Stance: Studies on the Family

Brigham Young University Student Journal

Category: Dating & Marriage (page 2 of 4)

How to Tell if He is Marriage Material

wedding-322034_1920After coming from a city where righteous, kind, ambitious, loving young men were few and far between, I can understand the appeal of dating in Provo, where that is  not the case. There are so many practically perfect men that cross your path every day, and if you happen to snag one, how can you know that he could be your eternal companion?

When I had been dating my boyfriend (now fiancé) for 6 months, I knew I loved him, but I just wasn’t sure if he was the one for me. Some people say they “just know,” but for a logical thinker like me, that kind of thinking just didn’t work out.

Luckily, my brother sent me this document of questions for couples anticipating marriage to ask each other. I cut these questions into strips, folded them up, and put them in a bag. Every once-in-a-while, we would pull out the bag and take turns picking random questions and answering them. Not only was it informative, but it was also both spiritual and fun. Unfortunately, there is no guarantee, but these questions can give you a deeper insight into the heart of your loved one.

My fiancé and I highly recommended these questions to anyone who is considering getting married, as most of these questions do not usually come up in normal conversation.

These questions (and my fiancé’s answers to them) were pivotal in my decision to marry my best friend. Maybe you already know that he’s the one, and maybe you don’t, but regardless, give these questions a shot—you might be surprised by your results.

Written by Cari Taylor

#pornkillslove

I’ve been thinking a lot about the epidemic in our society of pornography addiction. I have seen its effects on the relationships of people that I love that struggle with it and it’s devastating to witness. Whether in a dating or a marriage relationship, the ability to maintain a healthy relationship is difficult enough without this addiction added to the mix, but the addition of it is an added measure of immense struggle.

It’s an addiction like any other–it hurts you (physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually), it hurts your family, it hurts your friends; it hurts everything. It misconstrues a person’s understanding of love and intimacy; it encourages violence; it messes with your brain . . .

Yet, it still rages on. We as a society must combat it with all the force and study that we have in the past with other drugs that seek to destroy our society. It is not something to be pushed aside or forgotten about because doing nothing will only allow its influence to grow stronger and wider. I challenge you and me to be the ones who combat this addiction of lust with the love that it seeks to destroy.

Become informed and help others do the same.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ Overcoming Pornography program

Facts about pornography addiction

Inspiring messages about overcoming pornography addiction

—Jazmin Cybulski, Stance

How to Prevent Bored Wedding Guests

As I haven’t talked about the marriage part of these “Dating and Marriage” posts, I thought I’d contribute a little bit to that topic this week.

Being in an environment where weddings have become a part of my weekend ritual, I’ve come to form a little bit of an opinion about what it means to experience weddings that rock and weddings that just kind of roll on and on and on…. My personal solution to the issue is just making your wedding is an event centered around music and dancing, but that’s not everyone’s cup of tea. (Also, not everyone loves dancing–I know, it’s painful to hear.) Here are a few activities that I’ve enjoyed at weddings in the pas:

1. The classic questions card

I think we’re all aware of the classic questions cards for your guests. I’ve seen everything from “What should we name our first kid?” to “What are your favorite things to do for date night?” These cards are an easy and fun way to get your guests feeling like they’re a part of your night. It’s also a fun way for the couple to keep celebrating their special day as they read their guests’ answers later. The couple can even make that fun last by just looking at some of the answers every day until they run out.

2. Insta it

Along with the chalkboard, Instagram hashtags seem to be becoming a regular part of weddings these days. I really love this idea. Brides seem to always say that they’re so caught up in their day, sometimes they had to remind themselves to just be there and enjoy it. This is a great way to get everyone’s perspective of your wedding and enjoy the night with each of your guests, even if you can’t be physically there with them the whole time.

3. Keep the kids entertained

Some people opt out of having kids at their wedding at all. Personally, I think they bring the party. But if your feelings are somewhere in-between, providing a kids corner or something for them to do at the table (like, a coloring kit), is a great way to keep them entertained for at least a portion of the night. If they’re more into the active thing, I’ve seen couples opt for having disposable cameras at their receptions and having a picture scavenger hunt for the kids to follow (e.g. “Take a picture of a flower”; “Take a picture of something blue”). Technically, the cameras were for everyone at the reception, but once the kids got a hold of them, it was all over.

