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It has been replaced by something called “hanging out.” You young people apparently know what this is, but I will describe it for the benefit of those of us who are middle-aged or older and otherwise uninformed.

Hanging out consists of numbers of young men and young women joining together in some group activity. For the benefit of some of you who are not middle-aged or older, I also may need to describe what dating is. Dating is pairing off to experience the kind of one-on-one association and temporary commitment that can lead to marriage in some rare and treasured cases. I am not sure, but I can see some contributing factors: All of this made dating more difficult.

For many years the Church has counseled young people not to date before age 16.

Perhaps some young adults, especially men, have carried that wise counsel to excess and determined not to date before 26 or maybe even 36.

Mutual is a dating app specifically for Mormon singles looking to date other Mormons.

It runs similarly to the popular dating app Tinder, with a more specific demographic and small differences such as swiping up or down instead of right or left on a person’s picture.

Men, if you have returned from your mission and you are still following the boy-girl patterns you were counseled to follow when you were 15, it is time for you to grow up.

Gather your courage and look for someone to pair off with.

“The hours flew by and the date ended, and it just took off from there.

And the more elaborate and expensive the date, the fewer the dates.

As dates become fewer and more elaborate, this seems to create an expectation that a date implies seriousness or continuing commitment. Gone is the clumsy and inexpensive phone call your parents and grandparents and I used to make. ” Cheap dates like that can be frequent and nonthreatening, since they don’t seem to imply a continuing commitment.

And, young women, please make it easier for these shy males to ask for a simple, inexpensive date.

Part of making it easier is to avoid implying that a date is something very serious.

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