Tuesday, November 16

Frustration with Girls

Sometimes I feel like dating is totally not worth it.

I try to date frequently. I make friends with girls, ask them out (it usually works better that way than the reverse), spend time with them in a variety of situations, try to be totally upfront and honest with them (I am asking you out because I want to see if this will work for us and because I enjoy spending time with you), and, for the most part, have a good time. And I really, truly believe that there is at least one girl out there that I could fall in love with. And yes, I've written posts on what it means for me to fall in love.

But sometimes trying to be honest, straightforward, and kind... backfires. A girl I've been dating asked me about our relationship yesterday... wondering if I had found the attraction necessary to move forward into the next phase of dating. My answer? Not yet.

Since then, it's like our relationship (and friendship) fell off the face of the planet. No more text messages wondering how I'm doing, no more letting me know about things in her life, no more invitations or any communications from her end. I feel like honestly sharing my feelings instantly deactivated any desire on her part to play an active role in "us"... and it's frustrating. I can't tell her that I'm attracted to guys, because I don't want to date someone who pities me... And that's probably what would happen if I told her right now. And I don't feel like it's the right thing to do. If we were close to marriage, I would tell her. But right now marriage isn't even a possibility.

On the other hand, I can see exactly why she would withdraw, at least partially, from the relationship. When you invest too much of yourself into someone... and they don't return that love, then it's a lot easier and less painful to simply withdraw. To cut it off so that it doesn't consume your life. It takes a lot more love, faith, and courage to continue loving someone, and showing that love, when you realize that your love may never be returned. I guess that's one thing that I think that this trial has taught me - learning to love people who will never return it in the same way. I mean, when I fall in love with a guy, or become really good friends with a girl, then I'll do anything for them... and I'm okay if they never know, never show it back to me... and I find ways to help them meet new people... then give them goodbye hugs at their weddings, keep in touch, but let them create their own lives, usually without me as a part. But if they called me out of the blue I would still do anything.

I just wish people would be willing to invest everything in everyone they meet. To be honest and share their feelings and really, truly care about people - beyond whether or not he or she will be an eternal mate. We weren't sent here to find a spouse and then die, but to live and work and love the people around us... and to help them to rise with us. I guess I'm just frustrated. But I can see already ways that I can change... ways that I can be more honest in showing that I care about others. And that's pretty much all I can do - change who I am, and then hope that my example makes an influence on the people in my world.


  1. I think that the realistic truth is that it may prove difficult to find that special someone. Even if you find yourself capable of marriage when you find that woman you have a strong enough attraction to, you also need to remember that she has expectations and goals too. While I’m sure, if you are sure, that she exists and that such a situation is possible, can you really blame a girl for stepping back when she is unable to get what she has been told she deserves all her life – a man who loves her unconditionally, who finds her to be the most beautiful creature in the world, and who – frankly – wants to have a family with her (which includes the feelings of desire and longing that leads to the act that leads to the family)?

    Not only does that not exist yet with this girl (and do you even think it COULD, with this particular one?), but she has no indication of why it doesn’t exist.

    When I dated women, a lot of them slowly withdrew as I withdrew. Every single one of them blamed themselves and thought they weren’t good enough for me. Some of them still hold some harsh feelings for me because I let them believe it was their fault, and I blamed them.

    You can’t give her what she expects. That’s why she is pulling away. That isn’t her fault. That isn’t your fault. It just is.

    I hope that you are right, and that one day you will find the woman who has the ability to expect from you only that which you have to give, and is capable of being happy with that. I have no doubt that the Lord makes up for our deficiencies when we do all that we are capable of doing, and I hope he does so for you in your relationships with women.

    But if it isn’t enough for this woman, then that’s ok. She ain’t it, brother.

  2. I think it might be unfair to wait until the relationship is 'close to marriage' to finally bring up the ssa issue. Of course I don't know when the right time is exactly, and I'm sure the spirit will help you to know that. I just imagine if I was at the mind set of "I really REALLY could marry this guy!" and then he finally tells me such a big thing...??? Maybe I'm wrong, but that's how I feel... :/

  3. Dating has something in common for everyone- it is a struggle.

    Marriage is a blessing that has the potential to exalt our natures...and it only makes sense that dating would drag us through the depths of hell to earn that potential. Dating is the nasty pre-qualifying trial for marriage.

