So you’re thinking of dating a Mormon, eh? Good choice. I’m bias, but I find most Mormons are very cheerful people who care about others.
If you’re dating a teenage Mormon, there are quite a few things to know. First, we’ll talk about the rules, but then we’ll get into the more important things that will help you understand where they are coming from.
Required Mormon Dating Rules
The official Mormon dating rules can be found in For the Strength of Youth, but I’ll do my best to explain them in layman’s terms here.
- Nope. If it’s what you’re wondering, no. Mormons do not have sex before marriage. Period.
- No dating before age 16.
- Date only people who have high moral standards.
- Date in groups. You go with one person, and join up with another couple for planned dates.
- Avoid going on frequent dates with the same person. This doesn’t mean you can’t hang out with the same person often as friends, but it means if you’re hooked up, you have to be careful about spending too much time together, because it often leads to… well… feeling too comfortable around each other.
That’s Only Half the Story
The “Rules” for Mormon dating are only half of the story. You can understand those rules and still have no idea what your teenage Mormon friend is thinking.
I want to explain a Mormon belief that is central to our beliefs that is responsible for just about every dating decision we make.
Eternal marriage means that Mormons believe that if we are married with proper Priesthood authority (in a Mormon temple) then God will honor our marriage not just on earth, but also after we die and are in Heaven.
So the whole point of the rules above are to help Mormons to keep from disobeying God’s commandments about morality and sex, so that when they decide to marry later on in life, they can marry for eternity.
If you understand that, you’ll understand something else, too. The “rules” mentioned above are just the base guidelines for dating. They are the bright-line, never-compromise standards. It’s the minimum acceptable code of conduct.
The Individual Standards for Mormon Dating
Since Mormons strive to meet the goal of eternal marriage, they also make their own individual standards to help them to stay chaste (sexually pure).
The following are some examples.
- Some Mormons may choose not to kiss anyone while in high school and will wait until they are ready to date seriously in consideration of marriage later on. Others, will be completely fine with it, but wouldn’t get into any passionate, heavy kissing.
- Some Mormons may choose not to develop a relationship to the point of calling each other boyfriend and girlfriend, but others may see that as acceptable as long as it is kept within certain bounds.
- Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.
Knowing Where the Line Is
What’s the best way to know what is okay and what isn’t when dating a Mormon? Don’t be so weird about it! If you want to know, then just ask the girl or guy. It’s not rude. It shows great respect for their decisions and goals.
One last thing. If you really care about the Mormon you’d like to date, the easiest and quickest way to understand them at a deeper level is to understand the beliefs that are central to the way they live. Ask your friend if you can talk with some missionaries, or check out Mormon.org, which has more information than you can shake a stick at.