Marriage is ordained of God, but WHO came up with dating?

I would not go back, not for a million bajillion dollars.  Just reading through this book reminded me how confusing and frustrating dating can be!

I had the opportunity to do a book signing with Chas Hathaway, author of Marriage is ordained of God, but Who came up with Dating?  I was so impressed with both Chas and his wife ("the girl who gave me a chance"), two very fun, interesting, and talented people.  I had to wonder what makes a book like this come about.  I KNOW Chas did a lot of research for the book and in it quotes many of the general authorities, but when I started reading it, I saw that he also uses a lot of his personal experiences.  From the very first page, Chas's book is chock full of common sense information for people in (and around) their dating years, which is somewhat embarrassing because Chas introduces concepts I know I never thought about when I was dating.  I was such a stupid teenager!  (A belated Sorry to everyone I ever dated).

So I sent some questions to Chas and he was good enough to answer them for me.  He and I discussed the possibility of doing an audio blog post like he does on his blog (Click here!), but for those of you who know me, you know I ch-ch-choke on stuff like that.  So, Chas took pity on me and did it my way.

In the first chapter of your book you say, “You will spend most of your life suppressing and ignoring your attraction to other people (besides your spouse). This is an absolutely invaluable ability…” Can you give my young readers a summary of the concept you explain here?

Sure. Young people are often so used to hearing that they've got to wait until they're sixteen to date that they sometimes overlook the fact that the discipline they are practicing now will have to be exercised throughout most of their lives. After a person gets married, they are allowed to have eyes for one person, and ONLY that one person. They will continue to see other attractive people, and will continue to be faced with the temptation to notice, or even flirt with other people. To act on that temptation is wrong.

The teenage years are some of the best for developing abilities and forming personality traits. The discipline young people practice in their teenage years will do more good for their marriage than they know. Only marriages between two loving, disciplined people can and will last forever.

Your next chapter is called “Get some BFFs,” a title that makes me laugh. Why is it so important to have good friends during the dating years?

The friends you have will have a powerful influence on you. There are two questions every person should ask themselves: first, what kind of friend am I? And second, what kind of friends do I have? I've seen strong, faithful members of the church fall, simply because of the influence of friends. I've also seen good but struggling teens grow powerful testimonies and become incredible forces for good because of the influence of friends. Not only will you likely choose dates from your group of friends, but if you ask out someone with high standards, but hang out with those who have lower standards, that person you are interested in may (wisely) turn down an offer or choose not to ask you out because they see what kind of friends you have.

Don't withhold kindness, service, and loving example to those who have lower standards, but choose your close friends, those with whom you spend the most time, very carefully.
If there was just one piece of advice from your book or just one warning you could give to those who are dating, what would you tell them?

Don't settle for anything less than a temple marriage. I'm VERY serious about that. If there is something that would prevent you from being able to marry this person in the temple, break it off right now. Don't wait a single day. You want an eternal marriage, and no matter how awesome the person is, no matter how much you love them, no matter how much they promise to look into the possibility of a temple marriage later, break it off if they are not eligible to go to the temple. And if you are not eligible, stop dating, get eligible, and THEN find someone to marry in the temple. It really is that serious.

Thanks so much, Chas, for agreeing to do this!  What a great book, and I hope it gets into the hands of every teenager who is as stupid as I was (and even those who aren't)!



Heather said…
Fabulous interview! And what a fun idea for a book! I've got to admit that I was probably (ok, not probably - I WAS) such a stupid teenager when I was dating. It's only by dumb luck that I ended up with such a great guy that treats me so good! I can't believe my baby will be dating in 5 very short years. Maybe I'd better start reading Chas' book now!
Christy said…
What a fun book. Great advice about temple marriage Chas! I agree-if the person you are dating doesn't share the same eternal goals as you, think seriously about breaking it off. Good luck with your book Chas and thanks Misty!
Maggie said…
Fun interview. I have to get my hands on that book.