handsome prince

There is an aphorism in our culture that claims you have to kiss a few frogs before you find your prince. A smart child will ask some logical questions: Why do you have to kiss the frog to discover if he’s a prince? If you do have to kiss the frog in order to find out if he’s a prince, then how many frogs do you have to kiss? If a woman goes around kissing frogs all the time will she get warts on her lips?

The true answer to the question, “How many frogs do you have to kiss before you find your prince?” is: none. The aphorism is just plain wrong. It’s ridiculously easy to discover if a man is a prince or a frog without kissing him.

You can spot a frog right away. He will be lazy, spending his days sleeping in the sun. He will be selfish, sticking out his tongue and snatching the best of everything for himself. He will be unavailable, leaping away as soon as you get close.

In contrast, a prince will act like a gentleman. He will use respectful language. He will access appropriate media, choose wholesome music and movies. He won’t be idling away his time. He will be anxiously engaged. Nobody has to pucker up her lips to distinguish a frog from a prince. She only needs to open her eyes and her ears.

The young people in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have been encouraged to date casually while they are still in high school, and refrain from getting serious until they are in a position to marry. Usually they won’t be in a position to marry until after a mission.

Some members have a real problem with this prophetic counsel. “When should they learn about relationships?” one woman asked. “How can they come back from a mission in a position to marry when they have never had a serious relationship?” In other words, “Don’t you have to kiss a few frogs before you find your prince?”

Technically, a young lady can spot a frog before she even goes out on a date with him, group or otherwise. Does he attend his church meetings? Is he worthy to pass the sacrament? Does he fulfill his callings? Is he obeying the prophets? Does he have righteous goals for the future? She doesn’t have to kiss anybody to glean this harvest of information.

Group dates are perfectly adequate venues to further distinguish frogs from princes. While young people are just friends, they watch, listen and learn. The friendship stage of a relationship is an ideal time to vet a person’s character.

In fact, a young lady may be better able to discern a frog from a prince on a group date then she would if dating exclusively. When youth go out as friends, they are far more likely to act like their true selves.

People seeking a serious relationship often “fake good.” They hide bad habits specifically because they are courting their date, trying to impress. Their true nature may not appear until they are well into the relationship and extremely comfortable with one another. By then the ramifications of discovering one is with a frog, rather than a prince can be heartbreaking. How much easier it is to discern frogginess while in the friendship stage of the relationship, before giving one’s heart away.

After a young lady has casually dated a number of young men, and she is in a position marry, she will likely decide to give one of them a kiss. But by the time she decides to kiss her date she already knows he’s a prince.

Does that mean they will get married and live happily ever after? Maybe. Maybe not. But they could. At least she has kissed someone who is marriageable material. He’s princely.

It’s possible that a young lady may have to kiss a prince or two before she finds her very own prince. But at least she isn’t kissing frogs. At least she’s kissing grown ups who know how to treat a woman, grownups who are in a position to commit.   At least she’s not kissing frogs who are living in a fairy tale, waiting for a woman to turn them into a prince.


JeaNette’s most recent book is Unsteady Dating: Resisting the Rush to Romance. Her website for adults is www.unsteadydating.com and the website for youth is www.unsteadydating.wordpress.com