4.27.2006

Just like everybody else does

When you hear the same criticism from two people in one week, it may be a good idea to pay attention. In my depressive cocoon of withdrawal and isolation, I like to think that I am growing, that this time is for healing and self-improvement. So, two different men told me they thought I was unfair to Mormon men. Touche'. Naturally, I responded defensively, sort of 'they deserve it' or 'I have a right to be bitter' reaction. Right or not, I don't want to be bitter.

That's what this comes down to, my choice. Can I set aside my pride in order to get what I ultimately want? Pride will be my damnation before anything else. Even as a child I knew that, when I first heard about the '7 deadly sins', I gulped when someone told me the definition of pride. As far as defense mechanisms go, pride is a beauty. What a wonderful shield to throw up in the face of hurt and rejection. I felt unloved at home, rejected by my family so I turned a proud cheek to them. They weren't rejecting me because I didn't love them either. They wouldn't ignore me anymore because I'd stop talking to them. Stop I did. And no, they didn't notice. Which deepened my adolescent anger and pain.

But all that is behind me now, right? Sigh. A defense learned so early in life really digs itself into one's personality. So, when I again faced repeated rejection, this time by the male Mormon population, my shield automatically went up. They don't want me? Fine, I don't want them either! How mature. And not good for me.

Several factors lead to this result. I started dating non-members from the beginning. In our youth group  we had about 12 teenagers. Most of us had grown up together which kills romantic mystique. One boy, who became very popular with the ladies, I remembered playing with him when we were four. Picking noses together as toddlers does not lead to sexual desire. Those of us in the group who dated either went out of the ward or out of the religion. My first boyfriend at age 16 was a nice non-practicing catholic drummer in a speed metal band. (it was 1992!).

Then when I went to college there was a sizeable singles ward full of Utah transplants. I felt like a freak from another planet. I did not understand the culture of that ward at all. I found the cliqueyness disgusting and couldn't get a boy to look at me twice. So I turned my back on that nonsense and stayed in my family ward. Those of us who spurned the singles ward became a pretty tight knit group for a few years. We had dances in town for the whole stake twice a month. That's where I met the recent convert that I dated when I was 21. That didn't work out at all. He just wanted a wife and rejected me for not being good enough. Whatever, he was the redneck who didn't go to college and lived with his mother. (He made her move to the guesthouse because she was living in sin.)

For the 8 years that I lived in the south I stayed on the fringes of the singles LDS life. There were two men I dated but we never became couples. One guy I was never attracted to but really wanted to be. The other had strung me along in a love quadrangle for a few months then dumped me at a Valentine's Day Dance. He told me he was getting back together with his ex, left me to sit by the wall and watch as he danced away with her.

The quadrangle drama was the result of my attempts to get into the singles social scene. I started attending the ward and going to activities, unaware that I was dating the guy that two of the more important females were in love with. So I didn't have a chance with the women, no one liked me. Except my friend April, we were paired as visiting teaching companions and found a real kinship that has lasted to this day. A lot of the other girls didn't like her either. I think they were too jealous because she looks like a prettier version of Britney Spears and was working on an MBA. (She's still single too.) My own behavior towards the other quad-women when I did realize we were in competition frightened and repulsed me more than anything else. And I haven't attended a singles ward since.

Blah, blah, blah. A few more years and boyfriends later, here I am. In no shape whatsoever to date anyone. I am not well. Trying to get into a relationship now could only end in disaster. The only man who would want me in this state would have to be sick himself. Bad, bad, bad. I'm wise enough to see that now. So I'm taking a breather from the drama. I haven't had a real date in almost a year. (The couple almost dates don't count.) I am on sabbatical from romance and the hunt. This isn't just lip service, the thought of going on a date makes me ill.

So now that I've been accused of being unfair to Mormon men, what am I going to do about it? Initially I didn't care. But I have since had an epiphany. This is my choice. The single LDS men my age belong to a social culture and operate by those rules. Up until now I have rejected that culture because it rejected me. Good for me, I'll die a spinster that way. I see now that if I want a nice Mormon boy then I will have to bend. I must set aside my pride and play their game by their rules. I don't like the game and I don't understand it but that's a pill I have to swallow. Unless I want to continue playing worse games with the non-lds dudes. They'll pretend they're ok with my celibacy to gain my trust so they can get into my pants. That's a no-brainer.

If I want a 'good' one, I have to stop waiting for the LDS man who plays by my rules to come and get me. That will never happen. Now I have resolved that if and when the day comes when I feel up to dating again, I will dip my toes into the mo'men pool and leave it there. I will pursue them with kid gloves on, using that magical mix of non-aggressive aggression. How to do that, I don't know. But that's for another day. Today, I'll enjoy my newfound maturity.

44 comments:

Anonymous said...

Those are some wise words. It's hard to read, since I've struggled with not wanting to play by their rules also. But I think you're right. If we want Mormon men to want us, we have to be what they want us to be. Sounds so demeaning, but when you really analyze it, like you have, it's the truth.

I also know all too well how hurtful it is when other Mormon women place you up to being nothing more than competition, and therefore you're not a person to befriend. You can only be regarded as the enemy.

I don't know. I too, am prideful. And I'm sure it'll be a few more years before I'm humble enough to swallow my own pride, and join in on the game.

Best of wishes for your healing journey. And thanks for updating your blog...you've helped a lot of people (including me) by being so honest and giving. And thanks for keeping the faith.  

Left by Anonymous

Anonymous said...

I liked what you wrote, but you still see things in an interesting way. I am married now, but was a single (very active) Mormon male for a long time - alot longer than you have been single.

The first comment is also interesting - "If we want Mormon men to want us, we have to be what they want us to be" - this is totally true. The next comment however makes me almost laugh - "Sounds so demeaning, but when you really analyze it, like you have, it's the truth."

For some reason, single Mormon women dont think it works both ways. Single Mormon males have to be what LDS women want us to be just as much.

You are not really being unfair to Mormon men, you are just looking for a Mormon male that is extremely rare. If you want more selection, you have to make yourself available to more of them - by being what they are looking for. The same goes for men looking for women.

For some reason educated single LDS women expect LDS men to make exceptions for them when they will not tolerate making those exceptions for the men - or for themselves.

Its a numbers thing, not a game, and the men are not the ones in charge. The people willing to adapt and make themselved desirable are running the show. Men and Women both.

LDS women are just as picky and superficial as the men. It works both ways. The only difference is, LDS men tend to work at getting married, some women dont think they have to. 

Left by Dennis

Chris said...

Dennis.

As a Single Mormon Male. I have to agree.

And JL, it really depends on what you want in a companion.

