Thresholds, Barriers, And The Law Of Returns


You see, in the dating world as well as life, we all set thresholds for things. In the pursuit of a companion, we set thresholds as to what we are looking for in a companion in a number of different categories. Take looks for example. If you set this threshold of a 7 (we’ll use a number scale purely for demonstration purposes), an 8 or a 9 likely won’t make you any more satisfied. On the other hand, if you threshold is a 7 and the person is a 6 or a 5, you will likely be left wanting more. We can also call it the point at which you won’t settle for less because you will always be left wanting.

The same thing applies to spirituality and many other qualities. If you set your threshold too high in certain areas but very low in others, you are likely not to achieve balance. If you threshold is a 9 or 10 in the looks department, but a 4 or 5 in testimony and spirituality, you’re likely to end up with a jerk or someone extremely shallow. If these are truly your thresholds and you are happy, by all means proceed with that person.

Keep in mind that a threshold is the point at which you are satisfied. It is not a goal or a wishlist. If your wishlist is a guy that is 6’1 180 lbs, chiseled abs, with the testimony of a GA, your threshold may just be someone who is in reasonable shape, taller than you, and has a testimony with a desire to learn and grow in the gospel.

Now think about your thresholds, or the minimum to satisfy. I often hear stories of girls stating that they had turned the guy down numerous times for various reasons only to marry them at some future point in time. This is because they had initially failed to recognize their threshold and were too focused on their wishlist.

Do you know where all of your thresholds are? I would say likely not. I certainly don’t know where all of mine are.


Now that we’ve talked a little bit about thresholds, we can talk about barriers. Barriers are things or obstacles that prevent us from either recognizing or meeting a threshold.

One of those barriers is an unwillingness to reasonably recognize your thresholds. A lot of times I call this justification. This is where you justify someone that by far exceeds one threshold but severely lacks in another. For example, a guy with chiseled abs and a bright smile that has no desire to get married in the temple or to gain a testimony. I also call these instances projects. You all know what I mean when I call them projects. Someone you think you can change and you hold onto hoping that you will be the reason for their change.

Another barrier is your own self. If you are not happy with yourself, how is someone else going to be happy with you. It means that you need to be happy with yourself before you can complement someone else. This is why you should stress self improvement and recognize that the thresholds you set you need to be meeting yourself. As the last post said, just do it! If you recognize an opportunity for improvement, take it and do it.

Another barrier is spark. Yes, you heard me right, a spark. A spark is a moment in which two people recognize that they are attracted to the other and make reasonable accommodation to pursue that attraction. There are many things that can cause a spark, many of which are the prevalence of a trait which exceeds a threshold and one individuals willingness to act.

To follow up on the barrier of spark is the barrier of a willingness to act. While the initial spark may reside in one party until it is either transferred to the other or another spark occurs, nothing will happen without a willingness to act. This is where timing occurs. People often talk about timing in peoples lives and that a couple met at the perfect timing in each others lives. This exists and it is real.

The Law Of Returns

Originally this post was going to be focused on the latest season of The Mormon Bachelorette. You see, I know the most recent Mormon Bachelorette, Ashley Chapman, personally, and at first it bothered me that she didn’t choose a 3rd date out of 22 guys. Have I talked to her about this? Of course not, we don’t have that kind of relationship. My point is that this post was supposed to focus on a persons lack of action to proceed when presented with an overwhelming number of viable options. Kind of like that 90/10 rule people talk about at BYU, where the odds seem like they are overwhelmingly stacked in one’s favor yet it always seems the person is either not choosing wisely or not choosing the pursue eternal companionship and taking up more temporal matters.

The realization is that finding an eternal companion is one of the most selfish things you will ever do and there is nothing wrong with that. We’ll dive more into this later but I just way to say way to go Ashley! Whether or not any, many, or all the guys you went out with on the show met your thresholds, you recognized that the timing was not right or a spark was not there and had the willingness to act upon that. I’ll admit that I didn’t watch most of the show, but that I did watch the 2nd dates, and it was evident that the pressure to choose was intense.

In conclusion, try to recognize your thresholds and realize that it is upon your willingness to act that you will find those you will date and eventually marry.

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One Response to Thresholds, Barriers, And The Law Of Returns

  1. Elizabeth says:

    Good post. Well thought out. I like the sections on barriers. You gave me a lot to think about. 🙂

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