These have just been a few of my favorite reception activities. Let us know if you’ve had experience with any of these or any others (good or bad)!

—Jazmin Cybulski, Stance

Mastering Dating Anxiety

Having been a member of the Provo, Utah population for nearly four years, I’ve had a firsthand witness of this college town’s dating environment. I’m here to tell you: it’s an anomaly wrapped in an enigma. People want to date, and yet it terrifies them (often with a crippling fear); they want to get married, but the very idea of marriage gives them nightmares. It’s a vicious, mind-numbing game of what to do and what to say and when and how.

I’ve kind of held on to my normalcy about the whole dating ordeal. While I do have my moments of fear and doubt, they are few and far between. I’m not a dating expert by any means, but keeping some things in mind when it comes to my dating life seems to keep me grounded. So, I thought I’d share a few of those things with you guys.

Dating is meant to be fun.
I know I mentioned this in my last dating post, but it still holds true two weeks later (and even after this post it will continue to hold true). Look at it this way…

Your typical Friday night is probably spent doing something with friends, whether that’s watching a movie, going out to dinner, or playing pranks on your other friends. Why does a date have to be any different? You’re spending time with a friend, getting to know them and having a great time while doing so. Maybe you end up having a fantastic time and that date turns into a second date, and then a third, and so forth. Maybe it doesn’t. Either way, your Friday night was spent having a great time with a great person. And if they were a not-so-great person, at least you have a good story on your hands, and possibly a person to prank next Friday night (don’t actually, though).

Rejection is a lame excuse.
indexMaybe there’s a less harsh way to say that, but I’ve always appreciated it when people just tell it like it is. Consider it a favor.

You—a wonderful person in your own right—do not need to fear rejection. It’s a part of life and is not just exclusive to dating. We are meant to learn and grow from it. If you ask a girl or a guy on a date and they say no, or they avoid you afterward, please don’t let it get to you too much. Honestly, they don’t deserve you. If they do not have the decency to give you a chance, or if they have given you that chance, but are not kind enough to let you know that they care about you and don’t want to commit the dishonest act of leading you on, please move on. It’s really that simple.

If you’re not confident enough yet to look at this situation in this light, then take on the mindset that that person has done you a favor. They have taken away an obstacle that is holding you back from meeting the person you’re actually supposed to end up with. I have a friend that often says, “Those who are married had to have a 99% failure rate before they found the one they married.” Keep that in mind when she doesn’t send you the post-date text you were expecting.

It’s all about your attitude.
If you want to date, just do it. That’s really what it boils down to. You gain nothing by complaining about it and everything by having a positive attitude about it—just like with anything else. You’re the one that’s in control of how your love life plays out, and that’s meant to be an exciting, enlightening experience, not a crippling one.

Get out there and make it happen, champ. You got this.

—Jazmin Cybulski, Stance

On Being a Bro: A Message to the Male Population

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http://www.dumpaday.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/friendzone-girls.jpg

Maybe it’s my own fault. I grew up with only my older brother as a playmate, causing most of my time to be spent digging up dirt and playing the latest video games. I mean, I still loved my Barbies and playing dress up, but I always thought I was exceptionally cool for being able to tell you that Zelda was actually the princess and not the main character (Link) or being able to keep up with a conversation about skateboard tricks or football. I thought my childhood love for Lord of the Rings and Star Wars (and eventually Harry Potter) would lead me into the hearts of all men everywhere when the time came for me to date.

Was I all kinds of wrong.

I didn’t realize how wrong I was until I started college and started thinking about marriage. I gained plenty of male friends as time went on and I have really always preferred their company to that of females since it’s what my home was made up of (with the exception of my wonderful mother, of course).

Having grown up with no sisters to teach me how to bat my eyelashes and the ways of girl world, I’m not sure I ever really learned the art of flirting in the traditional sense. Sarcasm and sass seem to have become my forte as I’ve grown up, but not everyone sees that as a form of flirtation. Despite these downfalls, I have lived with dreams of my male friends someday seeing me for the incredibly awesome, incredibly attractive girlfriend (and eventually wife) I could so obviously become for them.

That dream never came to fruition.

I’ve gone back and forth playing the blame game with the male population at one end of the ring and me at the other. I won’t share with you the juicy details of what tips I’ve come up with for myself, but I will give you some insight into how I feel the male population should understand the predicament.

