Dear 100 Hour Board,
I've been thinking lately about wanting to date more. The problem is, I went through a faith crisis a few years ago and no longer have a testimony. I've always assumed girls at BYU only want a faithful priesthood holder who can take them to the temple someday, so I haven't even considered asking anyone out in years. Is this an accurate assumption, or are there people who don't have a problem dating someone who doesn't believe? Is it worth it to try dating at BYU as a no-longer-believer, or would I be wasting their time?
To put this in a slightly different light:
I want to date more, but I really love pizza. I only want to marry a woman who also really loves pizza, but I'm worried because not a lot of women seem to love pizza. Would I be wasting the time of not-pizza-loving women if I tried dating as a pizza lover?
Dating isn't only about finding a spouse. It's about making friends, having fun, and seeing what qualities you like in others. I'm sure there's a ton of guys and girls out there with a grocery store list of what they want in a future spouse. Would they be wasting others' times by going on a date with, say, a sports fan when they prefer gamers? If you ask a woman on a date and she gets mad at you for not being everything she wanted in a future spouse, then she's just crazy.
Now, it might turn into time wasting if you're on your tenth date, you've decided you're in a committed relationship, and you know that she only ever wants to marry a faithful priesthood holder - but you haven't told her you don't believe and you're not planning on telling her. At that point you're just being a jerk. If you two are dating for fun, for friendship, or commitment and you know she doesn't care about your lack of faith - fantastic! But once it turns into a committed relationship and you know that she will only ever marry a believing member, then it's time to come clean (if you hadn't already). Because the thing is - you don't know if she'll care about that. As a woman who lost her faith during her last year at BYU, I can tell you that there are a good number of BYU students who don't believe/aren't members/don't care about others' beliefs or membership. Furthermore, there's a good number of BYU students who want to date for fun or friendship and don't care about finding a future spouse. You don't know if you'll be dating these women until you date them. Just like guys who love pizza don't know if a woman likes pizza until he dates her. And it isn't wasting someone's time to date them to find someone with their same interests because that is literally the purpose of dating.
So go forth and start dating!
-guppy of doom
Even as a BYU student trying hard to believe and really trying to cement my faith, I wasn't sure how I felt about the temple. If I was interested in someone, it wouldn't have bothered me to know they couldn't marry me in the temple.
I'm sure I was not alone.
I think that at BYU we all have a similar picture of what a "typical BYU student" looks and acts like. But in my experience, I'd say that at least half of all students at BYU don't feel like they match up to that stereotype, that they are in some way different or an outsider. While some BYU students do match that stereotype, what I'm trying to say is a lot of students are more complicated than we give them credit for. It may seem like everyone has a rock-solid testimony but in my experience, more people fall somewhere on the spectrum of faith.
But even if every girl at BYU does have perfect faith, I don't think that no longer believing prohibits you from dating them. My best friend at BYU is actively LDS but she doesn't always date people who are also LDS, her focus is more on if they are a good person and they connect well. For some people, being not-LDS may be an automatic deal-breaker, but that isn't always the case. As long as you are honest about your beliefs once you start having more serious conversations with the person you're dating, it is totally fine in my mind to date someone of a different faith. Then you can decide together if being in a relationship with different spiritual beliefs is something you both want to do.