President Clark G. and Sister Christine Gilbert addressed students on June 15 about how dating is more than finding the one’s spouse — it’s an opportunity to make friends, too.

Ian Lindsey, a sophomore studying business management, said he felt encouraged and motivated to date more people and to build strong friendships with others.

“I went to the date night during the fall of 2015, and that date night changed my view on dating as well,” Lindsey said. “Before attending that date night, I would go on dates, but I wasn’t an active dater. Now, I am an active dater.”

Lindsey said he met his date for the Gilbert’s date night through his date’s roommate.

“We met through roommates,” said Halie Mitchell, a junior studying health science. “However, I’ve had a nice time getting to know him better through    this experience.”

Mitchell said this was her first time coming to the Gilberts’ date night activity, and she found it cool how lively the Gilberts’ made the activity for the attendees.

“I was able to learn so much about someone who I just met on Sunday,” Mitchell said. “Ian is a YoYo player, and I would have never imagined that.”

Lindsey said dating is a good way to get to know someone in general.

“It’s always good to get yourself out there,” Lindsey said. “You’re able to better understand people in general.”

Lindsey said people tend to jump into relationships quickly due to the pressure BYU-I can put on students to date often.

“I feel like making a friendship the foundation of a relationship will help the relationship to progress so much more,” Lindsey said.

Lindsey said the pressure students have to date is oftentimes self-inflicted.

“People read too much into it,” Lindsey said. “Once you understand that dating is a tool to get to know someone, there should not be much pressure.”

Lindsey said he finds people feel pressured to make quick decisions while dating, but it takes time and patience.

Mitchell said she feels there is more pressure for men in the dating scene at BYU-I.

“Guys tend to be encouraged to make the first move when it doesn’t always work that way,” Mitchell said.

Mitchell said she feels there is more pressure on returned missionaries than any other group of people on campus.

“When you return from a mission, it is anticipated that you will soon be married, especially if you’re a returned sister missionary, so there is definitely a lot of pressure on returned missionaries,” Mitchell said.

Lindsey said the Gilberts encouraged students to not only date, but to build friendships with different and new people.

Mitchell said there are many different kinds of people to date at BYU-I, and when students date outside of their comfort zone, they are able to learn more about themselves and their own preferences.

“Religious colleges make up a significant proportion of the top 25 ‘marrying’ colleges for both men and women,” according to an article from USA Today.

Lindsey said he feels students at BYU-I tend to rush into relationships because they feel it is what is expected of them.

“This definitely won’t be my last date,” Mitchell said. “The Gilberts were so down-to-earth and motivated me to continue dating new and different kinds of people.”

Lindsey said he will remain an active dater at BYU-I.

“I plan on following through with the commitment President Gilbert and Sister Gilbert gave to us students,” Lindsey said.

Lindsey and Mitchell each said they plan to go on more dates in the future; whether the dates are with each other or other people, they want to go because the Gilberts left an imprint on their views on dating at BYU-I.