One of the benefits of technology today is the ease and convenience that it provides. Online dating and social media platforms allow for the opportunity for 24/7 access for an endless number of potential dating partners. However, this same convenience and unlimited quantity brings another modern problem that has never existed to this level before: the “grass is greener” effect. When one person seems nice, attractive, and friendly, etc., people wonder if they might be able to do even better if they just hold out a little longer for the next person to come along. In effect, more people today either ghost, bypass, or casually socialize with / hang out with multiple dating partners and are more hesitant than ever to commit to dating just one person. Technological convenience and an endless supply of the opposite sex tempts one to hold out for better, but also puts them at risk for delaying more and more and sadly, ending up with no one.
Deciding if the Grass is Green Enough:
If you find a person who seems to have a lot going for them: looks, personality, kindness, spiritual development, etc., how do you decide to commit to just dating them--and possibly marrying them? Here are a few guidelines that can hopefully help you in your decision-making process. If these rules of thumb basically pan out, you can assume that the person you are considering would be good to date in a committed, one-on-one way to see where the relationship goes.
*Looks: are you attracted enough to this person that you feel you match up well? That there is an adequate spark? Are they kissable to you? Do you feel there is enough of a basic overall physical attraction for you?
*Personality: are you basically comfortable with their personality and attitude? Do they have the kind of personality that you would recommend to yourself to look for in another? Is it an easy personality for you to deal with and interact with?
*Communication Style: What is their conversational style? Can you talk with each other easily? Is there a good back and forth flow? Are you open and comfortable with each other? Can you talk out and resolve conflicts effectively?
*Spirituality: is your spiritual level roughly equivalent? Do you basically share the same values, principles, and worship style? What are your habits with things like scriptures, prayer, church attendance, calling fulfilment, etc.? Would you be in synch in this way?
*Kids/Extended Family: do you each come to the relationship with kids from previous relationships? if so, how would their ages, genders, and personalities mesh? Is there a desire for more kids and are you both on the same page with that issue? And parents and siblings—how would you each blend with all of them?
*Money Matters: what are both of your careers, incomes, and education levels? Do they mesh adequately? Do your spending and budgeting habits/styles compliment well? Does this issue seem like one you could both be effective and ok with?
*Sex Life/Physical Affection: how interested are you both in a potential future sex life together? How touchy feeling/physical affectionate are you? Do you blend together well in these ways? Are you roughly in synch with each other? Can you talk about the subject and feel good about it? Are you on the same page?
*The Past: what are the pasts that each of you bring to the relationship? Are past traumas and heartbreaks adequately resolved? Are you each able to be emotionally available with each other and present in the relationship? Have issues needing therapeutic help been worked through? Have risks of self-protective relationship sabotage been addressed and overcome?
Ultimately, whether or not you choose to give someone more of a chance relationally is a judgement call. I hope the rules of thumb here in this little article can give you some direction on when to give a person a chance at a committed dating relationship--or more. Basically, if a person adequately passes the above points in a reasonably positive fashion, please give them a chance. The idea that you will meet someone better may or may not happen, but don’t assume. When you have a good quality person that meets the above criteria, this is an opportunity you will likely regret passing up.
Of course, additional conversation, prayer, and discussion with trusted friends or family can all help you decision, but ultimately the decision is up to you. It fits that this is the plan of agency, and part of that agency involves choosing who to date and marry. Giving yourself many and multiple options to choose from is wise early on, but then focusing on choosing just one person is what is needed for marriage. Is the grass greener? Probably not if someone basically meets the above criteria. Please don’t pass up any good, solid opportunities. And 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 can 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).