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.


Sheila said...

De-lurking (for the second time) to toss in my two cents...

This is really interesting; thanks for your perspective. I've noticed this double standard as well (from a female perspective, of course) throughout my time in YSA ville in several countries. I think it's because of one simple factor: the main reason that men have such high standards when dating LDS women is because, well, they CAN have high standards. The odds are simply in their favor. Yes, women could have as equally high expectations, but we would be effectively SOL.

There are a number of underlying factors, of course, so I'll leave most of them for others to comment on. The one that sticks out to me, though, is that the whole *church* in general seems to have pretty high standards for women. Perhaps they're not delineated in Conference or YW or RS, but they ARE there. Every time we hear that women are naturally more spiritual, every time we hear a chastity lesson that references our responsibility in keeping men's thoughts clean, it pushes us further up that pedastal.

Please note my comments are not meant to be bitter, just realistic. And, to wit, this is why I'm dating a non-Mormon... :-)

City JL said...

Thanks for your thoughts. I agree that men in the church have more access to higher quality women, they can date in a higher league among LDS than outside the church. This is pretty much why I had a lower standard for LDS men. I date men I would never normally consider dating, because they are Mormon. And men who would never ask me out normally, do hit on me because they're Mormon.

This may be too personal, but, is your non-member okay with chastity? I had one who said he was okay with it and then changed his mind because it was too hard.

Sheila said...

Personal, yes, but with the anonymity of the internet, anything goes! ;-)

Chastity in this relationship has been...interesting, to say the least. Short answer, yes, he's okay with it. That being said, it's certainly not easy. We've had some arguments over it and have had to find a balance between normal, adult sexuality and LDS standards. Somehow, maintaining FSOY behavior at 31 seems kind of ludicrous. No passionate kissing?!?!?

That stinks you had someone bail because celibacy was too hard. For some guys, it seems to be a deal breaker, but there are some that are willing to hold out if they see long term potential with a particular woman.

Oh, and that's another perk about non-Mormon guys. Almost all have had some sexual experience and haven't attributed the level of gravitas to it that some LDS folks do. It's more chill.

Anyway, I'll stop blabbing.

Notes From The Glass Ceiling said...

This may be off the subject, but I think that women in the Church have an easier time finding non-Mormon men to play the celibate relationship game (and actually achieving marriage) than Mormon men do with non-Mormon women. Not that it is easy in either camp. I just see more women at the podium telling their story of how their husband converted to the church before they got married then I do of the vice versa. I think it has something to do with the fact that women mature and self-actualize sooner than men do. (Some people never do, but I think more women do then men.)

I think that men will do anything to get married to a woman he loves, to include doing what she asks him to do in the way of religion or sexuality. Women, I believe, are less willing to live a life that feels unnatural or inauthentic. Women are often more in touch with with themselves then men are.

Then again, I am a man who has dated several non-member women, and none of them could do celibacy for more than a few months. Maybe I am just biased by my experience. Still, it is hard to believe that when I see, comparatively, so many converted men and so few converted women.

Fei @ The Companion said...

Previous to me, my husband had felt that dating non-LDS girls was often more fun. They were better at flirting, and were a lot more low-pressure - unlike LDS girls, they don't have eternal marriage on their mind on the first date.

That being said, it's hard to find one who has the mature sense of perspective LDS women have and wants to share the same lifestyle. So, yes, it's fun, but it's also limited in what it can do.

Just like my husband, the non-members I have encountered are a lot smoother. They just have the flirting thing down. My opinion on that is because they have embraced their sexuality. Sexuality is a *huge* part of seduction and attraction in the dating world, whether we like it or not, or whether we act on it or not. Mormons with our suppressed sexuality have a hard time figuring out how to use it in a positive way.

My husband, a 28 year old virgin when we got married (while he knows why it's important) swears it's unnatural for a man to get to that age and not have sex. It does something bad to a man's psyche.

But in LDS dating, attraction has more than one component. One of it is sexual, and the other spiritual. It's hard to find that spiritual connection anywhere else.

I have a non-LDS guy friend -36 - who attends multiple churches because he is specifically looking for a conservative Christian girl, the kind that would be willing to be a supportive figure and be a stay at home mom to 12 kids kind of deal - probably homeschool them all too or something.

But then he struggles because the girls who want that are homely and not exactly the sassiest, fun girls in the world. That's the problem when you are looking for sexuality and spirituality rolled in one.

Fei @ The Companion said...

Not that being a stay-at-home-mom with 12 kids is the definition spirituality, but it is the opposite of worldliness.