Thursday, September 1

Too Busy For a Wife?

I was talking with a group of guys earlier this week and the conversation turned to wives, girlfriends, and football. It all seemed like banter until one guy said, "You know what the problem is, Mormon Guy? You're too busy for a wife. And you don't need one." He went on to outline the reasons why I was too busy, and then detailed all the external factors that stood in the way of girls who might be interested - the things that made it obvious to onlookers that I was somehow self-sufficient and had no room for romantic female companionship.

I'd discount his comment as a trite and light-hearted way to poke fun at my unmarried state and the rest of my life, but I think he was only partly joking. And I've heard it a few times before... and hearing things always makes me wonder how I should be applying them in my life.

The scriptures say that men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will and choice. I date, even when I have no desire to. I talk with girls and try to find more people to add to the dating pool. I improve my list of talents so that someday I'll match the subconscious list of Prince Charming for whichever princess really becomes the recipient of true love's kiss. And while I'm waiting, I am trying to move forward in life. I'm not waiting for life to begin or insisting that God grant my desires before I begin to make a contribution to society; as I make that contribution, I know that He will bless me and make me into a better man.

But there is a difference between engaging my priorities on work... and working on my priorities towards engagement... especially for me. With a normal guy, love could catch him by surprise - sort of as a side effect of the rest of life, sometimes in spite of not dating or actively searching for a wife. But in my case that won't happen... at least I don't think so. I don't think that the Lord is going to just someday make me fall in love with a girl at first sight and we'll live happily ever after. No... I usually have to work for my blessings, and then the miracle comes... in such a way that I know I really had nothing to do with it, and was probably going in the wrong direction, but it comes. And the miracles in my life come when I am anxiously engaged in doing the right things - not just good things, but the right things. The things that God wants me to do.

So yeah. I think I need to spend more of my effort dating. That thought makes me cringe. But maybe I can convince myself that I love dating by telling myself some of the good things about it.

I love dating because it enables me to change people's lives. I've been an impact for good through dating... and I love dating because it changes me into a better man. I love dating because I learn about people and how to meet their needs. Because I get to do fun stuff with others and make friends. I love dating because I sometimes can set up past girlfriends with current colleagues... and see them hit it off... or make contacts for business or involvement in the community. I love dating because when I date, and get home, I feel like I've accomplished something important in my life... and God promises me that it will work out - not just generally, but in my own personal life. It will work out for me. I love dating because it teaches me to be a better missionary... it helps me see and understand the trials people are facing and develop the tools to help them. And I love dating because it gives me a chance to bear my testimony... to share the gospel with someone and see their eyes light up as they gain a new insight on the truth.

I love dating. At least I'm trying. And hopefully my friends were wrong... and I have plenty of room in my life for dating, and a wife.


  1. One of the best recommendations I've ever found as far as dating is this: instead of going to a movie, or eating out, make your date(s) something that is fun and interesting, based on *working together.* This eliminates much of the "awkward small talk" stage of a date, and helps you get to know the girl (and vice versa) in a much more natural, accurate way. You get a sense of how she deals with working with others, whether she's usually cheerful or not, and so on. Romance is much easier for me to develop if it's based on behaviors I admire and respect, not just personality traits or physical features :-)

  2. Hi,
    I just came across your blog and I think its good. I'm a LDS woman and have been struggling with SSA on and off. I've kind of decided to go to therapy to sort somethings out. Don't get me wrong I like guys, but sometimes I think it would be easier dating a woman. Let me tell you a little about myself. I grew up in a non-LDS "normal" family a mom and a dad, but when I was 12 my mom left my dad for another woman and took me with her. When i was 13 I decided to go live with my dad, but on weekends I was with my mom and whom ever she was dating at the time. So needless to say I was exposed to some confusing stuff at an early age. I started having feelings for other women when I was in middle school, but the thing is they were older women like authority figures and celebrities. But now, even though I still get crushes on celebrities but I'm starting to have feelings for real people. I have been on dates with guys but i haven't been on one for quite a while. Also I've never have a boyfriend. I would like to be married some day but need to take control of these feelings first. Have you tried therapy??? In your limited

