Obviously, I’m siding with Mom. Vera pronounced final judgement after the very limited experience of just one date. Did she expect to be swept off her feet from the get-go? Very romantic but not very realistic.
No one’s perfect in any interaction, let alone dating interactions. Placing filters too soon in the process is one of the biggest problems in LDS dating. Such habits promote less effective thinking. As a result, we have a less effective reality.
Get a better map
As described in my book, we need to distinguish between two types of dating. The commitment level in casual dates doesn’t extend beyond the date activity, and multiple partners are allowed. For serious dates, the commitment level is higher because multiple partners aren’t allowed.
If you want to navigate any terrain successfully, you need a good map. Unfortunately, when it comes to the dating and marriage process, most LDS singles don’t have one. That’s why my book provides one as well as detailed descriptions on its use.
Clearly this sister in Zion was on a casual date. But she didn’t treat it that way. Her approach (common among LDS singles) involved a litmus test for time and all eternity right at the start.
By imposing a high commitment on a low-commitment stage, we confuse the process and obstruct ourselves from reaching our desired destination. It should be no surprise then when our dating efforts fail.
The problem is not "out there"
Humans naturally think the cause for any life problem is “out there.” Yet that thinking itself is the problem. Almost always the problem is inside you. That’s why the Savior taught to look first at the beam in your own eye.
I practice what I preach here. My soon-to-be-released book makes clear the deep digging I’ve done into myself.
In one way Vera does get it right. Too often marrieds say trite expressions that on the surface appear to help. But when you dig deeper, you find they either don’t want to help or do want to help but don’t know how. Ultimately, everyone needs to come together and help everyone travel together toward our eternal home.
The natural man says he does when in fact he doesn't
We often complicate life by thinking we do what in fact we don’t. Look closely at this key paragraph from Vera’s article.
The thing is, I do know some singles that are too picky. An over-obsession with physical perfection or needing someone to fit a very detailed résumé can be damaging. It also stands to reason that as you get older, your pool of eligible candidates gets smaller, and it is not wise to rule people out lightly. But I have worked very hard in my life to make sure I am picky about the right things. I don’t look for or expect perfection, but I can still hold out for someone who might just be perfect for me.
Initially, Vera makes LOTS of great sense. That’s easy when talking about others. It’s different when you’re the focus and you haven’t done the deep digging necessary to face your truth.
I don’t think Vera’s done that. She explains how she blew someone off after just one casual date then confesses that she doesn't rule people out lightly. Her only serious objection to further investigation? She “didn’t feel any sort of connection with the guy.”
Why would you expect any strong bonding after only one casual date? True loves are more made than found. That takes time and effort, a whole lot more than what a single casual date represents.
But her last sentence is the most telling. We LDS singles hear constant railing against requiring perfection. All of us want to belong. That’s why when prompted we’ll all say we aren’t looking for perfection. We want to feel validated in our culture. We want to belong.
Yet if you think you “can still hold out for . . . perfect” then you are looking for perfection. Facing your truth means coming to terms with how you really are and accepting that for whatever it is, even if it’s ugly or shaming or painful.
Your truth is simple. When you find the core naked truth that answers why you are still single, you’ll never describe singleness as “complicated.” But Vera does, because she hasn’t dug deep enough.
I really am trying to help
I hope Vera doesn’t feel picked on. I do appreciate her for sharing an honest appraisal of her experience. She’s not alone in her perceptions of LDS singles life. Habits rooted in less effective ways of thinking blind many.
That’s why it’s so important to understand the role of habit and dig deep enough to get your core naked truth. Anything less will leave the roots of your weeds to grow back another day.
If Vera can give that first date a real, legitimate chance, I hope she does so. Much of the challenge we LDS singles face really is of our own making.
Howdy! I'm Lance, host of Joy in the Journey Radio. I've been blogging about LDS singles life since 2012, and now I produce 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.
Posts by Month