    I can't empathize with this situation, but I cant tell you when you meet the right person and it is the right time and God says "This is good" it will be all worth it- because that has been my experience.

  4. I'm commenting anonymously because I don't want it to seem like I'm trying to get people to click to my quite differently-angled blog. It might disgust or concern you to hear this, but you sometimes sound so much like a younger me that I can't help but smirk a bit and shake my head.

    As for telling a girl you're dating about your attractions, I agree you don't have to broadcast it on the second date or before trust is developed, but if you're going to keep it from her, you don't get to be upset when she loses interest or has so much interest she defensively moves on before you want her to. I mean this in a frank, not harsh, way. For most guys to hang out or keep in touch with a girl as much as it sounds like you might have, then to say they're not interested most often either means they're trying to play her or they're just buddies and not going to be interested in "more" if they're not already. Assuming (as she probably is) that you're primarily opposite-sex attracted, she'd most often be right to think you're just in it for the friendship when she has options with great guys who are expressing more interest much more quickly. She wants to find her EC, and she doesn't have time to waste. :-)

    Then again, maybe she's looking for an easy or fluffy relationship, in which case, it's likely best for both of you to move on because you probably want something more complex/deeper, and she probably isn't ready for a relationship with you.

    Maybe some girls would pity you, and I'm sorry, but I think the last thing most SSA guys need is more women making them their pity pets. It doesn't add much to one's sense of masculine identity, that's for darn sure. :-)

    BUT if you did tell the right girl (and I'd strongly recommend you not wait until you're 'close to marriage' but maybe after you start dating exclusively, though I totally know that whole progression was impractically abstract for me back in the day, so I won't get too hung up on that with you), it would hopefully help her understand why your relationship and interaction isn't quite the same as she's had with other guys, and that knowledge could quell her insecurities about why you don't seem as into her as she is into you and encourage her to take it at a slower, more deliberate pace so as to not run faster than you have strength. Sometimes, it can make all the difference. But it will take a leap of faith on your part, and I propose you'd do well to have the support of others who have been there and can coach you, and whose spouses can coach her, as needed. Neither you nor your future spouse have to do this alone, and it's probably better to learn from the experiences of those who have already been there and done it and could help you prepare for potential pitfalls and offer what tools and perspectives have led them to happiness. Consider it.

  5. This is my first time commenting, but I ran across your blog yesterday and really relate to a lot of what you say even though I have very different trials in my own life.

    I agree with Autumn Lynn here. I struggle with dating, and I think that Romans 8:18 is one of the best scriptures to apply to dating.

    Also, I really like what you have to say in the final paragraph of this post. I feel like dating could be a lot better if we could be as Christlike in those relationships as we are in others. Charity isn't one of those things that has to be saved for your eternal companion only; it should be practiced all through courtship, even with those you only date once or who only desire to date you.

  6. I think that, if your blog is an honest representation of the way you think, you think beautifully. I'm glad that you're learning so much.

    I hope you stay vulnerable but strong.

  7. "As for telling a girl you're dating about your attractions, I agree you don't have to broadcast it on the second date or before trust is developed, but if you're going to keep it from her, you don't get to be upset when she loses interest or has so much interest she defensively moves on before you want her to."

    I agree with this. I once dated (and was really good friends with) a guy for nearly three years, all with next to no physical contact. It was ultra-confusing to me, not to mention very hard on my self-esteem. (I was constantly wondering what was wrong with me that this man had no desire to even kiss me. We even discussed it a few times, but his answers were unsatisfactory, and ultimately untrue.)

    I desperately wanted to move on, but every time I contemplated doing so, I got a clear answer that such was not the Lord's plan.

    So, we stuck it out (he never broke up with me, which was another thing I couldn't figure out), until eventually we fulfilled the plan for us (I guess), because I finally got the "green light from above" to break things off. We did, and I went on to meet and marry my fabulous husband.

