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  1. I think maybe the reason ward organization has split between married and single is because many singles now and in the past have wanted in that way. And once they first got organized, social aspects, colleges, institutes have fueled them such that non-participation in them can leave a single feeling isolated. However, I think that if enough of us want to do away with singles wards or even just mid-singles wards we could make that happen.

    Is mid-single ward leadership including the bishop comprised of mid-singles itself? If not, why not? Why is it that a single never been married or a divorced man is never (or almost never) called to serve as a bishop, high councilor, stake president, or general authority? I see no good reason for this or no scriptural prohibition.

    1. Because the church is so focused on the family, singles wards do serve an important role in the lives of a lot single members. And though it sounds like the mid-singles wards in Utah are a hot mess right now, there are mid-singles wards in the east that are quite fantastic. I attend a mid-singles ward outside DC and it has been great for me. Honestly, most family wards don’t know what to do with us – and while that is something that should be addressed, currently the possibility of attending a mid-singles ward keeps many who would otherwise part ways with the church an opportunity to enjoy activity without the isolation and misunderstanding that so often occur in a family ward setting.

      Yes, the bishoprics of these mid-singles ward are all married men – per church policy. And yes, it is a little odd and at times frustrating because it can leave the women of the church isolated from the leadership – but hey, that’s the plight of all women in the church.

      1. I agree with your statement ”
        Honestly, most family wards don’t know what to do with us – and while that is something that should be addressed, currently the possibility of attending a mid-singles ward keeps many who would otherwise part ways with the church an opportunity to enjoy activity without the isolation and misunderstanding that so often occur in a family ward setting.” I would love to see more single adults wards organized. I have been on the single adult committe now for about 4.5 years and there is about 600 singles just in my stake alone! I could not agree more that bishops of single adult wards should be single and either never married or divorced so they have an idea what it is like to be single in a family church.

        1. Wow, that’s a lot of singles. Are all of them active?

          In some areas, stakes have opted to designate one of their wards as a singles magnet ward. In theory, this is a middle way solution to the problem: allows singles to socialize and achieve the necessary critical mass to establish a community while still functioning as a family ward. This has the added benefit of being friendly to those singles that might have children.

          I haven’t attended any of these wards and imagine that some are more successful than others – however, it seems like this could be an good option for some regions.

          1. Unfortunately it is not that way in many places. Where I live the nearest Mid-Singles ward is about 50 miles away if not further, and there are NO magnet wards from mid-singles.

            Unfortunately where I live more then 95% of the mid-single mrmons have become inactive, and now I have recently become inactive due to problems with several local wards and tell constant scrutiny of being single in my mid to upper 30’s.

            Where I currently live the Mid-singles are forgotten by the local stakes and seemed to be all together forgotten by the church in general. They have even shut down several YSA wards for about 5 years before they finally recently relaunched one. Though of course they told those were were even in their early thirties that they could not attend because of the age limit…

            In the end just about all mid-singles in this area end up following the same path and end up inactive and attending other christian churches. I have met several inactive mid-singles that are now attending churches such as The Calvery Church, and some attending New Song Christian church. After speaking with some they all basically in a matter of speaking had the same or similar story as me. We are forgotten and lost.

            I hate to say it, but I firmly believe that in some places such as where I am the LDS church is failing to hold itself together and is faultering in some ways especially when it comes to its mid-singles. Not too mention that the number of Mid-singles in this area is in fact increasin because so many are waiting longer to find someone, or are having difficulties finding a match so they wait longer and end up forgotten and lost.

        2. I’m 35 and know that this church is true, but I was told I was too old to attend a YSA meeting when I turned 31. 31 is not to old to date 20 somethings. I’m about to go attend one of these huge christian churches knowing they are not the true church because it may be my only chance to find a decent girl and this saddens me but I feel I got to do it.

      2. Always found it interesting that in most churches the clergy requires you to be single, but LDS require you to be married.  I personally do not think it matters, the wiser men I have met have been those that are not controlled and manipulated by the opposite sex / that goes both ways of course.

    2. I’d like to know if someone can enlighten me on why there is an age limit?  Who chose the number 31 as the cut off and why?  What about 32 or 35 year olds like myself.  I just moved to a new town in Washington state and was anxious to go check out the singles ward only a few blocks from my house until I saw there was an age restriction.  This immediately offended me.  The last couple girls I’ve dated have been between 25-30.. So I guess I will have to go to the “regular” ward across town 5 miles away and still feel akward there.

      1. What age limit, was it posted on the window like a no smoking sign?

        If you don’t transfer your records in they won’t know how old you are and some people look older and younger than they really are. Just fake it until you make it.

        1. Local singles ward age limit is 31. Yes they check your social security number now. I do not have records. Just trying to come back into the church. But changed my mind now.

        2. Fake it til you make it? Are you kidding me? ! I’m on the opposite end of the spectrum than Mr Jumper’s post above. I have been single for several years after a 15 year, very happy, temple marriage failed (I can imagine someone will have a comment about that description, but they can and do fail…and in this case it was my fault, period.)

          I’ve learned a lot of lessons and after my divorce it was like I had leprosy when it came to my church friends and associates–with the exception of one. I was under 45 so I technically “fit in” the age group as a mid-single. I moved a few times over the next few years and now am over 45 and as soon as I turned 46 I haven’t felt like there is ANY place for me in the church. My latest move brought me close to family but the closest single to my age in my home ward or “where I’m supposed to go” is almost 14 years older than me and is widowed. This is in a “snowbird” community in Utah and the ward is almost all people much older than me or young families.

          I can attend the mid-singles ward but not be a member of it according to the Bishop Since I can’t be a member of it, I don’t feel comfortable going to any of the mid-singles activities.

          Just a few short years earlier I had heard of all kinds of issues within the single-adult LDS community as I was part of a bishopric while still married…problems like old men chasing women that were too young for them–making the younger women feel uncomfortable and making the older women mad and jealous that the “old men were chasing all the jail bait” and ignoring them (the older women)…and a whole litany of other real and/or perceived problems caused by this”inappropriate age matching”.or just being in different spots in life’s timeline. I had no idea at that time that I would ever have to deal with all these issues and couldn’t have fully understood them without being a single adult anyway.

          So, now I know which ward I’m supposed to attend, yet I feel incredibly uncomfortable and out of place there, and I’m really struggling with my testimony. I don’t feel comfortable at my home wards activities, and although I haven’t really dated since my divorce, I don’t go to church or activities to “look for gals to date”. In fact, when I do go to the mid-singles ward where I feel more comfortable than my home ward, just knowing I’m over the age limit, I generally sneak in the back, late, rarely participate in discussions, and avoid even speaking to female members (I don’t want to be one of those old geezers that’s causing so many troubles), and then I always leave immediately after the closing prayer–never staying for the mingle events after church or even speaking to anyone on the way out–although I often wish I could.