The Friendzone has just as much gender equality as the world Emma Watson dreams of
There seems to be this stigma about the Friendzone being populated solely by males. I’m here to tell you that you males need to stop feeling sorry for yourself and realize that there are a bunch of wonderful females in the same boat as you. Feeling sorry for yourself for a New York Minute is quite alright, but I would recommend dishing out the sorrow on your male friends’ laps and maybe on one female’s if she’s done the same to you. And that’s a big maybe. Believe it or not, the females you view as just friends may feel a little like the hypocrisy bug has set up camp in your noggin as you sit there gushing to them about how terrible it is to be viewed as just a friend.

Fun Fact: They happen to have some feelings about their own worth.

Instead of complaining to your single lady friends about just how heartbroken you are about Miss Perfect Hair finding her Mr. Perfect Hair and leaving you in the dust, just ask Miss Friendzoned on a date. She would really appreciate being looked at for the incredible girl that she is rather than just a punching bag you look for to release all your harnessed wrath upon. It doesn’t have to end in marriage and a baby in a baby carriage, but a night out with someone you care about and trust may be just the right way to get over Miss Perfect Hair without making Miss Friendzoned feel like anything less than the wonderful human that she is.

I am not your bro
This is one of the things that I’ve gone back and forth about when it comes to the blame game. Having grown up in a house where terms like bro and dude were part of the lexicon, I never second-guessed such terms hindering my future relationships. It’s only been within the past year that that second-guessing has made its way into my conscience. I actually remember the exact moment I realized how not okay it was for me to use these terms.

It was the beginning of a new semester and my roommate and I had just begun a friendship with a group of guys in our apartment complex. We ran into one of them one evening as we were walking back to our apartment when he stopped us and said hi. He had just returned home from a long day of school and work and was telling us about it. Each sentence began with phrases like, “It’s crazy, dude” and “Bro, you have no idea.” Before this point, I was somewhat aware of my calling people dude and the like and had made the effort to not use such terms. I actually know for a fact that I had never used any terms like that around this particular male, and yet, I was still marked as “one of the guys,” even though I’m clearly not a guy.

Maybe men use these terms in an effort to make me (a woman) feel comfortable around them, or maybe it’s just a blatant way of putting me in the aforementioned Friendzone (which is just rude). But whether you have romantic feelings for a girl or not, she never should be treated as a bro, because she is, in fact, a lady.

I know that there are a lot of women out there that don’t take issue with this one. So, we’ll just deems this a personal preference.

Dating is meant to be fun
It may be just a theory embedded into the conscience of the males within my university, but asking someone on a date does not mean that you have to marry them in the end. While marriage is a fantastic, wonderful thing that we should all be striving for, dating is also a fantastic, wonderful thing that does not require the symptom of intense anxiety which so many seem to allow to spread within them. It is meant to be a time to get to know another person—including your friends. It is a time to get to know yourself. Most importantly, it’s a time to figure out what exactly it is that you want in a future spouse, even if that future spouse is not the one you’re mini golfing with.

Friends make the best spouses
I think males and females often forget that the person you’re supposed to marry is going to be your best friend for forever, and with forgetting that, we forget that we may already have that best friend within our friend circle. Your spouse is someone you’re supposed to be a million percent comfortable with and it seems a lot of us fail to realize that we already feel completely comfortable with the friends of the opposite sex that we already have in our lives. It’s fine and brave to look outside your friend circle for that special someone, but it’s also a lot of effort that you could be spending on wooing your already best friend.

So, while I’m still waiting on my prince to come that sees my nerdiness as adorableness, I’m going to do so with the clear conscience that I’ve at least helped some guy somewhere realize that that lady friend of his is not actually Miss Friendzone, but Miss Wonderful Soul. And, let’s face it, she’s so much better than Miss Perfect Hair.

—Jazmin Cybulski, Stance

Winter Weddingland

IT’S WINTER!!! Isn’t it wonderful?! Here are five reasons why a winter wedding is a wonderful idea:

Winter Wonderlang

 

Rustic Pinecone Boutonnieres

 

  1.    Stand Out

Winter weddings are unique. Flowers and colorful leaves tend to steal the spotlight, but what could be more magical than a snowy backdrop?

