Dating is probably one of the most common questions people have about Mormons—especially if you’re interested in dating one! Mormon teenagers are instructed not to date until they are at least 16 years old, and then are encouraged to avoid dating the same person too seriously. Though most Mormon youth follow the “no dating until 16” rule pretty firmly, specific dating rules vary somewhat based on the individual and their family rules. Some Mormon youth choose only to go on group dates, others may date one person more seriously.
When getting serious with one person, you obviously become more physically comfortable, which can make it more difficult to keep certain higher standards. Dating seriously in high school may also make the decision to go on a mission (when guys turn 19) more difficult since many girls don’t succeed in waiting those two years before marrying someone else. However, if the couple knows what each other’s standards and goals are they can help each other uphold them. Though it can work out, youth leaders and most parents encourage teenagers to avoid dating seriously because it is generally the best and easiest way to uphold your standards.
A common misconception is that Mormons won’t date non-Mormons. In the For Strength of Youth pamphlet it states:
Date only those who have high standards and in whose company you can maintain your standards. A young man and a young woman on a date are responsible to help each other maintain their standards and to protect each other’s honor and virtue.
Some Mormons choose only to date other Mormons because they know that their standards and understood, but that is a personal choice and not one set by the Church.