Dating Conference at BYU – What’s Your Question?

by Jen

Hi, it’s Jen. I want to let you know I’ll be speaking at a Dating Conference at BYU on Oct. 15th. ’09. My presentation is titled:

Total Body (Image) Makeover in Under an Hour! The Key to Lasting Self Confidence in Dating

The conference is free and runs from 10am to 5pm. I’ll be speaking at 2:00 so if you live in the area you’re invited to come (many of the presentations will be helpful even if you’re married). If you can’t attend there will be video & transcripts of the conference posted online.

As I write on this issue, I want to get a better idea of what’s on your mind…

SO MY QUESTION FOR YOU IS: What’s your most pressing concern or question relating to body image, dating or self-confidence????

Please leave your comment by clicking the link after this post and I’ll do my best to address your question or concern in my presentation. Thanks for your help! -Jen

Dating Conference at BYU – Oct 15, 2009 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Location: 3380 WSC (“Little Theater”)
Brought to you by Women’s Services & Resources! Come for the whole day or just for a few.

10:00 – The Art of Flirting (Lauren Barnes, Carly Larsen & Katie Nelson)

11:00 – Dating in the Middle: Finding Balance in a World of Dating Extremes (Jason Carroll, Ph.D.)

12:00 – Beyond Dinner and a Movie: New Dating Ideas (Benton Lyons)

1:00 – Taking the Pits Out of Your Dates (Brad Wilcox, Ph.D.)

2:00 – Total Body (Image) Makeover in Under an Hour! The Key to Lasting Self Confidence in Dating (Jennifer Loch)

3:00 – He Said / She Said: Improving Your Communication Skills with the Opposite Sex (Michael Adams, Ph.D.)

4:00 – Surfing For Love: Tips for Online Dating (Debra Theobald McClendon, Ph.D. & Richard McClendon, Ph.D.)

{ 42 comments… read them below or add one }

Rebecca October 5, 2009 at 4:35 pm

darn. you should come to BYU-Idaho too


Emily Harrelson October 5, 2009 at 4:35 pm

So the biggest thing for me is weight. I am concerned with getting an appropriate amount of exercise. However I often get discouraged because I am not seeing the progress I am hoping for. I think a good thing to bring up in your talk would be how to measure your progress and see the results. One way is that often you are loosing inches, but gaining muscel so your weight stays relatively the same. It is helpful for me when I can see that I've gotten slimmer. The other is making sure to know where you should be for you hight and age. And another helpful thing is My Calorie Counter or another website that you can keep track of what you eat and your portion sizes as well as what kind of calories you are taking in. That way you can be aware that you need to eat less "fats and oils" and more fruit or something like that. And last is making sure you have a regular exercise schedule because you can feel the progress in your body as you exercise everyday. Even if you are tired and its a bad work out the important part is that you do it! Well I hope I've helped you and I wish I could go! Good luck!


Anonymous October 5, 2009 at 4:39 pm

My biggest question would have to be if there is in fact a guy out there who is as religious as I am. So far, my guy friends don't seem to take it seriously, those who are religious. I know I'm just getting started in life, but is there really a guy who is as genuinely dedicated as I am?


Anonymous October 5, 2009 at 5:08 pm

I big question is knowing what a certain set of clothes tells guys, other than: "yes, she is modest". thanks!


Kayla Dawn October 5, 2009 at 5:19 pm

My question is how do I go out with a guy once and not scare him away with my "aura" that is off because of baggage! Even when I'm completely myself and comfortable with a guy, I'm still "distant" to him(he says). A guy is not willing to give me a chance at a date to even get to know me! Its aggravating because I seem to be loved AFTER someone knows me but I can't seem to get that far! The only way to get over the baggage is to practice, but its seemingly impossible.


