Looking for love ... Learn how to build healthy relationships, recognize red flags and find fun date ideas

Story by Katie M. Ellis
Tue, Sep 11, 2012
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If you want to figure out if the one you’re dating is the right one, you can ask your friends, do a Facebook poll, take a magazine quiz — or you can come to a free dating workshop and get the skills you need to figure it out for yourself.

Utah State University’s Extension Service will hold a Smart Dating Singles Extravaganza from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 14, at Weber State University’s campus in Roy. Topics will include how to build healthy relationships, recognizing red flags in those you date, and fun date ideas.

Extension Assistant Professor Naomi Brower said the class will be given in a fun, hands-on format and will even include refreshments and door prizes.

“It’s activity-driven, hands-on and a fun environment to get information. You’ll learn about red flags, warning signs and important questions to ask. It’s about how to build healthy relationships, how to pace your relationship and fun dating ideas. We will brainstorm and you’ll have an opportunity to practice the skills,” she said.

You do not have to be in a relationship, or single, to attend the event.

“If you are dating someone, you can find out if they are the right person. Parents can go and find out what their kids should look for,” Brower said.

Galynn Mook, of Hooper, said she went to a similar workshop with her husband and two single sons.

“We all attended this workshop and found it fun and informative. Most anyone can attend, as the information and activities work for single people as well as those already married. A relationship must always be cultivated and maintained in order to survive. Naomi has a great energy and enthusiasm that she brings to her presentations, which is a big part of why the workshop is so fun and upbeat,” she said.

The class is funded by the Utah Commission on Marriage, whose goal, Brower said, is to help people build and maintain strong, healthy relationships.

“Relationships have a huge effect on everything from work to finances,” she said, “We want to improve quality of life by supporting relationships individuals have with other people.”

According to Brower, the majority of counties in the state have marriage and relationship programs, but Weber County’s is the biggest and even takes its classes to junior highs and high schools.

Since 2008 when Brower began working with the marriage commission, she has seen more people participate each year. Last year, about 2,400 people participated in at least one relationship event. Brower said she gets positive feedback from people who feel more confident when looking for a partner, who have broken off unhealthy relationships or who share what they have learned with others.

Mook liked that Brower gave her ideas for practicing what she learned.

“Besides the great information I gained, there were also exercises to take home to assist in practicing what we learned,” she said, “We took home actual methods and fun ways to help us continually improve on our relationships, to communicate, trust, rely, commit. I would highly recommend this workshop to everyone. The men also got involved and seemed to rather enjoy themselves.”

Call 801-399-8207 with questions about the event, or preregister at www.strongermarriage.org. At the website, you can also register for the following free classes:

Games Couples Play Date Night — Learn how to enhance your relationship with your sweetheart while participating in interactive games and activities to improve communication skills. The class is 6-8 p.m. Sept. 28, at Weber State’s Roy campus.

Assertive Communication and Conflict Management — Learn how communication affects conflicts and how to better manage conflicts using simple phrases and techniques. The class is 3:30-5 p.m. Sept. 26, at Weber State University’s Roy campus.

Marriage Survival — Five week workshop for engaged and married couples focuses on commitment, communication, financial harmony, strengthening your relationship and protecting your marriage. The class is 6-8 p.m. Tuesdays, Sept. 11-Oct. 9, at the Utah State University Extension office, 1181 N. Fairgrounds Drive, Ogden.

How to Avoid Falling for a Jerk or Jerkette — This is a more in-depth version of the singles extravaganza; participants will get information on forming and maintaining strong relationships. The class is 6-8:15 p.m. September 12, 19 and 26, at the Ogden extension office. Dinner is included.

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