Returned missionaries come home with the urge to make goals—which is good. Goal setting is commendable because it works. But, is it healthy for a returned missionary to set dating goals or quotas?
When selecting any goal, you need to use your head. If you lean you ladder against the wrong wall, the outcome won’t be what you hoped. Which dating goals are healthy and which will cause a headache?
An example of a healthy goal is: Go on a date every week. If you aren’t consistently dating, you aren’t going to develop relationships—or social skills for that matter. With one date a week, the pressure is on you—no one else—to ask someone out. It’s also a balanced goal, leaving you time for other aspects of your life. Their may be weeks when you go on more than one date, which is fine. Be warned, if you make a goal to go on more than two or three dates a week, you’re heading into erratic dating territory.
Another healthy goal might be asking out a specific person. You’ve had your eye on Pam for a while, but just haven’t had the nerve to ask her out. Set a goal, “By the next lunar equinox, I will have asked Pam out,” or something like that. You’re much more likely to follow through when you have a goal.
Unhealthy dating goals usually involve deadlines for marriage. Goals like, being married before age 24, or being married within two years of returning home from the mission are not healthy. Dating requires patience. Women are eager to be married but they don’t want to be run through a hasty elimination process, where a returned missionary has a deadline to meet.
So, be patient with yourself and those you date. Yes, this means you have to get to know people. Don’t be too quick in deciding who’s worthwhile. Naturally, you want a relationship to progress, in one direction or another. But sometimes it takes more than a week to figure out matters of the heart.
Goal setting has its place, even in dating. Just make sure to use your head while setting goals.