Alicia October 5, 2009 at 5:29 pm

Dating, eventually leads to marriage… or at least that is how I'm planning have it work out. I wan't to get to know my future spouse as well as possible before I actually marry him. What are ways to do this? I wan't to chuck those rose colored glasses in the garbage and see with my own two eyes. I want a realistic view of my future husband, especially the bad parts. Because those are the hardest to see. I think it is also important for seriously dating couples to realize, how that 'that feeling' is going to go away sooner than we'd like. I just want an untainted realistic view of dating and marriage.


Zoe Newman October 5, 2009 at 5:34 pm

my problem has always been my glasses. when i got my glasses i didn't notice it at first but as i started meeting new people, i realized that they treated me like, because of my not-so-good eyesight, i was their lesser. i can't afford contacts and i don't know what to do. is there any way to prove to them that I'm just as good as they are?


Brenn October 5, 2009 at 5:41 pm

I really really like that you are doing this — I wish I could go!

My biggest issue is I have some serious health issues going on — I am a cancer survivor, and have a seriously high chance of getting cancer again as I get older, plus, because of the cancer I had as a child, I am missing an eye. I have a prosthetic, and am not shy about it, but I know it freaks some guys out.

Cancer isn't my only issue though — I deal with major major migraine headaches everyday, and they keep me out of school a lot (I'm a freshman at college), and sometimes I can't go to all of church because the organ gives me a headache. When I'm not hurting really bad, I'm good at faking it, but I feel like it's not worth it for a boy to try to date me cause I'm so non-dependable…


Anonymous October 5, 2009 at 5:46 pm

I'm not sure who your speech is addressed to, but I'm a teenager in highschool. My major concern is that people DON'T DATE. People are hung up on making it a big deal when all a date needs to be something to get to know the other person better. I'm worried about not getting a lot of dating experience in highschool. What can I do to help that, or if i don't, what will be the consequences, say, in college?


Tianna October 5, 2009 at 5:46 pm

My biggest issue with my self image is my build. I'm borderline-underweight, but because I have big hips, I always feel like I look fat. The current trend towards tighter jeans doesn't help either. Because of this, I like to wear skirts that are knee-length or longer, but when I do that, I feel self-conscious around my peers — like I'm pretending that I'm "holier" than they are. Also, my sister is always asking me to wear "trendier" clothes, so I'm back to square one. It's a vicious cycle and the only way I cope with it is to obsess about what I'm eating and how often I'm exercising. I'd like to learn to love my unique shape, but it's just too hard sometimes.


Anonymous October 5, 2009 at 5:59 pm

I'm divorced. I feel lost and out of sync with the other people my age. I'm very lonely, but I don't know how to get my life restarted now that I'm on my own again. I didn't want the divorce. My husband divorced me to be with another woman. I feel like my self-esteem is shot. I don't have a clue anymore and feel like nobody will ever want me. Any suggestions?


Anonymous October 5, 2009 at 6:06 pm

I am a plus-sized woman. Everybody tells me I am pretty, dress well, and look good. I want to know why there ae so few men willing to give a big girl a chance. I'm not sloppy or anything, but men don't seem to want to be around me and go for the skinny minis every time. It's quite discouraging, especially when the bigger guys or average-looking ones are searching for model-thin types. Don't tell me to lose weight. I would like to be accepted as I am, whether fat or thin. How do I find a great guy who will accept me regardless of my weight? Thanks.


Anonymous October 5, 2009 at 6:23 pm

This is coming a bit late for me. I was raised in the Church and was the youngest of 5. My sister made a lot of mistakes – she always put her personal appearance first and thought that the only thing that mattered was that men found her physically attractive (i.e. sexually attractive). She was the only role model I had, really.

I started to think that looks were the only important thing and ended up taking it too far, actually sleeping with a boy who swore he loved me…but was really only physically attracted to me. At the age of 16, when you start dating, and on into your lower 20's your brain is still developing and it's difficult to decipher between hormones and genuine love that is based on mutual respect.

