Marcy has researched and written about relationships, domestic issues, dating, and con-artists for more than a decade.
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
- 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.
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?
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
Thisbagorocks on February 06, 2016:
Hi, I am wondering if you might be able to explain to me why being non lds hurts the chances that an lds member will date the other person. Is it truly something that breaks the mold for a member to like a non member. I'm sorry to say that a person I know was going out with a girl who was lds and she dated a different lds guy instead. Just because he was lds he was the better option I guess, it just makes me sad because she really liked him but being a non lds member ruined any chances he had.
Marcy Goodfleisch (author) from Planet Earth on July 23, 2015:
Hi, Mormon in Utah - I agree completely that the LDS church can often be a culture as much as a religion. I've seen this in areas outside of Utah, where the demographics (including ancestry) are quite different than in SLC - it's built into the way the church is organized, from what I can tell. Perhaps much of it came from the heritage you mentioned and the church was infused with it, but it surely is systemic. Thanks for reading and for your interesting comment!
Mormon in Utah on July 21, 2015:
Mormons can be a culture or a religion. Utah Mormons can be a lot different than other Mormons. There are many reasons for this. One reason is Utah has a strong Danish heritage. Most Utahns do not know about their Danish heritage but it is there. There are more Jensens in the phone book than Smiths.
Marcy Goodfleisch (author) from Planet Earth on May 21, 2014:
Hi, Pim - you can learn more by going to the LDS website (just Google it), and looking for FAQs. Thanks for your comment - I hope you find some Mormon friends in your area!
Plm11 on May 11, 2014:
This was an interesting read, thankyou for posting it :) I live in Australia and have never actually met a Mormon before, but am interested in learning more about the religion.
Marcy Goodfleisch (author) from Planet Earth on January 03, 2014:
Thanks so much. Emily! Let me know if you have suggestions - I've been LDS for nearly 12 years, and I truly cherish the standards of the church.
Emily on January 03, 2014:
I am a LDS woman and was curious to see what this article had to say about our standards and I believe that this is true and it's a great way to explain it briefly to someone who isn't familiar to the church. Bravo!
Marcy Goodfleisch (author) from Planet Earth on June 01, 2013:
Oh, fpherj! You are so right. On all counts. Yes, the LDS church is like any other church, with normal people who fight normal temptations. And, sadly, there are people who join for the wrong reasons. I will be so glad when that case is off our radar screens. Ugh!
Suzie from Carson City on June 01, 2013:
Ohhhhhh Marrrrrr-Cee! Yoo Hoo........I'm back. This hub, girlfriend, has taken on a whole new meaning.....thanks to Jodi Arias....wouldn't anyone say? HOLY you know what!......
No joking here, over such an egregious & grave situation. However, Miss Arias, being of VERY unsound mind, surely had NO BUSINESS becoming involved with the Mormon Church! (and "rest his soul," Travis certainly strayed FAR FAR away from teachings of which he was fully aware.) Obviously he was seriously counting on that "forgiveness clause"!!!!
Actually this makes being a Mormon, no different than other organized religions, in all honesty.
Due to the Religion of my parents.....I was baptized as an infant. I'm 100% sure that the "after party".....was totally unlike Joid's!
This case resumes in July, with the selection of a new jury for the penalty phase. Just a gross waste of time, effort and tax dollars. Period, the end. The girl is S-I-C-K.......just lock her away from society and be done with it!!! What say you, Marcy?? I'm interested.
Gosh....please don't tell me you know nothing about this case!! If so, I know a jury in Arizona, you can sit on!......
Marcy Goodfleisch (author) from Planet Earth on June 01, 2013:
Angel -this is such great news! I'm glad you enjoyed meeting others in the church, and I'm thrilled he wants to stay in touch while he's on his mission. Guys may now go at age 18, so that speeds things up a bit. I hope you'll visit some worship services, too - everyone is welcome to attend. That will give you an idea of whether you might be interested in joining the church, as well. Be sure to let me know how it goes! Thanks for the update, Angel, you made my day!
Angel2004 on June 01, 2013:
Marcy you helped me a lot and it worked out. He is going on a mission in a year but he still wants to stay in contact. He asked me to a couple of their church dances and they are really fun. He is a really great guy. I hope I see him after his mission
Marcy Goodfleisch (author) from Planet Earth on May 30, 2013:
Many thanks! So glad you like the hub, Theater Girl!
Jennifer from New Jersey on May 30, 2013:
Another interesting and informative read. Thank you.
Marcy Goodfleisch (author) from Planet Earth on December 23, 2012:
Hi, Angel - Since I don't know the specific details, I can only guess. Are you under 16? If so, that could be a factor, since the church preference is not to date before 16. If you're near a church (preferably, near his congregation) ask him to share some information about the church beliefs, the youth group and other things related to the faith. That would open the door, perhaps, to getting better acquainted.
Many parents strongly prefer their kids to "marry in the church," so at times, someone who likes a person who's not in the church might be hesitant to get serious because of that preference. But I do think he would welcome a discussion about the church, and you'd be welcome to attend youth activities if you're the right age.
Another reason some young men don't get serious with girls while they're still in school is that many guys in the church plan to serve a two-year mission. And of course it would be tough to head off for a mission if you're heavily involved with a girl.
Best of luck in getting to know him better! Let me know what happens?
