"Chocolate is not junk food. It is emotional health food." - Dragon Lady
Question #41561 posted on 12/17/2007 3:01 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

So, I have high standards for the boys I date. Really high standards. Some would say too high. But I don't think so. I don't expect any more out of boys than I expect out of myself. Fair enough?

But I got to thinking today...is that necessary? I mean, yeah, all these things are important to me, and I have worked hard to maintain my own personal integrity in these areas for years and years and years. But if a guy watches football on Sundays or swears or does some other thing I would never do, is that such a big deal?

Before, I've always thought, ABSOLUTELY THAT IS A BIG DEAL! My reasoning? It's more of a follow-the-prophet attitude that I'm looking for than a do-not-do list. But if the prophet says do not do this, I would expect that you do not do that!

But all of a sudden, I was talking to someone who gave me a crazy new perspective. Is that really necessary? I mean, the end goal is a celestial marriage, right? Is the NFL going to prevent him from getting a celestial glory? Are a few anger-releasing words going to send him to a lower kingdom? Is his influence going to turn me into someone who was blinded by the craftiness of men?

Honestly, I don't quite know what to think. I almost feel like I'm sacrificing my own character if I go after someone with, in my mind, sub-par standards. So I'm asking you, what do you think?

-Looking for Mr. Right

A: Hey, Baby-

I don't swear and I don't even like football, much less on Sundays.

How YOU doin'?

A: Dear Looking,

It sounds like your standards for yourself and others are based on very sound gospel principles, but maybe you need to be more flexible in terms of allowing for other ways of interpreting and implementing those rules.

For instance, it seems to me that your "no football on Sundays" rule is primarily based on the commandment of keeping the Sabbath day holy, with maybe a dash of "pay attention to your family instead of just watching sports all day." Likewise, your rule against swearing is based on having respect for the people around you (who don't want to hear that language), respect for the power of language (in terms of not misusing it), and respect and honor for God (in terms of not treating His name and other sacred things lightly).

However, what if you met a guy who only watched football if his home teaching and other Church responsibilities were taken care of and who stayed in a suit and tie (with a white shirt) all day on Sundays? Or what if you met a guy who only watched a few of the "big" Sunday football games every year?

Or what if you met a guy who'd grown up around a more rough crowd and who was trying really hard to clean up his language, but who still slipped up once in a while?

The point I'm trying to make is that you can't expect to find someone who's going to perfectly conform to your extensive laundry list of rules for living. That doesn't mean that you should completely toss out your standards, either, but that you need to be willing to go back to more basic principles and renegotiate what the day-to-day expression of those principles might look like. After all, marriage is not about finding the person who meets all of your exacting requirements, but about constant negotiation with someone who is a bascially good person, but also very different from you.

- Katya