  3. Your friend's comment made me half smile/half hurt because I got that a lot---along with being too picky and other sundry comments that aren't worth the breath it took them to say them. They are thoughtless. It IS worth it to wait on the Lord's timetable while you do everything you can to be where you need to be so it can come to pass. I'm glad you are wise enough to continue to grow. It is challenging. It's amazing how much you have helped illuminate how much more we all have in common that not. One promise the prophet has made that seems inconceivable is that the Lord will make up the difference and he does. I can testify to that. Others have waited longer than me, but today it seems inconceivable that I was really once single and wondering if I would ever marry. Once again, I think you are awesome for pressing on and showing by deed the power of your beliefs.

  4. I always thought of life this way: if you're doing what you should and doing whats right whenever possible, your fate is in God's hands. If you're not, then your fate is in yours. (It may or may not be correct, but that is what I think.)

    As far as dating goes, I find that its only bad if you're trying to make it more than it is: two people getting to know each other. Some just have a hard time getting rid of that "I've gotta find the right one" mentality. Just have fun, be you, and if it is meant to be (and you're fate is in God's hands) it will happen.

  5. Thank you for this post. I love to see you choose to look for the good. That is hard work but really the work of creating ourselves and our lives. I am very impressed with you.

  6. Anonymous,

    I'm a female Latter day saint with SSA. Therapy helps you come to terms with yourself. It has helped me, but mostly because I made the choice to go and get help and make a change. I am still attracted to other females, but it does not rule my life. One of the key things for me was to change my attitude from NOT trying to be attracted to the same sex, to TRYING to be a faithful member of the LDS faith.
    It's always been easier for me to choose into something, than choose out.

    (Gay) Mormon Guy's blog posts seem, to me, to follow this general idea. Having a therapist to talk to can be a helpful resource and helped me to internalize that knowledge.

    Good luck, I feel for your struggles and hope you can find a way to be at peace.

    Best Wishes,

    A Work in Progress

  7. Perhaps you could enlist as a "dating trainer" :).

    Mormon guy, I have read your blog off and on since Elder Packer's controversial conference talk... I am grateful for your words. I admit that I don't come here as much as I'd like to. It is difficult for me as the ex-wife of a gay man (gay to us does not connote "living the life") to listen to you entertain the thought of marriage someday - the hope that you will finally be attracted to a woman. And even if you were, that you have full confidence that it would last. Like I said, I haven't read all of your posts, and it has taken many months for me to find the courage to post here. That is not an attempt to seek pity or praise. Just laying it out.

    It is difficult for me to believe, based on some of the things you've said, that you could have ever once have truly considered what mixed-orientation marriage to a gay man (SSA, SGA, insert preferred term) would be like for one of God's beautiful daughters. Any consideration of it seems invalidated by your continued mentioning of eventually finding a spouse. Even if you only mean "maybe". I truly regret that sometimes life exists outside the realm of fair. Not a fan of unfair myself. Just acknowledging.

    And, to read others encourage you to find someone saddens me, and not slightly, as it seems to demonstrate a lack of knowledge and understanding that our culture and religion express regarding homosexuality.

    I understand that it is likely my comment will be attacked, be it by you or others. Par for the course, I've noticed. This wasn't a lesson I wanted to learn, and I was so passionate about spreading the word in order to save all of those would-be broken families from what I experienced. Here I thought I had good news! :) I admit I was shocked at the endless opposition. I am truly, truly surprised at the level of resistance. I can't help the truth. I didn't invent it. Often I am told that I am too close to the situation to be objective. So be it. But, there is something to be said for subjectivity, as unpopular as it may be.

    Despite stats and hard evidence, inside and outside of the church, almost no one has paid attention. In my experience, unless they are affected personally, they don't believe it. Instead, there is a belief that there is an "underground group of happy mixed-orientation marriages that just isn't speaking up." Maybe. But, I've actually searched. A lot. I didn't find any. Not a one. There were couples who had received much strength to deal, had a lot to say about tender mercies received to "carry on". That is not something I would ever minimize. What I am saying is that there were none who were actually thriving. I can't imagine that it's a good sign when there is an existing support group already set up for you when you get married. :(

    At least people attracted to the same sex are finally getting some attention in the church. I am grateful for that. I hope the spouses/ex-spouses will soon follow.

