Tag: lds midsingles

Single in a Family Church

“Rachel, I’ve been told by a bishop in a singles ward several times that if I just open my mind and pray a spouse will find me. It’s easy he said. Ok. I’ve been single 5 years now.”

A friend on the singles forum told me this yesterday and I just couldn’t believe it.  First of all, who in their right mind thinks that being single is easy and secondly how dare you judge me as being ‘closed minded’ and not prayerful enough just because I am not lucky enough to find a mate.  It wasn’t even me and I am angry.

“Begging friends for setups, dealing with creeps online, having scores of crushes unmet, constantly dealing with being treated like a child by idiots, hearing the clock tick for a family while attending a family church. So easy!” (my response)

And unfortunately this experience is not in a vacuum. You ask any single person and they have experienced such attitudes.  The problem is for many people it has been so long since they have been in the dating rat race that they remember the process with rose-colored glasses.

Also, the whole idea of dating has just changed since they were in the dating scene.  Here’s the deal to those that don’t remember- nobody I know casually dates.  If you get asked on a date whether you are 14 or 44 you assume that person likes you and is seriously interested.  The only exception is if a person needs a date for an office party or wedding.

It is very rare for someone, man or woman, to date different girls on a weekly or even monthly basis.  Now you could argue that this change is unhealthy or needs to be fixed but at a certain point you would be denying the new reality  and living in a fantasy world.

Eventually the leadership of the church just needs to say ‘ok, This is the new way people date and court.  How do we help people?’

To prove my point.  Here are some answers to my survey about dating:

“I would love to go on dates more then once every 5 years. Lol. But if you don’t get asked out, or there is no one to ask out…how do you!”

“Dating? Futile
Online Dating? Funny Farm
Being set up? “Is that really what you think of me?”

“Dating is hard. Online is way less effective.”

“I hate dating. everyone I like likes someone else. everyone that likes me I think is pretty repulsive”

Anyway, gives you an idea.  I also think this problem exists outside of the church.  Its just not a requirement to marry for exaltation outside of the church.

In the end, I agree and know from the bottom of my heart that the highest degree of exaltation does require getting married and finding that person to be with forever BUT what about that sentence screams ‘easy’?  Living truth has never been easy.  Even if you do find him or her its still not easy.

We all have our struggles and claiming that someone needs to be more open minded and isn’t praying enough when you don’t know FOR SURE is just wrong. It’s outrageous.

Just love people guys.  Please.  Laugh with people.  Tell a joke.  Share doctrine that can apply to everyone’s life with gentle encouragement where appropriate.  My experience is most people have something to contribute, even if minimal on almost any topic.  Why not listen? Heavenly Father loves His children, married or not.  Let’s try to be a little bit less free with our advice and a little bit more loving.

PLEASE.

PS.  There is a popular blog going around my married friends circles that says that those without children should ‘shut up’ and that their opinions about parenting are ‘worthless’.  If I have to keep my mouth shut about your life than the same goes for those that haven’t experienced being single in their 30’s +.  How would you like it if you went to church and heard about how your job being a parent was easy and that you just needed to pray more for your children to behave? Urgh….

Let’s all try to be nice and admit that neither of us have it easy…

There I said it.

I also have to add that my parents are a single girl’s dream.  No pressure at all.  No guilt.  Thank you!

130929-172753PPS.  If you think it is really that easy try finding someone for the single in your life to go on a date with.  I bet you will find it is tough.

PPPS.  Forgive me for ranting and raving.  The Church is still so true even if I get frustrated with the people every now and then.  I think people need to hear that someone in the world is experiencing the same thing as them.  Its hard to be single in a family church.  I hope at the least I let someone know they are heard and not alone.

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If You Love Kids Why Don’t You Get Married?

All 5 of my nieces are above average in intelligence and vocabulary, and I’m not just saying that as a proud aunt, its true.   My oldest niece reads a book a day and can converse on a variety of topics.  Sometimes I think it is hard for her to be the oldest and spend so much time with younger, less mature minds.

