Here at NextDoorMormon, we talk a lot about marriage and family (because we believe they are essential to God’s Plan of Happiness), but we haven’t really discussed the details of how we get to that point –
Admittedly, I’m a newcomer to the world of Mormon dating. I didn’t go to BYU, live in Utah, or ever really find myself surrounded by Mormon men returned from a 2-year mission with a seemingly abundant appetite for romantic attention and companionship.
I’ve dated wonderful men outside my faith – honest, honorable men. I don’t believe religion has a monopoly on good people, but I recently decided to make similar spiritual and religious beliefs a priority in my dating decisions. I personally know several couples with different religious backgrounds whose families are making it work just beautifully. But, I would like my dating habits to eventually lead to a family with Mormon values, so it only makes sense for the men I date and the person I someday marry to share my religious beliefs.
About 12 months ago, I started an experiment…
I started trying to only date men of my same faith, significantly reducing my dating pool from the city’s huge community of eligible bachelors to the handful of Mormons living in my area. I still feel that I have more in common (religion aside) with men outside my faith than those sitting next to me at church. And not all Mormons view their religion the same way – so finding “similar beliefs” is really difficult even within the Mormon community.
My one-year assessment?
Basically – it’s a lot like dating was before, but in a smaller network. Compatibility still involves a high degree of chemistry, shared values and respect. My girlfriends and I still frequent the bars and clubs where male attention is practically up for grabs, but with minimal potential for a serious relationship. Initial conversations still reek of pretention and generally end in unfulfilled expectations.
But the hope of finding a diamond in the rough is just as motivating as it was before. There may be fewer options overall, but the best ones always stand out and they never creep up behind me in a dance club.
This is where I’m at.
Any advice for making faith or spirituality a priority in dating?