Here's what I look for:

Attraction: There has to be a physical attraction.
Smarts: I like a girl who can handle me intellectually (not hard..)
Funny: I want a girl who has a good sense of humor.
Spirtual: I want someone who's headed in the same direction I attemt to be.
She likes me for me: I am willing to change, but don't try to change me. That's doomed to fail. Unless I want to make the change.
She's ok with my slow crawl towards college education: I am slowly making my way through college. I have had some major bias against me by Masters Degree women. On the flip side, I have no debt and a very secure and well paying job.

In the end, I think both sides can do a lot to come together. Lots of times, I just have a hard time even believing that men and women can exist together, but I've seen to many examples of it happening to question it ;)

 

Left by Chris

JL said...

Dennis,
Interesting use of the word interesting. I think I was conceding all those things in the post. I don't want to turn this into men vs. women again. That's gone on ad naseaum in the bloggernacle. I give up, you win, you don't have to be condescending about it as well. It's hard enough for me to swallow my pride without having men saying "nice try, pretty close...maybe you'll figure it out next time cutie"  

Left by JL

Anonymous said...

Dennis, I'm glad since you're married (thanks for making that known, by the way) you were able to depart your marital wisdom unto the single women who may read this blog.

When I made my first comment, I suppose I should have implied I know men may often feel the same. I was really not trying to blame Mormon single men. I was trying to say that I think it is demeaning to anyone, whether they be man or woman, that in order for them to get what they want, they have to change who they are. It's a hard pill to swallow. If I do want to marry a Mormon man, I AM going to have to change who I am.

Nevertheless, I don't have it in me right now to try and comply and fit into some guy's dream Mormon mold. I like who I am right now, and just because some single priesthood holder doesn't...well, I'm not going to beat myself up about it.

I look at the things Chris listed, for example: I'm attractive, I'm intelligent, I have a sense of humor, I'm spiritually active, I'm not out to change a man to be something he's not. Even though I have these things, I suppose there are too many other aspects of my personality which just aren't agreeable.

I too, need to swallow my pride (aspect number one.) You're right it is about numbers, and just because I AM a rarity in this culture, doesn't mean that I should be granted any exceptions to find an exceptional man.

Yes Dennis, I'm so glad that something truly heart-wrenching for me made you almost laugh. I can picture you and your wife now, having a good *almost* laugh about it.

jinnmabe said...

I think it totally depends on what it is you're going to change to try to "land" a Mormon guy. Maybe it's something that, while personal to you, is relatively inconsequential (say, a fondness for tripe and onions). If it's something bigger, such as a fondness for literacy, I don't think it's pride that's keeping you from making that change.

Anonymous used the phrase "some guy's dream Mormon mold." I agree that it's WAY too taxing to try to fit this, mostly because without the specificity of THIS guy's "dream mold" your pool of potentially needed qualities is as huge as humanity. If you're serious about "changing" to get a guy (if it were me), I'd wait til I met or encountered a guy who I thought was worth it, and then I'd look at his "dream mold" and see if it was too taxing. Maybe you'd be right up his alley except for the fact that he always wanted a wife to sit through his clarinet recitals. That'd be different than finding out you were perfect for him, except that you're too short, and he's not too keen on your tooth brushing fanaticism (defined as "more than twice a week").

I mean, I once had a girl dump me because I liked the Simpsons. That's the kind of change up with which I will not put.

Left by jinnmabe

Mike Pape said...

"That's the kind of change up with which I will not put." -- HA! I thought I was the only person who had that phrase in their brain! I remember that from Kirstie Alley on Cheers, I think. HA!

At the risk of sailing into Mormon waters (not to mention dating waters) I know not and understand not, I would point out that pride is going to be a problem no matter what stage of life or situation a person is in. As a married dude, I have to give my pride up every day, because of love for my wife. I can't be emotionally resisting her because of hurt feelings, or bad things will happen. Maybe it's different for guys. But still, aren't I awesome for realizing this?

Wait, what was my point again? Oh, yes. I wish you well, JL. Thank you for your comment. 

Left by Michael

Anonymous said...

I sorry you took what I said so negatively. If you think I didnt go through just as much turmoil and "heart-wrenching" difficulty as you all have you are wrong. Im not laughing at anyone, just giving an opinion. I got married when I was 38. I know what the pain is all about. I wasnt laughing at anyone or trying to be smug. Im sorry you chose to see it that way. Lighten up a bit and maybe ask some questions before railing on me. 

Left by Dennis

izzy said...

"I mean, I once had a girl dump me because I liked the Simpsons. That's the kind of change up with which I will not put." 

LOL! 

Left by izzy

Anonymous said...

I just barely began reading this blog a couple of weeks ago, so maybe others have mentioned these ideas already. But, it's important to think about what "dating" means to individuals, to the LDS Church, and to society generally. I am fascinated with dating/courtship/relationship development, and am currently writing a thesis about it.

I lived in Mormon single wards for many years. I also tried to actually ask out the girls I was interested in, which didn’t necessarily mean they were interested going out with me. In my last semester at BYU, I remember thinking to myself: what percentage of the guys in this ward have actually asked a girl out on a date this semester? My personal estimate was about 20 percent. I asked a few other guys in the ward to give their best estimate, assuming that the cultural tradition is for guys to ask girls out, and defining for them that “asking out” means a guy asking a girl in a one-on-one manner, or the guy asks the girl to do something with him, either as a couple or in a group setting, and uses language such as “you” and “me” rather than “you and your roommates” or “come hang with us” or “we’re having some people over”. It was towards the end of the school year, so months of opportunities had been available, and it was at BYU in a pretty close, non-cliquish ward. The few guys I asked estimated between 10 and 30 percent. So, on an informal basis, I felt my estimate was at least somewhat accurate. For further evidence, just informally ask the guys you know if they are actually dating, according to whatever definition you want to provide, and see what you find out.

The other thing I have learned is that in U.S. culture, generally, dating is a lost art. Perhaps art is a bad word, but you get it :) Many studies have shown that traditional dating, where a guy calls a girl and they go out, one-on-one most of the time, to get to know one another better and/or because they are attracted to one another, is rare. Not many people do it, or expect it. This is something else that I think is worth asking single people about, both inside and outside the LDS Church, the meaning of dating. Dating has totally changed. Very few people date these days. I’m not saying it’s a good thing, but it’s important to figure out expectations on both sides. With what I’ve heard and read, our Church leaders encourage us to date in the traditional sense I described above (I think Elder Oaks spoke about dating recently in quite practical terms).

