Saturday, November 14, 2015

15 for a Decade

Me, 15 years old

Mormons don't date until they're 16 years old. That means I've been 15 for a decade now.

I graduated from BYU a few months ago. My interpretation of the Honor Code and church's stance on being gay meant no dating, no flirting, no pursuing relationships, no kissing. So I didn't. For 4 years at school, plus 2 years on a mission. That's six years without dating.

I didn't date in high school, citing the same church rule: no dating before 16. My peers got used to my response, so when I actually turned 16, nobody followed up on it: I was just the guy that didn't date. Actually, I was gay but just didn't know it, so I wasn't really motivated to date anyone. Apart from a few school dances with close friends, I didn't go on any dates.

Now that I've graduated, it's like turning 16 in the church: I can now date without the fear of losing my education, two on-campus jobs, and housing.

The hard part is that I'm entering the dating world as a timid 16-year-old, where most others in my circumstance that have decided to date those of the same gender have been dating all along. The result? I have trouble finding anyone who wants a good, formal date without the expectation of sex.

Dan Bunker


  1. I think you could be surprised! I've only gone on dates with 3 or so people that weren't LDS, and 5 or 6 that didn't hold strong values. The two people I have had significant long term relationships with still held to the values and believed in the faith. But dating is a struggle! I wish you the best :)

    1. Thanks Trevor! It sounds promising. I'm hoping for the best!