Before You Dump the Perfect Prospect (on Paper) Read these 5 Principles

dating frustration


Wait, you’re NOT going to keep going out with him?! He’s tall, good looking, super cool, solid in the gospel, smart, great family, and you know he’s going to be rich—what more could you possibly want?”


The condescending tone in your roommate’s voice is familiar.


You mumble a response filled with certain confusion, “I mean, he’s awesome…but I’m just not excited about it.”


“You’re getting too old to be this picky, you know.”


A flush of frustration begins to bubble up, but you realize that it’s true. Still, you know what you feel, even if you can’t quite explain it and drop to defensiveness, “I thought you told me last week that I shouldn’t settle.”


“[ugh] You’re just stupid.”


We’ve all been there.

We’ve been the one confused at the uncertainty, when all logic points to certain.

We’ve been the roommate, exasperated at the friend dropping the person they secretly wish they could have dated.

We’ve even been the poor sap left for no seemingly good reason wondering, ‘is something wrong with me?’


This situation boils down to one question:

Should I keep dating someone even if I’m not excited about them? Or in other words, how do I settle without settling?


At times, we find ourselves with those who are perfect on paper but prosaic in person and something just doesn’t propel you to pursue the possibility of considering them to be a positive prospect.


Do you have to make the choice between finding someone that you are super excited about, but you know they might not be a good fit for you; or someone who is perfect for you, but you just aren’t excited about?


THE ANSWER IS NO!!!!! (Why you gotta be so rude?) …so long as you abide by these 5 principles.



  1. Love is a choice.

Love doesn’t always just happen to you. You must work for it and put time into it through serving them. Don’t make yourself a martyr to emotions and a victim to fate. You have agency in love. Yes, truly, you have agency in love. I’m going to say that one more time…you have agency in love.


  1. Make a list.

If you don’t have a list where you can objectively see if the potential person is worth a shot, you might either dive in with the wrong person and ignore red flags because there is too much emotion involved, or you will toss great people to the side and make up excuses not to date them because there isn’t enough emotion.

SERIOUSLY…try these 4 steps out right now to make your list. I PROMISE this 10-minute activity of coming up with a list will help you get married.


  1. Be open to the possibility of love.

This includes getting rid of old heartstrings and not dating so many people at the same time to help you differentiate your emotions.


  1. Wait with wisdom.

Give it some time and be patient. Not like going out with the same person that you are woefully indifferent towards for months, but give it a few dates. Try things out and be open. Know though, that if you aren’t open to the possibility of love, you’re wasting everyone’s time.


  1. Be honest with yourself.

Believe that you are abiding by the first four principles and then follow your heart…just don’t leave your brain behind. If you don’t like them, it is okay to move on and disregard all of those around you who are telling you how wrong you are.


At the end of the day, know this: You are not “stupid” just because you can’t understand why you don’t like that “perfect” person or because you got caught up in the “wrong” person. You are just…human.


When I’ve broken up with people for, according to outsiders, ‘no good reason,’ I’ve been attacked. But guess what? All of that led me to my fiancée—a woman that I’m thrilled to be with AND meets everything on paper.


I waited to find both for a simple reason: I felt I deserved it. And if a guy as fault-filled (even on paper) as me deserves it and got it…you certainly do too.



“It’s Not Me, It’s YOU!”

free yourself in dating


I have a friend who was dating this guy for a couple of years. He was ready to pull the trigger, kill his single life and propose, but she couldn’t get herself there. She always felt like something within was holding her back and trapping her heart.


So she tried to get herself out of her own prison.


She went to therapy to improve, but was discouraged.

She read books about how to be exclusive, but had eyes for others.

She prayed to get over her fears, but it was still scary.


Nothing worked.


Then…she finally dumped him.


She fed him the line, ‘It’s not you, it’s me’ garbage and she honestly believed it.


He told her that she had crazy phobia of commitment.




Two weeks later she met a guy, a month later she was engaged and a few months later she was married.


She felt free. Turns out, she was trying to escape the wrong prison the whole time.


Now look, a lot of you are going to read that story and think that you are great and don’t need to change and you just haven’t met the right one.


Chances are, you do need some fixing.


But when you meet someone who could be the right person, you want to change and be “fixed” to make yourself a better you (NOTE: not just a ‘better person,’ but the ‘better you.’).


When you meet someone you want to be with, guess what…? YOU WANT TO BE WITH THEM!


Improving is encouraging, not a bummer.

