Double Standard 2: Guest Post

 John Silva of Single Mormon Male blog left this comment to The Double Standard post.  I invited him to submit a guest post and he has. I appreciate having a young man's perspective.

JL asked:

"What I wonder, is if single LDS men have a reversed double standard? Are they more selective with mo'women than they are with non-LDS women? They're probably less likely to date outside the church. And they're in a different league out in the real world. Just curious, if anyone knows."

Me, being the curious beaver that I am, decided to write up on the subject.

I would like to relate my own experiences on the matter. This summer, at the Disney College Program (again, I know, but a lot went down there :P ) I went on a lot of dates with LDS women and non-member women as well.  The dates with every single one of them were fun! As I went out with these wonderful women, I realized . . . I had a different standard when it came to asking these women out. Although I could go way in to my standards for girls I want to actively date or those I just want to go on a date with, that will have to wait for another time. Let's just say that as a super dater, I will go out with pretty much anything that moves.

But even then, that was different in Florida. The LDS girls I asked out on dates were the cream of the crop of the options when it came to my interests in girls, even though there were few of them I really wanted to get exclusive with. When it came to the non-LDS women, I asked out girls that I had never taken out before. They had extremely different standards than I did, and they were on a lower standard field than the LDS girls I took out. . . . No, I did not take out any of the girls to make out with them or go crazy, I did it just because they were fun to flirt with and I wanted to add to my dating number.

I just remember how some of these non-LDS girls were... they were fun, super flirty, attractive, but at the same time, talked about subjects that I would quickly change, suggested I do things with me that I would never even consider, and they just did not have the same drive as LDS women do.

I have come to the conclusion that what I expect out of LDS women is much higher than non-member women. I tend to avoid the very bottom of the potential pool because those type of people do not interest me in the least . . . I must change something I said from earlier, I won't date anything that moves, I do date a lot, but I date those girls that tend to grab my interest, and that is higher for Mormon girls rather than non-member girls.  The LDS girls were always of a much higher caliber than the non-LDS girls and I have noticed that.  I have a double standard going on here!

Why is that? Why when I am not actively seeking a girlfriend, I still have this standard where I will ask out super great LDS girls while non-LDS girls, whom I will go out with, I will settle for less?  Is it because when I just want to have fun, I feel I am in a safe position to avoid anything serious with these girls?

It is really weird to me that those standards change so much between which group a girl belongs to.  It is also strange to me that my standards change so much between my fun dating life and my serious dating life.

This is going to call for a new range of analysis.

Conclusion: LDS men do have a double standard when it comes to dating outside the church. Although I only related my experiences, I have seen this with other LDS men too. We aim high in the church and if we even do date outside the church, we tend to date just for fun and are not looking for anything serious, and we lower our standards then just for the heck of it!

I'm really interested in this subject . . . I'll explore it more later. Maybe do some more dating just to figure it out too, that is going to have to wait 'til this summer though, considering 1) I am at BYU where there so few non-members it is ridiculous, and 2) right now I feel like I am in serious dating mode where I am seeking a potential girlfriend.  We'll figure this out ...

= John Silva

I have my own ideas as to why this is, but I want to hear everyone else's ideas. Comment below.


"Maybe in the Next World"

From Elder Boyd K. Packer's talk "Cleansing the Inner Vessel" at the Fall 2010 Conference: 

To be entrusted with the power to create life carries with it the greatest of joys and dangerous temptations. The gift of mortal life and the capacity to kindle other lives is a supernal blessing. Through the righteous exercise of this power, as in nothing else, we may come close to our Father in Heaven and experience a fulness of joy. This power is not an incidental part of the plan of happiness. It is the key—the very key.
Whether we use this power as the eternal laws require or reject its divine purpose will forever determine what we will become. “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?”
    .  .  .  .

When we obey, we can enjoy these powers in the covenant of marriage. From our fountains of life will spring our children, our family. Love between husband and wife can be constant and bring fulfillment and contentment all the days of our lives.
If one is denied these blessings in mortality, the promise is that they will be provided for in the world to come.

Ouch. Marriage and sex are THE KEY to human happiness. It brings us closer to God than anything else does. And some of us will be denied that. But, we will be provided for after we die. Even though we were created in order to feel joy, it's not going to happen for us until we are dead. Great.

I wish I found that comforting. But I do not. Do you know what it says to me? And probably to most singles -- Some of you won't experience real human happiness, or participate in the true purpose of human life or get that much closer to God.  We know that you are sacrificing your mortal happiness. But, don't feel bad because some day in the future, you will get your body back and will get to experience these things.

According to church doctrine that will be after the end of days and the second coming and the resurrections. Then, after all of that, I will get assigned to some man to be his 50th wife.  Pardon me for not being overjoyed.  First of all, it could take thousands of years!  And I can only imagine how much worse that sounds to homosexuals in the church.  Waiting thousands of years for love is not appealing.  That alone kind of makes me want to quit and look for love elsewhere.

It seems that what we always suspected is now confirmed true. No matter how hard they try, the singles won't obtain the same level of happiness. And yet, when you look around you can see the happy people outside the church. Many of them do just fine. Many of them live better lives than we do. They get married and have families and have happy productive lives. While there are plenty of unhappy married people at church. None of us is guaranteed a happy life. That's fair enough. But being single feels like we don't even get the chance for that kind of happiness. We never entered the race, winning was never a possibility. So a lot of us, at least 90%, decide to chase a happy life outside the church, giving up their eternal reward to do it. (I'm not referring to interfaith marriage, but apostatizing for the sake of a relationship.)