  1. Plan B—Not!

Obviously, an indoor venue is your best option. But since you’re limited to that, you won’t need to worry about getting rained out, spraying for bugs, or having any questions about the weather—It’s going to be cold.

  1. No Wedding Burnout

With your wedding as the highlight of the season, guests will have a rejuvenated sense of eagerness to attend (and give better gifts)!

  1. Less Competition

Vendors will be on a waiting list for you, not the other way around! See what I’m saying?

  1. Better Quality

“Because vendors aren’t in their busy season, they will be more attentive than they may be in June when they might be juggling eight weddings that month” (Annie Lee). No competition = more room for negotiating. Score!

Source: napkinspersonalized.com

 

—Miray Weeks, Editor, Stance

Legal Benefits of Tying the Knot

UntitledYou may think that marriage is mostly about twitterpation, true love, and white dresses, but starting a new life together is more than just the affection you feel for each other—it’s actually doing life together too! That means not only living together, but doing EVERYTHING together—from auto insurance to getting a family plan on your cell phone. Here is a fairly comprehensive list of the legal benefits of tying the knot… not like you needed another incentive to say “I do” anyway.

Taxes

  • File joint income tax returns with the IRS and state taxing authorities

Estate Planning

  • Inherit a share of your spouse’s estate
  • Estate tax and gift tax exemptions for all property you give or leave to your spouse
    • Create life estate trusts restricted to married couples
      • QTIP trusts
      • QDOT trusts
    • Priority in the necessity of conservator for spouse (person to make financial and/or medical decisions for them)

Government Benefits

  • Receive Social Security, Medicare, and disability benefits for spouses
  • Receive veterans’ and military benefits for spouses
    • Education
    • Medical care
    • Special loans
  • Receive public assistance benefit

Employment Benefits

  • Obtain insurance benefits through spouse’s employer
  • Take family leave to care for spouse during illness
  • Receive wages, workers’ compensation, and retirement plan benefits for deceased spouse
  • Take bereavement leave if your spouse or one of your spouse’s close relatives dies.

Medical Benefits

  • Visit your spouse in a hospital intensive care unit/during restricted visiting hours in a medical facility
  • Make medical decisions for your spouse if s/he become incapacitated and unable to express wishes

Family Benefits

  • File for stepparent or joint adoption
  • Apply for joint foster care rights
  • Receive equitable division of property if you divorce
  • Receive spousal or child support, child custody, and visitation if you divorce

Housing

  • Live in neighborhoods zoned “families only”
  • Automatically renew leases signed by spouse

 Consumer Benefits

  • Receive family rates for health, homeowners’, and auto insurance; other types of family benefits (e.g. family plans for cell phone lines)
  • Receive tuition discounts and permission to use school facilities

 Other Legal Benefits

  • Claim marital communications privilege, which means a court can’t force you to disclose the contents of confidential communications between you and yoyur spouse during your marriage.
  • Receive crime victims’ recovery benefits if your spouse is the victim of a crime
  • Obtain immigration and residency benefits for a noncitizen spouse
  • Visiting rights in jails and places where spouses are restricted to immediate family

Source:

http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/marriage-rights-benefits-30190.html

 

—Miray Weeks, Editor, Stance

Frugality in the Engagement: Stationery Edition

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Once the flutters in your tummy have calmed down a little since he proposed (which, let’s face it, they never really do!), you may start worrying about the daunting task ahead of you and how much money it’s going to involve. Don’t be overwhelmed, though, because there are many ways to save on wedding expenses, and stationery is the perfect place to start!

1.     Simplicity

We all love fancy extras like envelope liners, ribbons, and tissue paper, but when applied to 300 invitations, these small accessories can eat into your budget very quickly! Keep it simple and print one card with a whole 6 3/8 by 8 7/8 inch canvas for your creativity to go wild on.

2.    Utilize Technology!

Think you need to include maps or directions for your wedding location in each invitation? Think again! The wonderful gift of GPS allows your guests to search for any address, anywhere. If you’re still apprehensive, post directions on your custom (free!) wedding blog that most wedding planning websites allow you to create.

