A recent Utah Valley University study that I conducted shed some light on the Utah County LDS dating scene and how Mormon singles come to meet each other.

The survey was administered by me and my senior research students to UVU students in February 2011.

The 427 student responses show that social activities with friends were by far the most common setting for finding a date.

About 50 percent of the students reported that friends were their most common source. About 40 percent referenced school or church; 15 percent said work or a party were the most common sources for finding their dates.

Friends and associates are key to finding people to date. When friends associate with other friends at work, play, church and school activities, then social networks begin to grow.

Young single adults need to breathe the same air and share the same space. Why? Because hundreds of visual, auditory, communication and personality cues are given off and perceived while two people are in the same room together. Conversations start up, and within a few minutes each single begins to get a mental picture of the desirability or undesirability of the other person.

Sometimes they pair off as a couple; other times they remain in the safety of the group and continue to interact together in less formal settings.

The study also established a dating frequency among single UVU students who are very active daters. On average, a UVU single student will go on three dates per month.

The best advice for a young single is to simply go to a social or activity, not for the sake of the activity itself, but because one can expect to meet other people and get to know them. The single might even find a soul mate or spouse in the process.

Ron J. Hammond has a doctorate in family studies from BYU and is the senior family analyst in the UVU Family Studies Program. Ron is a family researcher. Many of his self-help ideas can be found at http://ldsfree99.com/products-page-2/