In today’s dating climate as single members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, there are many challenges. One common challenge is a sparce population of fellow single members to date, especially when living outside of Utah, Idaho, and Arizona (or the Western US in general). Other challenges include negative experiences with previous members in dating and relationships. Finally, some feel their local member dating pool has been poisoned after others have heard negative things about themselves from their ex and the exe’s friends. Whatever the circumstance, many single members today often grow weary of continuing to date members and eventually begin to consider dating non-member singles. In this article, some plusses and minuses are reviewed pertaining to either choice.
The advantages of dating a non-member:
*Quantity: the greatest advantage of dating a non-member is that there will be a much greater amount of non-member singles to choose from to date. There is an old saying: it often takes quantity to find quality. By having many more non-member people of the opposite sex to choose from, perhaps you will have a greater ability to find someone you are both attracted to and compatible with personality-wise.
*Looser personality: a common complaint that single members have expressed to me in counseling as a psychologist is that fellow single members can suffer from hang ups, being more uptight, and having higher expectations. Therefore, many members have found that non-members can seem more easy-going, comfortable, and more fun in general in comparison.
*More open-minded: although results will vary, from the feedback I have received, many non-members can seem more open-minded to differences, imperfections, and other issues. This open-mindedness can seem like a refreshing change from common judgments and criticisms of fellow members.
*More self-assured: one common challenge that we face as members of the church is the common challenge of feeling insecure and unworthy because of the morals, ethics, principles, and values we learn we are “supposed to” uphold—yet often fail to do. Therefore, many non-members, untethered by such a background, often possess more of a self-assured, secure personality.
The advantages of dating members:
*Temple-marriage potential: fellow single members are far more likely to eventually be able to marry in the temple versus non-members. Sure, some non-members may convert and marry in the temple. However, when you share membership in the church, fellow single members have a background where temple marriage is clearly the ultimate goal and ideal. This shared background is an enormous advantage.
*Similar principles and values: with a shared history in the church, fellow single members are far more likely to share similar values in many ways, including with the law of chastity, the word of wisdom, and a general foundation of church doctrine and culture. These similarities give a large advantage to a new couple desiring to date within church values that includes staying within boundaries of moral cleanliness.
*Better greater family support: when you date a fellow single member of the church, parents, siblings, and fellow member friends are more likely to approve of and support your relationship. Family members and friends in the church are more likely to hope for a church-based relationship and marriage for you. This bias will likely be evident when dating a fellow member who will be more likely fulfill their hopes and dreams for you to have a potential church-based marriage and family life together.
*More likely to agree on how to practice religion: fellow member partners are of course far more likely than non-members to understand and cooperate with how the other member understands and wishes to practice their religion. Sure, many fellow members have their own separate and different ideas on how to live certain aspects of the gospel. But if the two at least start with similar religious bases and foundations, agreement on this subject will be much more likely.
My bias is that I would hope single members would only date fellow members because of the advantages listed above. However, I also understand and acknowledge the advantages of dating non-members, and everyone needs to choose their own path. I will simply say that in the end you have to decide for yourself what is more important and what matters most to you in your life. In the end, you will make the best decision you can, given whatever circumstances you find yourself in. All choices have consequences. Please just make sure to keep your own big picture in mind as you make your dating, relationship, and marriage decisions. Think about it, pray about it, and do what is right for you. And remember that “…neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 11:1).
P.S. If you have any questions, comments, or a future article request for me, feel free to contact me at email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 email@example.com).