          I don’t attend activities in my home ward because so many are for couples or with the Relief Society that they end up being activities for couples. I don’t dare go to activities for mid-single’s (I don’t even know if I’m allowed to go).

          Believe me, it’s not something you can just fake if you don’t fall within the age range for a mid-single–if you have any conscience at all that is. Who am I to disagree with church officials or policy? But the day I turned 46 was the loneliest day for me as far as the church was concerned–even more so than the day I was divorced. Even the bishop of the ward I am technically supposed to be going to, didn’t know I was supposed to remain in his ward and it took him two months to get back to me with verification that indeed that was where my records were to remain and attend.

          I’m not trying to put the blame off on anyone else…but I just don’t feel comfortable anywhere within the church right now…not because of anything to do with lifestyle, but rather, strictly age and marital status.

    3. 1 Timothy 3:1-7 gives some information about the calling of a bishop. It also states “A bishop then must be… the husband of one wife”

  2. I went to high school with Lauren and Jenny – hey there!

    Thanks for talking about this issue. It’s interesting to hear about the mid-singles scene in SLC. So many of our issues are the same though it sounds like the whole mid-singles wards situation is a bit of a mess – let’s hope that gets cleared up. 

    I think one of my favorite things about my mid-singles ward is all the amazing women. Yes, there all also plenty of amazing men but what I love about the women is their collective example of grace, intelligence and faith. As I approached 30 I felt a real dearth of female role models in the church. I saw plenty of loving mothers and devoted wives but I had trouble seeing a place for a capable strong single woman in the church. I felt like I was constantly apologizing for my greatest accomplishments because I was neither a wife nor a mother. As I’ve left the YSA world behind, I’m no longer ashamed of my education, or life experiences – I treasure them and look forward to the new challenges and opportunities that await me in the decades to come.

    1. Hi Maggie (I’m guessing your name is maggie 😉 ).  It’s always fun to connect back with a fellow leopard!  It is nice to get to a place where you can feel joy in your education and life experiences rather than ashamed.  How strange, and somewhat funny, that we experience perceptions through which we would feel anything other than joy in those things that help us grow and evolve.  Best of luck to you!
      -Jenny 

      1. Thanks Jenny, It is funny. And I mention it only because, I’ve come to realize that my experience is not unique. I have met so many women (married and single) who grieve their shortcomings and neglect to recognize their accomplishments and blessings. I hope that by talking about it we can all learn to celebrate a wider spectrum of experience than is often emphasized in church culture. 

      2. Thanks Jenny, It is funny. And I mention it only because, I’ve come to realize that my experience is not unique. I have met so many women (married and single) who grieve their shortcomings and neglect to recognize their accomplishments and blessings. I hope that by talking about it we can all learn to celebrate a wider spectrum of experience than is often emphasized in church culture. 

      3. Thanks Jenny, It is funny. And I mention it only because, I’ve come to realize that my experience is not unique. I have met so many women (married and single) who grieve their shortcomings and neglect to recognize their accomplishments and blessings. I hope that by talking about it we can all learn to celebrate a wider spectrum of experience than is often emphasized in church culture. 

      4. Thanks Jenny, It is funny. And I mention it only because, I’ve come to realize that my experience is not unique. I have met so many women (married and single) who grieve their shortcomings and neglect to recognize their accomplishments and blessings. I hope that by talking about it we can all learn to celebrate a wider spectrum of experience than is often emphasized in church culture. 

      5. Thanks Jenny, It is funny. And I mention it only because, I’ve come to realize that my experience is not unique. I have met so many women (married and single) who grieve their shortcomings and neglect to recognize their accomplishments and blessings. I hope that by talking about it we can all learn to celebrate a wider spectrum of experience than is often emphasized in church culture. 

      6. Thanks Jenny, It is funny. And I mention it only because, I’ve come to realize that my experience is not unique. I have met so many women (married and single) who grieve their shortcomings and neglect to recognize their accomplishments and blessings. I hope that by talking about it we can all learn to celebrate a wider spectrum of experience than is often emphasized in church culture. 

  3. There are no mid singles wards where we live in Australia, or even any mid singles activities.  My youngest daughter is 35, has a Temple Recommend and as far as I am aware has been on one date in her life. 

    She is one of the amazing women. 

    She has a career as a federal agent specialising in anti terrorism and is a bomb apprasial office.  In her spare time she volunteers for the rural fire brigade.

    She is buying her third house, and has a reliable car.

    How she stays active with the support the church gives her I do not know.

    She has long service leave coming up and could travel anywhere in the world, I wondered if you have advice of where she might visit that has a programme running well.

    1. Wow, your daughter sounds like an incredible woman, I already want to be her friend. She’d fit right in with my mid-singles ward in Washington, DC. We have a great ward with so many activities that I find myself having to pick and choose which I go to. I’ve also heard good things about the mid-singles wards in Boston and Southern California. And, there are mid-singles conferences that draw people from all over the world (the largest is in California but there are others in DC, New York and even in Europe).

      Personally, I find the idea of these conferences rather daunting but when I go I am always impressed by the people I meet. So even if she doesn’t find a husband out of it (I’ll admit the odds are against us women), she might find it a unique and refreshing experience to meet other faithful mid-singles.

      1. I am glad you have had great success at attending mid singles conferrences.  I have been to a few up in the DC area and while the activity itself was good.  I found the people left a lot to be desired.  The only people who would talk to my friend and myself were people who were from our area and some of the women.  This may have been our fault, I”m not sure.  But my friend and I were going to have an awesome time to be with singles who understand our plight so to speak.  We were going hoping to make new friends and connections.  I have not given up on the whole mid singles conference experience. 

        1. Meesha, I’m sorry that you haven’t had good experience at the mid-singles conference that  you attended. To be honest, I’m not a big fan myself. I often go away saying, “well, at least I went.” I have friends that have raved about the conferences they attended on the west coast – so I’m apt to give it another go and try to make the most of them. I know that they are continually rethinking and working on making the conference in DC better and I hope that this year they structure the activities to encourage more interaction and mingling.

          Having lived in areas where there are few other singles, I know it can be tough. So I moved to an area that had lots of singles when the opportunity presented itself but I know that isn’t practical for everyone.

  4. Extremely interesting and How I have been feeling now for about the last two years about the older singles program. I really liked Jenny comments since I am a former Marriage and Family Therapist as well and really resonated with a lot of what she said.

  5. Let’s face it, being single in a family oriented ward is difficult for the most part.  Why can’t we just love one another like the Lord has taught?  The gospel is for all, single and married alike.  I wish the church would “get over” the single stigma and treat all the same.  Single men should be called to serve in a Bishopric, Stake callings or any other calling just the same as a married man.  The same should go for the women except for those callings that require priesthood holders.  Does anyone else feel the same way as I do?

