Dating in the LDS culture can be very difficult and challenging on top of the struggles of a regular relationship, and it doesn’t make it any easier that we live in a protected bubble in Utah.
The LDS rules and guidelines on dating were set up initially to be a good thing and almost a guide for dating to say safe and healthy in a relationship, but the culture of the people in the religion took it to a different level for the worse. Dating is described as miserable as a teen that has to deal with a strict parent in a relationship, whether it is their own parent or their partners parents. After the age of 16, dating is encouraged in the LDS ‘come follow me’ guide book, but parents have a different view on it and make it much harder than it has to be.
I got the opportunity to ask a Layton High student on her experience with dating in her culture and how it affected her relationship, she responded with “It was really difficult to date when your parents are strict in the religion. They make up new rules every week such as limiting the days we could see each other, and worrying about what other people think instead of getting to know my boyfriend for who he is. I felt so judged for what I was doing, although I was following the rules and it made me happy, eventually it go to a point where I had to choose them over happiness”. Many other students agreed with her statement when she was talking and it is truly sad.
The religion was set up to be yourself and have the chance to be forgiven if you do wrong no matter what, but the culture views it as taking it upon their selves to judge other without any background, and forming opinions just because they are afraid of what other people view of them. It is truly toxic and very hard to deal with it seems like!