    I've kept in semi-superficial touch with the first man, and it's now quite clear why his attraction to me was zero. Looking back on the whole experience, I'm grateful for the things I learned through it all, and how they contribute to the happy life I have now, but I still have fleeting flashes of anger towards the first man, how he kept me in the dark, and made those years so confusing and anguish-filled for me, when he could have opened up a little more, and saved me a lot of pain.

    I'm not saying that the years were a piece of cake for him, because I know they weren't, but from my perspective, he wasn't fair with me at all, and didn't really give me a chance to be fair with him.

    Of course, he would probably have a different story, surely the story from his viewpoint would be just as valid as the story from my own.

  8. I agree with you except I'm female so it's opposite for me. It seems to me with guys I've dated that once we have the "DTR" talk and things don't go over so well. They disappear from my life. Yes, I'll still see them at church/activities but no more interaction. And it makes me sad because often I would still like being friends with them. Oh, well, such is life.

    Thanks for your thoughts.

  9. I have been following your blog ever since conference. Me and my husband and two different views of "gays", I believe majority are born with it, and he thinks its a choice. We are LDS and it has just really been on the front of my mind since conference. I am struggling to know what stance to take in the whole "issue". However, I have to say one thing....I would not like to be the girl that married a SSA guy. I don't know if you will ever find a girl that would. Why would anyone want to marry someone that isn't sexually attracted to them? That is where I struggle. So if you don't practice your SSA, then you have to date girls, but you aren't attracted to girls, so it is a lose lose situation. I have heard so many stories about marriages (with children) being ended because one of the spouses couldn't live in denial anymore. I think that is how you are living, in denial. But I also understand why you aren't "gay" (dating guys), because you want to be obedient, etc. This whole thing is so hard for me. I feel bad for you and people in your same shoes. I think that you deserve happiness just as much as anyone does, but will you TRUELY be happy married to a woman? and better yet, will she?

  10. GS:

    Can you really blame a girl for stepping back when she is unable to get what she has been told she deserves all her life – a man who loves her unconditionally, who finds her to be the most beautiful creature in the world...?

    No. I can't blame her. But I thought she was different. We had been friends before we started dating. I was open and honest and finally asked her out only because she was interested in me - and I told her I was willing to try to see if it could work. And it's not working yet. I don't hold her hand because I don't want to give her the wrong impression... and I haven't yet had a desire to hold it. Could it still work out? I don't know. I don't think it's fair to tell God and myself that I need love at first sight; I think it takes work to learn to fall in love. I just wish that I could find someone who, when she realizes that "we" aren't going to work out, is willing to love me as a brother and help me find the right person. Maybe that seems cruel to people who have loved others, but that's exactly what I've done for the guys I loved, and that's an essential ingredient of love from my perspective. If I don't love someone enough to value their happiness above everything else, then do I really love them? For every guy I've fallen in love with, I've helped them find wives and did everything I could to enable them to be happy. I just want to find someone who will love me unconditionally - whether or not I'm able to love them back on the same terms. And then hopefully God will do a miracle and I'll fall in love.


    I won't tell a girl unless I've already fallen in love with her. And as soon as I fall in love with a girl, I'll probably propose without much delay. But that hasn't ever happened, and so my relationships are trying to determine if I can fall in love - not testing girls to see if they can love me. I don't intend to marry a girl without being absolutely crazy about her.


    Thanks. I know that, too. When we've walked through the fire we come out burned, scarred, and purified.


    I agree. Your blog is a bit different from this one. But thanks for posting your thoughts. I agree - I don't really have a right to have relationships with girls when I can't love them and they love me... and I can't communicate well. And as far my personal distinction for "exclusive dating" "courtship" "in a relationship" or whatever you call it, at least right now I don't plan to ever date a girl exclusively unless I'm in love with her. The only problem is that I've never been in love with a girl, so I've never dated exclusively... and I think that if I fell in love with a girl, I would probably not be far from asking her to marry me. So the whole exclusive dating thing doesn't really seem all that cogent. I just need to find someone to love who loves me back. As far as having mentors, the greatest One has helped me out so far... but I'll think about your comment.

    Little Fish Girl:

    Yeah. I think that if we really, truly cared about each other, yes, we would withdraw when we realized it wasn't going to work... but we would still continue to help our friends on the path.