If, in Mormon culture, dating is the expectation, but most guys don’t ask girls out on “dates,” then there are going to be some serious problems. As a group, guys are not meeting girls dating expectations, and they might never meet them. Some guys obviously do make the effort and should be commended for it. There are probably many factors that keep the men from asking out the women, including the fear of rejection (which is very, very real), selfishness (16-player Halo tournaments that go on for entire weekends is certainly not going to be a social event with girls), not being attracted (I’ve seen the phenomenon of the few girls that get asked out by the few guys who actually ask girls out), indifference (idea that I’ll date once school or work slows down), changing cultural norms (guys don’t like to date), perceived “rules” (that might just be in our minds), etc. And while these are possible reasons for men not dating, some are applicable to the women as well (I’ve seen and experienced girls interpreting a guy asking them out to mean he’s totally obsessed with her).

Anyway, in my opinion, it’s no surprise that many Mormon women are frustrated with dating because it’s probably very rare for a Mormon guy to ask them out. In my opinion, guys don’t have any basis for being frustrated with dating and relationships if they never date. However, Mormon men who are actually asking women out get just as frustrated (and are probably the ones that are vocal about it) when nothing ever works out. In general, I think that if you (man or woman) find someone you are interested in, don’t expect them to approach you according to your dating expectations, because it probably won’t happen. 

Left by morris

noelle feather said...

Hi. I changed my blog address. Do you know how I can change it on the blogward thing, and the cultural hall blog, too?

Thanks! 

Left by feather123

Anonymous said...

This here is what I believe.

There is I think a main reason for getting married and that is to share God's love with one another and one's children. The first step to obtaining that love to share with others would be having a forgiving attitude toward oneself and others based in the Atonement and faith in the Lord. Second is having control over one physical nature through spirtuality (repentance). That then will result in receiving the Holy Spirit and that is God's love.

The challenge is finding a person who has that inside and will share that with another person for now and forever. To settle for less would result in unhappiness.

If a person hasn't found the right person yet, that's good in a way because they didn't settle for something that was bad. People should all look forward with an eye of faith for the possibility of good things to come in the future.

Maybe its better to have something to offer someone that to look for something they have to offer oneself. However I think the main characteristic one should reasonably expect is that the person they find will care for and love them. Wouldn't everything then fall into place? The church should be a strong resource for developing those traits.

 

Left by anonymous

JL said...

I think perhaps my post has been misunderstood. I am not going to change myself to attract an LDS men. I don't want someone who doesn't think I'm fabulous the way I am. I'm 30 years old, this is who I am now. To present myself as anything else would be deception and would result in a bad marriage if not divorce. What I am going to try to change is my attitude. And my dating techniques and expectations. Thanks you for your comments Morris I think you are correct.

I learned to expect men to ask me out and pursue me because in the real world that is how it works. in the mormon world it doesn't work that way, the men learn to have the women ask them out. Which is not their fault and I don't want to blame them for it anymore. So, when I feel healthy enough to pursue someone, I will get over myself and pursue them.  

Left by JL

Harlem Snowflake said...

I relate to Celibate a lot, Really, it was like she was paraphrasing my entire singles-ward-Mo'-men-thing. I didn't grow up in Utah, or even the West, so there were no LDS boys to date, except the four I grew up with, and eew. If I wanted to have any kind of normalized teenage experience (read:liking boys, kissing boys, "going out") like the rest of my peer group, it certainly wasn't gonna happen with a Mo. I would attend the stake dances with a wider selection of guys, and without fail they would ask the exact same "type" of girl to dance, fawn over, ask out. It was kind of pathetic. And before someone asks, yes, I did try to befriend or hang out with guys, but I just didn't fit the mold. And I was normal-looking (in the teen sense of the word), very smart, athletic and funny. So what was wrong with me? I'm still not sure.

Didn't attend BYU, there was not a big enough LDS presence at my college for a singles ward, so I attended a family ward, which was all I knew to that point in my life. Moved to NYC and went to the eighth ward and literally could not believe my eyes. It was like a bizarre new world and I was the stunned anthropologist. There was a whole different dress code, social structure, language and overall way that people interacted with each other. I can honestly say it was one of the only places in my life that I felt totally and completely invisible. Again, let me make it clear that I am NOT a freak, and love meeting new people. I just didn't get it, maybe from lack of experience. I also observed women sizing each other up, comparing and eyeing other women jealously. It was like a Sweet Valley High book made live, but with prayer. I felt like I was thrown into the weirdest unreality.

On the one hand, I wanted to tell all these women, Look, you've got a great job, killer bod, whip-smart brain and shiny hair - go ask the dude out. But the women I knew (not unlike how I felt inside) were somehow crippled by insecurity. No one ever feels like they measure up to some impossible version of perfection. I'm not saying LDS men are responsible for this, but the mirage exists nonetheless and the outcome seems to be that women feel like crap about themselves because they aren't getting asked out. And according to Morris, the guys are just not doing the asking for whatever reason, and the women are internalizing it.

Personally, I refuse to bend, as some have conceded. I have a degree from a great college, tons of friends, lots of talent and shiny hair to boot. Non-LDS men had no problem asking me out and I felt significantly less pressure to uphold some kind of image in their presence. They were the ones that made me feel the most natural, beautiful and interesting. To this day LDS men don't give me the time of day, but I get attention from non-LDS lawyers and MTA workers alike. Outcome: married non-LDS and never looked back. But that's just me.

 

Left by harlemsnowflake

Anonymous said...

I guess I have read this whole thing because I was horrified by what I was reading. Dating and relationships are not a game, and if that is how you see things happenning, run screaming from the room!
JL you are lucky that you did not get involved with any of those guys who were "palying the dating game", and you don't want to.

As for myself, I have decided that I don't want to marry some girl I have been dating. I want to marry my best friend. Consequently I have several friends, who are female, who I spend time with. Some are in Scripture study, some in school, (I am an old student) some are in church. I am active in the singles group in my ward and stake, but not to find a mate, only to meet friends. I am also active on a couple of singles groups online and corespond with several different Ladies, but again on a friendly level. I think it has to do with expectation. If you expect great things, you will almost always be dissapointed. If you expect some good things, and look for them, you will periodically be pleasantly surprised by the great things.

The upshot here is that I know that my Heavenly Father is mindful of my needs. No matter how lonely I feel, I will not make things better by running out and finding a woman who I will be able to mold myself to just to get hitched. When I am ready, and it is important to my salvation to have a wife, He will see that I get one, as long as I am doing the right things, prayerfully. It is not about pleasing the oposite gender, it is about pleasing the Lord.

He died for me, how can I doubt that when the time is right he will do this one small thing for me?
 

Left by teaddub

JL said...

Teaddub,

With all due respect, you can have that kind of faith because you are a man. Women in the church with perfect faith and hope for a righteous man to marry are going to be disappointed because we don't do polygamy anymore and the numbers just aren't there. If I were a man and my ovaries weren't aging, I think my whole attitude would be completely different. But I'm on a finite timeline, with 5 good birthing years left and the knowledge that there are not enough men to go around. I am not going to mold myself to any man. As I said in my comment above, I am willing to change my attitude and my dating techniques. That's all.

