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Sunday, August 7, 2011

RMs and Dating

On the "Dear Bro Jo" discussion page on Facebook, a girl asked a question about dating guys who didn't serve a mission. This was my very opinionated response.

I see a "red flag" as "Stop and back-up." I'm not sure that's the correct way to look at someone who didn't serve a mission. I see it more as a "use caution," which is why I said it's a "yellow flag."

First off, I don't think it's something that should need to be brought up early on. I know a lot of women who ask guys if they served a mission right in the first conversation. I don't agree with that at all. Asking someone if they served a mission while you're just getting to know him is possibly asking them for information you don't need to know just yet, because let's face it, if he says no, you'll wanna know why.

Now, if it is a point where the subject is appropriate to discuss, and he says no, you have the right to know why. This is something that I think should be talked about around the stage 5/6 in the levels of a relationship. At that point in time, you know each other well enough to be asking that kind of information, you know enough about each other already to be able to honestly look at him for who he is now, and you're not too emotionally involved.

Already knowing the person is important though. Sometimes, people may have a very complex reason for not going. It's a legit possibility.

Now, some reasons are red flags. One of them being he wasn't worthy. Being unworthy all the way from 18 to turning 26 in the MTC is a LONG period of unworthiness. At this point, you should really be careful. Now, if he has truly repented, is truly a changed man, is a worthy priesthood holder, and has/is working towards a Temple Recommend, than I don't think you should hold it against him; however, if he isn't worthy or honestly working to change, than leave him be and move on, especially if his unworthiness involved pornography. Honey, if he isn't winning his battle, don't get involved. It WILL hurt you.

Another red flag is if he is nonchalant about not serving a mission. If he doesn't really wish he had served, than he isn't converted to the gospel. He may very well have a testimony, but there are a lot of inactive members with testimonies. A testimony doesn't guarantee a person has converted to the gospel, and only someone who is converted to the gospel is worthy of a righteous Daughter of God.

There are thousands of possibilities and things that could be listed, but the important thing to remember, is that being an RM doesn't mean he's a great guy, is converted, or is worthy. An old bishop at the singles ward i used to attend said the percentage of RM's who hold current Temple Recommends is "a lot less than y'all would think." Not being an RM doesn't automatically make someone less qualified to marry. Who he is now is a lot more important than who he was 5, 10, or 15 years ago.


  1. Ok, this is my opinion and experience.

    1. When girls bring it up at first, it's not always to pry for personal information. It can be an attempt at making conversation. RMs like to talk about their missions.

    2. Yes, I've dated a guy who didn't serve a mission. No, I don't consider it to be a deal-breaker. But while a mission doesn't guarantee that a guy is a stellar priesthood holder, it does raise the chances. I did break it off with the guy- for several reasons, not just because of the mission thing. Even with this experience, a mission does carry a lot of weight for me. But that's my opinion, and I have pretty high expectations in general.

    I do agree with you that the reasons for not going and the current status of a man are things that girls should never overlook.

  2. P.s. It's really annoying to read centered text. Just a note. :)

  3. I know not all girls are asking for personal information, but a lot of girls I've met, and girls I have known for years will say it's a pretty standard question, especially at BYU Provo, and not to make conversation; a lot of them will automatically just cut him out if he didn't serve, and that's where I take issue. I've taken issue with that since I was 12 and I heard a YW leader tell her girls they should only marry an RM.

    It got personal for me when I was 17. One of my YM leaders wasn't an RM. It was a complex situation involving his family, but he hadn't been able to serve. He was a great guy, very strong in the church, he held a temple recommend, whole nine yards. So, I thought it would be a great idea to introduce him to a friend of mine. They hit it off great, and quickly fell in love, but once her dad heard he wasn't an RM, he continually pressured her to break up with him, and eventually threatened to but her off at school if she didn't. Then, after this happened, he called my dad (he was a bishop, as is my dad, and any bishop can look-up any other bishop's number)and chewed him out about the situation, and told my dad he shouldn't have a non-RM serving as a YM leader. (My dad was bewildered about this whole situation.) In the end, my lady friend got very hurt, and my YM leader eventually just moved away to try and forget it all.

    It's important to have high standards to those you marry, but not all high standards and "qualifications" are righteous. (I Remember Elder Bednar, in no uncertain terms, telling a group of YSAs as a fireside to go home and "rip-up" our lists.) Being an RM usually is a good indicator, but isn't always. That's why I say to look at who he is NOW, because that will tell you more about what you need to know.

    I also don't think it's right that some women (and a few men) judge a person because of mistakes that a person's made. IF a person has truly repented, he is not the same type of person who made those mistakes. I've seen the changes repentance has made in myself, my friends and my family. I think it shows a complete lack of faith in the Atonement, and frankly a lack of character, when someone chooses to hold judgement against another for his past when it is not longer a part of who he is.

    But that's all just my opinion. I see it as an injustice, and injustice really rubs me the wrong way.

  4. PS That was supposed to be a Blogger's version of a block quote. I don't think Blogger fully understands MLS. I'll try to fix it.

  5. That's a very unfortunate and sad story, but I don't think it's representative of all YSA women and their families. I've gone to a church school for two years and haven't heard of that being a widespread attitude. Sure there's a few hardcore dads, more shallow girls than I can count, and stories like the one you told. But I think there are more happy endings than sad ones.

  6. No it isn't true for everyone, but my point is that it does happen, and it shouldn't.