Ask Angela: First comes mission reunion, then comes marriage?

Published: Saturday, April 6 2013 5:00 a.m. MDT

Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah

Tom Smart, Deseret News

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Dear Angela:

I have a mission reunion this weekend, and having been home from the “mish” for about two years I expect that most of the other guys will show up with their wives or at least serious girlfriends in tow. I’ve been dating this gal for about three weeks now and I’d love to take her, but I don’t want her to get the wrong idea (i.e., thinking that what we have going on is more serious than it is). How do you ladies view attendance at functions like these? Do you think there is any way to invite her without her reading too much into the offer?

Sincerely,

DatingMan

Dear DatingMan,

You’re looking at this all wrong; going to someone else’s mission reunion is a tough job. You don’t know any of the people there, they’re all speaking in broken Spanish, you’re wearing heels on a basketball court and your date’s former mission president is asking you when you’re going to get married. So instead of worrying she’s going to expect a proposal after the reunion, just make sure you follow the basics to ensure you’re a good date.

Introduce her to the people with whom you’re speaking, include her in conversation and, if you are speaking a foreign language, don’t let it carry on for too long if she doesn’t speak the language, too.

Also, as far as “thinking things are serious” goes, your mission president, his wife, the senior couples and your old companions are more likely to speculate something serious is going on. So you may feel tempted to overcompensate and start emphasizing the word “friend” when people ask you who your date is so she doesn’t get any ideas — but don’t do that. Just be cool.

To answer your question directly: some girls do think going to a mission reunion with a guy is a big deal, and, while that can put unnecessary stress on the occasion, don’t let it dissuade you from inviting your friend. She knows you’ve only been dating for a little while; give her some credit and have a good time!

Love,

Angela

Readers: Do you consider attendance at a mission reunion a “key indicator” for marriage? How would you help this man be a good date? Do you take a plus-one to your mission reunions? Why or why not?

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Advice columnist Angela Trusty answers questions about a variety of topics, including the Mormon young single adult experience. Published weekly in the Deseret News and Washington Times.

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