I think this should be covered. Understanding the difference between hormones and mutual respect. A man who respects you would never request any sort of physical affection from you. He may honestly profess to be physically attracted – you may too! But to request a physical relationship is selfish – no matter who is requesting it – and not respectful, outside of marriage. Also, a man who respects and loves you will love you no matter your body type and, if you can't change your body – maybe you should keep praying for a man who would never want you any other way than the way you are. A man like that is worth the wait. Even if one never comes along, isn't it far greater to have that extra energy to devote to your spiritual pursuits and callings than to be in a relationship you resent or are unsure of?

I hope this was clear. It's so important that young women understand that their worth is not based on the opinions of imperfect humans but, rather the the love and undeserved kindness of our Heavenly Father.


Anonymous October 5, 2009 at 6:38 pm

I think that pornography and most of the "Hollywood" movies/media in general are corrupting the image of women. Women are daughters of God, not objects! Go Jen and BYU for putting this project on. You all are great!

P.S. Thanks for the dress. I wore it to church.


Anonymous October 5, 2009 at 7:53 pm

What can I say? College senior who has been on one date since I started college.I've been told I'm really attractive and a nice person.

I'm modest and humble and a hardworker but this doesn't help my love life. It seems like all guys have girlfriends. Then again I get more looks than dates.
I dunno know I've given up in that area. Sometimes I feel like I'm so ugly because I don't get asked out by the nice guys. Guys that are no good always seem to take notice


McKathlin October 5, 2009 at 7:57 pm

I see roommates and friends getting attention from guys and getting asked out on dates, but I myself don't get asked out much. I think it's because I don't have a cute-and-bubbly personality. I'm kind of reserved with people I don't know well, and mild-but-offbeat when you do know me. I feel like I have good things to offer in a relationship, but I'm inferior in the social skills that get a girl noticed.

So I need some tips for building confidence in myself, and advice on whether I should try to be more bubbly, or if there's some way I can play up my own unique personality so that the kind of guys who would like me will notice me.


Anonymous October 5, 2009 at 8:14 pm

so… i hate my body, and my face. I dont enjoy looking in the mirror and i only do it when its necessary. Im not depressed; i love life and I love myself. But if I was in a different, better body i would be happy. I keep telling myself that my goal weight loss is 60 pounds, and im not overweight. Im really just 10 pounds over my age/height group. I have singled out parts of my body im not happy with. I dont like my nose, and I hate my stomach and thighs. If I could I would get surgery to fix myself. Im afraid that guys will never like me because im too fat or too ugly. I hide under this shell that i hate.
I dont know why I feel like this and I cant live like it anymore.


Anonymous October 5, 2009 at 8:40 pm

okay, so weight is a big thing for ALL girls. I am on the slimmer side compared to my family, we are 6 sisters and 3 are very overweight 2 are thin, and i'm border line. i worry that when i date boys they'll be afriad i'll turn out more like my obese sisters and not like my thin ones and they'll lose interest. OR that they'll assume they'll have large kids if we get married, and don't want those genes.


Anonymous October 5, 2009 at 8:49 pm

I am single and I am a middle aged divorcee. I think too much emphasis is placed on how we look instead of what we are inside. I think we should think about what kind of person we want to be instead of worrying about how we look. I want to be like Jesus. I want to treat others with love and respect and I want to be treated the same way. We are all getting older every day and we will all eventually die and return to Heavenly Father. I wonder if he will ask us what size we wear or if we were fashionable enough. I doubt it. He will want to know how we treated our family and friends.


Jessica October 5, 2009 at 9:21 pm

So I think the biggest problem is that women settle for men who are not right for them. They think they will never have the opportunity to have that relationship, but wouldn't it be better to wait and make it right then hurry things and have problems? My mom keeps telling me not to settle. I think she means that I'm dating good guys but they aren't the one is going to make me want to be better . So maybe in your presentation you could mention not settling.