Not dating other people is a relief, not a sacrifice.

Long-term talks are exciting, not scary.


So if you are in a relationship and have worked at improving and getting over your fears and aren’t sure why you are still feeling uneasy, try to walk away. It might give you the perspective to help you understand the source of your fear.


Because if you don’t want to be with someone and are fearful about the relationship, maybe it isn’t you, but them for you.


Find a new ‘them’ to make a free ‘you.’



How to Fight the Fear of Dating After the D-Day (Divorce)

Janice pictured here metaphorically thinking of the sweet dating options in her life.

I don’t often do guest posts, but if you met Janice, you would be fascinated with what she thinks as well. While we’ve covered a dating post about not being defined by being divorced after dating (guest post by Jordan Moss), the 7 D’s of dating after divorce and how to avoid divorce through adventure and confirmation bias…this takes on the angle of FEAR of dating and how to combat such a frightening fight. I hope you will find perspective or peace from her writing.


[enter Janice]


Let me just start by saying that I hate dating, with a passion. It’s akin to eating your greens as a child or exercising as an aging adult—necessary but dreadful. But it is just that, necessary.


Hi, I’m Janice and I’m a recently divorced 20- something year old. Divorce is terrible; I wouldn’t wish it on my arch nemesis. Marriage is lovely, on the other hand, and you should totally try it sometime, just be real sure you and your someone are in it to win it. Turns out my someone wasn’t remotely in it to win it, but that’s not what this post is about—this is about dating after D-Day.


If you’re anything like me, which I’m going to assume you are, the thought of dating also makes you want to vomit. This is no exaggeration, post-divorce dating gives me anxiety—bad anxiety. I’m talking cold sweats, shaking, uncomfortable in my skin, super nervous to the point of regretting eating anything hours prior. There are a million reasons why I get anxious, but that’s not the important part, the important part of this post is how we can get over it.


The only way to get over the fear of dating is…

You’re not going to like this answer.

Are you ready for it?


The only way to get over the fear of dating is to date.


Ugh. I know right?! I remember coming to this realization with my therapist some months after D-Day and trying in vain to negotiate some other solution, but here’s how he put it to me:


You have an internal smoke detector; it’s that part of you that gets uncomfortable in a bad situation. It starts pinging when someone’s acting suspicious, or maybe lying to you. It’s that voice in the back of your head that says “Maybe you shouldn’t be here…” when you are chilling with your way shady friends on a Wednesday afternoon and you enter a dingy club through a back ally after someone whispered the passcode to a giant bouncer with some gnarly looking teeth and a forehead tattoo (not like that has ever happened to me).


Anyways, that smoke detector used to be spot on and you relied on it daily to keep you safe and protected.smoking hot


Then one day, out of nowhere, a huge, raging and completely unexpected fire broke out and your smoke alarm went off.


Since then, your smoke alarm has been broken. It’s been chirping and going off like it needs a battery replacement at 3 AM on a Monday. Someone looks at you and smiles, it chirps. Someone sweetly puts their hand on your back, it chirps. Someone asks you on a date, it chirps.



And every time it chirps, you freak! I mean it’s going off, there must be something wrong and you should probably run. But alas, this is not the case; your smoke alarm just needs a hard reset.


It’s tough realizing that you can’t trust that part of yourself anymore, and I know you want to! So let’s work on this together. You need to retrain your detector into recognizing what is and what is not a potential threat. You need to help yourself see that not all guys are bad and out to completely obliterate your heart. Good guys do exist. (The same can be said to guys about girls)


Learn about them; be aware of how you feel around them. Compare how you feel with one date verses the next, learn how to feel again. Learn how to trust yourself and those feelings. Trust me when I say I know this is hard, I am right there with you. But we need to get our smoke alarms back to a reliable and functional place because it is only then that we will be able to find love after D-Day.




God’s 3 Steps to Successful Dating and Marriage

A loving young couple spending time together at home


I had just received the news through some not-so-subtle hints.


She wasn’t interested.


(Insert disappointed sigh here.)


Not that I was counting on it working out, per se, it’s just that . . . well, I was really hoping it might have. Yeah, it was just a crush; yeah, we might have only gone on a couple of dates; yeah, I wasn’t super emotionally invested . . . but I was at that point in life where it seemed that nothing was working out. (You know what I mean.) I was frustrated because whenever I liked a great girl, they weren’t interested; and when a great girl liked me, it didn’t seem right.


