[A fetching young woman, MARY, pulls out a soap box and climbs on]
Hey, everyone, let's be cool about relationships.
Let's be cool about dating. It's just a date. It's a 1-3 hour commitment. It's dinner, which you have to eat anyway, or it's a show, which you'd like to do anyway. It's a walk downtown and a $2 ice cream. It's not that much of a commitment. You could date every week, every day, and I'm not convinced it would be that much of an impact on your time or resources.
Let's be cool about going out. Sometimes people go on more than one date with a person. Sometimes they step out together. She's not wearing his letterman jacket, he's not putting her in his phone as his emergency contact. Their parents aren't mentioning the datee by name in prayers. It's okay.
Let's be cool about being in a relationship. It's not marriage. It's not eternity. It's just trying things out, taking things as they go, having a good time and anticipating more good times.
So this means that, ladies, we need to let things be what they are instead of blowing them out of proportion. We need to enjoy the moment we're in, whether that's flirting at stake conference or engaged-with-a-ring. Gents, that means it's okay for you, too, to just enjoy where you are on the relationship. You can ask a girl out even if you don't know her that well. Arguably, that's how you get to know her. You can ask a girl out for fewer than 6 hours, you can spend less than $50, and you don't have to invent the most Creative, Crazy, Spiritual date ever. It's okay.
Mums and Dads, well, you already know what I'm going to say--don't push, either direction, let things be what they are. And that goes also for church leaders.
Friends, be friends. Be with the couple in whatever stage they're in, and let them interact with you in natural ways. Be honest with them as a couple and with your friend. Don't put too much pressure on the couple. On the other hand, examine your motivations if you want to encourage your friend to break it off. Sometimes people need an outside opinion when they're caught up in the moment, but be cool about this relationship: would you let your friend have a roommate like this? or a lab partner? or a friend? This is, in some ways, another relationship, and don't get blinded by the romance in not telling your friend if they're being jerked around. It's okay. On the other hand, don't get all possessive if someone asked out someone else besides you. If they asked your friend out, that doesn't mean they're engaged. It doesn't even mean that you can't still be interested. Remember, what I said about it just being a date? It's cool.
Over all, my friends, this should be fun.
[She climbs down, leaves the mic on the soap box, and goes home.]