Anonymous October 5, 2009 at 10:05 pm

Hi Jen,

Im 34 and got married when I was 28and been married almost 6 years and have no children. I am a BYUH Alumni and am Pacific Islander slash everything else lol. I use to have alot of concerns like the comments that have been shared by the other woman on here. I think most of my concerns have now been answered as I've matured and developed more of who I am. Now I mostly have all new concerns and questions as Ive shifted from dating to being a married woman in the church. If there was a notable body image concern I had it would probably have something to do with a skin problem that Ive had since my early young adult years and its really only noticeable when I am in a bathing suit. I remember during those early years I would emotionally or maybe more like mentally tell myself that I was still beautiful no matter what and would have to focus on what body parts that I did have were great & believe myself in those thoughts. I think it helped my self-esteem too when others pointed out what physical aspect they liked about me when I never asked and of course for me it was a lucky feeling to know that the Lord thinks Im beautiful. In my dating years, I never did feel like it spoiled my desire to date either, probably cause noone could see under my clothes but most likely because I had been learning to accept myself with it. Did I think about what my future husband would think when he would unveil it? Sure. But, I felt like if I'm over it, they would be too lol, and they were. To this day I still have this skin condition and have been candidly open about it with friends and family. I could even probably go to a skin specialist to help get rid of it, but I haven't made it a top priority for now and might do so later. I am doing just fine. Hope this helps in some way for your research. Goodluck.


Anonymous October 5, 2009 at 10:33 pm

Some days I wake up feeling awful. And not like I'm sick, but like I'm the ugliest creature on the face of the earth. And I'll feel that way all day no matter what I do. If I try to make my hair cute, it winds up looking weird and mangey, if I try to put on my cutest clothes, they fit funny, or I realize they don't look as cute as they used to and they seem frumpy when they're just your usual modest clothing. Anyway, it gets to the point where I just feel hideous no matter what I do, even when my boyfriend is sitting with his arm around me, I feel like he must feel obligated and he wouldn't do it if it weren't such a habit for us. I'm not gonna lie and say I'm an ugly girl, I've been very blessed when it comes to looks, but still those days happen and I wind up crying myself to sleep thinking I'm this horrible ugly person. How can I keep a positive outlook? How can I battle feeling like I'm fat when I'm actually underweight? How can I fight feeling ugly and outdated?
Just to clarify, I'm not that girl with an eating disorder and major depression. I don't have any mood disorders or anything. I'm just me, and most of the time, I love me. I love life and everything about it, but sometimes I just hate me and can't seem to get over it.
see you at the conference


Anonymous October 5, 2009 at 11:05 pm

For me it is just trying to be enough in dating–thin enough, funny enough, pretty enough…I think if I'm really honest with myself I know I shouldn't worry about these things, but this is my biggest insecurity for me in dating. I feel like I need to be the best at everything to be attractive to guys and it's exhausting! Not to mention it feels terrible when I wake up and realize I'm not all of these things.


Marcos October 6, 2009 at 6:49 am

I believe it´s important to know that there is a difference beetwen seduction and reality, using a maeketinf term. But is the real quality of the product, with it´s qualitys and fails wich will really matter. When you realize it, the dating will turn funny, in the first and in the next meetings. You will use the seductive ways, but conciouss about reality, keeping the high standards.


Anonymous October 6, 2009 at 10:51 am

the thing for me is finding guys that are truthful about themselves from the start. I am physically fit and take care of myself but i can become very shy and nevouse around guys.. in my ysa i have some really good guys that are helping me get over that. I find it difficult to dress apropriate when i go out.. there are so many perseptions that people have over beauty and i find it difficult to compete with some girls over guys that i like simply bc of how i dress moderatly and i am quiet. i try and be a friend before anything. I am not an agressive person but I wish i knew what I could do to gain the attention of the guy I like. Thanks for all you do!!


Anonymous October 6, 2009 at 1:37 pm

I'm have some acne problems. I'm 17 and trying to get over it but the more I try the more I think it'll never change.

I'm struggling with the possibility that if it doesn't change, there is no way I would ever feel comfortable around any guy I liked. I feel like I need to be perfect, as far as physically goes, before I get married, because that's what the perfect bride is…she has that bridal glow and is beautiful…I've seen some of my girl cousins get married and they have perfect skin!