I was standing on a packed train when I had a prompting to open up to Doctrine & Covenants Section 90. I was not sure exactly what was there, but when I came across verse 24, I realized that God had put in a formula so that my relationships—in my dating life and in my future marriage—would really work! He packaged it up in three simple steps that could help me keep perspective. It filled my heart with hope—and it can fill your heart too.


  1. Search Diligently
  2. Pray Always
  3. Be Believing


This is just a summary of this article. To get the full punch:




What to Do When the Things You LOVE Most are the things you also HATE Most?


dating frustrations
Crayons and significant others are so similar…so frustrating to pick a single one.

“The things I love about my husband are actually the the things that frustrate me most about him.”


I was speaking to one of my best friend’s mother when she dropped that one on me. She had such a happy and loving marriage and I wanted to know how I could build a relationship like theirs.


She continued, “See, I love how charitable he is, but when money is super tight and he is paying for other people’s dinners and helping out people financially, it is a bit stressful for me.”


In my life I’ve realized a similar truth.


The very reason I was attracted to the women I date is often the reason we break up.


I love women who are ambitious! They think, plan, dream, believe, act and achieve. They are so impressive…to a point that it is irritating. They are so independent that they don’t need me, don’t call back often and are so busy with their lives and being pursued by so many other people that I often walk away.


I love women who are kind! They are so caring and gentle and always let others shine in groups. They are so wonderful…that I can’t stand it. They can be boring or pushovers and are always seeking to agree.


This is a truth regardless of man or woman. It just is.


Those who are energetic can be annoying.

Those who are passionate can argue too much.

Those who are funny can tease ad nauseum.

Those who are spiritual can be self-righteous.


Well then…what are we to do?


So far, my plan seems to be to break up or sabotage…that’s worked out super well.


As I was considering this recently, I remembered the end of the conversation with my friend’s mother where she put it all in perspective, “I just need to decide that the things I love are more important than the things that frustrate me.”
Basically, as simply as a Thomas Monson said, “Choose your love, and love your choice.”



3 Reasons Why You Fell Out of LIKE

planing a relationship seed


Wow. She was amazing.


You met at the bonfire and couldn’t hardly sleep that night thinking about her.


The next day you found her on fbook and then messaged her and got her number.


You went out on a few dates and there were just sparks like crazy.


After a few dates, you even kiss her!


Things are going so well…until one day about two weeks into this, you go to another bonfire and meet someone else. You ignore the text of the first girl and slowly stop calling her back as this new girl starts to envelop your thoughts.


And by the beginning of week three, the first girl is a distant memory, a story, and another tally when you are asked how many people you’ve kissed.




On the subject of falling out of love, I can’t comment. I’ve been in love a few times and each time, the conclusion has been involuntary.


But on getting over liking someone, ah, this blog has volumes on that.


I’ve found there are typically three reasons why we fall out of like:


  1. Something is wrong with them. Before you go off about this, it is important that you do this one task: write down specifically WHY you don’t want to date them anymore. Share it with a couple of people and see if you really are incompatible with them or if you are victim of the second reason.
  2. Something is wrong with YOU. Yes, you have issues, my friend. You fake date. You look for crushes instead of foundations. You are not over that ex. You have daddy problems. Or….you don’t think you have issues, in which case, you are in denial. Whatever the case may be, make sure you fix you to a point that you can let someone into your heart and life. You don’t have to be perfect, but workable. I promise it isn’t as scary as people think it is…or so my therapist tells me.
  3. The relationship is wrong. Ah, the indescribable, irrational and irritatingly honest, ‘not sure why, but just don’t feel right about it’ thing. It really is a real thing (sometimes). And as long as you are being honest with number one and two, I would take this for a decent answer. BUT BUYER BEWARE: if you abuse this, you will be held accountable at the last day (a.k.a. when you turn 31 and are kicked out of a singles ward).


So remember to use caution when throwing a crush into the wind. It might just be the perfect seed to your soil if you would but ‘Alma 32’ that relationship.



5 Ways to Combat One of the Biggest Reason for Singleness and Divorce: Confirmation Bias

dating sparks


One of many many many many (and some may want to add one last “many”) many reasons why I am single is the social and behavioral psychology philosophy called confirmation bias.


Confirmation bias is when an individual will skew or interpret observed data to substantiate a preconceived notion. Thus, the data that is agreeance with the belief is exacerbated, embellished or just plain fabricated while that which is contrary is deemed erroneous, irrelevant or inaccurately identified.


