Dealing with Morality Issues in Dating

Dealing with Morality Issues in Dating
An improvement on an old yet popular idea.

We received the following from a young man of dating age to our Sons of Mosiah training group:
“So I have recently had a very unexpected thing come up in my life and I figured I would come to the group for help and support.
Me and My best (female) friend  who I have know for the last 16 months have recently started dating as of one week ago. This is my first ever girlfriend as I have usually been afraid of really committing. She is a Mormon like me and we share the same beliefs and have the same goals. She seriously means more to me than just a silly little girlfriend. Like I said we have been best friends for over a year. We both are planning to serve a mission and we constantly talk about how we can help each other reach our goals. Well like I said we have only been dating a week but things have been progressing way too fast! although We haven’t screwed up horribly but we both have definitely crossed the line with each other. We talked about what happened and talked about ways to prevent it in the future, but it just sort of happened way fast. I only remember a split second of thinking I shouldn’t be doing this. but I feel like if you have any scriptures that come to mind or any guidance or council from the church. Idk I’m just Kind of pissed and depressed at myself. I know I’m better than that.”
Several of the young men in the confidential email group responded with the traditional “have a conversation with each other and come to an agreement on your standards.”  I have worked with many men and women of all aged that have tried that strategy without success.  I sent the following:
I am pleased with the ideas you have shared so far. I do have an improvement to the suggestions that may be a little different than you have been taught before.
A pattern I have seen when couples discuss “dating rules” is that both have the accidental tendency to rely on the other person to maintain the standard. The is especially true with women because they are under the impression that they are with a man who is a strong Priesthood leader and she will just follow wherever he goes. At the same time, the man is thinking, I will only go as far as she wants to go. If she doesn’t say no, that means she is saying yes.
So, what I recommend, is that the man (or woman) make decisions on his (her) own how far he (she) will and will not go because of his (her) own standards as a Priesthood holder (quality woman). Then, he holds to those as a loyalty to God.
Do you see how this applies? Let me know how it affects things for you.
The young man responded with the following:
“The idea you gave Maurice, the one about relying on the other to maintain the standard is exactly what happened to us. and what ended up getting us into trouble in the first place. I didn’t realize it until after you said it. I have to be the man and the worthy priesthood holder at all times and in all places. She says she trusts me so I need to not break that trust and be someone she can count on. Thanks again :)”
If the reader has any questions, let me know.
Ever your Servant,

About Maurice W. Harker, LPC

Director of Life Changing Services, Director of Sons of Helaman, Facilitator of the WORTH group, Consultant for the Daughters of Light program.