I think I have a pretty good relationship with my nieces despite the fact that none of them live near me.  That said, I know there is a lot of my life that seems like a mystery to them.  I live in Utah.  I’m not married.  I don’t have kids.  How can that be?  In fact, the last couple of years every time I see my oldest niece she says ‘Rachel, why aren’t you married?’.   Yesterday it was ‘If you can take care of all of us little kids, why don’t you get your own little kids to take care of?

Ah the simplicity of youth.  I wish marriage was the result of readiness or abilities.  Unfortunately there’s this annoying thing called choice and chemistry…Sigh.

Sometimes I wish I could just have 4 or 5 options and just pick one and make it work.  This randomly meeting the love of my life thing isn’t working out very well.  Set ups and online dating provide few dates so I am left just trying my best to answer my nieces question.  What do you say? Here’s how the conversation goes?

“Well, I can’t have kids until I get married and I can’t get married until I fall in love”

Her response “Well why don’t you fall in love?”

My response “I’m ready but sometimes it just doesn’t happen”

She looks at me skeptically and adds

“If you don’t get married and have children how can you be happy?”

Sigh…I’m sure many young moms are thinking this kid has no idea how hard it is and that is true!  However, there is also great happiness.

I finally have to say

“I don’t know why I haven’t fallen in love, but I hope I will someday”

Still with worry another niece says:

“You should just adopt your own babies”

“That would be fun but hard to do all alone” I reply

Then the conversation wanes. If only there were better answers to all these questions.  And yes, I’ve tried online dating and its not for me.

That’s what I hate the most about dating is how impotent it makes me feel.  There is this big life goal that I know will add to my happiness (even eternal happiness) and there is almost nothing I can do about it.  How do you force love?  Force someone to love you?  You can’t.  You just have to hold out hope and be happy.

It’s just frustrating to have such a big thing in the human experience that is so outside our control.  I sometimes feel like I’m missing out on the most human experience.

To have lived and never fallen in love? Is that a life at all?  Art, music, movies, books would say no.

I know that it is, but it still makes me sad every now and then that I don’t have a better answer to “Why haven’t you fallen in love?”

Why indeed?  Only God knows.

hold-up-heart

Happiness: A Journey

Happiness-quotes-31097737-500-441

Today I was visiting with my home teachers and they asked me an interesting question.  They said ‘we’ve met many single individuals over the years but not many who seem to be as happy and content as you are.  What is your secret?’.  After thanking them for the compliment I had a hard time putting into words why I am happy.  Its kind of a hard question to answer?  There are lots of things that make me happy.  How do you sum it up?

They then talked about all of the different activities I’m involved in and how I take control of my life.  I again thanked them for the compliment and made a fumbling attempt to explain why I am happy.  Here’s a better explanation:

About 7 years ago I was seriously unhappy.  I think only God knows how low I really got.  Its again hard to explain because I wasn’t doing anything wrong per say I just felt this cloud over my life.  I hated my job.  I didn’t get to spend enough time with my friends and things I loved like school and church callings were getting crowded out by long work days and other responsibilities.  In the end, it doesn’t even have to do with that particular job.  It was this ghost of unhappiness that haunted me every day.

I related many times on this blog the events of that period- how I pushed the feelings of depression inside until they burst out in full blown panic.  It still amazes me that with all the challenges I had on my mission and being bullied at school the thing that really broke me was a perpetual stupor of unhappiness.  It makes no sense to the outward observer.  In fact, one could claim I was suffering from first world problems and should be grateful I had a job, and I was. Still, that feeling of grayness in my life is something I will never forget.

