Liv Talley | NYC's Premier Dating Coach and LOVE QUEEN

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Are You Too Serious About Dating to Date Seriously?

In a culture so focused on marriage, have we put too much pressure on ourselves when it comes to dating?

I have seen over and over, people getting in their heads and psyching themselves out of even spending time with anyone.

Stop looking at everyone as your potential spouse.

Your first date is not about determining if you can marry the other person. It’s about if you can connect with them, so you can learn to build a lasting relationship.

Dating with marriage in mind is not inherently bad. That’s ultimately the end goal, right?

But when you get down to semantics, the reality is:

Dating=going on dates with someone until you either don’t want to anymore, or you reserve a date at the temple…

Choose dates based on people you want to spend time with.

Go on quality first dates with those whom you think you’ll have a connection. Learn if you get along. Sometimes we misread someone, and a first date can reveal that. (Or it can confirm!)

Honestly, you aren’t picking your eternal companion after one date. You aren’t even choosing them as someone to commit to.

The beginning stages of dating are about connection.

This is where you learn whether or not you get along, if you have fun, how you see life, and if you’re both interested in investing in one another. It’s testing the ground to learn if it’s a good spot to even lay a foundation.

Think about the building of temples. The Church doesn’t just build a temple anywhere.

“After…locating an appropriate area, an exploratory team is sent out to find a specific site. The First Presidency again gives prayerful consideration before the final site is chosen and purchased. Then the designing stage begins with thorough research…”

Prayerful consideration, high-quality materials, unique and appropriate design, and a lot of research determine how and where temples are built.

The ground has to be on a hill, and it has to have a capable foundation before construction can even start.

Look for a place to build a good foundation, before you start building your temple…

These beginning stages are when it’s exciting! You feel butterflies and every accidental touch is magnetic. Every joke is hilarious. It’s just supposed to be fun.

It’s not a time to be in your head about whether or not you’ll marry them.

While some people do move quickly and that works out for them, usually, on your first date, you don’t know the person well enough to know if you COULD marry them. And they don’t know if they can marry you.

Because you don’t know them.

Don’t ruin the present by stressing about the future.

If you grew up in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, or you’ve been dating as a YSA (or SA) long enough, marriage is inevitably always going to be in the back of your mind.

I think we can all acknowledge that.

But that has almost become a filter through which we see EVERYONE, and it’s hurting us.

It’s ruining connections that may take more work or time. It’s stopping members from creating connections with non-members.

AND it’s why the most common thing singles say about Happy Valley is that the environment out there is just competitive.

While there’s nothing wrong with *some* competition, the depth at which it runs in places like Provo prevents friendships and leads to so much insecurity for both the men and women living there.

Getting married is important. Love will propel you through life in ways you have never imagined.

Our faith is centered on eternal marriage and families. So it’s no wonder we’re all so concerned about it. And it’s not a secret that the longer you’re in the single’s ward…the faster you want to get the h*ck out of it.

However, when that becomes your only focus, it inhibits you.

We all create stories for other people, but we forget our own.

It’s so easy to start imagining reasons and intentions for someone else’s behavior. We assume actions mean certain things (which may or may not turn out to be accurate.)

But how often have your actions been misinterpreted?

Understanding the reasons behind the behavior is important IN TIME, but before you even know someone, you have to reflect on how they make you feel. Because you haven’t built the trust to ask them their “why” yet.

It’s so easy to rush into ideas and fantasies when we meet new people, (see my last post,) but that’s getting too far ahead of yourself.

Trust and relationships are built over time–and before you start freaking yourself out about whether or not a first or second date will determine if you’ll marry that person…just take a step back.

How have YOU showed that person that they want to marry you?

Have you built a trust that they can depend on?

Relationships and marriage take time, effort, and patience.

In the same way that you don’t just get offered the position of CEO, or get the bod you want as soon as you buy a gym membership, you don’t GET a spouse just because you go on one date.

You have to work. You WILL get rejected. That failure is just part of the journey–in fact, it’s imperative to your success.

Embrace the start for what it is: potential. It’s your first day at Vasa, learning which machines you like.

It’s your internship on The Hill.

This is the possibility of falling flat on your face.

And guess what: everyone is just as scared as you.

The next time you get in your head about a first date, remember that the saints laid the foundation for the Salt Lake City Temple in 1853, only to be removed and replaced nearly 10 years later because it was inadequate.

You can’t build a structure that “will endure through the Millennium” (Brigham Young) without a solid and sure foundation.

Look for the right place to lay your cornerstones, and the construction will follow.

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