Relationships are hard enough as it is, but dating someone outside of the church can be even more difficult.
I don’t have much experience dating members of the church, mainly because there are absolutely no guys that are my age in my ward 😂 I think dating within the church would be a little more easier for me because they already know what I know and believe to be true, providing they have a testimony of their own. It would definitely be nice to be able to pray with them, read scriptures and attend church and activities together. I know guys in my ward who barely open their scriptures or pray unless they’re in a lesson, which really sucks. Don’t settle for someone who “just goes to church” many go, but many are not fully invested in Christ. They will only be invested when they want to be.
If you’re someone who wants a temple marriage, date someone within the church. You cannot keep saying how much you desire a temple marriage and raising a family in the gospel by dating outside of the church. Especially with the young adults, it’s very rare that you’ll find someone willing to convert. People are so good with words that their actions don’t back it up. You can’t force the gospel on anyone. If they don’t have a little faith in Jesus Christ to begin with, no matter how hard you talk to them about your beliefs, how important the church is to you or even if they come to church with you, nothing is guaranteed that they will commit to following Jesus Christ. You must ask yourself if you’re OK with being with someone who doesn’t share your beliefs. The person you’re dating may get baptized, but you have to make sure they are doing it because they have come to know Christ and not because it’s important to you. After they are baptized, they could easily fall away from the church. Converting isn’t easy, so make sure you’re there for them when they have concerns.
Make sure YOU are living your life to the standards God expects of you. I promise you that God will send The One to you when you are living the gospel. You can’t be wanting a temple marriage or even a relationship with someone within the church if you are not living the standards yourself. There will be temptation in any relationship, but be strong willed and make sure you’re making the right choices. The consequences are very real! Make sure you set some guidelines for your relationship whether they’re a member or not. Do NOT allow them to influence you to make a choice that you will regret. It isn’t worth it.
Take it from me, there are some people outside of the church who won’t understand your faith, the reasons why you pray, why you go to church or why the law of chastity is important to you. I used to hide the fact that I went to church from guys because I knew what they would say. The moment I started to be honest with any guy I met, I still got criticism and a guy told my friend, “just because she goes to church, doesn’t make her a saint.” I have never claimed to be a saint. I’ve screwed up and I’ve repented. Narrow-minded people have absolutely NO idea what church is for, what we learn or how we can change. If they accepted my many offers to come to church, they would learn a thing or two. I could not be with someone like that. I have found 2 guys that didn’t have a problem with me going to church. In a relationship, it’s important to have our own interests. I don’t want to be around someone 24/7.
I don’t like being around people who smoke or drink so much that they get drunk or high. It’s not my scene. It’s very rare to find a guy outside of the church who doesn’t drink or smoke. The first thing a guy will suggest is that you go out for a drink. There are plently of other ways to get to know someone that doesn’t involve alcohol. If a guy I am dating likes to drink then it’s ok, but not to the point where he can’t handle his drink and gets drunk. From the way I live my life, I am much better off dating within the church. I know that. Like I said earlier, there just isn’t any guys in my ward who are my age, but I do want to venture out and see if there are any guys my age in my stake. I will still date guys who aren’t members, providing they understand that the church and my faith are the most important to me. I have no problem living the church standards and if a guy can’t accept that, then he isn’t right for me. As Haleigh Everts said in her book:
“If R and I got married, I would have to do that; I’d have to be Mormon by myself and keep my beliefs to myself. I guess that if it’s meant to be, we’ll find a way to make it work. But that makes me wonder where my loyalty to the church went. Why am I willing to spend my life keeping the biggest part of myself quiet? I need the church in my life, I want the priesthood in my home. I don’t want to do it on my own; I want a husband to go to church with me and raise our children in this gospel that I love. I’ve seen families in my ward who have fathers to give blessings when they’re sick or to start a new year of school, I see dads baptizing their eight year old children, I see families taking up a whole pew at church — I want all of that.”
If you’re like Haleigh and dream of everything she ever wanted, would you settle for a non member? Could you live with keeping an important part of your life to yourself and having no one who can enjoy it with you? Why would you want to do that, if the gospel means everything to you?
The main thing in any relationship is that you’re happy. You can’t help who you fall in love with, but know that God always has the one He has in mind for you. I would just advise anyone to make a list of the pros and cons and always pray for the guidance you need.