  11. Matt:

    It's definitely an honest representation. I wish I had a girlfriend I was in love with, or a wife I was in love with... but it hasn't happened. And while I believe that it will happen, it just hasn't happened yet...


    I agree with you except I'm female...

    Yeah. I guess we'll see what happens. Good luck on your own dating life.

  12. Kandice:

    Three years is a long time. The longest I've ever dated anyone was about 4 months, and I've never dated anyone exclusively. I don't think it would be fair to leave someone in the dark that long... and after 4 months of dating, if nothing has happened on my part, then maybe it just won't happen and it's better to move on anyway. I'm not totally sure.

    But I'm sorry you were hurt... and yet, as painful as your part of the relationship was, I relate much more to the pain that your first man felt.

    It's an interesting process to think about the line between simply brushing off someone's love because you can't return it, and "giving her a chance" - being willing to work hard and put everything into the relationship to see if it will work. And so, in my relationships, I try to be completely open and upfront before the first date (everything but being attracted to guys... that is). I warn girls that relationships with me are rough... and then I only ask them out if they feel it will be worth it even if we don't become eternal mates.

    For you, would it have been easier if your first man had told you, up front, that he wasn't physically attracted to you? I mean, it was obvious to you in his actions, but should he have said it? I've tried that a few times and girls took major offense. Is there a tactful way that he could have opened up?

  13. I just got this comment, and I feel like I need to respond to it in-line...

    Honestly, I don't know why you're dating girls when you're not attracted to them. You're only making them think that you are, unless you tell them that you really are not, upfront. This is unfair to them, and it makes sense to me that this girl moved on when you told her you weren't attracted to her. I'd be really upset to hear that from a guy I was having hopes on, and I, too, would move on.

    It makes more sense to only date women you are attracted to, as do other straight guys, doesn't it? What's the real purpose of dating, anyway? Not friendship. If you think it's about that now, it won't be when you hit your 30's and 40's, assuming you haven't already.

    Wait until you really feel attracted to a woman to even date her exclusively. And, you don't need to get to know her all that well to feel attracted. Then, when dating, her assumption that you are attracted to her will be met by you. Otherwise, dating women you're not attracted to is insulting to us women, especially when the woman assumes you're straight.

    I think that, as happens with English and other imperfect languages, we have a vocab problem here, as referenced at the end of your comment. I have never exclusively dated anyone, including this girl, because I never wanted to insult or be unfair to them. I'm totally candid at the beginning of relationships. So, if I'm not attracted to women, why do I date them? I have gone on dates, for many reasons - most of which are pretty well summed up by Elder Oaks in his CES Fireside talk of May, 2005: The Dedication of a Lifetime: "to “shop around” in a way that allows extensive evaluation of the prospects... to get acquainted with a member of the opposite sex. [To encourage] conversation... to see how you treat others and how you are treated in a one-on-one situation... to learn how to initiate and sustain a mature relationship."

    I could tell you about the changes that I've helped people make and how each of the girls I dated came closer to Christ. But, in reality, dating is an act of faith on my part. I date to show God that I haven't given up hope... to show Him that I still believe what's written in my Patriarchal blessing - that I will fall in love with a young woman, and she with me, and we'll be sealed in the temple for all eternity. The prophets are clear that love doesn't just happen. It doesn't come from sitting around doing nothing. And it definitely doesn't come by not spending time with girls (and since hanging out is sort of banned, dating is the only real option).

    I've talked with the girls I've dated about this subject, and every single one has told me that it was worthwhile. Painful? Yes, for both of us. But we knew that going in. But I and they feel it was still worth it for the things we learned and the possibility that it could have worked out. This girl will probably say the same thing. We'll end up being good friends and I'll help her find a husband and get an invitation within 7-8 months. I just wish I could feel attracted to a girl 1/1000th as easily as I feel towards guys.

  14. Anonymous:

    Me and my husband and two different views of "gays", I believe majority are born with it, and he thinks its a choice.