3.     Save the Save-the-Dates

Save-the-dates are cute, but when you’re tight on money, the truth is they’re just a super-cute photo that you’re sending everyone to advertise how precious you and your significant other are. All that information and cuteness will be reproduced on your wedding invitation, making the original save-the-date a little redundant. Besides, by using social media or your previously mentioned, totally adorable wedding blog, you can “save the date” with every post acting as a reminder, photo op, and update on you and your big day!

2unnamed4.     Go Full Custom

You’re engaged! The first big thing to do: pick out invitations. The first gigantic stressful thing to do: pick out invitations. It’s not matching your colors, the fonts are weird, the design is too fancy or too plain, the format is all wrong—what to do?! The answer is three letters: D. I. Y. Do it yourself! It sounds frightening, but don’t be alarmed. Premade, blank wedding invitations can be picked up at Michael’s for around $25 a box. You can then print your invitations at home or at a print shop. If you take them to a print shop, printing in black ink can easily your costs in half!

Here is a list of 72 free printable wedding invitations from Popsugar.

5.     COUPONS!

However you choose to purchase or create your wedding invitations, coupons can ALWAYS be huge cost reducers! Wedding magazines and websites like The Knot, Ann’s Bridal Bargains, Zazzle, and Wedding Paper Divas always have deals going on. Online promotions at craft stores are also worth looking at.

Realistically, your wedding invitations are just a piece of paper. A very important, memorable, sentimental piece of paper. So don’t stress about them! Have some fun and let your imagination run free!

—Miray Weeks, Editor, Stance

Dating Stinks

How much does science play into your love life? According to recent studies, it may be much more influential than you think. An important part of the human immune system involves Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) molecules, which are antigens that coat the cells in the human body. The diversity of these MHC molecules in the body determines the effectiveness of the immune system, but it seems to have other implications as well. Would you believe that it could influence who you crush on, or even more, who you marry?

Picture from here.

Picture from here.

There is evidence that the diversity of MHC molecules in individuals influences mating choice in animals and humans. Natural sexual selection occurs so that humans are attracted to those with dissimilar MHC molecules, which allows them to produce offspring with greater biological diversity, and therefore, a greater chance of survival. So how does this natural law of attraction work? You may be surprised to know that body odor—yes, that rank stank that you always try to cover up—is the key.

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Wedding Wednesday: Kid Questions

The excitement is building; I am officially counting down the days now. In a little over two weeks my fiancée and I are getting married in the Salt Lake Temple! He feels like it’s not coming soon enough, I feel like the time is whizzing by.

Today, instead of talking about wedding planning, I’d like to talk about something that I will have to start thinking about in the near future; when to have kids. My fiancée and I have only talked about it occasionally, and it was only the basic questions like: “how many kids do you want?” or “what should we name our kids?” We haven’t really talked about it seriously yet, but I imagine that time will be coming soon. It’s a question that all married couples have to face and eventually decide on.

A couple weeks ago, my cousin told my fiancée and I not to have kids until he had a secure job. At the time we just smiled and didn’t say anything, but I was inwardly upset. Not only was it not her place to say, but also in the LDS faith we are taught that having children is part of God’s plan, and that families are essential to our salvation. I have often heard from Church leaders that couples should not necessarily wait until they are financially secure to have children. I knew that my cousin had heard the same testimonies on the subject so I was confused as to why she would say that to us.

I had to take a step back and think about where my cousin was coming from. My cousin grew up in a home where her father came from a well-to-do family and was already secure in his job when he married her mom. Taking this step back, I could see her perspective and knew that she sincerely had our best interests at heart.

While my cousin’s advice was logical, it is not up to her, the rest of my family, nor my friends, or really anyone, to decide when my fiancée and me have children. The decision when to have kids and how many should be between the spouses and the Lord. When making this decision, and really any important decision, it is necessary to consult with each other and pray to the Lord about the decision. By doing this we invite the Lord to be a part of the marriage and have a hand in it.422661_433475463356702_1883829178_n

Just as we wouldn’t want to be judged, it is important not to be judgmental of other couples based on how many or how few kids they have. No one really understands their specific situation, only the Lord does. The Lord is the judge of mankind, not us. Many times it may be difficult for a couple to bear children, and it would be unfair to judge them. Remember, it is not anyone else’s business; it is solely between husband, wife, and the Lord.

I personally cannot wait to start a family and I am so ecstatic to be a mother. Families are essential to society, and most notably to the children that are brought into it.

By Bryn Adams

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