Snowflake,
I think I met you back when I lived in Harlem and attended the branch. I remember you because you are gorgeous and fabulous (we did a stint in the nursery once or twice). For the first 14 years of my dating life I would not bend, and if I had met a non-lds guy to marry, I would have. I figure I should give them one more chance before I give LDS men up for good. This time I'll try to give them a more fair chance--I'll do the asking out. If it fails then I won't look back either. 

Left by JL

Anonymous said...

I think teaddub's comments are interesting because they provide support to my previous post. I am in no way suggesting I know how LDS women think about relationships, but I could see how teaddub's idea of making many girl friends in the hope of finding a “best friend” could be totally interpreted by women as a game. If Mormon women expect us to ask them out on actual dates, and we don't do it, then they are going to be confused. I am really not trying to be confrontational, so please read my next words in a calm manner, but I wonder, teaddub, what will or has happened once you try to get more serious with any of these girl friends you speak of because my guess is that they will begin to seriously analyze you as a romantic interest or potential companion once you ask them out on an actual date. If you’re just friends, then that is all you are to them until you ask them on a date, even if they might have some interest in you. The “asking out” is the measuring stick. So (again in my experience and not speaking for all women), even if you’re friends with a woman for years, until you ask her out, she is probably not analyzing your relationship in a romantic/companionate way.

Another thing I thought was interesting in teaddub’s comments is the idea that God will just give us a companion and everything will work out. We have to take some action. That action is dating, not just trying to establish a bunch of friendships and hope one of these girlfriends will suddenly want to marry us. I apologize for simplifying your argument too much. If your line “as long as I am doing the right things, prayerfully” includes asking girls out on dates, then I think Heavenly Father might help guys with finding a partner (although the reality is that you/we still might never find someone in this life). But, if it doesn’t include asking girls out, then my personal belief is that you/we will not have His support.

This whole post leads me to another phenomenon I think is occurring these days. It seems like guys don’t use dating as a means to get to know girls anymore. Many guys I know like to “hang out,” do things in groups, or just generally become friends with girls, while they are, at the same time, evaluating them as potential mates. However, I don’t think women are doing it to the same extent, if at all. (Again, I feel like I’m walking on very thin ice here in attempting to summarize what LDS women believe, but it comes from listening to many of them over the years). I do believe LDS girls have some initial attraction/repulsion but if a guy is friendly and they are somewhat attracted to him, they await an invitation for a date. This certainly seems reasonable. I agree with many of the women here that they shouldn’t have to ask guys out, and in my experience, that only happened in cases such as ladies’ choice dances (I truly don’t know any guys that expect girls to ask them out, but maybe I don’t know guys of that type). To conclude, when/if a guy finally asks a girl out, he has oftentimes already made up his mind that he is interested in her as a potential mate, but the woman has not had this opportunity since she has been awaiting an invitation. Once the guy asks her out she begins a more detailed analysis of him as a potential mate. Thus, there is an imbalance of interest between man and woman right from the beginning. The guy is physically, and at least somewhat spiritually and emotionally attracted to the woman, but the woman is still unsure about whether she is attracted to the guy in any aspect (which is where I can understand why some women feel guys are obsessed early in a relationship). If guys would ask out girls and utilize dating as a tool to determine whether they are interested in the woman as a potential mate, I think they would be more in line with how women think about dating.

And if any of the girls feel I am totally off on this, then please correct me. These are just my observations through experience and study. Wow, these posts take me like an hour to write. 

Left by morris

JL said...

Morris,
Thank you again for your thoughtful comment. It's nice to hear from a man who's thought so much about it. I think you are right on with the women. If a guy hasn't asked us out or done anything else to express interest then we assume he isn't interested. And I always thought of dates as a way to get to know someone and see if you are compatible, not what you do after you think you want to marry someone. That is very confusing to women. It's just a date so what's the big deal? But it's like the men think going on a date is a big commitment already so they never want to do it. I'm at the point in my life where I have friends already so I don't want to 'hang out' with guys who aren't interested in me. Either ask me out, express your interest or stop wasting my time.

I guess I assumed that the men must be waiting for us to ask them out since they weren't doing it themselves. Something else that men might not be aware of, it is extremely unattractive for a man to be wishy washy. One who can't make up his mind on whether or not he wants to date you, or is too afraid to make a move is an instant turn-off. It comes across as weak, and fearful. Yuck yuck yuck. But a man who is bold and forthright is SEXY. So even if a woman wasn't interested in you to begin with, she'll take another look if the guy is bold enough to ask her out.

Snowflake,
Good on you for attending 8th ward. I went to 2 sacrament meetings, got so sick I never went back.  

Left by JL

Anonymous said...

Yes I ask my friends out. If dating is spending time alone getting to know each other, I have been doing a lot of dating. I walk with some of them, and eat dinner with some, and go to events like Wordstock here in Portland last week with others.

We date, I pay for everything. I drive, I go to the door to pick them up, I walk them to the door when it is over. In between we will bowl, or ride bikes or walk the park or sit in a resturaunt and play "story line". (It is a game where one person writes a line to start the story, then passes the notebook and the other person writes the next line and passes it back etc.).

We DON'T have any expectations, we DON'T have to kiss after it is over, or at any time during, we DON'T even have to hold hands. All we have to do is spend some time alone getting to know each other better. I don't know anyone I want to spend my life with yet, but relationships develop over time. That is what I call dating.

What most people call dating is when the guy asks the girl out and they both start thinking in terms of "do I want to marry this person". Truth to tell, you won't truly know them well enough until you have been dating for a long time. And kissing doesn't have to be a part of the getting to know them. Talking does. Once again, it is about expectations. Yes I put myself out there. No I don't expect every date to be the one.

This kind of expectation also has the tendancy to apply a lot of preasure to the two people dating. This includes preasure to measure up to the expectations of the other, to be aware of whether the other is measuring up to your expectations, and I am sure you can all figure out a hundred preasure points in this kind of dating. Let it go. Go out with people who are your friends. In a friendship there are very few expectations. And yes girls, if you have a friend who is a guy, encourage the friendship. If he is worth having for a friend he will take you out and not need to think in terms of relationships.

As for those things that are SEXY to anyone, that is always the wrong thing to look for in a mate. If you love them they will become the most sexy person you know, no matter what you thought about them to begin with. Get over first imporessions and the preasures of dating. Meet some friends of the opposite gender, and have some fun with them. You may find a knid of SEXY in someone that you never knew existed.

As for the remark by Snowflake about my having faith because I am a man, faith is not gender based. Ruth had that kind of faith, and just did the right thing as often as she was able, even though it was demeaning or distatseful to her. Faith is the only way to achieve salvation, even if you do get to get married in the temple.

