Documenting the American South Logo
oral histories of the American South
Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Adetola Hassan, December 16, 2001. Interview R-0160. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Dating and the Mormon Church

Hassan briefly speaks about the Mormon Church's policies and thoughts on dating for young people. According to Hassan, young people are not encouraged to seriously date until they are at least sixteen years old. Hassan explains why this is the case and also addresses the impact of two-year-long missions on the relationships of young people in the Church.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Adetola Hassan, December 16, 2001. Interview R-0160. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

BARBARA COPELAND:
It's been from what I've been told that they encourage the women not to date until they're at least sixteen.
ADETOLA HASSAN:
Yes, it's actually encouraged for all the youth. Like there's been studies that show people that start dating later are a little less likely to get into trouble, but yeah, that's definitely a pretty strong suggestion because—
BARBARA COPELAND:
I've noticed that in most middle schools students are dating, and they're like twelve, thirteen, fourteen. I would say thirteen, fourteen and they're dating. In fact they're courting pretty much.
ADETOLA HASSAN:
Yeah, most definitely.
BARBARA COPELAND:
So I just thought that was interesting. When I learned that the church encourages the youth to not really start thinking about dating until they're sixteen. And also that the men should not really focus on thinking really hard about dating until after they've come back from their mission. Am I correct in that as well?
ADETOLA HASSAN:
Yeah. I think that's probably, I mean obviously people date. Once your sixteen obviously people are dating, but as far as missionaries I know it's hard to not get involved before you're twenty-one. There are people who are involved, and then they go off on their missions, and they leave girlfriends behind. Either the girls wait for them or they dump them. But it's, I think it can be a distraction.
BARBARA COPELAND:
If they dated—
ADETOLA HASSAN:
If they're in a serious relationship. I mean as far as just dating and having fun that's something, but if you're in a very serious relationship and then have to go away for two years. I think that's a little bit of a distraction for the missionary. It's probably really hard on the girl as well. So I think that's one of the reasons why that it's suggested that they don't get involved heavily.