Celebrating Singleness: The Elephant in the Room

elephantintheroom.jpgThis is article #2 in the series, “Celebrating Singleness”

In one of my comments in part one, I astounded myself by wondering out loud a question that crosses some singles’ minds every once in a while, but which I have never heard expressed out loud…

“What if it never works out for me?”

This question sparked in me a great moment of introspection which burst forth into a brilliant epiphanal conclusion: boys and girls are different. At least, I think the way they handle this question is drastically different.

In our society, as far as initiating relationships are concerned, the men still have most of the power. Most men who don’t date, don’t because they don’t want to. Most women, on the other hand, who don’t date either lack opportunities to date or are too choosy about who they date. Yes, there are oodles of exceptions out there, but that is still basically how our social system works.

This makes the big “elephant in the room” question much harder for a woman, because she might feel as though she’s ready, or wants something to happen, but feels powerless to actually make it happen (which may or may not be true).

But I will also make an argument on behalf of my gender, that we also feel the same weight of this question, but differently. What if I passed someone up I shouldn’t have? What if I passed my prime? What if I never find someone I feel compatible with? Is this a person I can love for the rest of my life (and into eternity, where applicable)? Can I really never look at another woman again?

I think the only remedy for these despair filled thoughts is to cast them out of our minds and focusing on just living our lives. Living in the present and projecting ourselves into the future is the only way to keep such thoughts from totally paralyzing you. (If I sound like a broken record, it’s because I’ve blogged about this before, too… There’s Only What You Do)

If you think about it, this was the main theme for part 1 as well… Just live your life, and the single thing will all work out.

My friend Lee once passed on the best advice he had ever heard on being single and finding a marriage (paraphrasing):

Do you believe the Lord knows you? Yes.
Do you believe He loves you? Yes.
Do you think He knows what’s best for you? Yes.
Do you think He can put the right person in your life at the right time for you? Of course.
Well, then relax, cause when it happens, it happens. You just have to get ready for it.

10 thoughts on “Celebrating Singleness: The Elephant in the Room”

  1. OK HERE YOU GO AGAIN! You are analyzing it more that you are DOING something about it! When are you going to just say to a girl. Hey, lets go bowling, it’d be fun…. No instead, you have to worry and stew. And analyze. and I am sure all the girls have worried and stewed themselves to death too! No more worrying and stewing. Just open up, let it in and it will come. But you also have to go out, yes out on a date, for it to come. It doesn’t have to be the opera, it can just be going miniature golfing and steak and shake. LET THE LOVE FLOW IN TEXAS!

  2. Bowling is quite possibly the world’s worst first date… cause it’s always awkward because someone is always really good or really bad and then there’s a whole bad dynamic going on… 🙂

    oops… I think I went and “over analyzed” bowling… 🙂

  3. My opinion is that if a guy has “datable” options around and is just lazy or too scared to date,
    he will still be accountable. If there really aren’t any prospects to date then no worries(!)–live life to its
    fullest, and just be ready to take any and all chances when the next datable option comes along.

    A further caveat to the above includes always being accountable for taking opportunities to go out and be social
    with members of the oppostite sex. You can’t avoid social interaction altogether and then have the gall to tell
    the Lord your dating malaise is due to a lack of options.

    And a final caveat would include accountability for the “I’m waiting for a supermodel” excuse. Being too picky and too limited in what you would call a “datable” option is also sticky. You’ve really got to feel comfortable with how the Lord views your efforts…and that is between you and the Lord.

  4. I’d like to add a caveat to Adam’s caveat. He happened to be lucky
    enough to marry someone who is practically a supermodel (*cough* *me*
    *cough*) Did I mention I’m also humble?

    JUST KIDDING! Seriously, take it from me. I heard that patented
    Holiday Party lecture about getting married or not being too picky and
    not letting your “chance pass you by” about a batrillion times. In fact, the only thing I’ve
    heard more often is the sound of eiher me or Adam saying out loud
    how thankful we are that we didn’t just marry someone because
    people told us it was time or because we thought it was our last chance.
    Settling is just wrong!

    My dad once said “someday you’ll meet someone and the only thing
    that will make sense in the world to you is to marry them. to do
    otherwise will seem absurd. until then, relax and live it up!”

    It was good advice…and it works! I had a great time being single! And
    then one day, when it was time for a change, I had no regrets. Heck,
    I had lived it up and it was only going to get better! You rock on with your singleness Sam!

    *Caveat: Everyone has those days when you think “gosh, being single
    is for the birds. I think it’s totally normal and if you don’t, i think
    you’re a mess. But for the most part, it’s not too bad. Look at
    the size TV screen you have! Like a woman would allow that! 🙂

  5. I’m just commenting to say that I have no comment on this post. Please
    see my agent for an official statement.

  6. You know, I’m a firm believer in the fact that if you are doing what Heavenly Father expects of
    you and living your life, He WILL bless you. No, I don’t think that things will just magically
    happen for you and that special someone, which is what always comes to mind when people tell me
    “it will work out”…how is it supposed to work out if there is no work involved? You have to
    put an E in your effort. Otherwise it’s just Ffort which is…retarted. Anyways, what I’m
    saying is that yes, you have to put forth some effort to get what you want, but at the same time
    if you are happy with your life and you are living (not moping and waiting), you will find
    someone that will be worth the effort.

  7. Is it just me, or did I miss the mark with this post… It’s just not resonating with me, even after I read it again…

    Oh well, I can’t be brilliant every day of the week.

  8. I don’t think you missed the mark on this post…I think the ‘What if it doesn’t happen to me?’ is a thought that’s crossed every singleton’s life at some point or other, but I do think it is a worry for women more than men. We all know or have heard of women who don’t marry in this life, and anyone who’s been in a single’s ward has heard the stake president or bishop give the yearly ‘Get out and date!’ talk. For women, it can feel very disempowering and a little discouraging sometimes, and I don’t think that’s wrong or unfaithful or anything. I think, as you say, that we should be doing the best we can in all areas of our life, and realize that sometimes our faith is tested in different ways, particularly in finding a spouse…but that the Lord will always take care of us!

  9. Sam- I think what’s missing is that this post needs a Michael McLean song to go with it. Maybe Janice Kapp Perry can give you the hook up.

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