December 2, 2023

Some female students push back against early Utah marriages

By Courtney Arndt

Couples in Utah get married fast and at a younger age than in any other state, but
some college women say they need to put the brakes on and slow down a little.
“I once went out on a date with a guy in Provo,” said Utah State University student
Rylee Rendon.
Her date wanted to “DTR,” determine the relationship — right after that first meeting.
“I was honestly a little freaked out,” Rendon said. “I don’t understand why a lot of
the guys want to move so fast.”
Rendon’s father, who got married at 18, agreed. He said that Utahns need to take
courtship more slowly and end up with the right spouse.
Utah’s dating and marriage culture is different than in most parts of the country. Utah
has a large Latter-day Saint population, and Mormon’s tend to marry younger. Many
wed right out of high school, or after they complete missions. That makes for a fast-
moving dating environment. Many young marriages are successful, but the rising
generation of women may feel a bit pressured.
“Dakota and I have only been dating for about six months,” said Alicia Mills, a
member of Utah State’s A-Team, students who are hired and trained to assist incoming
students and parents through the transition. “We’re engaged now and plan on getting
married in May.”
  “My high school sweetheart and I got married right out of high school,” said Sara
Liechtenstein, president of the Spanish Fork Relief Society, a philanthropic organization
of The Church of Jesus Christ of Later-day Saints. “I was only 19 and he was 20. It
didn’t really work out for us but it’s okay.”

“I’ve been hurt in the past and my boyfriend and I have been dating for a little over
seven months now,” said Emily Hart, a BYU student. “I like taking it slow. Seven
months without getting engaged is a big shock to people in Utah. We both decided to
take things slow just to be sure.”

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