Do you believe that because I am a guy Christ is going to help me but because you are a girl he won't help you? There is no issue that he can not overcome, none that you can not overcome with his help, if you have faith. That is what it is all about. It may not happen in your time frame, but it will in His, IF YOU HAVE FAITH, HOPE and the PURE LOVE OF CHRIST, and endure to the end. That is a promise that He has given us.

JL, I hope you can understand where I am coming from. I have been married and went about it the wrong way, the expectations dating way. For 19 years I thought we were in love, both of us. Turned out I was in love with an ideal, and she became best friends with my best friend. She left me and my kids in our house and went away.

I am a single father, raising the last three of five kids and doing my best to deal with a loneliness born of a knowledge of what I am missing. I will not go into details here, but I have almost really screwed my life up again by going back out and trying that expectations dating again, and learned just in time that I really want to be friends first. I have experience here, and am still waiting on the Lord to lift me on wings, like eagles! (Isaiah 40:31) 

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Harlem Snowflake said...

JL,

I feel bad I can't sort out who you are, but you know me? That makes me lame! I have always felt like I'm so in and out I am surprised anyone would remember me, much less as gorgeous and fabulous (that seriously made my day, so thank you) or on a blog without my name attached (am I so obvious?). I hardly remember my days in nursery, which were seriously a blur. Who thought I would be good with toddlers? I wore pants (gasp) and rolled on the floor and stole the kids' goldfish cuz I never had time to eat breakfast and I never understood how a two year old would understand a lesson about Jesus. Anyway, this whole dating topic is very depressing to me even though I have totally removed myself from it, but these posts bring me back.

I knew SO many women in the 8th ward (and others) who seemed to go about in this bizarre total insecurity based on the LDS guys not asking them out. I do think that having the guys ask the ladies out is TOTALLY the socialized norm in Mormon culture. It's not like this culture is the high point of feminism urging women to get out there and take what you want and be ballsy and whatnot. Um, that is not how I was socialized as an LDS woman, and I didn't even grow up where the "ideal" is the thickest.

I really think as women (at least here in NYC, it seems) there is this sudden jarring effect - wait, we're supposed to be great in all these ways in order to be ready to be a great spouse, mother and homemaker. So we work really hard at bettering ourselves physically, spiritually, interpersonally, thinking there will be some kind of pay-off, because directly or indirectly, that's what we are being taught. And then when the guys don't come a-callin, we are like, Um, what's wrong with me?
Why am I not attractive to anyone? Then we judge and self-hate and get depressed and fall prey to all these horrible things, when in fact we ARE as fabulous as we were preparing to be. And I have no understanding at all of why there aren't guys crawling all over all these fab women. In fact, my now husband (non-LDS, mind you) accompanied me to a few singles sacraments and was just SHOCKED at the fabulous, intelligent hotness of the ladies. He was like, Um, I would convert just for the hot chicks. Then I would point out who i knew was single and/or felt inadequate and he would just shake his head like, What the h*ll is wrong with these men?

I have to admit, I even felt bad at times that none of the guys even so much as asked me my name. Sure, I had a boyfriend, but THEY didn't know that. I don't know, I don't mean to imply that everyone should give up their desire to marry a Mormon, I totally see the importance and value in it. I just feel that it's so detrimental to people's self-esteem to keep trying to find love and satisfaction in a pool of people who for some reason are unable to give it, when there is a whole world out there of amazing, caring, spiritual men who would LOVE to date you. And maybe they aren't LDS now, but they could be someday. Who knows?

Actually, I went to two 8th ward sacrament mtgs my first year in NYC, returned home in tears and didn't return again for another two years. Went sporadically until I landed in the tiny shack in Harlem where I could finally exhale, show up without worrying about my makeup and apparently stumble through nursery without killing anyone's children. 

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JL said...

Snowflake,

Don't worry about not knowing who I am, when you came to the branch I was already depressed and trying to make myself invisible. I probably didn't even talk to you. But I remember you because I thought I would really like you (you mentioned in your blog your husband is african american, there aren't many mixed couples around.) and I was glad you were coming to the branch. But then I went to Ireland and lost my apartment when I came back and was homeless and ended up moving to Bed-stuy. I really miss it there. I haven't found a ward so welcoming since. I guess I should feel proud of myself for only crying the first time I went to the 8th ward. I'm glad to know I wasn't the only one to find it so horrid. I'm totally open to marrying a non-member and know plenty that do want to date me, it's the celibacy thing that's hard to negotiate. But I don't think i ever gave the mo'men a fair chance, so they i'll give it one more go when I'm better. But I won't get my hopes up for success.

Teadubb,
it sounds like you and i are in very different places in our lives. And if your way works for you then that's great and you're lucky to have found some contentment with your relationships. I'm sorry for the loss of your marriage and the pain that must have caused. Of course faith is not gender based. But the reality is that there are more LDS women then men. That means that some lds women who may have perfect faith in getting married will not do so in this life. And I don't feel like I have the luxury to spend years getting to know lots of men as friends in the hopes that it will become more serious. I have had men who were my best friends, after they were my boyfriends and men who were my best friends but we were never romantic. At this point, I don't want to spend a lot of time with men who don't know if they are interested in me or not because I can find plenty of men who are interested from the get go. And yes there are all kinds of sexy I'm aware of that. I just wanted to let the guys know that one quick way to stand out to a woman was to do something bold and put themselves on the line. Again, I'm happy for you and that you have worked things out for yourself. That's just not where I'm at right now.  

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Anonymous said...

Yes, teaddub, I echo what JL wrote. You and I sound like we're in very different dating situations. Again, I apologize if I came across too critical. You may be speaking from experience I have yet to gain. 

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Artguy said...

Wow, lots of advice and concern out there. I am a 37 year old "good" single mormon guy in Utah. I don't have the ovary motivation, but I feel cruddy about the whole dating thing. You get somewhat interested and then it begins. The manipulation, the lack of being perfect in many ways, the priesthood and relatives advice, the "Finaly" look on everyones face, The eventual knowlege it isn't going to happen, the bad break up, the distainful looks, and back to zero again.

I have had bad days and good days. The good days are when I focus on Christ. Like the story when Peter was walking on the water to Jesus. As long as he was focused on Christ he made it. I know, for me, this single situation is a chance for me to get to know my Savior in a way that I could never have known him. This may not help, but it is actually a great opportunity for spiritual growth. Adversity requires you to grow or die. I enjoy wieghtlifting, the more resistance the more strength. I guess being a Mormon single has some real spiritual power lifting exersizes. I hope you, and I can find the growth available in this trial of singledom. If you ever come to Utah lets go on a date.  

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Lollygagger said...

Ooh...JL, you should go out to Utah to go out with Artguy.