While the years tick by, that promise of a future happiness becomes more meaningless to me. Maybe that's a sign of my own weakness. The wavering of my faith. I think this happens to all the many, many singles who leave the church. They spend years watching their lives slip away. They obey, but time keeps passing joylessly. Happiness seems to get further beyond their reach. The temptation to find happiness NOW grows ever stronger with each year.  It chips away at our faith and our testimonies. 

"He who loses his life for my sake shall take it up again."  I know the scripture.  But, it's not like I'm one of the 12 disciples giving up my life to spread Christianity.  For what cause am I doing this? For exaltation? That doesn't matter to me.  Whatever I get in the end will be fine.  I obey because I promised to.  I obey because I love my God and I owe Him.  If my motivation were for a reward, then my obedience would be self-serving and of little worth. 

I'm trying to figure out how I feel.  I'm trying to clarify my own confused thoughts.  I am struggling with my faith.  I know I can't be the only one.  The other singles have spoken with their feet as they walked out the door.  The dilemma: Live for now, or live for later.  We can't have it both ways.    

What's my conclusion? Let's be honest.  Promises for the afterlife are cold comfort and a difficult motivator. I wish the GAs and bishops and everyone else would stop flinging that promise around as if it were a panacea.  Like that's all we need to make it through this life alone.  I don't think it helps. It doesn't help me feel better. And I think it is used as an excuse. They don't have to do anything about the singles because God will provide, eventually. Maybe in the next world?

It all comes down to faith. It always does. Give your life to the Lord, and trust Him.  Worry not about your future.  Obey, because He said so.  Know that He is a just god and be still. It's a hard road. It can be a lot to ask.  Some of us are asked to sacrifice our happiness here and now.  Look at poor Joseph Smith, what a miserable life he had!  He did what was asked anyway.  Like all the other prophets who suffered miserably.  Although their suffering served a purpose.  Maybe ours does too?  Does that help any? It would help me, I think.  Be still. Be still.

We may not have a fullness of joy, but it won't be a bad life. We will do good things in our obedience. We will grow and become better. We will have true friends and know love because of our charity. We can accomplish much. We can do more good works because we aren't tied to a family. We contribute to other people's lives and lift their burdens.  Maybe this is the purpose of our solitude?  Maybe our burden is to make other people happier.  In that, we can find contentment.  That may be enough for a good life, here and now.  I hope so. I don't know how much longer I can hold my breath for the next world.


The Double Standard

Until very recently I practiced a gross double standard when it came to men. I'm not talking about the difference between Jimmy Choo shoes and a pair of Kenneth Coles, more like Jimmy Choo to Payless Shoes. Regular men needed to be of Jimmy Choo quality while Mormon men only needed to be shoes.

For regular men, here is what I wanted: Educated, attractive, fun, intelligent, good taste, sane, and politically liberal.

For Mormon men (more affectionately called mo'men), my standards were: Aged between 25-45, breathing, and heterosexual. Seriously. Those were my only deal breakers, no gay men or the inappropriately aged. So, all you insecure single Mormon men, get over yourselves. Women over 30 don't care what's wrong with you. I doubt that I am the only LDS woman with this kind of double standard.

Here's a list of unappealing traits belonging to various Mo'men that I dated (in no particular order): unemployed, no college education, high school drop out, balding, ugly, sober drug addict, dim-witted, Frat boy, gun collector, fat, living with his mother, redneck, sleazy, slutty, Republican, miniature (weighed like 115), short, deadbeat dad, closeted homosexual, horrible taste in music, schizophrenic, bad kissers, and.... that's all I can remember for now. 

Anyone still wonder why I'm single? 

The funny thing is that most of them dumped me. The ones that dumped me were: the sleaze (went back to his brazilian ex-girlfriend who put out), the Republican (there were more than one), the homosexual (I didn't exercise enough so my body was too soft), the dimwit (went back to his airhead ex-girlfriend), the drug addict/dead-beat dad (It was too hard), the redneck (Said I wouldn't make a good wife or mother), and the frat boy (who knows or cares? not me.) Among these, the drug addict was the only one I was in love with. I cared for the redneck because he was good to me, and I had some infatuations with some of the others. Looking back now, I'm grateful that this band of merry losers tossed me aside. In the end they were right that we didn't belong together, though the rejection hurt like a mother at the time.

Why did I do this to myself? There were several reasons. Because I said 'yes' to every man who asked me out. Because I didn't think I should discriminate, every man deserved a chance. And because there was no one else asking me out. While I am smart, educated, funny, and above-average attractive, I feel comfortable calling myself a Kenneth Cole. So, in what universe is this okay? --oh, that's right, in Mormon-land. 

Those days are over for me. I'm not wasting my time on losers anymore, no matter what their religious affiliation. It's liberating. And, it's too bad for the timid insecure Mo'men whom I would have gone out with IF they had asked me.  Now, it's too late for them.  My new Mo'men dealbreakers are (in addition to those above): Republican, uneducated, unsuccessful, mentally ill, addicts, homosexuals, unattractive, unintelligent, and bland with bad taste.  Look around at the single men in your ward and see how many would make the cut.

This is why I'm 95% certain I will never end up with a Mo'man. (The Republican thing alone disqualifies 98% of the Mo'men anyway.) Which is fine with me. I'm completely at peace with the idea of a mixed-religion marriage or a content singlehood. Because, now that I'm grown up, I have standards. Mo'men of the world have used up their no-dealbreakers privileges. I'm upgrading my lower bar from Payless to Kenneth Cole --or, that might be too high, I might have to make it Steve Madden, either way. Sorry, guys. If the shoe doesn't fit, I'm not going to wear it anymore.

What I wonder, is if single LDS men have a reversed double standard? Are they more selective with mo'women than they are with non-LDS women? They're probably less likely to date outside the church. And they're in a different league out in the real world. Just curious, if anyone knows.