I realize that some of my readers don't relate at all to dating, have no interest in conversations about marriage, and feel disconnected when I write about it. That said, a conversation brought the subject to mind, and I wanted to write anyway. And I think almost everyone... even many of those who are openly out to the world... have fielded questions.
It's amazing how interested we are as a society in the welfare of others. We watch them, listen to them, pray for them, find them networking connections and blind dates and references...
When it comes to interest in marriage, I've seen a number of styles. Some people just watch from the distance, aren't really familiar with my life, and give advice. Others honestly want to know, and watch more closely. And some realize that there is more than what they can see on the surface... so they ask.
They preface the question with the usual: compliments, "you don't have to answer if you don't want to," and their own personal observations. And then it comes.
"Mormon Guy, why aren't you married?"
If only they knew.
And if only I knew.
Every time I get that question, I wonder how to respond. Not because I want to withhold information - I don't - but because I am honestly trying to figure out the answer myself.
There are men and women who don't have the opportunity to get married in this life - of no fault of their own. Some men never find a woman they're attracted to, or vice versa. My patriarchal blessing promises that if I am faithful and "endure to the end," I'll have the opportunity to be married in this life and raise a family. That blessing has been confirmed to me dozens of times as I've sat in the Celestial room of the temple, or pondered under the stars, or in the days when I wonder how it will ever happen.
Even with that confirmation... and the knowledge that it's in God's timetable... I find myself wondering if marriage is even an option.
I mean, for all my forced realism from facing life's trials, I'm still a romantic. I realize that marriage isn't bliss... that love takes more work than luck... and that the Lord expects me to do my part... but that doesn't change the reality that I'm carrying a lot of emotional and spiritual baggage.
In addition to the one facet of being more physically and emotionally attracted to men, I find it hard to make connections in the first place - even among those who know everything about me. It's like, in order for anything to stick in friendship, there is a massive barrier that both of us need to constantly and continuously overcome... and most people don't feel it's worth the effort. You've probably even felt it here. Add to that emotional scars from depression & sexual abuse... and I find myself balancing the honest thought that I wouldn't wish a relationship with me on anyone, and the feeling that I'm being too hard on myself and far too judgmental of others. Then I give it a chance and nothing happens, over and over and over again... but that happens to everyone in dating - same-sex attraction notwithstanding.
Maybe I'm just thinking too much.
"Why aren't you married, Mormon Guy?"
Honestly? There could be lots of reasons. There are probably lots of reasons. But, as of right now...
I don't know.