I just don't see how I could feel comfortable getting close with someone until my skin is perfect. I don't feel comfortable now talking to people in close proximity because I know they're looking at my imperfect skin 🙁


Anonymous October 6, 2009 at 3:04 pm

I am not LDS, but I am a Christian who is concerned about modest, which is why I visit this site sometimes. At times I feel overweight, frumpy, or awkward. Living a different lifestyle than those around you can also make you feel lonely or not apart of the group. But, we have to remember that we are separated to be lights to the world around us.
I think that people like me who go to a public school or a secular college can have a hard time finding people with the same faith to date. That is a major struggle. Maybe you could talk waiting to find someone who believes the same and not being unequally yoked, even if it means being single and lonely for a while. People can use this waiting time to grow in GOd and as a person.
Well, that is my two cents. Hope it helped! God bless!


Anonymous October 6, 2009 at 7:42 pm

sometimes when I talk to boyes or plan to. I get so nervous and scared that I wont say the right things that I end up not talking to them and even avoiding them but when i can talk to them they always give look of "o brother" I gussbecause I'm so old fashioned


Anonymous October 7, 2009 at 11:05 am

I have a totally opposite question from these other comments. I'm married but my 2 brothers have lived in Utah for a while now and run into the same common situation. A girl will date them until they find out what they are majoring in. Once these girls decide they won't make enough money for them they ditch the date. Shouldn't a girl love someone for who they are not the potential amount of money they will make? It is VERY common in Utah, my brothers aren't the only guys with this problem. They shouldn't go into a career they would HATE just to make money for a girl who wants THINGS. It is very frustrating… these girls think to be a stay at home mom you have to make TONS of money. I have been a stay at home mom for some time and we don't make even close to the American average!


Anonymous October 7, 2009 at 6:57 pm

My problem is weight I don't consider myself fat and I'm not overweight but I'm not a skinny mini either. It's hard because I don't know what I am and that definatley affects my confidence. I would really like it if you would focus on liking us for what we are I workout everyday but just the way I'm built makes it so that I will never be a size zero. I think this is a great topic your speaking on wish I could make it.


Cynthia October 8, 2009 at 3:58 pm

Hi Jen,

I am old married lady but after 24 years I wish I had a more to talk about with my husband. I find that having the gospel is important but things that I enjoy is so different then what he likes. I find it hard to think of "cheap" things to do on dates, any suggestions?

I also have three children, my daughter 16 years, two sons 19, 21. How can I help them along the path to good dating practices.

I will not make it to your conference, I live in Ontario, Canada. It is a little to far to travel, ha ha. But I would like to also know one last thing. I wake up in the morning and from that time on I am constantly thinking what is there to eat? I have lost jsut over 100 lbs but I can not seem to stop thinking of eating. Any ideas?



Anonymous October 9, 2009 at 10:52 am

I read some of the other comments on here from many different women and I feel similar to them sometimes, but I am getting better with some of the self-esteem and body image issues I have.

In your discussion at BYU, I suggest mentioning the following: 1. Your self-esteem is connected to your mind and how you perceive yourself. In my case, I'm currently 139 lbs and 5'6", but was 165 lbs. about 2 years ago; during my whole teenage life I was always about 110 lbs and I did not have to worry about what I ate. Then I found out I had a hormonal imbalance this year in 2009, so that was contributing heavily to my weight gain previously and currently, but I am still having self-esteem issues with my weight and thinking I am overweight. I realized within the last year that my self-esteem and attitude can be changed to be positive; with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, I have the motivation to do anything and I can change the way I feel about things, including my self-esteem and attitude. 2. Regarding body image, it is intricately tied to your self-esteem. If you don't see yourself as beautiful, even if you fluctuate in weight or size, then you will not be happy like Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ would want you to be and you will not perceive yourself as having a great body image. With body image, today's generation is bombarded with the media telling women how they have to look, dress, and act for men or people in general; if we would stop paying attention to the media and pay attention to how Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ view us, we would probably perceive ourselves in a better light.

