Elder Oaks made some fascinating comments about current LDS dating habits during the May 1 CES fireside. I will give lengthy excerpts below, but to sum up: young LDS men and women need to pair off more and grow up and get married. No more hanging out like the folks on “Friends.” This is what I would term a serious “call to repentence.”
First, an important comment: I have very little experience with the LDS dating scene. My wife and I met on LDS singles two weeks after I put my profile on there. She is the only LDS woman I have ever met or hung out with. So, I am singularly unqualified to give opinions on Elder Oaks’ talk.
My wife, however, does have a lot of experience in the LDS dating world. And she agrees heartily with Elder Oaks’ comments. My wife says there is a whole group of young LDS men and women who love to hang out in womens’ apartments and watch TV, play video games and eat food prepared by the aforementioned and increasingly stressed young women. She says the environment allows men to postpone making commitments. Her advice to the young, unmarried men and women who read Elder Oaks’ thoughts: “follow the words of the Apostle!”
So here’s what Elder Oaks had to say, according to the May 7 edition of Church News:
He said there is a trend among young adults to “postpone adult responsibilities, including marriage and family.” Young adults are “hanging out” with members of the opposite sex rather than having traditional one-on-one dates.
“For the benefit of some of you who are not middle-aged or older, I also may need to describe was dating is. Unlike hanging out, dating is not a team sport. Dating is pairing off to experience the kind of one-on-one associations and temporary commitment that can lead to marriage in some rare and treasured cases.”
He listed some trends that have made dating rare: 1)cultural tides against commitments in family relationships. “Dating involves commitments, if only for a few hours. Hanging out requires no commitments, at least not for the men if the women provide food and shelter.” 2)the women’s movement discourages dating. “As women’s options have increased and some have become more aggressive, some men have become reluctant to take the traditional male initiatives, such as asking for dates, lest they be thought to qualify for the dreaded label of ‘male chavinist.’ ” 3)TV programs such as “Friends” glamorize hanging out. 4)Dates need to be less expensive and simpler so people can afford to go out on a date.
Addressing returned missionaries, Elder Oaks said: “It is time for you to grow up. Gather your courage and look for someone to pair off with.” He told the young women: “Resist too much hanging out, and encourage dates that are simple.” He told the women to quit subsidizing freeloaders, to lock up the pantry and bolt the doors, hanging out a sign, “will open for individual dates.”
You gotta love Elder Oaks’ penchant for taking on the tough subjects. Sounds like good advice to me. I never would have found the happiness I have with my wife if I hadn’t focused laser-like on finding a temple-worthy LDS wife.
So, what does the rest of the bloggernacle think of Elder Oaks’ advice?