Once I had shown the world my unhappiness I had little left to gain by pretending and started to take the leaps of faith necessary to remove the cloud-cover from my life. I lowered my hours and eventually quit my job.  I graduated from school with my MBA. I moved to Draper.  Found out that working from home was right for me, started taking voice lessons, was introduced to open water swimming,  and started a book club, the list could go on and on.  cs-lewis-quotes-sayings-god-happiness-peace

Everything good in my life is because I learned what it felt like to be unhappy and chose to never allow myself to hit that kind of funk again.  Of course, I have unhappy days, even months and been through severe disappointments and anxiety in the last few years but nothing like it was in 2007.

So that’s why I am happy now. I am happy because I know what it feels like to be unhappy and the great thing is that God was with me through it all.  He never stopped telling me that He loved me and He helped me learn the lessons I needed to learn.  He kept reminding me that I needed to make a change.  He never gave up on me.  He never will.

Probably most importantly I learned from that period that God’s plan of happiness is not simply a checklist of big things to do, ordinances to make but literally a plan for our happiness down to where I worked and what I do with my life.  If he is so involved in these microdetails how can I not faith in the big things such as finding my Mr Sunshine out there.  Regardless, I will never let myself feel that way again for an extended period and that is a life-changing lesson.  I am happy because I learned that I mattered to God and His happiness requires my happiness not just my obedience.

To happiness! (Hopefully someday I can find someone to share that happiness with.  All in God’s timetable).

Inspirational-children-quote

Dancing

Ok all my twitter and facebook friends know the goings on of this evening so forgive the repetition.

I didn’t have anything planned and I heard about a midsingles dance close to my house.  I would normally not give it a second thought because I don’t like dances but feeling like I should make some effort on the dating/get-to-know-others scene I thought about going.  In fact, I thought about it for about 4 hours, talking myself in and out of it.  I even got my friend Rachel to go and then I cancelled on her and then tried to get her to go again…Sorry Rachel!

I’m not a good dancer.  Plus, I don’t like most of the music and its so hard to talk to anyone that I don’t think it really is a great way to meet new people. Unfortunately, it is the activity of choice for meeting new people in Utah. Particularly those of the opposite sex…Sigh.   It goes way back to pioneer times but Mormons love dancing.  Much to my chagrin.

Well, finally 9:30 came and I figured what the heck?  I’ve certainly spent $11 on less of a risk so I went.  It was way out of my comfort zone (I would have taken photos but it was so dark they wouldn’t have really turned out.  Here is me before the dance. I think I looked pretty good.  I got new lipstick which I really like, and I love my blue dress.  I felt pretty so at least that was going for me. 🙂

beforeSo it wasn’t at a churchhouse but in a club which was a new experience.  (A very Mormon-standard club but still I’ve never been to something like that).  The music was loud, it was dark but I decided I was there so go for it.  I danced pretty much every fast song and even asked someone to dance for a slow song.

Just to put it in a bit of perspective- how many of you have gone somewhere where you know nobody, doing something you know you aren’t great at and still had a good time? Props to me if I don’t say so myself.  Of course, I went on a cruise to Mexico by myself, so maybe it isn’t too big a surprise to my loyal readers.  Tonight actually reminded me of the clubs on the cruise.

You’ve got to challenge yourself in life to get anywhere.  Did I meet the love of my life? No, and if I did it was too loud to talk to him anyway, but I did something that was hard and that is a good thing.

Go do something you think is hard.  It feels really good.

And just to give you an idea of the moves you missed I made this 🙂 :

PS I totally like this song…I know. Unexpected right?

My Dating Resume

So yesterday I posted my dating resume to the blog and it got a ton of hits.   Originally it was more of a joke than a serious dating idea but maybe I’m on to something? My friend suggested I simply the post the resume and that seemed like a good idea.

So forgive the repetition but here goes.

Here’s some things about me to recommend me to your single friends out there:

I’m in my early 30s and look like this

942688_10151573127677239_220067204_n

I’m a great athlete and love beautiful lakes, rivers and oceans.  Swam 5 open water swims with 2 more to come this year.

DSCF0497

I also can kick most anybody’s butt. I’m tough as nails.  MMA is my specialty.

