained by parents and leaders. 

And, if it's any consolation, it happened to Sister Jo. Which worked out pretty well for me! 

- Bro Jo

Monday, February 1, 2016

Transitioning from Shy Missionary to Serious Single Dater

Dear Bro Jo,

Before my mission, I was always a pretty shy guy. More so around my family, and I don’t know why.

My parents are awesome and would never judge me for something I’ve done or am doing. But I’ve just never been able to open up to them the way I should.

The same with everyone who aren’t my closest friends. I can talk to them and be open and loud. But with my parents, I’m silent.

While In the field, I learned how to be outgoing and confident.

I could talk to random people and make them laugh, and I just didn’t care what anyone thought of me.

That constant objective of finding people, and helping them gave me a confidence that I had never had before (I never knew how having a clear objective, or having pure love could make me so outgoing and confident).

But since I’ve gotten back from the mission, I’ve lost that confidence.

I still feel it very hard to open up to my parents, or talk with people. Even more so than before the mission!

Talking to people who I haven’t seen in two years is painful (Hugs or handshakes is a decision that scares me. I never know which to do with casual acquaintances.).

I thought this would ware off after a month, and I’d be back to who I was before. But it’s been almost two months, and I’ve lost a lot of self-confidence.

During my last interview with my mission president, he told me that I never reached my potential in the mission. He told other missionaries that they had reached their potential, but apparently I didn’t give as much as they did.

I felt that I served the Lord well.

Not perfectly.

But that comment made me feel like a failure.

Now I think back to my mission, and more often than not, I see where I failed.

I sometimes avoid looking at things that remind me of my mission.

Now I feel like I’m in a little bit of a rut.

I know you speak / blog about dating, but I figure a back story helps.

I am at that stage of my life where I should go out on dates, and that requires self-esteem.

I can move on from all this, I learned a little bit about repentance on the mission (apparently not enough), but how can I build up the confidence to talk with a girl when I really doubt myself?

I feel if I could just get back into the dating scene, back into a normal life, I could get some confidence again.

Feel normal.

But how do I get that confidence to even talk normally, let alone date?

Sincerely,

- Lacking




Dear Brother, 

(I don't think you're "Lacking" anything.) 

I feel impressed to tell you that you may have misunderstood your Mission President. 

I don't think he wanted you to go home thinking that you were a failure; I think he wanted you to understand that, much like baptism, a mission isn't the end of our journey, but the beginning. 

For you it was clearly the beginning of your deeper understanding of the Gospel and Atonement; it was the beginning of you seeing what you can accomplish when you believe . . . In Yourself. 

The potential you have is limitless (I ask you to consider what we learn in the Temple about that). 

Not everyone is a huggy-tell-everybody-everything-always-open kind of a person. 

Heck, I think too many of us are Too Open. 

Your job, whether Elder or Member, is to be the Best You, not to be someone else. 

And as for dating, it's really no different than sharing the Gospel. 

(I often say that Casual Group Dating is great Mission Prep.) 

You found your confidence because you stopped being worried about what people would think about you. 

Even though it's time for Serious Single Dating, that concept still applies. 

Focus on being The Best You, and don't put to much emphasis on those first few dates. 

They're just dates, man! 

Don't wait for a girl you think you're already in love with, just go out to have fun and get to know someone better. 

And, like so many things in life, it will get easier if you stop talking yourself out of it and just go do it. 

Go on . . . Go ask a girl out right now! 

Trust me, it really doesn't even matter whom. 

Seriously. 

If she goes, great! 

Have fun. 

If she turns you down, her loss. 

Go ask someone else. 

Take it from a guy who gets piles of emails every week from Young Single Sisters . . . they're just hoping you'll ask them out. 

Keep it simple. 

Many, many, many, in fact I think most, RMs struggle making the transition from No Girls to Go Date; you're not alone. 

And you're going to be fine. 

- Bro Jo