    1. Yes I agree there needs to be something done! Single Men and Women! ought to be serving to be able to identify with what it is like to be single in a family dominated church who have a testimony that Joseph Smith did indeed see the Father and the Son and did translate the Book of Mormon.

  6. As an over 40 single woman I have always been pushed to feel out of place in my family ward. However, the gospel of Jesus Christ is up to me to live whether I am single or married. It is up to me to have a strong testimony no matter what my situation. It is also important for me to continue to attend church and associate with members of all variety. My week is filled with travel, at times to exotic places for my job. Work expects me to maintain a classy look and I do not let myself go to the dogs when I am home. I refuse to be a frump, down in the dump over the hill single.  I also refuse to let the gospel standards go just because it might seem easier to join the ways of the world. I make comments in church that are relative to my situation and how I fit into the gospel. Others often do not understand these comments or why I am still single but that is their problem–not mine.  I didn’t “not try hard enough”. I am not “too picky”. I am not “too busy”.  I simply choose not to date anyone who does not live lds standards. Since I do not know any single lds men my age I remain single and active with my own life. It is up to me to be happy with my situation and not allow that “ideal” to drag me down just because I do not have it in my life. I live in a place where single men have served in bishoprics and in the stake high counsel. Single men have been and are apostles…Elder Richard G. Scott comes to mind. Ok, so he is a widower and might not count to most as being “single”. It is not up to us who is in these callings but who the Lord wants.  As we learn how to ignore the stigma of being single and weak in the church, we can then become known as single and strong.

  7. As an over 40 single woman I have always been pushed to feel out of place in my family ward. However, the gospel of Jesus Christ is up to me to live whether I am single or married. It is up to me to have a strong testimony no matter what my situation. It is also important for me to continue to attend church and associate with members of all variety. My week is filled with travel, at times to exotic places for my job. Work expects me to maintain a classy look and I do not let myself go to the dogs when I am home. I refuse to be a frump, down in the dump over the hill single.  I also refuse to let the gospel standards go just because it might seem easier to join the ways of the world. I make comments in church that are relative to my situation and how I fit into the gospel. Others often do not understand these comments or why I am still single but that is their problem–not mine.  I didn’t “not try hard enough”. I am not “too picky”. I am not “too busy”.  I simply choose not to date anyone who does not live lds standards. Since I do not know any single lds men my age I remain single and active with my own life. It is up to me to be happy with my situation and not allow that “ideal” to drag me down just because I do not have it in my life. I live in a place where single men have served in bishoprics and in the stake high counsel. Single men have been and are apostles…Elder Richard G. Scott comes to mind. Ok, so he is a widower and might not count to most as being “single”. It is not up to us who is in these callings but who the Lord wants.  As we learn how to ignore the stigma of being single and weak in the church, we can then become known as single and strong.

  8. How did singles manage without the internet?  I need the likes of all of you to challenge me! I get way down in the dumps and as the only active divorced single mum in my STAKE I feel like an ambassador at times. Yes it is possible to be a leader and single. Leaders of wards aren’t necessarily the Bishops.

  9. I think that it’s interesting that so much emphasis is placed on the percieved perceptions of those around you.  I don’t think that people are judging you or “don’t know what to do with you.”  It seems that is your perception of what they think.  Sure, there may be some judgemental people out there, but that typically comes from ones own insecurities.  I was married in my early twenties, managed to get a great education, have had a career, and would like to have a family.  Maybe I’ve been judged for some of my choices, however the opinion that matters most to me is not the neighbor’s or the the relief society president’s.

    I also don’t think that church leaders make any decisions lightly.  I think that any decision regarding any member of the church would be made with serious prayer and contemplation.

    1. Only a married person would say that there are not preceived perceptions of singles in the church. Single people know that there are. And the longer a person is single the more preconceived those (mis)perceptions become. However, the testimony of a married or single individual will either keep a person attending in spite of perceptions or a the lack of a testimony will keep a person away. (Married) Bishops often do not know what to do with a single person and have expressed that to me on countless occasions. I help my leaders help me and other singles by speaking up about my real needs and not the preconceived needs. People are judgemental not always from insecurities but also from lack of knowledge. They judge what they think they know instead of what is actually true. Good for you if you do not do this to singles or to others in general but many do. It is the same type of judgement or preconceived ideas married couples go through if they remain (gasp) childless. I agree that the leaders do not make any decision lightly. Changing singles wards would have been done with lots of thought, fasting and prayer. Supporting our leaders and trusting in their ability to receive revelation is a great part of having a strong testimony.

    2. Only a married person would say that there are not preceived perceptions of singles in the church. Single people know that there are. And the longer a person is single the more preconceived those (mis)perceptions become. However, the testimony of a married or single individual will either keep a person attending in spite of perceptions or a the lack of a testimony will keep a person away. (Married) Bishops often do not know what to do with a single person and have expressed that to me on countless occasions. I help my leaders help me and other singles by speaking up about my real needs and not the preconceived needs. People are judgemental not always from insecurities but also from lack of knowledge. They judge what they think they know instead of what is actually true. Good for you if you do not do this to singles or to others in general but many do. It is the same type of judgement or preconceived ideas married couples go through if they remain (gasp) childless. I agree that the leaders do not make any decision lightly. Changing singles wards would have been done with lots of thought, fasting and prayer. Supporting our leaders and trusting in their ability to receive revelation is a great part of having a strong testimony.

    3. Only a married person would say that there are not preceived perceptions of singles in the church. Single people know that there are. And the longer a person is single the more preconceived those (mis)perceptions become. However, the testimony of a married or single individual will either keep a person attending in spite of perceptions or a the lack of a testimony will keep a person away. (Married) Bishops often do not know what to do with a single person and have expressed that to me on countless occasions. I help my leaders help me and other singles by speaking up about my real needs and not the preconceived needs. People are judgemental not always from insecurities but also from lack of knowledge. They judge what they think they know instead of what is actually true. Good for you if you do not do this to singles or to others in general but many do. It is the same type of judgement or preconceived ideas married couples go through if they remain (gasp) childless. I agree that the leaders do not make any decision lightly. Changing singles wards would have been done with lots of thought, fasting and prayer. Supporting our leaders and trusting in their ability to receive revelation is a great part of having a strong testimony.

  10. It would be nice to have single women your age in the area where you live.  I live in the last colony sent out by the church and there are no females my age to marry.  All the elgible women in the church are hanging out in Utah and California and they don’t want to leave zion…..  I would love to meet my eternal mate and be sealed for time and eternity but unless I sell everything and leave for Utah I am out of luck.  The church needs to get the women interested in having the eternal covenant so we single men can at least have a shot at eternal marriage.

