Dating advice is the most frustrating thing ever. Everyone gives conflicting advice! One person will say talk more and another talk less. One will say do something spiritual and someone else something secular. In the middle of my own dating conundrums, I turned to my YSA Bishop and asked him for his advice. He gave me the following points and I thought they were pretty amazing. The more we talked, the more I realized how powerful this counsel was and how everyone needs to hear it!
A special thanks to Bishop Huish of The Ranches YSA Ward for helping write this.
1). Don’t seek perfection, seek potential.
Within dating, we often have unrealistic expectations. Sister Holland at an address at the institute at UVU warned us about making composite expectations from those around us. An example of this is when a guy wants a girl who looks like Jennifer Lawrence, is as kind as our mother, and as spiritual as our Mission President’s wife. Or ladies want a man who looks like Chris Hemsworth, has a job that pays 100k+ a year, is as kind as her dad, and a spiritual giant like her grandpa.
She warned us that this habit is dangerous because it is unrealistic to expecting a 20-year-old to have the qualities and attributes that often take decades to develop. She repeated Elder Hales “none of us marry perfection; we marry potential.” We’ve all heard President Uchtdorf’s famous line to the brethren “if there were a perfect woman, do you really think she would be that interested in you?” But the lesser known variation is President Hinckley’s counsel to the women of the church.
“This includes young women who are still in school or who are working. You are single. You are hoping to catch that perfect man. I have yet to see one who is perfect. Aim high, but do not aim so high that you totally miss the target. What really matters is that he will love you, that he will respect you, that he will honor you, that he will be absolutely true to you, that he will give you freedom of expression and let you fly in the development of your own talents. He is not going to be perfect, but if he is kind and thoughtful, if he knows how to work and earn a living, if he is honest and full of faith, the chances are that you will not go wrong, that you will be immensely happy.”
~Gordon B. Hinckley