I met this guy on a dating website (not an LDS-specific one — I’m not LDS anymore) and he’s really great. We’ve been dating for about two months and religion has only come up a few times. When we first met he told me that he was raised Mormon and he believes in God, but he’s not interested in dealing with the rules that accompany religion in general — we’re pretty much the same that way, similar backgrounds, similar conclusions about things.
I really thought we were on the same page.
Last week, however, he told me that he feels confused because he’s “falling in love with me” and if we get married he wants to “get married in the temple” and “would I be OK with that?”
Why is someone who is completely not active in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints now asking me to come back to church so that we can both get married in the temple? I really don’t understand it. I’m not totally opposed to going to church together some Sundays, but I don’t ever think I’ll be in a place where I am a strict Mormon again who goes to the temple.
The whole thing feels really unfair. I would not have started this relationship if I knew getting married in the temple was an expectation. Now, though, I’m invested and I don’t have the luxury to just not get involved. So, what do I do?
Dear “Now what?”
Wow. Yeah, this is big. You’re probably feeling tempted to break up with him for pulling a major switcheroo.
If you guys break up, it will be painful, but you’ll get through it. Yes, you’re invested. Yes, he’s a good guy. But if ultimately you’re now feeling incompatible with him, where can the relationship go?
If you choose to stay with him — which could work — tell him honestly that you wouldn’t mind going to church together, but getting married in the temple hasn't been in your plans. Then see how things go. Does church attendance bring you two together? Are you able to have positive conversations about religion? Is there room for you to grow spiritually at your own pace? Or do you feel pressured? Is he giving you ultimatums? Are you generally unhappy? Those are just some signs to look for, but as you feel it out you’ll know where things are headed, and you’ll be able to adjust accordingly.
Here’s a thought though that may soothe your frustration just a little: Temple marriage is really important to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We learn about it from a very early age, and if what he feels for you is having such a profound effect on him to cause him to want that and to be willing to make a life change, it probably means his feelings for you are running pretty deep. That is really positive. Some people literally go their whole lives without finding a connection like that.
Take it slow, communicate through the process, and follow up with all of us!
We hope it goes well.
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Readers: Do you think they can make this relationship work? Someone from the Ask Angela Facebook group suggested that he just wanted out of the relationship, so he was using the temple marriage conversation as an excuse. Do you think that's true?
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Angela Trusty is a millennial writer who lives and writes about the Latter-day Saint experience. Twitter: askange_column