    1. William, it is tough for those of us who do not live in Utah, California, or Arizona to have good lds to date toward marriage. I bet there are singles living in those states who think the same thing!!! I was told over and over by well-meaning church members to quit my job and move to Utah, but i do not believe that is the answer for me. If God knows when a small sparrow falls from a tree or the name of a teenage plow boy from upstate NY, then I believe he knows who I am and where I am too. I believe that He will either provide me opportunities to date that would otherwise not come in my direction or He will provide me with the patience and endurance to remain faithful anyway. I think about the blacks who joined the church and remained faithful, strong members before the priesthood was extended to them. They kept going because their testimonies told them it was true. They kept going without any knowledge that the priesthood would ever come to them…..without knowing if they would ever be sealed to their families. People like you and me don’t know this either. It may not happen in our earthly life time. We need to continue preparing for whatever our futures hold so that if someone comes along we are ready to accept the added responsibility marriage brings. The church gives us the tools to prepare for our futures. It is up to each individual to put in the necessary work. Sadly, there are many disheartened singles that get tired of enduring and either give up entirely or just go through the motions without any real growth. Our success in life will not be based on whether we marry but on what we do with the circumstances we find ourselves in…..just keep on keepin’ on!

    2. In CA and UT there are a LOT more single LDS women than men.  Which, it sounds like, you may have already figured out.  If you can meet people online or attend conferences (there is one coming up in Huntington Beach, CA, in May….another one in CA in August) then do so for sure!  I’m sorry it’s so difficult.  It seems like no matter where we live, there is something.  

  11. It’s not only the singles in their 30’s that face challanges.  There are those of us in our 50’s, 60’s and even 70’s that feel out of the main part of church.  Some have never married and, therefore, have never had a spouse, children and now no grandchildren.  It seems the church forgets about us and speaks only to the younger singles.  It is heartbreaking.

    1. The best part about being a single degreed professional in a family ward is that I have two really great cars, a nice paid for house next door to the Stake President who is a multimillionaire, a summer home, savings and investments, all the toys I could possibly want (well for now), and travel quite a bit. I have LDS friends all over the country and with technology keep in touch with them in real time. If and when the right one comes along I will be all set.

      What really intimidates the powers that be ( bishops, high council, and stake presidency) is that I have more discretionary and disposable income then they do, hang with some of the younger GA’s in SLC, can go golfing when ever I want, and have no problem finding BYU coeds 20 years younger than I am willing to date someone well established and financially secure. This comes in handy at the ward swim party when my date looks better in a modest swimsuit than anyone else if you catch my drift.

      Relax and remember that eternity is a VERY LONG time.

  12. I joined the Church when I was 29 and single – I had just moved to a new place and received such an overwhelming testimony of the Gospel that I knew I couldn’t deny its truthfulness.  It took me ten years to meet my eternal companion, and through those ten years I went through the same questions and same experiences that most singles go through. These questions and experiences helped me grow in my faith, although at the time I couldn’t see it…. I went to singles conferences, dances, used every single LDS online dating site out there….that journey has made me stronger and I made some very special friends – male and female – and ultimately met my husband through one of those very special friends. We now have a three-year-old son, and I won’t lie – it has its own challenges. I REALLY enjoyed reading and listening to these podcasts, because it was a great reminder to me of those years that I still cherish very much. It’s all just a reminder to me that we’re all on the same road with the same goal in mind – to return to our Heavenly Father. How we get there is different and is something that we should embrace, not shrink away from or feel ashamed about!

  13. Maggiesq says it best: “Honestly, most family wards don’t know what to do with us”.  While not shunned, I often get the feeling that there are many members who are simply unsure of how to interact with me (a single, never-married, 40-something female).  I cringe every time I hear, “But you’re so beautiful (or ‘so intelligent’, ‘so successful’).  Why aren’t you married?”  Or they simply just don’t interact with me after finding out that I’m not one that fits into the “normative Mormon married-with-a-family” category.  It can be isolating; and it can be depressing.  But like Yahoo… points out, it’s up to me as to decide whether my personal testimony of the gospel is greater than my need to feel totally included–or “normal”–in the family ward milieu.  I’m fine being single.  I just wish that others in “the church” would be fine with it, too.  In the meantime, I’ll continue to attend and participate in my ward in order to grow and maintain my own testimony of the gospel.

  14. I married 2 months before my 31st birthday with the first boyfriend i ever had. I suffered the rejection of being single, humiliation and cruel jokes were part of every singles activity i went. In the family wards i hated being looked over with pity. I was pursuing a graduate degree, which most people criticized as i was not looking for a spouse. I ended up being a faculty before the age of 30, and more criticism. I found my husband when i was 30. He’s a extremely brilliant guy who was looking for a successful woman, we are both very alike in our ambitions. Never quit doing what you’re doing, never let anybody stop your ascent to success, you never know who’s looking for someone exactly like you.
    I love single people, i know how you feel. Even though i’m married now, i care for all my single friends and i’m always there to remind them how special they are and the countless opportunities they have.

  15. In answer to William – I am fairly new in the church and my singleness is more significant than I expected. Nevertheless, wonder where you live? You sound great! Our nearest single activities for us ‘old” folks is 50 miles away and consists of 3 old men without teeth and tons of older women! Ya got your teeth? Joking aside, my ward, while very married, includes me in many things! I still believe this is Christ’s church and if I don’t meet someone down here, there will be someone pretty spectacular waiting for me! Chuckle but enduring!!!

  16. The thing about most single women.. is that what they say.. and what they want are 2 different things

    Lauren: “My Dream is to be a talk show host”
    http://myown.oprah.com/audition/index.html?request=video_details&response_id=17416&promo_id=1

    Lauren:”Now, it’s hip to be single — in a Sex in the City sort of way … or
    rather: “Make-Outs in the City?” Or how about “Modern Mormon Make-Outs
    in the City?” Yes, that’s it.”
    http://www.modernmormonmen.com/2012/03/guest-post-single-32-female-and-mormon.html

    Isn’t this post by Lauren porn for women?
    http://laurenruthie.blogspot.com/2012/02/one-of-my-delve-into-12-goals-is-to.html

    One Lesson learned…  for those 30 yr old virgins out there…  If you have looked at some boobies & masturbated …..  Stop looking at PORN! and go get yoursself some of the real thing.   “Sex in the city women” like Lauren will RESPECT you more.

