“I will go; I will do the things the Lord commands! I know the Lord provides a way; He wants me to obey.” This simple childlike faith found in the words of a primary song is probably what led me to try dating again. It had been a while since I had tried the whole experience because of health challenges and life happenings. Truthfully, I had stopped focusing on that aspect of my life at all. It was a simple thought that started to change that mentality. Right at that moment, a pandemic hit. (This is true evidence of opposition in all things.)
However, I had the thought, so I knew I needed to try to act. It seemed impossible. Social distance and go on a date seem to be two very different directives. How could I make them both work at the same time? Several years previously I had a roommate that drilled into my head “A date is a two-hour opportunity to get to know a child of God.” With that simple definition, I now had the idea to use technology.
To say I was nervous to make the suggestion would be an understatement. I had no idea how it would be received. Think of it: “Oh hey, nice to meet you! We can’t really get together because many businesses are closed and even parks are off limits right now, plus I don’t allow strangers into my house… Let’s do a video call and see how this goes!”
The response was very positive and suddenly I found myself on video calls with several people. Others invited me to join them in an online board game while we would chat. It was amazing what could be accomplished. Real conversations with excellent questions started to form. I began to see some benefits of getting to know someone during this separation.
Dallin H. Oaks taught:
“The best way to avoid divorce from an unfaithful, abusive, or unsupportive spouse is to avoid marriage to such a person. If you wish to marry well, inquire well.” (Emphasis added.)
With these new calls, I had the chance to ask questions both silly and deep. I could see their reactions and learn how they felt about things. Those that couldn’t carry on a conversation were easy to eliminate. I began taking time to figure out which questions gave me the most information. I had some excellent opportunity to get to know God’s sons.
Since dating this way didn’t take a bunch of preparation on either of our parts, it became easy to have simple conversations and moments together on a regular basis. President Oaks further stated:
“Simple and more frequent dates allow both men and women to ‘shop around’ in a way that allows extensive evaluation of the prospects. The old-fashioned date was a wonderful way to get acquainted with a member of the opposite sex. It encouraged conversation.”
Another benefit was the honesty of really seeing people in their true form. I could go on a date while wearing sweats, and I sometimes answered my video calls without wearing make up. We all got the chance to see what we would really be getting ourselves into. The interactions also allowed me to feel like I got to really know someone before I met them in person. The foundation felt more solid.
Please don’t misunderstand, I’m not saying this is the wave of the future regarding dating. I am saying where the Lord commands, He also provides a way to accomplish all things — even dating. This story is still unfolding. I don’t know the ending yet, but I do know that God is certainly in the details of our lives. He answers our prayers and He gives us gentle nudges as we do our best to follow through on what He is asking us to do.
About Ashley Dewey
Ashley Dewey is extremely talented at being single. Hobbies include awkward conversations with members of the opposite sex, repelling third dates, talking to boys about their girl problems and to girls about their boy problems. In her spare time she also has a very fulfilling school life, work life, and social life. Besides being a professional single, Ashley is also a BYU graduate with a degree in linguistics (Aka word nerd). She enjoys studying other languages, particularly American Sign Language, and finds most all of them fascinating. She is currently pursuing a masters degree in Teaching English as a Second Language. Ashley works most of the time and has often been accused of being a workaholic. Currently she works full time as a merchandiser and supervisor in a retail store, and part time doing social media work. On her day off she works (really it doesn't feel like work) in the Provo LDS temple. The only kind of work she finds difficulty focusing on is house work. Her favorite activities in her free time are reading, writing, creating social experiments, and spending time with great friends and family. Specific activities with those family and friends include: going to concerts, plays, dance recitals, BYU basketball and football games, and watching sports on television.