Angel2004 on December 23, 2012:
I like a Mormon guy who likes me he is 16 I'm not Mormon and not 16 does that mean he won't ask me out. Also we have liked each other for more then a year and both know that we like each other. Please let me know why he hasn't asked me out yet
Marcy Goodfleisch (author) from Planet Earth on December 19, 2012:
Lol! Hey - we don't hold that against people! You crack me up - I needed the smile today. I guess this means you would join the church only after they pry your coffee mug out of your cold, dead hands?
Suzie from Carson City on December 19, 2012:
Marcy.... I'm back. As I sit here, on my 3 rd. cup of strong, freshly-brewed coffee....that I couldn't nor wouldn't give up for ANY reason.....I believe this automatically disqualifies me !!
Marcy Goodfleisch (author) from Planet Earth on December 18, 2012:
I feel the same way about the LDS people I know, but then, I'm also a member of the church. I'm so glad you've met good people who are Mormon. Most people feel that way after they've been around members of the church, which is a nice thing to hear!
Aisling Ireland from Bolingbroke, GA on December 18, 2012:
The Mormons I have met personally fit that description. They seem to be solid, grounded, happy people. It's nice reading the positives about this group that get maligned quite a bit, to read that the folks in the press are there due to their aberrance, not their commonness.
Marcy Goodfleisch (author) from Planet Earth on December 18, 2012:
Hi, Esme - I'm so glad you like the article. Mormon guys are great and are decent, good men, and the women are sweet and caring, so it's nice to have some of the mystery unraveled about dating someone from the LDS church!
Aisling Ireland from Bolingbroke, GA on December 17, 2012:
Thanks for this informative article. I love reading articles that give insight into faiths other than my own. Well written, well researched - voted up.
Marcy Goodfleisch (author) from Planet Earth on December 16, 2012:
Thank you, RusticLiving! I hope this information helps clarify some of the 'mystery' about the faith for those who aren't familiar with it. It's a loving and caring church, and one that welcomes everyone who wishes to attend or visit.
Liz Rayen from California on December 15, 2012:
Excellent Hub! The information is spot on and you have given a great example of how the Mormon faith feels about dating and marriage. Kudos my friend. Voted up and shared.
Marcy Goodfleisch (author) from Planet Earth on December 04, 2012:
LOL! We should compare our ideas about 'sweet,' fpherj! I see your point - although I usually think of the Southern Belle as being a bit more contrived, as though playing a role. To me, someone who is genuinely sweet shows compassion (when appropriate), and is tender and kind, but also strong and not a pushover when faced with hardships, which sort of fits the image I have of you. Okay, I will rethink how i am using that term. Maybe we need a few new words in our dictionaries!
Suzie from Carson City on December 04, 2012:
Marcy.....I suppose it's all a matter of perception, opinion and translation. I certainly like to believe I am kind, caring and good-natured...and all those positive traits we try to maintain......but in all honesty, I don't know many people who would say I'm "sweet.!!!"
When I think of sweet, I see a quiet, demure, modest, sugary kind of "Southern Belle-type" of woman......which I am most assuredly NOT!
I don't even have to elaborate on this!!! LMAO! but, thanks anyway.
Marcy Goodfleisch (author) from Planet Earth on December 03, 2012:
Hi, Aviannovice - many thanks for your comments here! It can be a challenge for a non-LDS person to date someone in the church, and it's also a challenge for an LDS member to date someone who doesn't follow the teachings. But it does happen, and as long as both parties accept the differences, it can work.
Deb Hirt from Stillwater, OK on December 03, 2012:
Another interesting piece on faith. Thanks for teaching us important things like this.
Marcy Goodfleisch (author) from Planet Earth on December 02, 2012:
Hi, Sis - what an amazing piece of family history. There were many migrations to Utah from various parts of the United States (and even other countries) of people who joined the church and wanted to stay with the congregations that were formed. And, as you mention those were extremely difficult times, and the journey was long. It sounds like your family were early church pioneers - at least for that period of time. Thanks for sharing this story!
Angela Blair from Central Texas on December 02, 2012:
Excellent Hub and I appreciate the information as I have very little knowledge about the LDS. I live in Central Texas and strangely enough my ancestors in the long ago attempted to become Mormons and hit the trail for Utah. On the way many died, were sick and their hardships were many -- so they consequently turned back to our little county and had to be satisfied with being Baptists the rest of their lives as there were no Mormon churches in the area back then. Thanks for the info -- Best/Sis
Marcy Goodfleisch (author) from Planet Earth on December 01, 2012:
Fpherj, it's hard to think of you being anything other than sweet and caring! I'll let you in on a secret - nobody lives up to everything - all anyone can do it to try, and get up the next morning and try again. One thing I like is that the church fully understands we are all human, and nobody is perfect. And I've rarely seen as forgiving atmosphere as I see in the LDS church.
I do know that non-members can be overwhelmed or intimidated by the type of lifestyle the church promotes, so I understand what you're saying.
Suzie from Carson City on December 01, 2012:
Marcy......No chance of this being something for me to be concerned with at this point in my life. However, just entertaining this concept, brings me to a deeply honest confession. What I know of Mormons and their belief system....pure-living and strict life-style rules....It would be unfair and unrealistic for me to consider dating a poor, unsuspecting Mormon. While I consider myself to be a healthy list of "goodness" & kindness," I haven't a single doubt, I would not meet the Mormon standards.....nor do I feel it a good idea to try to be someone I am not......Good question.