Sunday, June 24

Mormon Guy, Why Aren't You Married?

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.

18 comments:

  1. I learned something that was very helpful to me when I was going thru my own form of trials. So it may be helpful to you,or not. It derived from a John Bytheway talk. "What I Wish When I Knew When I Was Single." From what I read here, you focus a lot on the fact that you're not married. I don't know if that is something that is primarily on your mind when you're away from this blog, but he talks about how people should stop focusing on it, and it will eventually come to them when the time is right. Focus on the type of person they want to be for that person when they do meet them, so when the time is right, they don't have to worry about starting good habits and what not for that special person. I know our trials are far from similar. But it helped me. So I thought maybe if you haven't listened to it, it may help you.

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    1. It's not something that I focus on when I'm not here. I have plenty of other things that take my time... and I agree - it's far more important to focus on becoming the right person. And I have a long way to go before that happens.

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  2. Great marriages don't have to start with attraction any more than every good dish has to be garnished. Attraction is just that -- an attractant. It fades. Affection comes with time and kindess.

    So i'm trying to stop thinking terms of "Who's the hottest of them all?" and more along th lines of...
    Who would I want by my side when times are rough?
    Who would I want to help me raise my kids?
    Who is going to help me grow closer to the Lord?
    Who shares some goals and visions with me?

    I'm hoping I'll find that guy :)

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  3. I'd wager you're closer than you think.

    Unlike Velda, I have felt that attraction doesn't fade, but changes. Grows, often. My first love was a very unattractive fellow. But when I was in love with him, I was incredibly attracted to him. My ex husband was better looking, but I'm not remotely attracted to him anymore. But the more I loved him during our marriage, the more attractive he became. My attraction to him grew as my love grew. I suppose it also faded as my love faded, but not before my love faded. I was still attracted to him after the divorce because I still loved him.

    Like Velda, I believe marriages don't have to start with attraction.

    As usual, Mormon Guy, your honesty is refreshing. Keep truckin', and cherish those moments of clarity, as I'm sure you do!

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  4. Oh, Mormon Guy... Same-sex attraction notwithstanding... There are A LOT of us single people not married. I'm dating someone, but I may or may not marry him and IT SUCKS not knowing. It's in the Lords hands and his timetable for him and me. Yay... NOT!
    Why am I not married? A myriad of reasons. But the Lord does have a plan for each of us. The good thing is that there is a lot of good (I know I'm being redundant) we can do while single.

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  5. I enjoyed reading this post and the comments, well, because I feel so grateful that God sees me and what I truly desire. Perhaps I don't know how to relate... and I'm sorry if that is the case. But I feel so strongly that God has been by my side in my own relationship, even though I probably didn't deserve His help. Thanks for this post-- the faith here that I stumbled on is just really helpful... Thanks!

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  6. I was praying recently about my future life, and rather than a specific answer I got "hang on tight." Life undoubtedly has taken you, and will take you to many strange places on your road through mortality. But all God's promises to you will eventually be fulfilled, and it will all eventually make sense. I'm sure you already knew that. It's still true.

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  7. Hey Mormon guy ,

    I just wanted to say thanks for the blog. It's very uplifting, and I feel the spirit while I read. You have a great perspective, and are very inspirational to me. I want to leave my testimony with yours that the Gospel is true and the Savior lives.

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  8. There seem to be a disproportionate number of comments on this blog that say that sexual attraction isn't required to make a successful marriage. I'm curious...is there anyone who feels that the initial desire to rip the other person's clothes off is important? Of course if that's the only component to a relationship, it's not sustainable. But I've never had a long term relationship worth its salt that didn't begin with unadulterated lust and infatuation!

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  9. Your faith and trust in God's timing are evident. Thank you for sharing your testimony through your writing.

    I am sorry for the heartache you've had in your life. I am an abuse survivor as well. I've had years of therapy (way later than I should have) to try to deal with it. It took me so long to believe that I was a good person of worth no matter what happened to me. That I deserve to be happy and others would want to spend time with me for healthy reasons.

    The same is true of you. You are of incredible worth. Injured, but not damamged. Completely whole in God's eyes. Loved and valued. I hope you feel that with your heart and soul. If not all the time, then at least in moments. It can grow from there.

    You will be in my prayers. Thank you for sharing your faith and courage.

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  10. I know exactly how you feel about the marriage issue. I just found your blog yesterday, and it has been a huge help in understanding my own SSA. I am gay, and I am approached over and over again about why I'm not dating, why I'm not married etc. It is a very hard question to answer, because like you, I don't know. I have dated before, and the pain that I put my girlfriend through as we struggled and I struggled...to me it was too much to bear. More than anything I want to have a family, and to be attracted to a woman who can then become my wife, but I am beginning to realize that this life might be the trial period, and then maybe in the next I can have that opportunity. But you're right, it doesn't make answering that question any easier!
    Thanks for being a strong testator of the fact that we can still be faithful followers of christ, and we don't need to give in to what we 'feel' is so right.

