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Question

 

Gramps,

I’m 24 years old and attending BYU. I feel an increasing desire to pursue a relationship and ultimately marry in the temple. However, I’ve never been in a relationship and have never really had the confidence to ask young women out. How do you think I can muster the courage to act and  work to develop a relationship?

Todd

 

Answer

 

Todd,

I think fundamentally the answer to your question can be summed up with this quote from President Kimball.

“Do it”

Now you also talk about gaining courage that is all about understanding what you fear.  It this case I strongly think that you fear rejection.  Rejection hurts.  Putting yourself out there, investing time and effort, trying your best only to have someone slam the metaphorical door in your face hurts.  You need to deal with this fear. You can deal with this fear of pain in two steps.

First remember what your goal is.  Your goal is to find someone that likes you for who you are and is willing to work with you over a lifetime to get better.  That awesome goal is full of blessings and benefits.  But it is a goal you need to work for, and part of that work is to face the pain of rejection and do it anyway.  It is worth it.

Second change your perspective on rejection.  Given the goal, you don’t want to waste time or energy on someone who does not want you. Rejection makes that very clear.  It means there is one less person you need to deal with.  Also many of the times we get rejected in life have very little to do with us personally, because rarely does the rejecting person really know us all that well.  Instead it tells us about them.  Maybe they are not in a good place right now. Maybe they are looking for something different than they think we are. Or maybe they know themselves well enough to know it wouldn’t work.

Of course there is always the possibility that there was something about you that they did not like.  In that case if you can find out what it is, you can then decide what you want to do about it.  If changing it would make you a better person, then you can thank them for bringing it to your attention and then work on it.  If changing it would make you a worse person, then you can thank them for going away and not bringing you down.  If changing it would be neutral, you can try changing it if you wish, or look for someone for whom it is not an issue.

As you pursue this goal and your fears of rejection come forth, remember that people also rejected the Savior.  So maybe you shouldn’t take rejection so personally.

Good luck.

Gramps

 

 

 

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