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YSA dating and relationship survey


rongo

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My dad was a YSA bishop for six years (we were both bishops concurrently). Normal YSA terms are three years, but the stake presidency kept asking him to re-up. He actually loved it, and felt kind of out to sea when he was released (he and my mom return from their mission to Poland in mid-March). He and his counselors and their wives set the bar so high that it made it hard on the new bishopric, which was released after six months (kids called them and complained, and were told that they needed to make it work with their new bishopric; that they weren't going to undermine them. In reality, they didn't want to spend much time with them, and the kids sensed that). 

The talk about Millennials reminded me of the attached survey that they did with their boys and girls in priesthood and Relief Society. They had some activities where they each responded anonymously to the anonymous responses from each respective group. The survey responses are fascinating to me and revealing in a lot of ways, and I thought that many here might find them interesting. 

I would be very interested in observations people have about patterns, inconsistencies, etc. from among the perceptions of the men and women. For example, I find it interesting that both groups perceive the other as "playing games." Perception is reality, even when the perception is unfair or not well-founded, and self-awareness of these perceptions are the beginning of wisdom. Or can be. Or might be. :) 

YSA survey.pdf

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It sounds like what I heard years ago that 10% of the girls get 90% of the attention, people are about relationships and they will go where they find them and people don't want to be seen a loser or something-I think these responses are probably the same regardless of the generation

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Oh...this makes me happy that I don't have to go through this again.  It is painful..A painful growth and I empathize.  I also have to smile that both sexes have the same questions and worries..if they could just post all of it on a a bulletin board..they would find how much they all have in common!

 

I would like to tell them that this isn't life and death right away..that it is okay to take our time..nothing wrong with being single..They are okay and don't push it or settle..not just about church but personalities..likes..dislikes and parenting ideas.

Edited by Jeanne
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In baseball, when you're in a slump, the worst thing you can do (but what you always do) is to press and try harder to get a hit. Pressing makes it worse. 

It's a fine line between focusing on issues and stressing/obsessing about them. Worrying about dating can make it worse . . .

Reminds me of a couple we worked with. The wife was disfellowshipped (and reinstated six months later), but the couple had profound marital problems. They went on weekly date nights, and tried so hard! My 2nd counselor said "They are focusing too much on focusing." It shouldn't be so hard --- blood, sweat, and tears, and white knuckles! But there they were, trying so hard to make conversation and i else. 

I'm glad I'm not in the dating pool again! I was lucky. My first date was in college, and my wife was my first (and only) kiss. I didn't come across as shy with girls, but I was very concerned with being forward (to a fault). I wonder what I would have done if I hadn't have found my wife.

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21 hours ago, rongo said:

My dad was a YSA bishop for six years (we were both bishops concurrently). Normal YSA terms are three years, but the stake presidency kept asking him to re-up. He actually loved it, and felt kind of out to sea when he was released (he and my mom return from their mission to Poland in mid-March). He and his counselors and their wives set the bar so high that it made it hard on the new bishopric, which was released after six months (kids called them and complained, and were told that they needed to make it work with their new bishopric; that they weren't going to undermine them. In reality, they didn't want to spend much time with them, and the kids sensed that). 

The talk about Millennials reminded me of the attached survey that they did with their boys and girls in priesthood and Relief Society. They had some activities where they each responded anonymously to the anonymous responses from each respective group. The survey responses are fascinating to me and revealing in a lot of ways, and I thought that many here might find them interesting. 

I would be very interested in observations people have about patterns, inconsistencies, etc. from among the perceptions of the men and women. For example, I find it interesting that both groups perceive the other as "playing games." Perception is reality, even when the perception is unfair or not well-founded, and self-awareness of these perceptions are the beginning of wisdom. Or can be. Or might be. :) 

YSA survey.pdf

Who put out the survey?

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I found it interesting that the men talked about "playing games" and the women talked about not being asked out.  Perhaps there is some miscommunication where the men think the women are not serious and the women don't understand that they are being misunderstood and that's why they are not getting asked out? 