DSCF0896-001

I’m also a great reader, philosopher and deep thinker.  Love good conversation and debate.

988662_10151621772677239_175637564_n

I also love the arts, movies, music and theater and the symphony.  Here I am after performing at Hale Center Theater

dscf0348

I take great joy in writing both this blog and my recently completed nanowrimo book

934051_10151563520112239_1137825993_n

Looking for a great cook?  I’m that too. I love to entertain and form groups.  I’ve had a book club for over 3 years and I give cooking lessons to my friends.

rachel-at-party

The finished product.  So good!

I’m also a great friend and aunt. Loyalty, honesty and friendship are everything to me. Always have been.

My friend Emily and I at a book signing

My friend Emily and I at a book signing

Stephanie, Angie, Camille and I in Hawaii.  Dear friends

Stephanie, Angie, Camille and I in Hawaii. Dear friends

Emilee and Rachel in Hawaii

Emilee and Rachel in Hawaii (I love Hawaii and love to travel)

miriam

My niece and me
My niece and me

I work from home for Poler LLC and love being my own boss and having freedom

Lastly my faith is everything.  Without it I would just be an anxiety ridden, unhappy mess.  I would sooner give up breathing than give up my faith.

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So there you go.  That’s my online resume for any guys out there to read.  I think I’m pretty great.  Not perfect but got a lot going for me.  I’m fun and try really hard to be a good friend.  I work hard, am honest and I know what my many flaws are and am working to do better.

So if you know someone who is single show him this page and then let him decided for himself if he wants to be set up with me.  That should make your life easier.  Who knows right!

Anyway,  That’s me.  Find me some dates people! 🙂

Modern Mormon Dating Woes and a Resume

Its no great secret that my church is a church of marriage and family.  After all, we have an entire proclamation on the family and have fought tooth and nail for traditional marriage to be protected and encouraged.  All that is good and wonderful but where does that lead the rapidly growing group of single adult members of the church without families? Well, you can either hack it out alone ignoring much of the doctrine that doesn’t relate to your life or you can

DATE!

(or some mix of both to survive).

The second option is hard.  Its hard to find people to go on dates with.  That is my constant problem.  And yes, I’ve tried multiple online resources and nothing.  I’ve asked my friends to help me but evidently they don’t know many singles which I get.  Hmmm.  Who else? Don’t go to singles ward any more so could meet someone at the gym or at swim stuff or something like that but its hard.  I signed up for a matchmaking service but it is based on the men and they haven’t matched me yet.  They make a big deal about being ‘active’ which is a nice way of saying skinny because nobody thinks of someone like me as ‘active’. even though I am.

So where does that lead me? Ok.  Back to option 1.  Hack out a good enough existence for yourself and ignore the second part. Make the church work for your life because you know it is true and Joseph Smith was a prophet and you don’t care that a large part of doctrine you can’t practice yet.  Ok maybe you care a little but everyone wants companionship some of the time.  You don’t have to be a robot because you are single.  So you do your best to take what you can and develop a strong relationship with God and hope that someone sets you up with a friend or you bump into Mr.  Sunshine.

Part of the problem with set-ups is my friends say things like ‘I don’t see you two together’.  I wish they would let me be the judge of that.  I had another friend say ‘you wouldn’t want to go on a date with just anyone’.  Unless he’s a rapist and murder I probably would let them buy me dinner.  The standard doesn’t have to be so high.  I can learn something from a date even if it isn’t ‘the one’.  Plus, how do I know ‘the one’ if I haven’t met ‘not the one’.

I wish I could have a bunch of dates and get  a flavor for what I want.  I really have no idea.

The problem is when you do finally get a date your expectations tend to be a little out of whack because you haven’t had one in 6 months.  You either think this person might be the one, really likes me or, has big potential, instead of just a casual date.  Usually that’s a nightmare.

Even if it is a nightmare date you have so few that I’ve found myself hoping the rotten date would call me again after it.  I don’t know why but it feels better to go on another rotten date than nothing.  Silly but true.