    1. You hit the nail on the head that yes, I am torn between two
      thing—two worlds. I want to get married and have children, and a whole other
      deep part of me wants to have my dream career, go after it will full force and
      never look back. I try to keep one foot in both places, and it’s difficult,
      overwhelming, and it scares me sometimes. I never know where I should be
      putting more effort, and always feel I’m just not doing it right. Way to make
      my weakness known. 😉

      As far as the lesson learned about fornicating—yeah, I definitely
      stand by it. If I had to choose, I personally hope that my man would be a
      fornicator before being a porn watcher. Ideally, he wouldn’t be either. For
      anyone that doubts—Those men do exist, even at my age. I’ve dated men (straight
      men) that have somehow managed their sexual desires. But I don’t hold it
      against those who haven’t.

      Another interesting reason why good, moral Mormon men may
      look at porn rather than just go out and fornicate is that one is considered
      the worse sin. As much as we talk in conference about not looking at porn, no
      one’s getting excommunicated for it. Sex outside of marriage though, that’s a
      whole other story. And yes, I can understand the difference. One you do with an
      accidental click of the mouse. The other you go out and spend a bit more effort
      on. But it just makes me believe then, that bishops are right
      in being a more compassionate with my peer’s sexual sins.  When all of a sudden it’s between fornicating
      and porn, fornicating shouldn’t look so bad, and we should be more
      compassionate. I think the damning shame that can come with sexual sins is what
      can lead good moral men to sexual addictions. 

      About my blog post being porn for women—Ha! Definitely not,
      which is why I find it so humorous that men will pose without shirts on these dating
      sites. It does nothing for me. Porn for women would be a man cleaning my house
      without even wanting to makeout with me afterwards. (i.e. that’s not an incentive for him. He’s doing this only because of the goodness of his heart). Now that’s
      a turn on.

      Maggie, I love you!!! You said everything so perfectly. I
      couldn’t agree more with your experiences, and everything you said. They’ve
      been very much my experiences.
       

  17. here is the direct quote from Lauren starting at 16:30 in the second podcast– encouraging men to give up porn & start fornicating because “it’s healthier”

    “….ya know, I’ve said to my friends… I’d rather marry a man who has slept around a ton, than a guy

     (this is just me.. (mumble) who is just sitting around in his basement all day looking at porn”

    “…that’s what concerns me is that their ideas of sex may be very confused…”

    “….I’ve thought the same thing as Jennie has at times…like Gall… 
    would I be better off then finding a guy who, who isn’t LDS that has
    just slept around and has a healthy perspective of sexuality?”  because
    the older we get the more we have to (ya know) deal with our sexual
    frustration and the way that mormon men seem… sorry about this
    stereotype..  but often I’ve heard that ,yaknow, the way really great
    guys deal with it isn’t for me my ideal”

    “right, good” Dan Witherspoon

      

  18. I was a single member of the church from the time I joined at 23 to the time I married at 50. About half that time I was in varioussingles wards in both the DC area and in southern California. I enjoyed my time in all of them. Later I worshiped in family wards for about the same amount of years. I talked with many singles who said they were told the comments you recite, yet no one ever said them to me. I never felt pushed out of a ward, I was always involved with many callings in Primary, Sunday School, Relief Society and even for a while Young Women. My life has been rich and full, except when I was depending too much on myself and not on the Savior (i.e., regulary reading my scriptures, preparing and studying for my callings, regular prayer, etc.). It is hard to be single in the LDS church, but it is hard to be single anywhere. Even among non-members, people are coupled and in family groups. I have known married people who were as lonely in their marriages as they were as a single. It’s all about your own perception of who you are, not who you think other people are judging you to be, and about your relationship with the Savior.

  19. When i was much younger and stationed at Ft Devens, MA – the only singles in my ward was myself and Mike.  We were not really made to feel welcome, but we weren’t excluded either.  It really was a case of the ward not knowing what to do with us…lol. When i did marry it was to a non-member (but that’s another story) and did not end well.

    I think sometimes it’s harder to be the ‘divorced with kids’ because you failed, lost your opportunity, etc (i’ve heard them all) rather than the ‘single’ because you just had the opportunity. (As it’s said in my stake)  I’ve been both and in a TINY branch in southern NM.  After spending years in Military wards it was truly awful some days to go to church, much less anything at the stake level.  I have since remarried (a convert) and am mostly happy in the same tiny branch.  It wasn’t about being a ‘mid-single’, it was about being happy with myself. And (trust me on this one) REALLY not looking for it.
    For all you singles out there, find a Military ward – singles (of all types) and much more open-minded couples and families seem to inhabit those wards. I know the way ‘boundaries’ are, but really… has anyone ever been asked to leave a congregation because they lived a little outside it’s boundaries?  And if they did, the leadership was wrong!

  20. I have to admit that I was angered by Laurens comment about preferring a guy who had sex vs one who looked at porn. A person having sex doesn’t necessarily mean that he or she will not have dysfunctional views about sex. Also, looking at porn doesn’t mean that one will have dysfunctional views about sex. But the real reason her comment angered me is that it perpetuates the church stereotype that a man is damaged by watching porn. Outside of the church (and in this case I’m referring to all churches, not just ours) men who are sexually active still look at porn on occasion, too. It’s not a big deal. It seems only in church settings do we here about porn addiction.

    1.  

      Every man
      has looked at porn. I don’t think every man is damaged.
       I just know how porn
      personally makes me feel, and how it’s affected my life.  I also think I’m in the minority with my
      thoughts on the matter. As far as a stereotype goes,   It’s been MY experience that women who
      aren’t LDS are often the ones who don’t realize just how common porn is among
      men compared with women who are members of the church, and women who are members of the church can be a lot more understanding.  Because of how much we talk about it, you can’t be Mormon and
      not know that almost every man is looking, or has, or wants to.  I think the women who look at porn within the
      LDS church are the ones who are made to feel most ashamed, because it isn’t
      even mentioned as something they could possibly be dealing with. And there it
      becomes a mountain of shame. At least men have a male bishop to talk to, and
      it’s a normal topic. Where can women go? 

      1. Does a Sears catalog /a Victoria’s secret catalog/ Dancing with the
        stars episode make you feel terrible?   because sadly (and kinda funny in a way) for many good men,
        this can be porn.

        I’d bet  90%+ of single lds men would be ok with a single women who admitted to looking at porn. (perhaps like myself many of these men would prefer it..  with the caveat that she gained some compassion & learned a few things about the grace of Jesus Christ)

        In fact, I’ve NEVER heard of a case in my entire life of an active LDS man divorcing his wife because she looked at porn.  Meanwhile, study after study show that 66% – 75% of divorces are initiated by women. (6-10% for domestic violence)

        IMHO, Being single & mormon is about feminism or boyism. (wanting rights/privileges, but not taking any responsibility)

        1. A lot more men are addicted to porn than women: thus, probably, the disparity of marriages failing over a man’s addiction.  For every marriage that fails over porn, though, there are many marriages that get through it.  I think we talk about it so much in hopes that men who haven’t viewed pornography (and there really are some who haven’t, other than the unwanted picture that shows up somewhere) will be able to continue to resist the temptation.  As for those who have had or do have addictions, there is hope.  Many have come through it.  If you’re addicted, you can find a way to do so.  Please don’t blame it on the women.  Let it be their problem whether they choose to forgive or not.  

