When Church Socializing Goes Badly

When Church Socializing Goes Badly Being a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints offers many advantages, including for single members. One advantage is the chance to socialize with other fellow members. To bond, connect with, and fellowship with each other. This also affords us dating and relationship opportunities in the ward, stake, and with other regional singles. This is all a good thing, right? Well, it is a good thing when the socializing goes well. When we in fact bond and connect with other members in a positive way. But what about when the socializing goes badly? What is the best way to handle that? Especially when a local member dating experience has gone badly?

Handling Bad Church Social Moments:

*Remember the purpose of church. Ideally, church is a place of worship. A place to take the sacrament. A place to renew our baptismal covenants. A place to recommit to a spiritual focus for that day and week. Church is sometimes described as a spiritual hospital where we are all sick and there for treatment and healing. When spirituality is the focus and we remember why we are there, the social part of the equation matters far less. That is not to say that when others act inconsiderate or even rude it shouldn’t bother us. It will. But remembering the primary reason you go to church will help the social stuff matter less and less.

*Avoid gossip, backbiting, and slander. A good rule of thumb is to not say anything to or about another church member that you would not also say to the other person themselves, or to say it with the other person present. This way, nothing you say will even come back to haunt you. And if others gossip, backbite, or slander you, do not engage. The other person will just make themselves look bad and shoot themselves in the foot.

*Do not make enemies. Whether your fellow members you have connected with are married or single, are friends or a dating partner, please aim to have no conflict with anyone. If you dated someone and it did not last or go well, stay civil and respectful as you part and thereafter. Minimize giving the other person any ammunition to use against you. Always carry yourself with dignity and respect. Always treat others with dignity and respect. Not everyone will act as a good friend or acquaintance, and most dating partners won’t lead to a marriage. Remember that friends or dating partners can quickly lose and flip that status. Remember the golden rule to “do unto others as you would have others do unto you”. This will act as a protection for you no matter what happens socially with anyone you deal with and encounter.

*Adjust your expectations. In a group of, say, 300 people in a ward, the odds are that most you will not click with or have much in common with. That is to be expected. The few people in a ward that you do have things in common with and have compatible personalities with, you will click with. But most of the others, no. And still others, given enough exposure, will even repel you and rub you the wrong way. That is all natural and understandable with a big enough collection of random people that just happen to live by each other in a geographical area. In short, lower your social expectations of fellow members. This will help you be less bothered by the periodic conflict and disconnection commonly experienced with other members.

*Increase your people/communication skills. The stronger and better your people and communication skills are, the better you can handle the periodic conflict and disconnection experienced with other members. To work on this area, I suggest reading, listening to, or watching videos on these subjects. This way you can better navigate difficult moments and lessen the damage or the offense at the source when it is happening. Like the old saying goes, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”.

To work on your communication and people skills, learn more by reading my many previous articles on the subject, available here:

Final Thoughts:

The more equipped you are in the ways reviewed in this article, the better that you can navigate the challenging social landscape with other members. And the better that church can be mainly about…church. Also, the less upset you will be, less often with the periodic social nonsense that occurs in your ward, stake, region, and singles scene. In short, learn to better roll with it and have appropriate, lowered expectations. That way, whatever happens socially will affect you less and you can enjoy the spiritual nourishment available through church attendance. Remembering these things will serve you well—both as a single member and in the future as a married one. We all struggle with the social dimension of church. That’s OK. Just remember that in the end, “…neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.”—1 Corinthians 11:1.

Dr. G
P.S. If you have any questions, comments, or a future article request for me, feel free to contact me at drgilchrist@yahoo.com.

2023-03-05 Randy Gilchrist Dating, Communication

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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 drgilchrist@yahoo.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 drgilchrist@yahoo.com).