Dating a Mormon: Tips for Non-Mormons
For non-Mormons interested in dating an LDS church member, trying to figure out the church culture can seem like a mystery game. It's a bit challenging to figure out how a group of people can have fun and date if they don't drink alcohol, prefer to avoid "R" rated movies, don't drink coffee, and are taught not to "mess around" before marriage.
So, what exactly do Mormon guys or girls look for in a date? And what do they do for fun?
Great Video: Mormon Guys Value Virtue and Chastity
Where to Meet Mormons to Date
- College If you live near one of the LDS colleges (BYU in Provo, Utah or BYU Idaho, for example) you might want to take a few classes or attend some campus events that are open to non-students.
- Visit an LDS Church If there's an LDS chapel nearby, attend a worship service or two and check the bulletin (program) for singles dances or other events in your age bracket. You will be welcome at the chapel, and at any social events, and both are great places to meet people interested in dating.
- Go Online There are several online dating site geared for LDS members. LDS Singles and LDS Planet are just two, but there are many others. If you join a site, be certain to be truthful about being a non-member. Honesty is valued in the church, so you don't want to start out on the wrong foot. Post a recent photo (in modest dress) and be candid about why you're interested in dating an LDS person in your profile.
- Attend an LDS Singles Conference Some areas have large singles conferences about once a year. People come from miles away to attend because the dances can be huge (especially in Utah, Idaho, California, and Arizona, where there are large numbers of members), and there are often many fun activities). Non-members (within the conference's specified age group) are welcome to attend, so if you see posters about one while visiting a chapel, or a notice in the bulletin, look into it and consider attending.
- BYU Management Society One place to meet LDS professionals is the local chapter of the BYU Management Society. There will be many married professionals in the group, but you might find singles as well (or meet some great married professionals who want to introduce you to someone they know). The BYU Management Society has chapters all across the world, so Google it and add your city. You should be able to find a local chapter. Membership varies from area to area, but it's usually a modest fee and comes with some great benefits.
- Ask a Friend to Introduce You Do you have a friend in the LDS church? Let them know you admire the type of people you've seen in the church and that you're open to meeting people who might be appropriate to date.
How Do Mormons Dress for Dates?
What should you wear if you want to date a Mormon boy or girl? Mormons dress stylishly, and follow the main fashion trends (as long as they fit the guidelines of the church). And yes, there's a dress code, but it's there for good reasons. The body is considered a sacred temple, and dressing in tight or revealing clothing is discouraged.
- Modesty is the main theme as far as the LDS "dress code." A girl who hopes to date a Mormon guy should avoid strapless, spaghetti-strap or sleeveless tops, and skirts should be no higher than the knees.
- Avoid necklines that show cleavage, and avoid overly tight clothing. Can you dress to flatter your figure? Absolutely! But leave a few things to the imagination.
- If you attend church with your Mormon guy or gal, dress appropriately. Females of all ages generally wear skirts when they attend worship services (and yes, you are more than welcome to attend). You are also welcome to partake of communion (called "the sacrament" in LDS churches) if you wish, and if it fits with your personal beliefs. The sacrament is quietly passed from pew to pew, and it consists of bread and water (no wine or grape juice). After you drink from the small (individual-size) cup of water, discard it in the center slot of the tray on which its passed.
- Men in the church (for you guys who want to date a Mormon girl) usually wear a white shirt and tie to church. You can also wear a suit jacket if you wish, but its not required.
What Do You Think?
Would You Want to Date a Mormon?
Things to Do on a Date
First, let's clear up one piece of confusion. Just because Mormons avoid some activities does not mean they're no fun to be with. Quite the contrary. Once you hang out with a group of LDS people of any age, you may find them to be as fun (and funny) as anyone else you've met, but also very considerate, caring, supportive of each other, and accepting of others.
What do Mormons do for fun?
- It's not unusual to find them dancing on weekend nights. Music and dancing have long been popular with church members, and if you're in an area that has Mormon chapels nearby, you are likely to find regular dances held (usually in the cultural hall of the chapel) for teens, young adults, and single adults older than 31. Music at the dances can be either from a live band or a DJ, and there will usually be some sort of snacks or refreshments available. The dances are free, there's no alcohol, and (as is consistent with church policy) people are asked to avoid suggestive dance moves and to dress modestly.
- Mormons also love to go to movies, play sports (several well-known professional athletes are LDS, including former NFL quarterback Ty Detmer and major baseball player Jeff Kent), play jokes on each other, go camping, do service projects, swim at the beach, snow ski, picnic, you name it.
- Education is emphasized in the church, so you might find your LDS friends interested in politics, business, finance, good books and other things that draw their interest.
The LDS church places a strong emphasis on marriage and the family. So Mormon singles of all ages will view prospective dates with the question as to whether they could marry that person.
- Mormon guys will often want to put off serious dating (as in, getting engaged and marrying) until they have completed a two-year mission, and possibly until they've finished college. They'll certainly date before then, but if an LDS guy or girl has his or her heart set on serving a mission, they will not want anything to prevent them from doing that.
- A strong belief in the church is to save intimacy for marriage. Family life is very important to church members, and when a Mormon guy is ready to settle down, he will likely look for a partner who will honor his desire to save that part of the relationship for marriage. The same is true for Mormon girls.
- Do Mormons date non-Mormons? Absolutely! But don't be surprised if they want the standards of the church to be respected (which include chastity before marriage, avoiding alcohol, no smoking and other teachings).
- You may hear your Mormon guy or gal refer to a "Temple Marriage". If you've never heard that term, it will sound confusing. Families in the LDS church are considered eternal, and to codify that, there is a special sealing ceremony that is performed in the Temple (there are more than 100 temples across the world). To attend a temple and be sealed, a person must be a member of the church in good standing for at least a year and have been interviewed by local church leaders to see if they have honored the teachings of the church.
- Do Mormons ever marry outside of the church? Yes, some do. But many (maybe most) will probably want non-members they date to learn the teachings of the church before they get serious. This will help their non-member "significant other" understand the beliefs, and help them decide if they can be in a relationship with an LDS person and respect those beliefs. This also helps non-members decide if they might be interested in joining the church. There is a short series of lessons about the church designed to help non-members understand the teachings, and your LDS boyfriend or girlfriend can help arrange them for you to take them.
- Generally, once an LDS member has found "the one" with whom they want to create a future, they will want to focus on marriage. And they may want to move quickly toward that goal. Mormons deeply cherish the family, and will generally want to have children once the timing is right. Yes, Mormons can use birth control (some people have the misunderstanding that LDS members are prohibited from using birth control, but that's not true). If you and your Mormon guy or girl are thinking of marriage, discuss the size of family you might want to have. It's not uncommon for LDS couples to have large families, so be certain you both agree on what you envision your family goals would be for a future together.
© 2012 Marcy Goodfleisch