My advice: don't ever step foot in the Manhattan 8th Ward again. Anathema to happiness. Except I love the bishop there...but he's got to be on the brink of release.

I go to the Inwood singles ward and it is so nurturing and lovey. And I actually was in a RELATIONSHIP with someone in the ward! After 4 years in M8, I'd been asked out maybe one time.

About the whole faith thing: I agree with both Harlem Snowflake and Teadubb. I can have as much faith as a man can. God loves me as much as he does men, wants my happiness and success, etc. BUT I have to realize the things I am up against (the numbers thing, waning fertility, etc.) and be willing to think outside of my cultural upbringing. I know what I consider important. I want to get married in the temple, raise my kids in the Church, etc. I don't see a reason to compromise those things. But at this point I have to open my head enough to see they aren't going to happen in the normal way. It is through faith that you can step out into the unfamiliar (dating a nonmember, for example) and through your faith God will lead you through to your desires. God takes our desires very seriously.

And now I'm even going to share a scripture in response to JL's statement "But I won't get my hopes up for success": "Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life." A friend shared this with me once when I was saying that I was officially giving up hope and said that she thinks you HAVE to get your hopes up! It is going to be painful; that's kind of inherent in hope (because you are separated from the thing you hope for), but you still have to keep it alive somewhere. 

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Lollygagger said...

Oh. That scripture is Proverbs 13:12. 

Left by Minerva

metamorphose said...

It has been interesting keeping up with this. And I hope JL that once you're well, you'll keep us avid readers updated about your giving LDS guys another chance.

I'm reminded of a thought I had in church not too long ago (especially harlemsnowflake's comments) how it seems that a lot of single women base their self-esteem on whether or not a LDS guy is interested in them. (I don't know how it is with guys, and I won't pretend that I do, so I won't go there.) But I know I've experienced this, and some of my roommates too -you try your best to be someone a LDS guy might like, and then it never happens. So you think something's terribly wrong with you, and God, Himself must not think you're good enough.

But of course that's not true. And being that it's not singular or unique to me, or any other girls I know who feel the same way (we all ponder why LDS guys don't ask us out and non-LDS do, the art of dating is not completely dead, only with LDS singles apparently, ha ha) it doesn't mean that the Lord doesn't think I'm not good enough for a worthy LDS man. It's sucks when I find myself in this train of thought -but I guess it's another one of Satan's traps that are so easily to fall into.

I have a bad attitude a lot of the time. I definitely need to lighten up about it.  

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thevitaminkid said...

If you're playing a numbers game, then you might find the odds more even (heh heh) among non-LDS Christians. Of course, Christian has become a devalued word, a debased currency. A lot of self-described "Christians" wouldn't share your values on celibacy, for example. However, there are many stricter churches where the men would truly respect and share your desire to follow God's laws of sexual purity. I grew up in such a tradition.

This isn't to say you shouldn't give males in your own tradition another chance, but with the numbers as they are -- there aren't as many of them to give a chance *to*.  

Left by eric

Anonymous said...

This is really sad. LDS women think the men dont like them, decide they are not measuring up when they dont get asked out, then think the men are gutless wimps.
The LDS men think the women dont like them, think the women are stuck up bitches when they getted turned down or ignored, and stop asking.

all you single people need to FLIRT way more. 

Left by Anonymous

Carolyn said...

I feel I HAVE to get in on this discussion. I too have been single for a very long time. Spent many years wondering why LDS men didn't ask me out. Did the friend thing way too much. And then one day an epiphany. I decided that I did not need any more male friends. I *have* friends. That's what women are for. I don't need men for friendship.

I started making it crystal clear to the men who wanted to get to know me that I did not do the friend thing. If a man was interested in me he could ask me out. This applied to both LDS and non-LDS men. My female friends all thought I was crazy, especially the ones in the church. They lectured me on how "you never know what can happen" and how you "have to give a guy a chance". They told me I would die alone.

Well, I did spend a lot of time alone. A couple of years with no dates and no male friends. But then a funny thing started to happen. I started to get asked out by really nice men. True, I didn't have a lot of dates. The typical response to my I-don't-do-the-friend-thing-speech was that the men would scatter like rats. But this lack of quantity was more than made up for in quality. The ones who didn't run, the ones who stepped up and actually asked me out, were so worth it. Really great guys, who treated me well, took me out, made a fuss over me, treated me like an attractive, desirable woman.

And then another funny thing started to happen. For the first time in my life I actually started to enjoy my social life. Because their interest in me was openly expressed, I could relax. I started to feel like the attractive, desirable woman they saw.

This lead to a serious ongoing relationship with an LDS man who asked me out five minutes after he met me. (To be more precise he said, "I'd really like to get to know you. I think we should be friends." To which I said, "I don't believe men and women should be friends. If a man is interested, he'll ask me out." To which he replied, "Then will you go out with me because I really want to get to know you.")

I came close to getting married. It didn't work out for reasons that I'm not going to go into here. But I actually left that relationship with more self-esteem than I had when I went into it. Wow. Another first for me. Even though it didn't work out, I felt beautiful. I felt loved. It was a relationship that I was grateful to have had. A relationship that was a growing rather than a wounding experience.

I don't know if I will marry. Maybe I will die alone. Somehow that thought doesn't seem quite as scary as it once was. I've been alone before. It hasn't been my preference. But it hasn't killed me yet either.

There are worse things. Because you know what's worse than being alone? Being with some immature boy who is pussyfooting around and who can't decide if he likes you or not. That is not fun. That's enough to drive your self-esteem into the ground. I don't know if I will marry, but I do know that I will not spend another precious second of my life with that kind of guy.

Life is too short. Whatever happens, I am going to enjoy myself. If I do socialize it will be with men who treat me well.

If I have one regret, it's that I didn't raise my standards earlier. What would have happened if I had raised the bar at age 18 or 20 instead of at age 35? Those guys who hung around with me as friends took up a lot of time and space in my life. Who might I have met if I had made room in my life for the right kind of man? Would I be married? Would I have a family now? I am haunted by this thought.

But I can't go back. I do know that if I had my younger self sitting in front of me right now the one piece of advice I would give her is, "Never, never, never allow a man you are interested in to be your friend." (Not that I would have listened to myself. I was pretty stubborn in my youth!! ;-))

Ladies, don't be afraid to ask for what you really want. It separates the men from the boys. The right kind of man will step up. (I can't help noticing that in the discussion so far it's been primarily the men who have been defending the whole non-commital pussy-footing nebulous friendship thing because it works for them. But it sucks for women.!!)

Don't let the scary supply and demand statistics discourage you either. Do you really want a wishy washy man? I'm thinking no.

