Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Hanging Out vs Dating

Back in 2005, Elder Dallin H Oaks spoke at a CES Fireside. Part of his talk centered on the topic of dating vs hanging out. An excerpt of this section of the address was printed in the June 2006 Ensign and can be found here.

Just after he gave this talk, I saw incidents of "hanging out" drop to near zero. However, Elder Oaks didn't say "don't hang out."

In fact, there was a column in the Deseret News this week titled "Hanging out, hooking up — why not date?" that implied that hanging out was wrong. However, I'm of the opinion that never hanging out is a bad idea.

Let's look at what Elder Oaks said:

An occasional group activity is OK, 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.

Yes, it is OK to get a group together. However, don't let it be an every weekend type of thing.

I know a group of women who do hang out every weekend. However, they do it without any men present (because they don't invite men). In fact, I have known several guys who have asked out girls from this group but have been turned down in favor of these "Girl's Nights Out." And then these women wonder why they aren't married.

So, get those (co-ed) groups together. When you get invited to a function, it's better than sitting at home doing nothing on a Friday or Saturday night. It's a great opportunity to meet other people, and who knows what it will lead to.

Outside of Church, I don't have many opportunities to meet other Single Mormons. Hanging out with friends (and their friends) is a great way to meet new people.

Oh, and I'd like to close with something else Elder Oaks had to say:

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. Finally, young women, if you turn down a date, be kind. Otherwise you may crush a nervous and shy questioner and destroy him as a potential dater, and that could hurt some other sister.

It's an invite for a date, not a proposal of marriage.