If you ever drop your keys into a river of molten lava, forget em', cause, man, they're gone. –Jack Handey
Question #30632 posted on 11/20/2006 3:01 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Do rm's really need six months before they feel comfortable dating?? Why isn't six weeks enough?? Is there any way that I can speed it up?

- melbabi

A: Dear Melbabi,

Six months!?!? No way! I've never heard of any hard and fast rule about this. By the time my husband had been home from his mission 6 months we had been married for 3, nearly 4 months.

The best way to speed it up is to just focus on marriage. Seriously, that's the next step. It's not a car, or a house, or a job, or an education. Although those things are nice and do help life to be easier (especially as you start your family) they should not really be your goal-goal. Your goal-goal should be to find your eternal companion.

With that focus (although, without being completely obsessive about it), you should be able to ask people out on dates. One on one, because seriously, we aren't in high school anymore. Group dates are okay, but they are so much better when you're all paired up anyway. One on one dates. End of story. You don't need to worry about your roommate's schedule anymore. Forget about werf. Focus on werf of the opposite gender. Schedule dates with them. Not your roommates. Not your best friend.

That's the best advice I can think of. Eternal marriage really, truly is the only thing that will make you happy in this life. Other things are secondary. Important, but secondary.

Those things can make you more attractive, though. Who wants to date someone with no money, no education, no job, and no sense to go look for any of that? Not a whole lot of people. But I don't know many people who want to date people entirely focused on that, either.

A: Dear melbabi ~

The day after my missionary got home from his mission—the first time I saw him after his return—he gave me a hug hello and didn't let go of me for the rest of the night. He always had his arm around me or was holding my hand. Needless to say, I don't think he had a 6 month, 6 week or even 6 day rule. I'm going to have to agree with fsyod that I have never heard this rule. (Ok, for the record I must admit that the next time I saw him, after the hug hello he wouldn't even touch me, then ended up breaking up with me at his homecoming a week later. So perhaps he did have a problem with it and didn't realize it until he had sufficiently freaked himself out.)

You want to speed it up? Are you the RM or are you the girl wanting the RM to speed it up? Because those would be two different answers. If you're the RM, practice makes perfect. If you're the girl (or I suppose you could be a guy and the RM is a girl...) I would say calm down. Let the boy move at his own pace. Don't try to pressure him. I hear the transition is scary. 2 years of following a certain rule hard and fast is hard to just throw out the window in a short period of time. Just be patient and supportive. And tell him how you feel.

~ Dragon Lady
A: Dear,

Some do, some don't.

I'm currently in a very young ward--sometimes I think at least half of the male population just got back from their missions right before the semester started. Most of them were really, really awkward when I first met them. Some are still that awkward. Many have gotten over it. Some are dating just one person, some are just dating, some still look like they'll fall over if a girl glances too hard in their direction. I think it has a lot more to do with the person than the time period.

So don't hold out for 6 months, just because you feel you're obligated to. Feel out the situation. And if he's ready, go for it. If he's not, you're only going to wreck your own chances by continuing to persue him.

As for speeding it up. I don't endorse sending in a really forward, cuddly female friend to send him into shock therapy, and make anything you do seem demure and acceptable by default. But I find that idea really funny, any time one of my really forward, cuddly female friends expresses the desire to go do some hardcore flirting with the newly-returned uptight RM boys, I have to try really hard to remember not to encourage them to do so, because it's not a nice thing for the victims. Just a really, really, fun idea. Instead, let him do it at his own pace.

-songs of inexperience
A: Dear melbabi,

Heavens no. At least, if by dating you mean "going on dates" and not "having a girlfriend." I suppose it depends on the missionary, but I was definitely looking forward to dating when I came home from my mission. I went on a date within a month of being home, and if any girls I'd known had been around, I would have gone earlier.

However, recently returned missionaries can feel a little awkward on dates, simply from lack of recent experience. They might not know quite how to act or what to talk about. I suggest spending some time together as friends before going on an official "date". That will help your missionary get comfortable being around you again.

Good luck!