All this sounds good, you may be thinking, but how do you make this work? The answer is simple but also requires consistent, persistent effort. And it starts by saying down with the dating forum.
I’m certainly not the first to call it out the problem of the dating forum. But most people do that less effectively. They present the problem as a preamble to a laundry list of complaints.
I wish I’d never been guilty of that because complaining does nothing to inspire the positive changes we LDS singles want to see in our world. Humble examples have far greater power to instigate positive change than common complaints.
It starts when we say down with the dating forum. But it doesn’t end there. We must describe what we want to see, not what we don’t. Our focus determines our reality, so when we focus on what we don’t want — what many often congregate into the content of their complaints — our reality becomes something we don’t want. Turn that around, focus on what you do want, and the desired positive reality must come.
Recognize the role of habit
Here’s why that approach works. It’s all goes back to the role of habit in our lives. When you understand how you’re biologically hardwired to function, you can function much better.
People often complain about the dating forum because it’s a habit. That means when they complain, they’re on autopilot. And often the responses people give in return are also habitual. Yadda yadda goes in one ear and out the other. And nothing changes.
But everything can change when we change ourselves. You don’t break a less effective habit simply by taking it away. We’re all hardwired to have a habit, which means we must have a habit. Even if that habit hinders or hurts us, we must have a habit. That’s why you break a less effective habit only by replacing it with a more effective one.
Instead of habitually complaining about our undesired reality, we should start habitually describing the reality we want. We need to teach people the specific actions they can take to create a community of caring LDS singles who look after the needs of others before their own.
Start showing the way
But it can’t end there if we want to complete the change. Leaders, both single and married, must show others their desired reality by example. They must do the things they encourage others to do in building the support community they want to see.
Our Savior used this very approach in teaching His disciples. Often He would teach by mixing words with action. He would teach a principle and then put that principle into action.
LDS singles leaders can do the same. It’s one thing to tell singles they need to be more welcoming to those who show up to an activity. It’s something entirely different to tell singles that and then show them that by putting that principle into action yourself. When they hear you describing the interest you want them to have in others over themselves and then see you practicing yourself what you want them to do, you break down barriers within them. You make it easier for them to break their less effective habit by adopting a more effective one.
So down with the dating forum. Down with the activity club. And up with the support community. The joy we can experience as LDS singles will flow into our lives more readily when we more readily adopt within ourselves the positive changes we want to see in others. We can show others a better path to follow, and we can lead the way by following that path ourselves. And that will bring us more joy in our journey.
Howdy! I'm Lance, host of Joy in the Journey Radio. I've been blogging about LDS singles life since 2012, and since 2018 I've been producing a weekly radio show to help LDS singles have more joy in their journey and bring all Latter-day Saints together. Let's engage a conversation that will increase the faith of LDS singles and bring singles and marrieds together in a true unity of the faith.
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