There are a few things that people who are dating JWs need to know.
- JWs are taught that dating is for the sole purpose of finding a marriage mate
- JWs aren't allowed to have pre-marital sex
- JWs are supposed to only date others in their faith
- JWs aren't supposed to date until they reach "maturity" (in their 20s according to the "Your Youth: Getting the best out of it" book)
- JWs are supposed to look for the following:
A member of the congregation who is spiritually strong (a good JW)
Someone who treats their parents and the elderly well
For men: a submissive wife
For women: a man who will be the head of the household
For both: a member of the opposite sex
One thing that JWs ignore completely is any natural attraction that a person may have for a member of the opposite sex. Since JWs are supposed to date only other JWs, a few things may be happening with the JW:
The JW may be "weak" in their faith
They aren't ignoring their natural attraction
They are sexually frustrated and need to marry
They are disfellowshipped (ex-communicated)
If a JW is weak in their faith and dating a non-JW, they most likely will be cautious not to let other JWs know who their dating. They may be incredibly secretive of their relationship.
The JW may also try the tactic of converting the non-member before any marriage is spoken of to avoid problems with other members of the congregation.
Dating another JW can be quite difficult. First of all, the JW is required to devote large amounts of time to their religion. They are required to attend meetings 3 times a week, gain at least 1 hour of door-to-door work per month, and pre-study material for each meeting. If children end up getting involved, the JW is required to bring up the children in the faith. This means eliminating Christmas, Easter, Birthdays, Halloween, Valentine's day, and every other holiday that may come about. The child is required to avoid participation in the singing of National Anthems and School Songs. The child ends up being singled out from his/her other classmates, and may end up with the pressure of critisizm and/or bullying. The child cannot defend themselves because JWs teach that violence is wrong. They are simply supposed to turn the other cheek, and the problem will go away. It never does.
Relationships are difficult to break off, especially if they were long term. Time always heals all wounds, but getting on the road to recovery from a relationship can be difficult. Here's my suggestions for getting one's self on this road:
- Officially break off the relationship. Say your goodbye and stick to it.
- Cut all communication with the person you were involved with. Don't call them, throw out their number and email address. Ignore any calls or emails that come from this person.
- Take a good week to get it fixed in your mind that the relationship is over. Keep telling yourself "It's over, and I have to move on".
- Rebound. Begin the process of "moving on" as soon as possible. Date anyone just to give you the feel of change taking place in your life.
- Make some personal changes. Get a new haircut/hairstyle, get a new piercing, some new clothes, grow/shave facial hair. Do anything that will make a change to your personal appearance. It will help give you the feeling that you're on a new path of life.
- Start dating other people. Get used to the single life again. Dating is a way of passing time until you find that "ideal" person to have a long-term relationship with.
JWs are a very small percentage of the population. This person may seem special at the time, but comparing the amount of JWs in the world, there has to be someone with a lot less issues and baggage out there. Don't settle for someone. Don't take their many flaws just because nobody's perfect. You can find someone out there with much less flaws and issues than a JW.
In JW-nonJW relationships, there will always be disagreements. The JW has been taught that they are to love their religious organization more than their own family. In fact, members of the religion are more important than family. Their opinions of a person are much more valuable than the natural love of one's family. This is basically how JWs rank the important people in their life:
1) The Watchtower Society (JW religion)
2) Jehovah God
3) The Governing Body (religious leaders)
4) Elders and Circuit Overseers (religious leaders)
5) Jesus Christ
6) Members of the Congregation
7) Their parents
8) Their children
9) Their spouse
Unfortunately, JWs never consider themselves important people in their life. They have been taught to please many other people before they please themselves. You'll find that many JWs do not have a high self-esteem, nor a high level of confidence in themselves.
Please think twice before you enter a romantic relationship with a JW. Avoiding it will save you much time and frustration.