I’m embarrassed to admit the last date I went on was last October and that was only after rather incessant begging to my friends because I didn’t want to go to a reunion alone. We had a great time.  I enjoyed it immensely.

What made me think of this is I have season tickets to the Scera Shell and they are having Josh Turner coming next Tuesday.  It crossed my mind- this would make a great date activity but could I for the best of me think of a guy to ask? Not so much.

Its a problem.  Where have all the good men gone?  Where are you hiding?  I’m a nice girl!

Here’s some things about me to recommend me to your single friends out there:

I’m in my early 30s and look like this

942688_10151573127677239_220067204_n

I’m a great athlete and love beautiful lakes, rivers and oceans.  Swam 5 open water swims with 2 more to come this year.

DSCF0497

I also can kick most anybody’s butt. I’m tough as nails.  MMA is my specialty.

DSCF0896-001I’m also a great reader, philosopher and deep thinker.  Love good conversation and debate

988662_10151621772677239_175637564_nI also love the arts, movies, music and theater and the symphony.  Here I am after performing at Hale Center Theater

dscf0348I take great joy in writing both this blog and my recently completed nanowrimo book

934051_10151563520112239_1137825993_n

Looking for a great cook?  I’m that too.

The finished product.  So good!
The finished product. So good!

I’m also a great friend and aunt. Loyalty, honesty and friendship are everything to me. Always have been.

My friend Emily and I at a book signing
My friend Emily and I at a book signing
Stephanie, Angie, Camille and I in Hawaii.  Dear friends
Stephanie, Angie, Camille and I in Hawaii. Dear friends
Emilee and Rachel in Hawaii
Emilee and Rachel in Hawaii

miriam

Lastly my faith is everything.  Without it I would just be an anxiety ridden, unhappy mess.  I would sooner give up breathing than give up my faith.

190765_5007947238_8728_n

So there you go.  That’s my online resume for any guys out there to read.  I think I’m pretty great.  Not perfect but got a lot going for me.  I’m fun and try really hard to be a good friend.  I work hard, am honest and I know what my many flaws are and am working to do better.

So if you know someone who is single show him this page and then let him decided for himself if he wants to be set up with me.  That should make your life easier.  Who knows right!

Anyway,  That’s me and that’s the state of dating at my age.  Its darn to impossible.  So in the meantime I am hacking it out on my own.  Hoping for a bad date if I’m lucky.  Sigh…

My Imaginary Husband

imaginary husband

So today was an interesting day at church.  It started with an early meeting with my bishop and  a surprise release from my calling as Relief Society secretary.  It was a bit of a bittersweet moment for me because on one hand I felt relief because it frees up a lot of time (at least until the next responsibility comes along).  The reason they released me is they dissolved the whole presidency.  They did not give me a new calling so your guess is as good as mine.  I’d love if they called me to be a teacher.  (As stressed out as I’d get teaching I still learned a lot).

Then we went to sacrament meeting and had one of those ‘when I was a boy’ talks where old people berate the incarnate modern times while waxing nostalgic about their television, movies, music etc.  (Remind me to never do that when I’m 80).  The truth is every generation has its good sides and bad sides.   After all, blacks and whites couldn’t get married or go to the same pools when he was a teenager, so it hasn’t all gone down hill.  Sigh…

Then we had Sunday School which was academic but fine and relief society.  I was busy as we got things started and then had the lesson which was on marriage.  Now, I have no problem with a lesson on marriage.  Everything is not about me after all.  However, this focused on ‘keeping the romance alive’.  How exactly do I keep the romance alive with a relationship I don’t have?  She even went so far as to give tips on writing love notes to your husband and talking about her vow renewals in Africa and Tahiti (I thought vow renewals were discouraged by the church.  Who knew?).