        2. You’re points are valid, and I think we are both making separate points and are coming from very different experiences.   Just like no one can win the “mother wars” (think Hilary Rosen and Anne Romney), I think that this is a topic that no one can win. We can only discuss. The availability of porn came faster than men and women could all deal with the effects, and the conversation of how men and women are to deal with it is an evolving one.
          I don’t believe that the church is to blame for women disliking porn. It is in the biology of every woman to not like the idea of their man looking at other women. The church has only validated a woman’s natural feelings against it. I would say we’ve come a long way in acceptance, and understanding of why men look, from conversations I’ve listened to 10 years ago compared to now. 
          I think women could work to be more forgiving and understanding, but I think men could work to understand just how painful it can be for a woman. It’s an obvious tension among the sexes, and we all need to try to see how the other gender feels. By sharing my view as a single woman, I was doing just that. And because of my dislike of porn, that is exactly why I want to see more compassionate bishops. Shame/guilt isn’t getting us anywhere.  I get it.

      2. I agree, that it’s not talked about with the women as often as it should be.  In one ward I was in, the Bishop included everyone: men and women.  I think he was more aware of the overall issues because he works in media.  I have heard a few speakers in CA who were also able to address the issues of both sexes in a more thorough way than we usually hear.  Hopefully we can become more open about it.  I was once aware of an online group for LDS porn addicts that included one for women, but I’m not sure how big it was, and I wish I remembered what it was called.  You could try Googling and see what you find.  If you haven’t tried the local LDS addiction support groups, I believe they include any kind of addiction, and I don’t *think* that you have to reveal what your addiction is.  I knew someone who was diabetic who went to find others help her stop eating sugar and start eating healthier, and she felt very comfortable there with other addicts.  It might sound silly, but she said it was a godsend.  I think the principles of overcome our weaknesses and learning to forgive ourselves are probably the same.  Best wishes!

    2. Jacob: I’m not going to speak to the issue of sleeping around, because I don’t claim to understand that issue as well.  As for porn, though, yes, everyone who looks at it on a regular basis at it will come to have dysfunctional views on sex, it’s only an issue on how much.  The same way we are all affected by commercials and advertising without realizing it, porn will do the same thing.  In fact, there is ample evidence that even advertising today is affecting how we view ourselves and our relationships.  To think otherwise is not to know better.  

      Is someone damaged permanently by looking at porn?  No.  But repentance is required.  Do we all make mistakes?  Yes.  And hopefully we’ll be more forgiving if we find out someone we know has had issues with porn.  But we can’t pretend it’s not harmful when it is. 

  21. Increasing in more and more areas to helping 30-something Midisngles successfully transition from the YSAs when they turn 31, is to have Midsingles Magnet Wards (or Mixed Midsingles/Family Wards) where all 30-something Midisngles in the same stake, attend the same existing family ward together. So it’s a hybrid approach with families of all ages and then a core group of Midsingles (including those that are single parents in their 30s) living within the stake, all attending together.

    If interested, I have this all spelled out the LDS Midsingles Blog under “Midsingles Program Outline” http://midsingles.wordpress.com

  22. not obsessed with lauren per se, but with the ‘everywoman’ archetype she represents.
    I find women fascinating – especially honest LDS women (because they are so RARE)

    She is expressing what many LDS women FEEL, but do not SAY.
    I am expressing a small portion of what many LDS single men FEEL, but never SAY.

    I respect Lauren for standing on a stage and saying what she believes (and especially for sticking by her comments)

    What I’m obsessed about is learning how to build/sustain healthy families/civilizations. If you haven’t noticed.. there are some very unhealthy trends cementing themselves within mormon culture. ALL IS NOT WELL IN ZION.    Recent study showed that of Utah LDS singles (60% women, 40% men)

    Houston, we have a problem.

    There is not such thing as women failing v. men failing .. WE ALL FAIL.

    There are some very deep underlying currents in the LDS Church: Pride, Shame, Fear, Perfectionism, pride, materialism, unhealthy sexuality.  These seem to be magnified within relationships… and especially around sexuality.

    for the life of me, I can’t understand how LDS women can so easily reject returned missionary virgins who might have looked at some porn and decide to be honest about it. good thing God is the judge and not me.

  23. I wanted to say a quick thanks to you all for producing  this podcast.  (A friend in London forwarded the link to me, and I’m over in central Europe, (raised in UT, lived in DC & NYC) in case you’re wondering.)  As a single 34 yr old woman, I appreciated the discussion.  I think the overarching thing I walked away with (beyond the many thought provoking things discussed) is a sense of belonging.

    Being normalized, feeling a part of a group, knowing that many of the things I’ve thought of or am thinking about right now in my life, have been, and are being discussed by other singles in somewhat similar situations to mine brings a certain peace to it.  Feeling normal and like I belong to a larger group, is invaluable.  So thanks.

    Also, I just wanted to say a thanks to Jenny, I appreciated your insights from your therapy background.  The way you spoke really connected with me.  But in particular, I appreciated the thoughts you shared at the end of the pod-cast about how you’re redefining, broadening, and deepening your spirituality, how you’re going through the process of finding a more meaningful relationship with God.  Of not acting out of fear.

    It really connected to me, because I’ve been on a similar journey (very much ongoing), and  because of life circumstances, I’ve recently lost my way and your comment helped me remember, that I do have a sincere desire to re-find that place where I’m happiest and in tune with the Lord, listening for his promptings and guidance.  And that I need to get to work, to get myself back to that place.  So thank you!

  24. Wow – I’ve listened to every podcast (big fan!) but have only commented on a few.  I loved this podcast.  Perhaps because so much of what they said resonated with me (single 38-year old):  telling someone to get married is like telling someone infertile to have a child… getting past stereotypes and making peace with (and being grateful for) the fact that my path was not the stereotypical path… feeling pretty darn good about life outside of church yet being very aware at church that I have “failed”… having a different view of and relationship with God and the church (though I imagine that is not unique to singles)… sex being a variable in dating now where it wasn’t before… preferring a manwhore to a porn addict… I could go on and on.  Very much enjoyed the perspectives.   

  25. Great discussion but Dan in one channel and the guests in the other drove me a bit crazy.  Was that just me?

    Thanks for your continued work!