There's a reason why church leaders encourage us to date in the traditional sense and to keep our standards high. (They keep saying it over and over but do we listen?) Social customs exist for a reason. I don't think we should enable men. The right kind of man will give you what you want. Hint -- ladies, men need women. They will conform to whatever standards we set. It's one of the reasons why the sexual revolution is so wrongheaded. But I digress...

At the moment there are a few men I am interested in -- a non-LDS collegue I met through work, a non-LDS Christian who lives in my neighbourhood, and an LDS guy I met at church. Some of them I have dated. Some I hope to date. But whatever happens I will never, never go back to the way it was before.

So please learn from my mistakes. I wasted a lot of time. But I am older, wiser and happier now.

All the best to you.

 

Left by Carolyn

JL said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing Carolyn!

You're totally right that it's better to be alone than with a person who treats you poorly. That's probably why a lot of us are still single. That is one way I will not bend.  

Left by JL

Anonymous said...

The hardest thing for me about the Manhattan singles ward (there was only one back in those days) - and it wasn't *only* a problem in Manhattan, but it was heightened there - was the paradox of 'regular' vs. 'church' life. If you're single in Manhattan, it's likely you're either a student or a working woman (or both). From the mormon side of things, mostly church every Sunday, you get all the traditional mormon-focused teachings and cultural training as a woman - prepare for marriage, prepare for motherhood, prepare to be in an eternal family 'presided' over by a man, be attractive, be 'soft'/approachable, be 'nice,' don't say things that make the men think you are a man-hater (the bar for this in the mormon world is *EXCEPTIONALLY* low - just about any wished-for improvements/cultural changes can be interpreted as being feminist/a man hater/mormon man basher/etc.), don't pursue the men too much (don't be pushy or aggressive - again, *very* low bar for being such), etc., etc., etc.

Then, in the everyday world of school and/or work - well, life is moving ahead, and so must you. The things that will make you successful in the mormon dating world, will nearly all be an impediment to your success in business and/or grad school, etc. You have to learn how not to 'nice' yourself into bad situations, lower pay, being the one that does all the work, etc. You have to grow a strong backbone and learn to deal with difficult clients, colleagues, managers. You have to be assertive and be able to read the politics and learn how to position yourself for success, learn who to look out for, how not to get stepped on, backstabbed, or passed over.

These two worlds collide in the most profoundly painful ways I've ever observed. I saw so many women waiting for The One, who also stagnated their careers, never got raises, promotions - worked as admins (a non-threatening position, but they could have done so much more), junior- or back-office level project manager-types, etc., making just enough money to pay their share of the flat they shared with 3-4 other single mormon women. And they kept this up for years, well into their 30s and 40s. It was clear they were honing the skills to be wives and mothers, but were coasting along in the rest of life, and disappointed on both fronts. The 'leading lives of quiet desperation' was always running through my mind back then.

The women who chose to pursue a career enthusiastically since they weren't married anyhow, were seen as more threatening and didn't get asked out much either. There were a very small number who managed to bridge both worlds successfully, but it was definitely the exception.

The question of what to do, who to be, until you get married is a terrifying one for single mormon women. It's demeaning and is self-esteem bashing as well - especially if you're trying to be successful in two completely different milieux, with two contraindicated sets of expectations, rules, norms, etc., and not having much demonstrable success on either front. All week at work you can reflect on how other women are passing you by, you become more and more invisible. And on Sunday, your day of rest - and hope that maybe this week, "he" will be there...and that he'll see you - you get lessons and talks that prescribe roles and patterns for women that you can't quite fit into. No success in either arena. Year after year after year. It's a perfect recipe for frustration, depression, quiet desperation.

For me, it was not tolerable. I chose to take the not-married time I had and become very strong on the career front. The mormon guys had never liked me anyhow, so I figured I could excel in business instead. And I did. And then in my 30s, I met the best man ever - and I married him. He is non-LDS, and I'm pretty sure this was exactly as it was meant to be, for me. It has worked out to be better for me than I could ever have imagined - I'm glad I didn't get what I wished for.

A Non 

Left by A Non

Anonymous said...

Has anyone out there read "In Over Our Heads" by Richard Keagan? I keep seeing signs of the truth of his theories in this blog. Take a look if you get the chance, it is not an easy read, but if you can get through the first two chapters you will begin to understand what he is trying to say. 

Left by teaddub

Anonymous said...

I am sick of women saying that they have "threatening" careers to men. Do men actually tell you this? Or do you tell each other that? I have never considered an ambitious woman a threat - On the contrary, I find women with no ambition to be unattractive. Where does this "you are successful in life so you are a threat" thing come from? 

Left by Anonymous

JL said...

Thank you A Non for your comment too. It is really heartening to hear from all these other women who seem to be going through the exact same thing I have. And to hear from other voices, my own frustrations and sorrows. It means I am not really a freak unique in this world, but one among many. Thank you sisters for sharing.

Anonymous, I didn't even want to dignify your comment with a response, but I am going to. In fact, I have been told this by a man. We went out but it took a few years for us to actually date. Because when we met and were flirting, he asked me what I did. When I told him I was getting a Masters, he nodded his head and walked away. 2 years later when we were dating, I asked him why he rejected me that day. He said he felt stupid talking to me because he was just a freshman. That phenomenon does not work the other way around. And it happens to those of us pursuing careers over and over and over again. Probably for the reasons A Non mentioned, because we learn to be more aggressive in business and in mormon culture that is considered unattractive.  

Left by JL

Anonymous said...

That is unfortunate, sounds like men may be more gutless than I thought. Personally, I date alot (and no, I dont "hang out"). The last time I got dumped ended up being because she thought I went skiing too much. I wish she would have asked me about it instead of just assuming my hobbies ruled me. I ski because I enjoy it and have the time. If she had asked me to stop, I would have. Ive skiied enough in my life. I guess bad assuptions go both ways. 

Left by Anonymous

jillmaren said...

For "Anonymous" who didn't think Mormon men are threatned by successful women:

I too have proof of this. when I was in my early 20s, I had a handful of LDS guy friends (and we were ONLY friends because I was dating one of them for a very long time). After the relationship ended with the one guy, I continued to be friends with the others. We talked about dating a lot (not each other, but LDS dating in general) and they all mentioned that education was a real attractive quality in a woman. They thought it was "cool" that I had such high ambitions. they said they'd never marry a girl who wasn't educated or driven. But you know what? 3 of those 4 guys are married, not one of them to a woman who completed college. Guy #4 has SUCH high standards he barely even considers women as potential dates. He dumped a friend of mine because, at one point BEFORE they even knew each other, she had her temple recommend revoked (she had it back when they were together, BTW). I had a small crush on him at ine point and I did the unthinkable and TOLD him. I was flat-out rejected, of course and I later found out through the grape vine that it was because I was slightyl inactive at one point. Anyway, I digress. My main point has more to do with the actual stats of this group of male LDS friends who SWORE they were only interested in educated women adn never even DATED any. (not to put down the women they DID marry - that's not what I'm doing - they're all very smart women who chose not to finish college and prefer to focus on building a family as soon as their husbands are making a little more money).  

