Thursday, December 30

Golden Rings: the 5th Day of Christmas

Every person in my life wants me to be happily married... Which means that they each try to set me up with girls they've (usually) randomly and casually met. Girls who happen to work at the temple that they are visiting out of town. Girls who might be in Utah for at least 1 day of vacation. Girls who they have never even met - only heard about when a family came to visit their ward and mentioned that they had a female family member within 10 years of my age.

Don't get me wrong. I absolutely love the people in my life. I am amazed at how much they think of me and how involved they are in my life. Every time my great-aunt, grandfather, or anyone else tries to set me up with another girl it's because they want to give me every possible opportunity... and it's pretty much all they can do. I just wonder about the filtering process that goes on inside their heads. Some of the girls have even had boyfriends or fiancées... which meant that an awkward phone call to set up a blind date became even more awkward.

Some days I wish they knew the struggle I faced... and understood why telling me a girl is incredibly attractive is totally useless... and so that the incredible pressure to get married, at least from them, would lessen. But most of the time I'm glad that they're involved... and glad that they admire me enough to try to help me to be happy. If they knew they probably wouldn't ever try to set me up again... (I tried that once with a gay friend. Didn't work because she was just starting to date someone else and he didn't want to open up old wounds. They really hit it off though when they met - she was definitely on an all-out flirt and I had never seen his eyes light up for a girl before. Even if it didn't work out, I still think it could have helped him and her.) and that's not really my intent.

It'll happen someday. In the meantime I still go on blind dates, try to find girls that might fit (with the necessary miracle, of course...) and follow the progression and prices of diamond simulants (I'll leave my feelings about diamond cartels for a different forum). Years ago one of my marriage prep teachers said the best way to move towards marriage is to move as if it was already in the plans. Go ring shopping, choose a temple, taste cake samples, browse colors and reception styles, choose a honeymoon and think of baby names. I haven't done all that. Going ring shopping without a girlfriend was awkward enough. This was the real conversation as I tried, nonchalantly, to just look around the display area.

"Does she know you're here?" 
"Have you talked about it?" 
"Not really."

And the salesmen look at each other knowingly. I think they'd have a very different look if they knew the whole story.


  1. LOL!! Ok, to me the last part was really funny. Maybe it wasn't supposed to be. OK, that marriage prep teacher can't expect you to talk about baby names with EVERY girl you go out on a date with? It's either getting her hopes up before you crush her or scaring her away....and it would be horrible if you really thought she was 'the one' and then she's already gone. That teacher surely didn't go about their dating life that way. If people pretend like that with everyone they date, how is one supposed to take them seriously when they pop the question? Drop that idea completely! Talking about baby names and reception themes is hardly a priority when divorce is so common. No one gets married because they agree on centerpieces. Get to know the person, every aspect from the ground up.

  2. Lauren:

    He just suggested doing those things ourselves - not necessarily doing them with a girl. It was just to keep our minds on marriage... The whole "you get what you think about" motif.

  3. I have a diamond simulant wedding ring from Diamond Nexus. I get compliments on it all the time and it cost $500 instead of $10,000 for 1.5 carats. I highly recommend them...and hope you need that recommendation for a practical application soon :)

  4. I think that it's good to think about the future, and I also think that it must be terribly hard to find the desire to be physically attracted to a woman when you struggle with feelings for the opposite sex.

    I am very amazed by your strength and I know it probably doesn't always come easily. Anyway, I think a good step is to get involved in a singles bible study if you aren't or try to just hang out with girls that are just friends. Also, don't feel so bad or be so hard on yourself for feeling uncomfortable with loved ones setting you up with blind dates because blind dates are just hard anyway. It's much easier, if possible, to develop a relationship out of a friendship, or just hang out with a group of friends. I think it's rare for there to ever be absolute "love at first site" or something like that. I think before you fall in love you become best friends, so maybe in pursuing your friendships, you will begin developing a strong friendship and connection with one particular girl over time. And over time you both may realize that out of your friendship you have grown to love each other beyond just being best friends. Also, I think that the woman God has planned for you to marry someday will also be comfortable listening and understanding where you come from with your struggle. It may not be immediate but I think that if she is the "right" girl she will be compassionate and caring toward you and what you struggle with daily.

    Honestly, your struggle is no different than anyone else who struggles with something, and God sees it all equally and doesn't love any of his children less because on struggles with say gossip and the other struggles with feeling like they are gay, or a woman who struggles with walking out of the life of prostitution, or desiring to go back once they've left.

    There is actually a TV show called Hookers for Jesus, and it's about a woman who was a prostitute and found Jesus and through help she was able to walk out of that lifestyle and now through her church, she has formed an organization that helps other women do the same. It's an amazing show and I end up crying and realizing how those women feel, and actually found myself asking God for forgiveness from my somewhat judgment and assumption that it's not that hard to walk out of that kind of life; you just do it. Well, I was wrong and I'm am glad I started watching that show and that God humbled me to realize I need to be more compassionate.

    Anyway, I am encouraged by your strength to be open about your struggle and maybe I will be able to be more open about my struggles by your example!


  5. This is a very beautiful article written about a gospel singer B. David who leaves his behind his gay lifestyle. This is great because it shows that God is there for all of his children in a similar position that you are in.

  6. ...that advice just seems weird... Maybe he means well, but... I can't imagine it helped. Did it help?

    (I had friends that all did that. They had their whole wedding planned out at fifteen. That just seemed awkward to me.)

  7. THHtGU: Wow. You don't have a type-friendly acronym. I don't know if it helped me. I'm not married. But it did help others who were closer to marriage. By constantly thinking about marriage, they automatically applied the thought to their current relationships. The advice in the class was actually pretty amazing overall.

  8. I always figured that I would leave the wedding details (such as cake, colors, and reception styles as you mentioned) to the girl. Generally it's something they've been planning since they were little, and I didn't want to get in the way of their wedding day dreams.

    Baby names are fun; for me, engagement signalled the time to think about baby names.

    I wonder if planning on marriage is a necessary component. It's a supremely difficult thing to judge, but sometimes it seems like people I know stay single because they don't keep a real expectation fot it (like a self-fulfilling prophecy). I think the key thing for me was to expect marriage in a way that made it an assumption, not because of anything related to me individually, but because it's the will of God and I've covenanted to do His will.

  9. JB:

    I agree wholeheartedly with letting my future wife have all the dreams she wants at her reception.

    ...and marriage is an interesting subject when you're attracted to the same gender. When I was younger, I knew that God would give faithful members all the blessings we needed to be happy - and a wife is necessary in my case to get back to Him. But some of the statements of the Brethren indicate that some men, like some women with and without this struggle, will never have the opportunity to get married. The Church doesn't talk about that much... and when they do, it's usually associated with women - hence why women can go on multiple missions, serve in callings, etc. Everything at those same levels on the male side require marriage - teaching professional Seminary, holding any leadership calling above Elder's Quorum President... and other callings.

    I think that faith is a necessary component... And that faith entails the willingness to do anything to receive the blessings, and also understand God's ways and His timing. In my conversations with Him, He's been pretty clear of late. I will eventually (probably in the next 4 years) find a wife that I'll be hopelessly in love with. But before that time, He has a lot of things planned for me to accomplish. I would definitely not be writing this blog if I were married.

    I just think it's important to keep our eyes single to whatever it is we want. As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he. So hopefully I become the best father and husband to my wife in mortal existence.


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