    I also wanted to mention that your June 4th post "Homosexuality isn't just about Sexuality" was particularly insightful, I thought. From the flipside point of view, it is its own brand of frustrating to have the ability to connect with the opposite sex and have nothing coming back, despite repeated attempts at reciprocation. Kind of an exercise in crazy making.

    The post was beautifully written and so eloquently expressed. The complexity and breadth of romantic attraction and that fact that it exists equally as strong in SSA as OSA has been the hardest thing for me to convey to the average Mormon, and, IMHO, a crucial concept that keeps many people from comprehending the full impact of SSA, on the individual, as well as the spouse, and even other family and friends. You have found a way to get people to listen. Just wanted to say thanks for that.


  8. Kristine:

    I try to make it so that people don't get attacked here. Vehement comments don't get posted, no matter who they are attacking... I'm sorry that you feel vulnerable, even here... and hopefully we can continue to build an environment where people can just think and talk with respect.

    My own life, Kristine, and my decisions to look for a wife, aren't influenced much by the people around me. The people who tell me I'm a sinner for subjecting a girl to that, or the people who tell me I'm a sinner for being content without miracles, or the people who tell me I'm a sinner for whatever aren't where I base my life.

    My decision comes from a short lifetime of trying to come to grips with the Lord's will for me. It's shored up by promises in my patriarchal blessing, that God confirmed to me multiple times and in other facets. It's emphasized in the growing number of times that I've actually noticed girls and felt something for them. And it's rooted simply in faith, and in the answers to prayers where I was willing to go either way.

    Maybe having a network of hundreds of thousands of readers makes a difference, but I do know happy, fulfilled couples with families who are part of mixed-orientation marriages. And I didn't have to search for them - in every case, they found me. Some of them offered to write guest blog posts (none have actually written one yet), others have never told anyone but each other, and they live and thrive in the gospel. They're not part of Evergreen, they don't post on NorthStarLDS... and most of them don't read my blog regularly. They have other problems now that are more pressing; it's something they face, but the Lord gives them the strength to move forward each passing day, and brings them true happiness in that moment.

    The prophets have said that if we are able to meet three conditions - ability to completely control attractions to men, complete repentance for past sins, and a deep and abiding love and attraction in every way to a daughter of God, that marriage is a choice we can make.

    I'm sorry that you were hurt, Kristine. But let me share something that has changed my life. I used to think of myself as a victim of pain and hurt - that life was unfair, as you put it. I used to outsource my pain and blame... because I had honestly done everything I could to choose the right, and yet everything still seemed to go wrong. Then I realized something. In God's eyes, if I was doing what was right, nothing bad could ever happen to me. He can only bless us, and the only ones with power to curse us are ourselves.

    I realized that my trials - being attracted to guys as one - weren't unfair trials. They weren't thorns in my path. And they weren't proof that someday God would hear my prayers. My trials were proof that God knew me, and stood beside me each passing day... because He endured everything, and knew that I needed this to become the man He sees in me. And today I am eternally grateful that He loved me enough to let me have this short experience in mortality... because it has taught me more than I could ever learn otherwise... and it has taught me happiness. Really. The sexual abuse, the loneliness, the burning inside, the grief and guilt and pain, the feeling of being outcast from society, the pain caused by others, the fear of the future, and the possibility of being single for another 100 years... it's all part of the plan to make me into someone far better than my own designs.

    I'm not a victim. Life is perfectly fair. And God has made a way for happiness for each of us - through following Him. If it means that I'm single forever, but still dating because He tells me to, so be it. If it means I find a wife and we live happily with lots of bumps in the road? So be it. But even if it had never been done before, I would still follow God to the ends of the Earth... because I know He has been there, and that He is with me through it all.

  9. You're absolutely incredible. You're so naturally positive, and that alone will take you leaps and bounds in life, I'm sure you're aware. You're a genuine inspiration to me, and you've exactly what I needed to hear on multiple occasions while I've been reading your older posts and whatnot. So from the bottom of my heart, Thank You. [:


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