Heelys, head-to-toe leather outfits, thick ties, jewel encrusted shirts, and tracksuits may have lost their hype, but something that should never lose its relevance is dating. Dating comes with ups and downs, really fun dates and super uncomfortable ones, times where the dates come rolling in, and times there may be a man drought. I’ve noticed that dating isn’t done as much as it used to be, and now it is replaced more by hanging out. While hanging out is fun, and sometimes dates may feel silly or awkward, dating is still important.

The reason I say dating is important is because it provides something just hanging out as a group of friends cannot – one-on-one time (or at least a smaller group) to really get to know one another. You learn about one another’s likes and dislikes, and you may pick up a few things you realize you like in a guy, or notice things you aren’t as compatible with. Those little pieces of information may contribute to finding a spouse one day. So, while it might not be as trendy, it is definitely still just as important.

When I say date, I don’t mean finding a boyfriend and only dating him (unless you are at a stage in your life where you are looking for a husband). I mean going on dates with lots of different people, and introducing yourself to diverse personalities, characteristics, and traits. If anything, you’ll at least make a lot of new friends in the process. I think dating sometimes receives the stigma that if you go on one date with a person, you are suddenly exclusively dating. People may think that, but that is not what it is intended for. The LDS church’s For The Strength of Youth pamphlet provides insight into dating, saying, “A date is a planned activity that allows a young man and a young woman to get to know each other better…it can help you learn and practice social skills, develop friendships, have wholesome fun, and eventually find an eternal companion.” I had the chance to go on dates with different guys after I turned sixteen, and that time in my life helped me later choose the man I wanted to be with forever.

While things like wedged sneakers and bejeweled shirts may have lost their relevance, dating is something that should never go out of style.

(My then boyfriend (now husband) on a date back in 2015)

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