In a recent “Ask Angela” column, a young single adult woman shared that she was tired of asking men out and having them respond, “Sorry, I don’t date the women in my church congregation, in case things get messy.”
The woman, who called herself “Looking for Love,” wanted to know if most men followed this rule or if it was just a blow-off technique. The article, titled "Ask Angela: I will not date girls in my ward," received more than 40 comments and more than 130 Facebook reactions debating the issue.
A man, who is a young single adult, member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and asked to be referred to as Mormon Guy, wanted to explain his reaction to the column.
Angela: So you mentioned that you felt pretty strongly about the subject matter of this article, how come?
Mormon Guy: Yes, I did, because girls will use the same line, and it’s very frustrating. I understand that people go to church to worship, but in the Latter-day Saint community, we have singles congregations for the purpose of helping us find like-minded spouses. What’s the point if everyone is so fearful of the “mess” of dating?
A: Well, what if you don’t want the two to mix? What if you want to worship without the added drama of dating? I mean, they have rules like this in the workplace; do those upset you, too?
MG: No, they don’t. Church isn’t a company, and that particular rule is not put in place by some church “HR manager.” So it shouldn’t be enforced through social pressures. You are potentially not asking somebody out or not letting yourself get asked out because of this mindset and paradigm that’s full of fear.
A: I agree with you, but so what? Who cares if some people don’t want to date in their church congregations?
MG: Because people are people and they gossip. If one person takes this pessimistic stance, assuming that all these potential relationships will lead to failure, soon it will begin to rub off on others and everyone will be walking around saying, “Sorry I don’t date in my congregation!” So, it should be nipped in the bud. Why not, instead, focus on ways to date without making a big mess? It may seem like a stretch, but trust me, it’s possible.
A: You make some good points. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us.
Readers: Mormon Guy seems to have a pretty strong opinion on the subject. What do you think of the points that he has made?
Angela Trusty is multimedia personality and advice columnist.