To remember: Be respectful of the person you are "dating" or on a date with; chances are the future husband or wife of someone else and you have a responsibility to take care of them.
Now, something that has been happening ever increasingly in our culture is a decrease in dating, an increase in hanging out, an increase in promiscuity, and an increase of marital age. Now if we think about General Conference talks, these topics are discussed quite often and the leaders of the church are against these trends.
I want to point something out. There are ideas about these trends that lend us to follow them. The world is telling us that we have got to be at the top. We need to be well on our way to where we are going, know where we are going, and let nothing stand in our way. It seems that a message that goes along with that is that marriage is going to hold us back too much from what we really want. I want to tell you, no. Marriage will help you become all that you are meant to be and you can still achieve those things that you think are important, but you will have a clearer perspective.
Also, no body wants to get married or go on dates, because that starts the potential for marriage, because they don't feel they are done with their single years. "Single years" is a totally new thing. We have created a whole new stage in life between childhood(teenage years) and adulthood. This is emerging adulthood, but I see it as those without courage, an unwillingness to grow up. It is all me centered. I know that some people are not purposefully staying unwed well into adulthood, but there is a large majority that is putting forth little to no effort.
DATE: It takes practice! So date a lot. View that article about the importance of a lot of dates. You are habit forming in high school so date right. Boys, ask girls out a lot and don't stick with one girl. Ask them all out. Do fun and simple things. One of the funnest dates I went on was one where there were two couples and we split up at Walmart, each with a $5 limit to pick items to make a "gross" dinner and then make it for the other couple. It was so fun and there was time to joke and have a good time. A date can be as simple as walking around at a park, walking around the mall and making up different games.
Cohabitation: This is something that is ever increasingly important to address. We keep feeding this lie that cohabiting is good and okay, because it helps us know all the evidence if a future marriage would work out. Well, no, cohabiting couples that eventually marry are WAY more likely to end in divorce than those who don't live together previously. You enter a cohabitation situation with an escape route and as you just happen to decide that marriage will be okay, you or your partner or both, never really get rid of that back door attitude. We should never allow divorce to be an option before ever getting married.
So, one thing that I think we are so consumed with is finding the right person to marry. We want that one perfect person. Well, they aren't out there. I am sorry. Have you ever met somebody that you absolutely loved everything about? All their mannerisms and everything? Chances are there is something that wouldn't work so well if you were married to them. You don't have to find someone who is absolutely perfect and while you are out critiquing so heavily, you are losing opportunities to go out with some awesome people.
STOP being caught up in who you will marry and decide today if you are marriage material. Yep, because everyone is looking for that right person, so maybe you should see if you are someone that you think would attract the type of person you want.
Lines of worthiness are important for all of us. We have to be aware of the boundaries and not cross them and if we have or do, follow the way back that the Savior has given us. Make things right in all ways with the Lord and with your heart.
Jeffrey R. Holland said: "Do you want capability, safety, and security in dating and romance, in married life and eternity? Be a true disciple of Jesus. Be a genuine, committed, word-and-deed Latter-day Saint. Believe that your faith has everything to do with your romance, because it does. You separate dating from discipleship at your peril." If you separate the two, you won't be available to love. You have to learn to truly love yourself and love the Lord, wanting to serve Him and fulfill His will. Otherwise, your heart will not be something that can give what you need to give to your future spouse.
Necessary for you to be happy in marriage and to get you to a Temple Marriage (<--- the way to go):
- Keep the Commandments
- Strengthen your testimony
- Be selfless
- Have Courage
(In regards to Chapter 1 of the text, "Successful Marriages and Families: Proclamation Principles and Research Perspectives")