Anyway, I normally wouldn’t care but for some reason it rubbed me the wrong way.  I let a tear out during closing prayer and tried to sneak out but my visiting teaching companion saw me and was inspired to offer words of encouragement.  She’s normally not a super cuddly person so I knew her thoughts were sincere, and I was very grateful that she followed the spirit.

As I was thinking about the women talking about their husbands and how one brought them breakfast in bed every weekend and another always did the dishes, I started to wonder what I would want in a husband.  I guess thinking about what you’d like to have seems less melancholy than what you don’t.

One of my pet peeves is when I say something like ‘I’d like to marry a Republican’ and my friends say ‘Oh, I bet that means you’ll marry a Democrat’.  This is very annoying.  Yes, I get that he probably won’t be anything like I think but am I supposed to have no idea what I’m looking for because if I do I will get the opposite?  This doesn’t seem logical to me.

How do you find it if you haven’t given it some thought?

I look at it like searching for a house (although even more frustrating).  When househunting I had a list of must-haves.  Over time, about 3/10 of those must-haves didn’t come to fruition, but I don’t think creating the list was a bad idea.  It helped me get the 7/10 and some things I didn’t know I wanted.

So, it begs the question- what would my imaginary husband be like? Here goes nothing:

I think he would be kind if a little obstinate, have opinions on things and be open to discussion (I used to know a guy who had no opinions on anything, such a turnoff), he gives good hugs and has a nice smile, he probably likes the outdoors more than me but we can go to a lake and he can set up camp while I swim.

He loves God and tries his best to be a good man and worthy priesthood holder.  He leans conservative and is interested in learning/talking about the world and new things.  He is ok with the fact we might not be able to have our own kids.

He is willing to do laundry and doesn’t care that I hate to iron.

I imagine he comes from a big, loud family like my own, or at the least can relate when I love them and when they are driving me nuts.  He lets me have time with my girls and he can do his own thing.  He comes to my recitals or my swim meets even if he hates them.  I will come to his events even if they are deadly dull.  We both watch movies, TV and sports together.

Most importantly he loves me and when we fight (which I imagine will be somewhat explosive!) we still know that our marriage is eternal and our commitment is above any such squabbles.

Overly-simplistic? Yes.  Unrealistic? Yes. The only way to stay sane? Yes.

President Eyring has a talk called The Law of Increasing Returns where he talks about how some harvests are immediate and some late, requiring great faith.  It can defy human nature to keep ‘working and waiting with nothing seeming to come of it’.  He speaks eloquently about the moment of frustrations some of us have when we decide ‘what’s the use?’.  ‘I seem to be giving too much and getting too little’.

One of his words of wisdom for dealing with late harvest is to create a picture of what you are working for.  I just love this (seriously everyone should read this talk):

“You rarely can have a photograph of that future for which you now sacrifice, but you can get pictures. Years ago, near the time of that sacrament meeting, it occurred to me that I would sometime perhaps have a family. I even joked about them, calling them “the red heads.” My mother’s hair had been red when she was young. I certainly didn’t think the idea of red heads was inspiration, just an idea. But more than once that picture was enough to make me work, and wait.

If all my four sons were here tonight, you would see two blond heads and two red ones. In a kitchen chat one evening, one of them said to me he’d not mind exchanging red hair for beach-boy blond. I just smiled. All dads may think their sons are handsome, but I would not exchange his red hair, nor my early vision of it, for spun gold.

It’s not wise to daydream, and I’m not recommending it. If you girls dream too much about a house or a car, some poor man will someday have to get it for you. But I recommend a little thought, not about things or places but about people.”

So, yes my imaginary husband is ridiculous but I agree with President Eyring that it is wise to have a picture of what you are working hard to achieve.  Perhaps it makes disappointment more acute but I don’t know? If I have no idea what I am looking for does that not leave me more open to being disappointed?   Regardless, it is the only way to do things.  Not to be living in the stars but to have a goal, an image, a picture of who someday I might get a love note from and who I can give lessons about our great love in church…. (Remind me not to do that either!)