14 October 2007

Is it better to date, or not to date? That is the question!

It would seem that there are some girls in life that “walk in the light.” I am not one of these girls. These are the girls that seem to get dates and/or boyfriends simply because they exist. They are not necessarily girls that are prettier than the pretty girls… more intelligent than the intelligent girls… Simply, they are not more extraordinary than the other amazing women that are their peers. Their peers are just as amazing, attractive and alluring as their well-lit counter-parts. For some strange phenomenon, though, these girls [the ones surrounded by the light] are consistently the ones going through dozens of first dates, countless failed relationships, etc. Their counter-parts, though, no matter what they do (aside from throwing themselves at guys) don’t seem to date more than once a year if they are lucky. I don’t know why this phenomenon exists, but it does.

I mentioned at the beginning that I am not one of these girls that walk in this so-called light. I have been one of many that have been on the sidelines watching a small portion of girls get asked out by all the guys. I don’t really know if these girls really understand what it’s like to be the best friend instead of the leading lady. Though several of my co-best-friends and I have discussed this phenomenon and have wondered amongst ourselves which is better? To date, or not date? I’m sure that the other side has strong opinions about it as well…

Firstly, I must admit that I am very lucky to be a part of a culture that provides a way to meet other singles. Being a member of the LDS church has its advantages in singledom. When I lived in Salt Lake, I was a part of a congregation (ward) that was all young single adults (18-30 years old). Most of these members were students, all were single and shared the same faith. In areas where there is a large population of LDS people, these student/young single adult wards can range anywhere from 100-300+ people. Several wards make up a stake (sometimes there are 8-10 wards). If you do the math, you see that the potential to meet people is much better than the average young single adult without such a “resource.”

I was in the same ward (the ward you usually would attend is based upon your geographical location) for the last 4 years that I lived in SLC. It was seriously the best ward I’ve ever been in. Evenso, there were those certain girls that were the ones that were consistently asked out by every type of guy. It didn’t matter how long the girl had been in the ward… Most of the guys at one point or another would ask out these select few girls. Even the new guys when they moved in (who probably hadn’t received the memo that these girls were the ones that all the boys were dating) seemed to instinctively know that they should ask one (or more) of these girls out. After four years in this ward, hundreds of people came and went throughout that time, including the well-lit girls. I was always on the side-lines (with the majority I might add) not being asked out. I can probably count on one hand how many actual “dates” I went on during that time. I won’t lie - it was (and is) a frustrating matter. In our society the lack of male attention must mean that there is something totally wrong with us, right? No matter how well-adjusted, intelligent, or just plain great I may feel… This doesn’t seem to change my lot in life. I am one of the many that consistently feels passed over and at times just plain not good enough because of this lack of male attention. Most women in this life want to find a husband… Someone with whom they may share their life and build a family. I am one of these women, of course. And yet… I feel like there’s something beyond my control… even beyond my understanding that has prohibited this. I feel as though I am in a constant state of limbo… waiting for the rest of my life to begin. I feel like I am not a grown-up if I’m not a wife and mother… I still feel like I’m 20 years old! And yet, I am an adult. Aging gracefully, of course :) I am an overall happy person, don’t get me wrong. I have a great job and am busy with the various responsibilities of my life. At the same time, though, I know that there’s something more… There’s a way to fufill the measure of my creation. A higher law that has never changed since the beginning of time. It’s difficult to have these desires [to be a wife and mother] and to know that it’s not solely up to me. Just because I want it doesn’t mean that I can easily get it. Somebody else has to CHOOSE to want to be with me. And when you’re not being asked out on ANY dates you begin to wonder how this will ever be remotely possible.

I now live in an area where the young single adults are few and far betweem (as far as LDS YSA go). I can’t even really find an unrequited crush (as I’ve suffered through so many times before), let alone a date. Once again, I don’t know what the answer to this is. And when I think about these girls that walk in the light… I can recognize that their journey is likely just as hard as mine, though completely different. They are the ones that feel like they’re being asked out based on physical attributes alone.. They are the ones that feel as though their greatness within is underestimated even though they’re showered with attention. And yet they’re still in the single boat with those of us that aren’t dating. And honestly… as much as it can really suck sometimes… I’m glad that I am not required to waste time with so many wrong ones while I wait to find the right one.

I guess the only thing we can do… Is to continue on doing the best we can in all aspects of life. Make sure that we are the person that we need to be for the person that we want to be with someday. Essentially we need to develop our best selves, and someday at just the right moment, the spotlight will shine down upon each of us.