And that, my dear children who haven’t been born, is why your mother and I aren’t married yet.


I can think of girls I’ve dated where it seemed everything was wrong–but I was smitten! It was almost as if she was TRYING to give me signs that we weren’t going to work out, but I couldn’t see them.


I was blind to signs. For example:
When she was unkind, I blamed it on a hard day.
When she was emotionally aloof, I knew it was just because of family issues.
When she was lying, I figured it was my fault for not being open enough.


And I gave her WAY too much credit. For example:
When she smiled, I took it as a sign that she was the happiest person (never mind the extreme mood swings).
When she texted, I felt her love bleeding through those emoji’s (never mind that she only texted back ½ the time).
When she answered her phone, I confirmed her ability to drop everything for me (never mind she was unemployed and only answered one in three times I called).


And yet I’ll drop girls where there isn’t that initial spark for the stupidest reasons!
I look at a girl who has her whole life together, but likes pictures straightened or over corrects an group project and assume that she is a crazy girl and super anal retentive and if I ever mess something up in the house when we are married she will flip a lid.


I look at a girl who is an observer and not a performer and assume that she is boring, reserved, a recluse and at our 50th anniversary, she will want to watch some movie on oculus rift and not talk with people and she’ll make me a hermit.


I look at a girl who is a friend and assume that it would be so weird to be anything but friends and I could never make a friend more than a friend.


You get where I’m coming from?


Well, let me tell you where I’m going with this.


Yeah, let’s all just stop. Can we, please?


So many divorces and so many people remain single their entire lives because they look for the smallest insignificant reasons to confirm and ignore the biggest most important reasons to deny their own bias! (guilty)


Let’s take a step back and take an objective look at who we are and what we want/need. Let’s not cloud our judgement with “sparks”…because those embers will die as soon as the first rains of adversity come in that mirage of a marriage.


So what are you to do?
1. Take an inventory of your past relationships to see if you are guilty (oh, by the way, if you are single you are guilty).
2. Ask your best best best friend for advice as an objective third party to see if your heart is way too far ahead of your brain.
3. Reevaluate reasons you stopped dating people.
4. Reconsider reasons you never dated people.
5. Move forward with self-honesty and take notice of your confirmation bias.


As we do this, I’m confident that our dating lives and marriages will be more fun, less analytical and we can give people the benefit of the doubt–until they give reason enough to doubt the benefit.



The STUPIDEST Reason I’ve ever Heard NOT to Dump Someone

monkey dating

So I’ve got this friend…you might be her.


She is kind, beautiful and, until recently, I thought she was pretty smart.


But see, she is dating this complete dud. (no desire for school, no job, no motivation, no direction, not kind, immature, not a great family…granted, he does have big muscles, still).


I just can’t help but feel that she could do so so so so so so much better!


I pulled her aside one day and told her that I was going to shoot her strait about her bae one time and one time only.


Her: “Go ahead.”

Me: “No really…I’m going to tell you exactly how I feel.”

Her: “I’d like that.”

Me: “No you won’t.”

Her: “It’s okay, I trust your opinion.”

Me: “It isn’t a good one.”

Her: “I would assume not.”

Me: “…”

Her: “Well?”

Me: “Wait…why would you ‘assume not’?”

Her: “Because, I mean, he’s not really that good of a guy.”

[pregnant pause]

[confused stare]


Her: “Because I don’t have anyone else to date yet.”




This phenomenon is unfortunately not unique to my friend, and while it is predominantly found in women, some men, too, suffer from “Monkey Vine Syndrome,” as my roommate calls it.


Monkey Vine Syndrome derives its scientific name from a monkey not wanting to let go of one vine until they are sure there is another one to grab onto.


Fearful of falling from the lofty platitudes of a secure relationship, these skittish souls will only vacate their vine if there is no chance of a commitment-less conclusion on the jungle floor where the pernicious predators of [dun dun DUN] singleness prey on the innocent.


In the words of the king from the Jungle Book, “I’m tired of monkey-ing around!”


Don’t be afraid to drop dead weight and take the leap. You’ll be surprised how much higher you can go.


It is okay to be single.

It is okay to be by yourself.

It is okay to not have someone like you.


At times, when we are single is when we become grounded in who we are so we can get a clearer perspective to see the tree from the forest, or, in the case of my friend, an idiot from a great guy. Remember, just because you don’t have a ‘someone’ and you aren’t someone’s ‘someone’ doesn’t make you a ‘no one.’

