Back to the Basics
What a blessing dating is for our lives now and for our marriages to come.

Just over a week ago, I proposed to my future wife. As the day to propose came closer and closer, I found myself thinking about all of my dating experiences—both the exciting and the awkward. I thought about my experiences of dating at Armstrong College, in the field and at the Feast. I remembered the beginning of my journey of dating widely.

To date widely is to spread yourself around and spend time with many people of the opposite sex. No matter how many times I asked a woman out for a date, I would still get nervous. My heart would beat a little faster; my voice would change into a more serious tone; every scenario possible would fly through my mind. “What if she says no?” “What if she already has a date?” “What if I have food in my teeth?” All this before I even asked.

Not all men are like this, but the point is that asking a woman out on a date is not the easiest thing. It is something a man doesn’t have full control over. The choice is in her hands.

But the thing is, men, we need to go out there and ask. It all starts with us standing tall and walking confidently toward one of the single women in God’s Church. We have all heard stories of women who were so excited to go out on a date during the Feast or similar activity … and ended up not having one date. One man can only date so much—it takes all the single men who are able to go out of their comfort zone and ask these wonderful women for dates.

From the woman he asked to marry him

Ladies, be enthusiastic in your response to someone inviting you on a date. If someone asks if he can call you, give him more than a “Sure, that would be fine.” Say, “That sounds great! Thank you for asking.” Show and express that you’re looking forward to the date. And on the date, enjoy yourself, and make it obvious. If we don’t show appreciation for their time and effort, it could appear like we are taking their effort for granted, or merely tolerating it when we should really enjoy these dating experiences. It’s a lot easier to show that excitement when you think about giving to the guy who asked you out this month, rather than about what you may or may not be getting out of that date yourself. Imagine how much easier it makes it for those men asking when we show them that we’re thankful they asked.–Sarah Patten

The Church has provided more avenues to do this, including the singles directory. During this month, let’s make it a challenge to ask at least two women out on a date, whether it be just a walk outside where Sabbath services are held, or a phone call to someone in a different time zone. Whatever fits your schedule best, just make sure you get two dates.

As for the women, be willing to accept their invitation. Sometimes it is scary to accept a date request, but consider your spiritual brother’s desire to give to you. He may be awkward or nervous, not always filled with the perfect conversation—but he is striving to give. It may have taken him considerable courage to ask for a small amount of your time. For this monthly challenge, ladies, be willing to accept the request for a date from your spiritual brothers.

Dating gives us a chance to get to know God’s Family. Men should be treating the single women as sisters; and women treating the men as brothers. There is no need to be awkward about it, just go on the date with a mindset of getting to know each other better. While dating can lead to marriage, dating widely with the right mindset builds the family—and in special cases, it lays a great foundation for a more serious relationship.

It was only through dating widely that I was able to see certain qualities and traits that could benefit my future family. What a blessing dating is for our lives now and for our marriages to come. So let’s rise to the challenge and get back to the basics.