      1. Fixed in Part 1, as well. I got word of it the morning after it posted, then fixed it so it is mono in both ears both here and if you were to download it again in iTunes. Sorry for the issue!

  26. Thanks again to all of you for making a great podcast.  Lauren and Jenny you said you really would like a man in your life with a positive relationship with sex.  I think I am representing that correctly. What do you think could give a man or a woman in the church a better relationship with their sexuality?  Is there anything the church could do to promote positive relationships with someones sexuality?  To all of you do you believe the idea of abstinence until marriage put a time limit on courtship with one specific person?

    1. Hi Gail,

      There may be many good resources/teachers who could offer suggestions on this.  Here are a couple of my favorite supports in developing healthy sexuality.  (whether you’re coming from the background of the Church or coming from any religion/framework really):

      – We are often taught that if we experience a sexual thought or feeling and we aren’t in a marriage that it may be “natural,” but we shouldn’t act on it and so should distract ourselves from it, get rid of the thought/feeling, replace it, etc. (this may also be true for those in marriages having unbalanced sexual experiences, or sexual feelings outside of the marriage).  However, I have found my research and practice of Mindfulness Meditations (one of my personal favorite books for explaining how to do this and using lots of great stories to illustrate is “The Wise Heart,” by Jack Kornfield) it can be especially helpful to, with mindfulness and awareness, utilize the thought/feeling to understand what the “real” need is.  I have worked with many people who feel that the real need really is just sexual experience, however, what I have found in working with my own meditations as well as guiding others, is that often underneath the sexual cravings (this would be true of any craving, or anything we feel has a cohersive power over us in any moment) is a deeper message for us.  For example, in “The Wise Heart,” Kornfield explains: when he studied in a Buddhist monastery he took a vow of celibacy for a time (he’s now married) “since my vows included celibacy, I had to wrestle with much stronger desires, especially powerful sexual fantasies.  I was a young man, and I tried to notice these natural desires mindfully.  But they kept returning with great energy.  Because they were so strong, my teacher had me pay close attention to the states that came with the fantasy.  He especially wanted me to notice how they arose.  To my SURPRISE, I discovered that preceding most of these fantasies were feelings of loneliness.  Much of my sexual desire was an unconscious attempt to fill the emptiness and loneliness.  When I held these feelings with compassion, the loneliness began to subside.”  This is just one example of a deeper message.  Some have found that sexual fantasies/cravings arise when they’re not aware of or speaking their truth in any given moment, etc.  It’s kind of hard to explain it.  And one way to explore our own experiences around it are good mediatation teachers, therapists, books, etc. 

      – A therapist colleague of mine once showed me a diagram that really stuck with me.  I believe the diagram itself, or the ideas for the diagram came from a psychologist, John Van Epp (if I’m incorrect on the citation of this information anyone feel free to correct me).  The diagram looked something like this.

      Know       Trust      Rely      Commit      Touch
      10               10          10             10             10
      9                  9            9               9               9
      8                  8            8               8               8
      7                  7            7               7               7 
      6                  6            6               6               6
      5                  5            5               5               5
      4                  4            4               4               4
      3                  3            3               3               3
      2                  2            2               2               2
      1                  1            1               1               1

      The idea behind the diagram is that for us to feel balanced and for our actions/feelings to be based in “truth” (i.e.”reality”), we need to move from left to right.  So, if we’re trying to trust someone at a 5, but we only know them at a 2…it’s a mismatch, and we put ourselves at risk of feeling betrayed if they don’t come out trustworthy at a 5.  If we’re only committed at a 3, and we’re touching at an 8…it’s a mismatch.  One that I often see women get stuck in is they begin dating someone…know them at a 2, and want to be committed at say a 6…it’s a mismatch.  So basically, this is a constantly fluctuating chart (even in a marriage).  We’re continually needing to work on the foundation of know, then trust, then rely…etc.  If any category at the left is lower than at the right it can create an imbalance.  If it feels we continue to relive unbalanced patterns in any of these categories…I’d go back to the meditation/mindfulness work to get more clues on why we would be allowing the patterns of imbalance.  Again, there’s a message for us, always a loving message 🙂

      I think I’ve just written the longest comment ever on mormonmatters.  I just loved the question though, and decided to go for it, and keep writing.  Best of luck.  If you ever are interested in finding out more about other books/resources for working with this kind of thing.  Let me know.

      🙂 Jenny 

  27. Jenny,
    No there has been longer ask Dan.  This is a very well thought out answer.  I do like your diagram and I do think it has some value.  I am divorced. I was married for 16 and half years and looking back on when I was first married when I was 23 I don’t think I even knew myself at at a ten.  Maybe I knew myself at 23 at 3 or 4. In comparison to my 44 year old self. And in comparison to how well I know my now ex wife who is now one of my best friends we were married almost 20 years ago now in comparison how well I know her now I knew her about a 3 when we got married.  I dated her for 6 months before a mission.  Seems that the relation to each part of the diagram seems some what subjective.   After 22 years of knowing this woman I would say how well I know her is higher then ever.  We are raising 4 children together and talk on a daily bases so how well we trust, rely, and are committed to each other are at their highest. But given we are not married to each other because she is gay our touch is about a 1.  How is someone to know when your knowledge of a person will translated into a certain level of commitment or touch?

  28. Also,
    I would hope that the diagram does not mean that I will need to know someone as well as I know my ex, and be as committed to someone that much before I have sex with someone else.

    1. I think it’s all relative and just a way that I like to remember that relationships have a flow, they continue to change…just like us as individuals (our bodies change, our minds change, etc.).  And even though you may “know” someone at an 8 one year, or one week, you may feel you know them only at a 4 the following year or following week.  So, I think it’s a moment to moment experience….but if I were to “rate” a column on the right at a higher number than one of the columns on the left (based on my own personal perception in that moment) then it may explain why things in the relationship feel out of balance.  Again, some people get lucky…they commit quickly, and as they get to know each other are able to feel that that committment (both internally & externally) fits the knowing they are growing in.  So, it’s not a definate experience for everyone.  It’s just been helpful for me as I look at how touch fits in with other areas of my relationships, and it’s helped me understand why sometimes things feel out of balance.  Since the chart would be continually shifting and changing it’s a nice reminder to me that it’s always helpful to be working on the “knowing,” even if I’ve known myself or another person for lots of years…we’re very dynamic, always moving, always lots to get to know 🙂  Best of luck to you!

  29. Any religion whose central tenant is the deification of married couples is going to leave any single person who belongs to it slighted.  I wish the podcast had gone on a bit longer with  proposed solutions to the issues raised.  How exactly should the Mormon church and its members celebrate the contributions of single members?  The biggest challenge facing singles is that Mormon culture tends to be clannish and cliquish.

