Archive for month: March, 2012
I’ve been thinking about an experience I had today. I was on Facebook and a guy popped up to ask me out on a date. I didn’t really know him. So we chatted for a few minutes and I learned that he wasn’t really my type of guy at all. Nice guy…but not really where I am headed. And that was just fine. No judgement here.
Maybe it was the frankness of my telling him that I respected his choices in life, but he was a little miffed. Miffed that he didn’t measure up to my expectations. Miffed that “every” woman on Facebook wouldn’t accept him. Miffed that he thought people had been spreading rumors about him. He came to the conversation with pre-conceived notions and a huge chip on his shoulders. You would think at my age…we would have gotten past those sophomoric preconceptions about being “good enough” for someone. Or…well, most of that.
I know as LDS Singles we come to the party with some insecurities and some pretty big expectations about what we are hoping for….what we are willing to accept…and what we think we have to offer. But this conversation was a whole “ah-hah” experience in revealing someone who was entirely well-defended about how wrongly the world was seeing him. Was he looking for a pity date? Was he hoping I would step in and say, “Gee, not all Mormon women are as you imagined.” I actually felt a moment of sadness for him. I felt compassion. And I felt disinterest. I’m over that whole “I can fix him” or worse yet the “I can inspire him” model of relationships. The necessities and realities of life are requiring a much more efficient selection and acceptance process.
I’m choosing with caution. I’m planning my future with purpose…and hopefully that will include a great companion someday. I am walking full steam ahead with faith because the careful crafting of my own internal focus is fine-tuning my own work in progress and that’s what I take back to God someday. The hope is that it will be standing next to someone someday who has taken care and responsibility for their own creation in a similarly invested way.
I’m realizing that I like the way I think. It’s a practice I’ve chosen into and cultivated for the past decade. I look back on how I used to think and it is painful to be aware of just how limited it was then. But I like it now. I feel so grateful for the process. It was defining and now is the basis from how I operate in my life. But why does that matter? Why blog about the way I think? So as I look at potential LDS singles and dating companions…well, how they think is pretty darn important to me now.
What I have learned now that I am maturing is this whole wonderful dance between agency, thought, the power of choice, the power of moving the thought forward and feeling the energy that flows. I’m completely attracted to people that can do the same. It feels like “visionary” on a whole new level.
Whining about circumstances, clinging to non-helpful cultural and personal beliefs like I did in the past—and yes, even in my difficult marriage of 17 years—is just not helpful. If you want something different, then change the way you are thinking about it and make it happen. That’s where the magic of the experience lies. And I dare say, the magic of relationships. Whatever type they are.
I’m interested in what you’ve given up to move forward.
What did you learn? Leave a comment and tell me your story.
It’s easy to lie low, hide in the shadows, hang back in the LDS Singles scene. I’ve been pretty good at for a very long time. Like over a decade. You rack up quite a few perceptions and quite a few observations about being single in an LDS world. I’m not bitter about any of that. I’m resolved and accepting of the circumstances which led to my singleness. I’m actually grateful for what the journey has taught me. My experience is unique to me.
My only frustration is that “single” category in the church puts me in a 31+ group with incredible diversity. Its just soooo broad. And there are a lot of us. Sometimes the only thing we have in common is that we are “LDS singles”.
There are people who have never married. People who have lost spouses to death. Then, there’s the whole spectrum of us that are divorced throughout a myriad range of stages in our marriages, and for a hundred different reasons. Each one of us has a story. Each one of us has a lesson or two learned. Each one of us has uniquely passed through many stages and hopefully many of us have found that ”all things shall work together for your good, if ye walk uprightly.” (D&C 90:4)
We are hopefully emerging from our unique experiences with a new perspective. It’s a grand, soul-stretching process. Hopefully it is teaching all of us wisdom and allowing us to grow past and into our new circumstances. Ultimately, the prize is joy.
As I look around the web, there are not too many places for us to find community and perspective within our circumstances of being single. That’s frustrating. It’s intimidating. And…well, its a little bit challenging too. Hopefully we can change that here.