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    1. This.

      Nearly word for word is me. For reasons I don't completely understand I feel dating is not right for me and I'm getting tired of that "oh..." or "why not?" or the straight up chastisement that follows them asking if I am.

      I hope to marry (soon) but if not I will remain faithful so that I may hear those sweet words, "well done thou good and faithful servant".

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    2. I never liked dating. Sure part of it is because I'm SSA (or gay or bisexual whatever you want to call it, I don't care), although I didn't want to deal with it during those years like so many of you are doing which I'm very proud that you are.
      More though I just hate what I call "the games" around dating. The he said, she said, talk to people to see what they said, and the deciding if you really want to date more, or a lot of the BS that goes on with some people who are trying to manipulate you emotionally (not maliciously usually but they are still doing it) to be in a relationship or stay in one.
      I went on perhaps two dozen dates in my whole life that were about meeting new people and courtship (lots more since then of course) and I never really liked it. It was always kind of uncomfortable. When I met my wife it was easy. We just fit together. It was a miracle. We both knew within a very short period of time that we were meant for each other in some way.
      I always mocked those fast marrying couples, but we ended up doing just that.

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  11. Intimacy not lust is most important. There can be many kinds of love but it really makes a difference if you feel a connection to the person you love.

    I would try to find intimacy with a person. Intimacy, closeness, connectiveness that is really important.

    How do you tell when there is intimacy, closenees, connection?

    Well, it's all in how you relate to a person.

    Here is what I would look for:

    All relationships involve work at some time but it shouldn't always be work. It should feel like it comes natural; that you feel close to the person without even having to try. Of course, there will be ups and downs but for the most part it should be effortless.

    You know you are with the right person when you often don't think about the time and time flies.

    You know you are not with the right person when you often are mindful of the time and time drags.

    You know you are with the right person when the love often spills out from you without any effort on your part.

    You know you are not with the right person when you don't even know what it feels like for the love to just spill out of you.

    If you feel this person is special and unique and no one else can take their place then that person might be the one for you.

    If you feel this person is special and unique but you sort of feel about them like you feel about others then that person is probably not the one for you.

    If you can't imagine living life without that person that person might be the right person for you.

    If you can imagine life without that person then that person is proably not the one for you.

    If you want to marry that person so you can have a family and the relationship with this person is a bonus then that person might not be the right person for you.

    If you want to marry that person because you want to spend the rest of your life with that person and having a family with this person is a bonus then that person might be the right person for you.

    You get the idea...

    You may not know the answer because feeling that connection has yet to happen to you.

    I truly believe that when you meet the right person that deep down inside you will know and the answer will be obvious.

    Regards,
    Philip

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  12. Mormon guy,
    I'm about to share with you (and the rest of the world) very private information from my life and I do so in hopes of giving you support. The love of my life and husband is ssa. I've known it for years. We were best friends and I was in love with him, but after he told me he was gay I knew he could not/should not be with a woman. Despite this, God intervened and we married. I've never imagined life could be so happy, or that a man could be so good. I know it was only through god's plan that we are together and I thank him daily. If a husband/wife relationship is what you seek then I believe it's only through the Lord's divine hand that it could be possible. Hang in there and he will guide you.

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  13. I got married at 28, which is "really old" in Utah Mormon terms, and yes I was living in Utah at the time. I usually just shrugged my shoulders when people asked, never really bugged me, except my parents asking. I always found that annoying. What I always said along with that shrug though was, "I haven't found the right person yet." 100% true and authentic even with SSA and being confused about what I wanted and not really dealing with my own issues etc. I never did find the right person, until I did. I know it sounds strange. It happened out of the blue and we were set up. We both consider it a miracle in a way. Of course things have been hard in many ways, but it's been good.

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  14. Being in love with someone doesn't have to do with attraction. If your goal is to find someone you can love forever then I suggest getting out there and getting to know (really understand) the women you meet. Because at the end of the day we all age and our beauty fades, but it is that enduring love and connection with a person's soul that sustains a marriage. If you make a serious effort in this then your prayers will be answered:)It seems to me that Heavenly Father is challenging your heart and not your eyes:) **Speaking from personal experience**

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  15. Wow. Just wow. You are amazing and brave and I am so blessed to have been able to read some of your blog entries today. Thank you. Thank you for touching my life and lifting my feeble knees. I will pay it forward.

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