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it’s about social skills, learning how to communicate with different people, and figuring out what you want and what you like. Basically, a date in the regular world isn’t a job interview. I ended up with some great male friends from my dating days.
If you find someone with whom you click, you can then gradually (or rapidly) move towards exclusiveness, depending on your/their desire. I can’t say that about the LDS world, and if it weren’t for my rather exceptional experience in other contexts, I doubt I would *have* any male LDS friends.
For myself, I was in relationships for a lot of my 20s and early 30s, not very seriously and usually breaking up amicably.
In non-LDS worlds, dating isn’t serious business, and it’s not about only going out with people you want a serious relationship with.
Another man, back in the dating game after many years, kindly responded to questions about the current climate: “LDS people are more likely to avoid opposite sex friendships which won’t lead to marriage, and I think that hurts us.
Doug Brinley (a BYU religion teacher) taught that you should evaluate any potential date with the question ‘Would she make a good mother of my children? People who do that miss out on many meaningful friendships.
I think his subtext was simply putting flint and steel in the same drawer.
But some of those in the dating scene, especially those progressing into the fifth decade (and that fraction seems to be growing) may feel neglected to the point that dropping out feels inevitable.