To a much lesser extent I noticed the men wanted to know what the women were looking for as a "whole" (sense of humor, priesthood etc) and the women wanted to know if the men were only looking for looks.

One thing that is interesting to me about the playing games is that it is also coupled with wanting the women to be straight forward, but my daughter is very straight forward and finds that often the men don't like it or even don't believe her. We aren't talking about how she acts, but actual words like "I like you, but I'm not ready to be in a relationship yet". 

My daughter would also love to be asked out more often. She doesn't let the lack of being asked out stop her from dating, but she would like to be asked out more often. I do think she is in an awkward stage in a singles ward though - she is a freshman and 18 and not ready to be married yet and most of the guys around her age are preparing for missions or on missions so she more often gets attention from 27, 28 YOs who are more ready for marriage. I wonder if they think she is playing games when she is friendly and happy on dates, but is clear that she isn't ready to be serious yet.

 

 

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16 hours ago, rongo said:

My dad and his bishopric. Not an official Church survey . . . ;) 

Oh... I was wondering if it was him or the new new  bishop, or the  stake... because at any rate, these issues have been beautifully explored by Shakespeare, Jane Austin, and before them, the Greek comedies touching upon the battle between the sexes! Not to mention today's rom-coms! And Harlequin... something for everyone!

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12 hours ago, Rain said:

I found it interesting that the men talked about "playing games" and the women talked about not being asked out.  Perhaps there is some miscommunication where the men think the women are not serious and the women don't understand that they are being misunderstood and that's why they are not getting asked out? 

To a much lesser extent I noticed the men wanted to know what the women were looking for as a "whole" (sense of humor, priesthood etc) and the women wanted to know if the men were only looking for looks.

One thing that is interesting to me about the playing games is that it is also coupled with wanting the women to be straight forward, but my daughter is very straight forward and finds that often the men don't like it or even don't believe her. We aren't talking about how she acts, but actual words like "I like you, but I'm not ready to be in a relationship yet". 

I found a bunch of things interesting in the responses (which I think are pretty representative and typical of what responses would be found in other YSA wards). 

I also noticed the communication disconnect that you pointed out. Both groups point out some of the practical inconsistencies for both: men say they want women to be frank, but don't like it when they actually are; women say they want to be asked out a lot but in practice are ultra-choosy and discourage men from doing this (perception, real or imagined, is reality --- not convicting women of guilt on this). 

The biggest issue I find with high school-age LDS youth is getting them out of the mindset that dating implies a commitment. In fact, in the high school years, it should imply absolutely no commitment at all. Youth should simply date lots of different people with zero commitment while in high school, but even among LDS this is perceived as being "unfaithful" or being a "player." 

My daughter would also love to be asked out more often. She doesn't let the lack of being asked out stop her from dating, but she would like to be asked out more often. I do think she is in an awkward stage in a singles ward though - she is a freshman and 18 and not ready to be married yet and most of the guys around her age are preparing for missions or on missions so she more often gets attention from 27, 28 YOs who are more ready for marriage. I wonder if they think she is playing games when she is friendly and happy on dates, but is clear that she isn't ready to be serious yet.

Being a kid in a YSA ward brings back memories! I was one of three freshmen in my off-campus ward at BYU. The other awkward thing about singles wards is that if one tries to date lots of different people within the ward, it is looked down on by the ward members. It shouldn't be, but it is. Things like who you sit by in church can be complicated if you have gone out with lots of different people in the ward. My "in-ward" dating was always strategic, since you have to pick your shots carefully and not burn too many bridges. I was actually having a lot of fun in my BYU ward dating different girls when I met my future wife (at work; she was a UVSC student). 

It's hard on youth and leaders. We tell kids to date and try to help them, but we have some cultural barriers that run counter to the counsel. I wouldn't go back into the dating pool for all the tea in China!

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