  30. I found the discussion from the women about healthy sexuality truly fascinating.  This is a huge issue for many men, and the depth and maturity of Jenny’s perception of this as a celibate woman was very interesting.  There is a surprising amount of wisdom in her comment above.  Especially interesting to sense the immediate and obvious reaction that a divorced man was better than a never-married man in terms of these women’s concerns about potential sexual problems.  

    I’ve wrestled with this in several of the posts on my blog, because too many men, married or not, feel way too much guilt about very normal sexual feelings.   Sample posts include  What is a bad thought?  and Sex and Scripture 

    I haven’t completely figured it out, either, and I don’t think I have all the answers on this at all yet.  But I am making some efforts to help men work through this from a reality-based perspective, not from a harsh, shaming-language perspective usually coming from women who simply can’t fully understand male struggles in this area.

  31. I’m disappointed that these active members of the church didn’t put a lot of emphasis into temple marriage as a stated goal. Then there was a stated preference to a non-LDS man vs. an LDS man who may have “unhealthy” sex issues. Just perpetuating the lds stereotypes about older, unmmaried men which should be challenged in a podcast like this. The only man on the panel was divorced. What about successful LDS men who were never married? I didn’t marry until age 42. Learned a lot of rubbish about sex both inside the church and especially outside. My wife and I are plenty happy about the subject today, having both “followed the rules” before marriage.

  32. I think it is a little dangerous to be critical of church leaders, whatever the issue. I used to be a very opinionated person and I am a lot happier accepting things the way they are and changing my attitude instead of trying to change everything outside of me.

  33. But why also cut off the singles who are over 31 are they any more understood . I am an older single and I have never felt unaccepted in the church, it’s time singles stopped isolating themselves with these statements. The gospel is abou inclusion not exclusion and some of its members are going to be single, yes have events especially for all ages of single people but I personally do not think it is wise to segregate the actual worship program, just my feelings

  34. I use to belong to that ward in DC that maggie speaks of.  It was a fantastic ward, as are the wards in the Virginia and Maryland stakes.    I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that there are many government types and as well as students so one is bound to find a niche somewhere.

  35. There is a ysa ward in Twin Falls Idaho that lets MidSingles stay till about 35 or 36.  If the Mid Singles here are not on the FB group for World Wide Mid singles they should be.  Lots of information.  Also a Web page with 11 pages of a program for Mid-Singles and  and decade groups.  This should be added to what is going on here. 

    1. How can Mormon singles have a healthy non-sex life when the program is so bad? People get jaded and desperate. Then they get judged for being imperfect through it all.

      We need a better program that allows small groups to meet for fun activities…but still be able to meet new people. It’s not an impossible request. Currently, inactivity among singles is the biggest problem in the Church. You’d think we’d find a way to fix it.

      The first thing that should happen is that singles should start admitting how bad it is and band together in seeking solutions. Until then, we will remain the 600 pound gorilla no one sees.

  36. Wow, that was one long two-part podcast–kind of a waste of time. I have to say that Jenny’s “fear and love” was a bit off and clearly she is rationalizing her choices to “distant herself from the church”. Also, none of these three singles come close to representing me as a mid-single of 40 yrs. old. I won’t be back and will not listen to anything thing more from these people.

  37. I am almost 68 years old, a widower, single male. I have been told by 3 different bishops to” leave the chapel and dont come back” referring to my age as ” too old to go to a family or singles ward.” so where are the mid singles wards that accept ‘ really over the hill’members my age?I am retired and I am Homeless(I live in my motorhome) and I will be traveling to utah next summer to spend time with my children; and I want to know where I will be accepted. thanx.

  38. There was a real good ward close to byu Provo campus for singles way back in 1982 that allowed people my age. I am wondering if they are as strict now as the wards here in southern california are.I realize that I dont look the part as lds, I have a long white beard because i quit shaving a long time ago due to sensitive skin. but i keep it clean and trimmed.If I was to go back to eureka california wards, I would not have a problem because all the members are hippies and 90% of the old farts like me grow beards.

  39. I am 32 years old. For the most part, I feel like I have been respected as a person, but my situation is still difficult. I don’t yet have a driver’s license. It’s been a struggle. It seems like singles are either too young or too old. It seems like mid singles events are far away and/or infrequent. It seems that way with SA as well. I live near Annapolis. I’m trying to get more information. I recently attended YSA Institute. Not many in attendance. Even fewer seemed like a possibility for me. It was nice though. Last night, I went to YSA FHE. I was welcomed very sincerely. An engaged guy introduced himself. I talked to him briefly. I spent most of the time conversing with his fiance, which I enjoyed. It was a blast! Even though I didn’t make a romantic connection, the experience makes me feel more alive. Interaction is good for me.

    Where I live, there doesn’t seem to be much strictness concerning age. It may be technically in place, but so far I haven’t been treated negatively. I’m trying to get what I can. There seems to be little outlet singles over 31. I feel weird going where YSAs are but my options seem limited. I’m trying to get more info. I may host my own activities at the church. I’d need to run it by the bishop. I don’t know how well I could manage going to mid singles events.

    If I could live the past 10+ years of my life, I would date more, be more proactive, waste less time, be a better saint. I’ve struggled with many things. I still do but I am coming to terms with things. I spent too much time holding out unrealistically. I wanted to be a superwoman and live my single dream life before I married anyone. I wanted to be attractive to men I find attractive. I’m trying to be happy knowing that the right person may not fit my romantic hopes and fantasies. I’m trying to look to the future. I’m trying not to regret get me down. I need to make sure regret and feelings of desperation don’t cloud my judgement. It’s a struggle. I know I am meant to be a wife and mother. I feel like a failure. I want to please my Heavenly Father. I am scared to get married. A huge part of me wants to enjoy single life more, but I know happiness favors the faithful and courageous.

    My situation is not an easy one, but I’m trying to make the best of it.

  40. I really liked the things that were said in the second part about fear and going in different directions spiritually. I think that single and married people grow in different directions, and that married people often don’t recognize that single people’s directions of growth are just as important and as valid as theirs. I also liked what was said about single people’s ability to change and grow spiritually without having to worry about what that is doing to others and worrying about having to try to drag others along with them.

    I also liked what was said about being in the church because we want to, rather than being here because we chose it when we were in our early twenties and now (because we are married) feel obligated to remain. My negative view is that the general authorities are well aware of this feeling of obligation and that is a major reason they want us to get married so young.

    On a tangential subject, I really disagreed strongly with … I think it was Boyd K. Packer’s article in the Ensign around 2000 to 2004 where he said that men and women should not hang out together in groups but should instead date a lot individually and not date any one person too long. I think that style of dating has to a large extent prevented men and women in the church from understanding what they are getting into when they decide to marry. I think it has really kept people ignorant of who they are dating.

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