Left by jillmaren

Anonymous said...

Im sorry Jillmaren, but your proof is really just a conclusion. Just because they didnt complete college doesnt mean that they arent intellegent and have no ambition. Ambition and goals in life may or may not have anything to do with college. It does seem that some men have actually voiced that issure though.

That being said, it is unfortunate that there are a so many single LDS women in the middle of this difficulty. I have no good answer, but it seems that both males and females need to take matters into their own hands more. 

Left by Anonymous

JL said...

teadubb,

I have not read that book or heard anything about it. Perhaps you'd like to tell us about it here? 

Left by JL

Anonymous said...

Can I ask the women if they would ever consider marrying a guy that had significantly less education or career ambition than them? I don't just mean you have a Masters and he has a bachelors degree. For example, would you ever consider a guy who decided college wasn't right for him and never went/graduated or a guy who got a bachelors degree and wants to be a schoolteacher, or a bus driver, or even a stay-at-home parent? Maybe I've read the dates wrong, but I think a few women have dismissed me because I don't plan to be a lawyer or doctor or businessman and make six figures. The few instances I can think of were this might have happened involved very confident, driven women, which is what was attractive to me in the first place; they had interesting ideas and life goals. Perhaps it's just the women I asked out, but I just wanted to ask and see what some of your thoughts are. Would you ever consider a serious relationship or marriage with a man that had considerably lower career ambition or education than you (whatever your career or education are)? 

Left by morris

Lollygagger said...

Morris,

I wouldn't want to say I would never have a serious relationship with someone with low career ambition or education, because I don't like to say never. That said, I generally feel that I want to be with someone educated. This is mainly because I am educated myself and I want to be with someone I can relate to. I want to be completely comfortable with whomever I end up with. As for career ambition, I would definitely want someone who was passionate about whatever he did, though I do not tend to be attracted to lawyer/doctor/businessman types. I don't care about vast quantities of money; I care about responsibility and priorities. I don't think I would want to marry someone who wanted to be a stay-at-home dad but not because someone who wanted to do that would automatically be unattractive to me. It's because I want to be a stay-at-home mom. 

Left by Minerva

JL said...

I wouldn't say no to someone right off because of their career or level of education. I dated a marine who was going to chef school. I had to break up with him because we had almost nothing in common and our relationship was superficial. The guy I met in Ireland had never been to college and we got along great. If he had asked, I would have moved there for him. I suspect that it would be easier for me to get along with someone who has a college degree because education is such a major part of my life. I do know that some mormon women are after trophy husbands and will only date men with rich potential. But I think those women get married off early on, otherwise they learn to loosen up on that. I would guess that more women are willing to marry 'down' in terms of success and wealth than the other way around. 

Left by JL

jinnmabe said...

When I say "I can't believe a guy actually told you that he wouldn't date you because you were too smart" I don't mean that I think you're lying, I totally believe you. I just can't fathom guys like that. It strikes me as so weird. That said, I don't think you can use the fact that your friends married women who didn't finish college as evidence that they are "threatened" by educated women. There's lots of reasons that someone doesn't finish college that don't have to do with "my husband is threatened".

I feel for you guys. Wishy-washiness is such an annoying (actually, what's a stronger word than "annoying"?) thing, and to have to experience it all the time, in such an important area of your life must be maddening. 

Left by jinnmabe

Anonymous said...

Richard Keagan is the professor emeritus of psychology at Harvard. He has been doing some research into the way adults develop. Many very learned men have studied the way humans develop physically, mentally and emotionally while growing up. Keagan is the first to look deep into the development of adults, and he carries his theories into the realm of spirtual development as well as the emotional and mental. I had to study him in a Developmental Psych class in my sophmore year. His book is not considered a textbook, just a non-fiction novel, but my professor used it as a text. It is not an easy read, because the subject is a hard one to discribe in words. He does get his point across, however, if you keep reading. The first thing that happenned to me when reading it was I got lost in the first two chapters, but after the third I was begginning to get it.

What is interesting about this forum is that you don't know me and so I can say whatever I want without fear of rejection. This doesn't reall change the way I would address this subject but I think that on the whole everyone is more open and not sfraid to dig deep into a touchy subject. Personal feelings are more evident here than they would be in a "coffee shop" in person setting. I am seeing people's ages and hering the kinds of things Keagan says I should expect to hear at that stage of life. I find it fascinating to read this stuff. Now everyone will clam up because they think I am analyzing them Don't do that. I am not analyzing, I am just noticing as I read. This is not a bad thing, but it reminds me why, at 46, I don't particularly want to find some beautiful young thing to marry.

His theories, by the way, closely parralel what we know from the scriptures, and my thesis was to show how the "new" theories of our learned men have been with us for 3500 years in the form of scripture. "In Over Our Heads" should be available at bookstores, it is a relatively young book and is still in print, I believe. If you have the time it will be time well spent. Iwill not rtry to go into his theories here, ther is not enough room on this forum to even summarize without losing some important stuff. 

Left by teaddub

Nicole said...

I was 24 and unmarried in the singles ward in Indianapolis. I was so sick of it all - guys had no interest in relationships at ALL. Not even dating. Anyway, I went on to LDSSingles.com and found this guy in Virginia. We started talking and found out that we had so much in common. About 2 weeks later we met in person and were engaged. I never thought I would find a person like my husband. We are truly each other's best friends - and we know all of each other's secrets. There were so many times when he was going to school in Utah where the girls liked to date him because he had a nice car, and he was a gentleman and he paid for everything, and then the minute they found out that he didn't know what he wanted to "be" he was dropped like a hot potato. As for me, I was one of the "untouchable" women, who was agressive (grew up in NYC), and well educated, stylish, and career focused... although I had no problem dating, I would never be asked out, nor would any of the other women in my circumstance either. You could tell what the draw back was. And the other girls were AWFUL. They hated us - wouldn't even talk to us - if a guy paid us attention over them. I've never seen such behavior.

But I wound up with the perfect person for me. And I am so fortunate for that, because not everyone gets that. He's a wonderful man, will be a fabulous father, and we love each other for everything we are - for every wart. And you know? He hasn't finished his degree, and he has some major learning disabilities... but it doesn't matter because he is my best friend. Neither of us has had to change for the other - and noone should ever have to do that. Either they accept you or they don't.

I think that when you find the person who is perfect for you, you will know. Even if that person is not a member. Maybe this is the plan you accepted - to marry outside of the church. I hope that you find someone to share your life with, whether or not they are a member.  

Left by Nicole