Different opinions exist in our church culture as to the degree to which The Lord has a hand in relationships. Some say he will directly deliver a dating partner to the righteous who ask, while others say the person needs to seek and work hard to find their significant other and it is mostly on the individual. The truth may lie somewhere in between. While it is true that the Lord blesses the righteous and answers prayers, it seems he generally expects us to do whatever we can reasonably do from our ends before he helps with the blessings from there.
For instance in the classic story in Nephi breaking his bow in the Book of Mormon (I Nephi 16:18-32), Nephi takes an excellent path to remedy his situation that we can emulate as well—with dating and with life in general. After breaking his bow, Nephi’s family is hungry and complains (“murmurs”). Instead of complaining, Nephi 1) creates a new bow, 2) prays to the Lord to show him where to hunt, 3) Nephi goes out and successfully hunts to provide food for his family, 4) Nephi offers thank to the Lord. In that same way, searching for and cultivating dating relationships is a blend of effort and faith. For more from Nephi, see: https://www.ldsdimension.com/articles/applying-nephi-s-teaching-to-singles-244/
Proactive Efforts to Search and Find Relationships:
In the classic book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey, he introduces and describes a term he calls being “proactive”. This term loosely translates into being the one to initiate regular efforts to make things happen. Here are a few ways you can be proactive to find your next dating relationship:
*Pray for direction and guidance. Begin your day and continue throughout the day praying. Ask for guidance, direction, and inspiration. Seek for help identifying and approaching potential dating partners. Ask for the strength and courage to overcome insecurities and social anxiety. Get the spiritual help to be social. For more help in this area, refer to this previous article: https://www.ldsdimension.com/articles/follow-the-spirit-7/
*Actively demonstrate approachability: Be actively aware of how you are coming across to others socially. Remember that your body language, tone of voice, and facial expressions go a long to show how approachable you seem. If you do not come across as approachable, your social opportunities will be very limited. Show openness with your body language, softness and warmth to your tone or voice, and friendliness with your facial expressions. As you improve in these ways, your social opportunities will increase notably. For more ideas on improving your nonverbals, see: https://www.ldsdimension.com/articles/non-verbal-communication-123/
*Commit to being social: as you make a commitment to being the one to initiate your social interactions, you lower your expectations from others. You also lessen your disappointment when others do not approach you. As you make the determination to start conversations, when others do it becomes a bonus. When others do not, this was not the expectation anyway. Find opportunities to approach others and get used to doing so. When you want to go out with someone, YOU ask when the time is right. Stop waiting for others. Otherwise you might be waiting a long time. For additional thoughts on being social, see: https://www.ldsdimension.com/articles/breaking-out-of-introversion-133/
*Overcome mental barriers: a lot of the reason we fail to be socially proactive is due to mental barriers preventing us from putting ourselves out there. Most of these mental barriers are the result of negative self-talk. The rest are from past and present negative and even verbally abusive treatment from others. Wherever the negative voices have come from, it is important to overcome them. Positive self-talk helps. Other helps include therapy and self-help books. See also:
*Get spiritual help: between prayer, scripture study, general conference talks, other church materials, and discussions with the bishop, you can get the spiritual strength and support to become more socially proactive. Having the Spirit will help you have the strength and wherewithal to put yourself out there socially. In Galatians 5:22-23 we read the following: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” A person possessing those traits will have the inner strength to socialize, as well as come across positively with others. In addition, we learn in 1 John 4:8 that “There is no fear in love; but perfect clove casteth out fear”. In other words, having the Spirit inside of you will help you overcome the fear to socialize. See also: https://www.ldsdimension.com/articles/follow-the-spirit-7/
If you wait for that special someone to come into your life, you may be waiting a long, long time. Instead, speed up the process and increase your chances and opportunities for dating and relationship success by being socially proactive. Approach your social life like a 7-day a week, part-time job. Make regular efforts in the ways listed here to boost your chances of success. Remember the old saying, “if it is to be, it’s up to me”. Also remember that “…neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.”—1 Corinthians 11:11.
P.S. If you have any questions, comments, or a future article request for me, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the author
Hello, my name is Dr. Randy Gilchrist (aka "Dr. G"). I am a licensed clinical psychologist, a licensed marriage & family therapist, and a certified hypnotherapist in private practice in Roseville, CA (www.dr-rg.com), practicing since 1997. Also, I am happily married in the temple (Manti) since 1996 and have 4 sons. I am a volunteer writer and contributor to LDS Dimension. I use my training, education, and experience to share insights with LDS Dimension on all things of interest to the LDS dating community. Please read my articles and columns on this site to assist you in your online dating journey. Also, to be considered for an answer in a future Q and A column, please email me your dating/relationship oriented questions to email@example.com. Finally, I also offer a powerful, effective worldwide custom hypnosis recording service just for LDS Dimension members for weight loss, pornography, and many other issues of concern to those in the LDS dating community (please learn more now at www.dr-rg.com/lds; email me questions to firstname.lastname@example.org).