Friends after Breakups…is it Possible?

dead cupid


It had been a week since we broke up. While I had initiated “THE” convo, it really was a pretty mutual event. But, ya know how it is…the feelings were pretty raw.


I missed her and she, apparently, was pretty hurt.


But I called her.


-ring, ring-

“Hello??” She sounded very irked.

“Hey you!” I cheerfully responded.

“What?” The pointed question was dripping with irritation.

I paused, thinking she was talking to someone else, then I realized that the one worded spear-tipped interrogation was laced with poison…intended for me.

“…oh…I, um, well, I just wanted to call and see how things are going and what you’re up to.”

“Okay well are you calling about my car?”

“Um, no? What do you mean?”

“Okay, well my car just broke down and my friend is coming to fix it.”

“Can I help?”

“Are we trying to date again?”

“Well…um, I just was calling to say hi and now I want to know if I can help out with your car.”

“[HUGE frustrated sigh] Zack, if you are trying to date me, fine. If you want to be my friend, I’m not interested. I have enough…and actually one is calling right now. Bye.



We have never spoken again.


Now, while that seemed a bit abrupt at the time, I have since realized the selfishness of my ways and been grateful for her honesty.


Facebook’s feature of “People You May Know” seems to becoming more and more “Ex’s You Didn’t Know Unfriended You.”


I always prided myself on being friends with ex’s, until I did an honest inventory.


My conclusion: When the relationship has been real and sincere, friendship just isn’t hardly possible.


A pleasant politeness.

An appropriate appreciation.

Even a cordial Christianity.


But NOT a real relationship.


If it was a blithe bond, then don’t burn a barely belabored bridge because of a bodiless breakup; but if it was something sincerely substantial, then simple social statements will suffice.


And while the heart misses what once was lost, the mind will be grateful to open up to new possibilities.


So remember:

If you broke up, don’t selfishly sting with cupid’s broken arrows of yester-try.

If you got dumped, point your attention to another target.



The MOST Selfish and Stupid Reason to Break Up


“Zack,” it read, “do you have a few min to chat tonight?”


The text seemed to open a trap door of rocks into my stomach.


It was from the girl I was dating at the time.


She had been waffling over some doubts about her feelings for me, and while it had been frustrating, I loved her, so I was willing to see where things would go.


I tried to keep it casual.


“For you? How could I not???”


(I tried too hard. One question mark would have sufficed.)


My mind raced with all the things I’d rather be doing than getting dumped (eating bees, pouring salt in my eye, roll down a hill of porcupines…); but sadly, life isn’t always either/or.


When we met up that night she dropped this confusing line on me:


“I don’t think this is going to work out because I’m still unsure if I love you and I don’t want you to wait for me to decide. I don’t like that you are hurting.”


“Whoah, whoah, whoah…you are dumping me because you DON’T love me or because you aren’t sure IF you love me?”


She thought for a second. “Well…what do you mean?”


“Look, if you are dumping me because you know that you don’t love me or are tired of trying to figure it out, that is fine—but if you are dumping me because you don’t want to hurt me feelings IF you decide that you don’t love me, well, I’m sorry, but that just doesn’t work. I’m a big boy and can make my own decisions. You are worth the risk to me.”


And so it is!


Discovering love is a risk—on both ends.


One must take the risk AND be the risk.


We all risk getting burned for the chance to have that fire of love ignite.


The dumbest reason to dump someone (aside from these 10), is because you are afraid of hurting their feelings.


Dump them because you don’t love/like them, not because you might not in the future.


See, the other person has complete agency and can make the decision of you being a worthwhile risk or not.


But be honest with them, of course.


Give them the data they need (your feelings) to calculate their risk tolerance for you based on how they feel, but never ever ever ever run away just because you don’t want to be the “bad guy” and hurt the other person if there is a chance that you won’t love them.


That is cowardly.

That is foolish.

That is a great way to stay single. (trust me…I’ve been on both ends of this advice and look at me now.)


Because guess what?


Dating never works…until it does.


And by then, there will be a battlefield of hearts a litany of scars…and that is okay. That is what we signed up for to avoid living out a life of cat-filled solitude.


So don’t take away the agency of another because of your fears.


Oh, and as for that girl and I?


Well…she saw my point…and then went on a mission.


But as I say, if I am going to be dumped for another man, I’m okay if that man is God.