Jenni from Texas


Anonymous October 12, 2009 at 10:25 am

well im just about to turn 16 and the question about dating has already come up with two of my guy friends. but what im afraid of is that i wont have anything to say to them. im naturally a quiet person but no matter how hard i try to come up with a topic to talk about my mind turns blank or if i do want to say something i usually end up stumbling all over my words. any thought of what i can do?


Anonymous October 12, 2009 at 2:42 pm

Well I, like many, worry about my body. I want to be fit and healthy and have often used the extra 10 or 20 or whatever as a reason why I don't get asked out. I don't have the best self-esteem either. I tend to be in a vicious cycle of a bad attitude – I don't get asked out, figure its me, feel bad about myself, and so surprise don't get asked out. Who wants to date a girl who doesn't love who they are? I am trying to better.

When a guy actually shows interest in me I basically scare myself (in disbelief) so much that i think I frustrate him so he doesn't like me any more! Or I get so excited that a guy is showing interest that I scare the guy away. How can I love who I am, when its not always reinforced by others that I am date-able when the numbers don't show it? How can I not scare guys away?


Smith Family October 13, 2009 at 1:04 am

My concern comes from a different perspective than most of the other comments. I am 26 years old and have had four children. The weight of motherhood and pregnancies have left me feeling less energetic about fashion and beauty. What I think could be important for you to talk about at the conference is boosting body image for young mothers. I think so often we become tired and bored with the mundane things in life and we forget to do something for ourselves to feel cute. I think my obsession with body image has been harder after being married than when I was a teenager. How can we feel good about ourselves after our bodies have changed so drastically?
I will try to come to the conference. Thanks for doing this.


Anonymous October 14, 2009 at 1:23 am

for me the biggest thing is maintaining a convosation after small talk. Sometimes I even try to avoid people after I've seen them a coupple of times coz i just dont know how to talk to people.

Also is there any way we can get a piece of the action in Australia? Or if you can post your stuff on the site?


Anonymous October 14, 2009 at 10:26 am

I'm 26 and have never had a boyfriend. I never been on more than 2 dates with one guy. When a guy shows interest I get scared because I don't know what to do because it is so rare. How can you encourage a guy to ask you out?

For example, my friend started to pay more attention to me of late. I think he might like me. I like him. He sits by me when possible and its definitely more attention than I am used to. I don't know how to show him that I like him with out being obvious or saying it, neither I want to or would do.

I know guys want to be safe in asking (don't want to be rejected) but I don't want to make a fool of myself either. How can I encourage him to ask me out? Without incriminating myself (being too excited and scaring him off). I will say yes if he asks, but from how I have behaved – I think he might be confused. Because I have been normal/scared at times.


Anonymous October 30, 2009 at 5:23 pm

Is this conference going to be on youtube or anything? Because I'd really like to hear it, but I don't live anywhere near BYU or even Utah, for that matter.


tashee November 19, 2009 at 10:22 am

hi jen i was wondering if the conference is going to be posted on the web and where so i will be able to watch it.


Anonymous December 9, 2009 at 7:19 pm

I really loved listening to the talk you gave, but the pictures (esp on the first one) aren't very good. one especially made me extremly uncomfortable, esp for the subject matter.


Anonymous April 29, 2010 at 9:53 am

I person I am replying to probably won't see this, but its about and maybe things have changed since the posting, but this is for the sister of the brothers who get rejected for their major.

Who are they asking out? I live in Utah and I know a lot of girls who wouldn't reject a guy because of their major. I do know some who I think would. I know it happens. But these are the wrong types of girls and they can be found everywhere.


Amy July 31, 2010 at 12:24 am

Wow.. I just watched your videos and they have made quite a big impact on me. Thanks a heap & God Bless! 🙂


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