    Those aren't necessarily different... You could believe that we are given trials by the Lord, and he could believe it's our choice what to do in the face of those trials, and, at least in my opinion, both are true. Now, if you believe that I am born gay and hence will be homosexually active no matter what I choose, then your belief contradicts agency, and you're wrong. If he thinks that I have chosen to be attracted to men instead of women, then he's wrong. Don't get me wrong. I've learned a lot from this issue in my life. But, unless he's talking about the ability to choose our trials in the pre-earth life, there was no conscious decision on my part to feel alone, isolated, rejected, and hopeless because I wanted to be attracted to guys and not girls.

    Why would anyone want to marry someone that isn't sexually attracted to them?

    I really don't know the answer to that. For most of my life I've thought that 'falling in love' included sexual attraction, and I've been promised that I'll 'fall in love' with my wife, and she with me, before we decide to get married. There are other aspects of love, some more important, but I still feel that way about physical attraction. I think it's at least somewhat important... but I'll leave the door open for the Lord to teach me and guide me however He decides.

    I think that is how you are living, in denial.

    No. I'm not in denial. Of all the things in life that I am, I'm not in denial of who I am or what is happening to me. I'm a son of God and, at least right now, I'm attracted to guys and I haven't yet found a girl that I'm attracted to. I believe that I will find a girl to marry in the short-term (next handful of years maybe?) future. But if I don't, then I'll be celibate and fall in love when it happens - tomorrow or a hundred or so years from now, be sealed, and live happily ever after.

    I think that you deserve happiness just as much as anyone does, but will you TRUELY be happy married to a woman? and better yet, will she?

    That's what God has promised me. Falling in love, a happy marriage, children who love me and look up to me for support, and seeing no one in the world but my wife. I don't know how it will happen. But I believe it will... and I'm willing to do whatever it takes to prepare myself for that miracle if God grants it to me. And yes, I believe that we'll be happy. I believe we'll be the happiest, most in love couple on earth. People will see us and be in awe of how much we love each other. Maybe not that far. But if God is going to do a miracle in my life, then why not go the extra mile?

  15. I am with those who advocate telling a girl early; I would suggest it be part of the DTR if you were to start dating a girl. The right girl won't pity you for it, especially if you present it as, "FYI, this is something I've struggled with, but I like you enough to [start a relationship/keep dating for a while and see if I am get to the point where I want to start a relationship, if that's okay with you]. It's certainly not a conversation for the first few dates...but it's also a bit much to hear AFTER you've started talking about marriage.

  16. As I've been reading your blog and seeing your personality come out in your posts, I know you'll find a girl that will love you that you can love back. :) You honor your priesthood and you have incredible faith. That, my friend, is hard to come by these days.

  17. I love your blog everytime I read it. I do not face the same challenge which you do, however I see you as a relevant inspiration to all. Your willingness to gain Celestial Glory at all cost, to follow His commandments unwaveringly is an true inspiration to me and I love you for that.

    God Bless

  18. I want to tell you that you have courage and to not lose heart!

    I have been married to my husband for 14 years, and I love him dearly! I honestly believe he is my soul mate... but although when I first saw him I was "attracted" to him, shortly after getting to know him the physical looks ceased to matter. It was who he was, the spirit that shined through which attracted me in the end.

    It was, can I trust him? Will he treat me kindly, with respect and dignity, work hard to provide for me and any family we may have? Will he be faithful? It was the answers to those questions which made me fall "in love" with him. Did I trust him enough to allow my heart to belong to him, even on the days he held himself back from me?

    My husband wasn't a member of the church and many people told me we shouldn't even date. But I did because something spoke to me... We married and have basicly been happy We have a beautiful son who we were blessed with after 8 years of "trying" there are many days that I'm not "sexually attracted" to my husband. it doesn't mean I don't love him, just that the physical attraction isn't the be all and end all of a relationship...

    I think you have a good read on your emotions and your heart. Listen to the Spirit as it is clear you already have... maybe what you think is the "feeling of love" isn't exactly what it feels like. Ask Heavenly Father to guide you and let you know. it will happen.

    I tell my husband that he was my friend before I loved him and will be my friend always... trust me that sustains you when the physical look you "fell in love with" changes with age. Ultimately you are not looking to fall in love with the "shell" of the person, but with the Spirit... you'll do ok. AND this is coming from a woman who didn't get married until she was 30, not by choice but because very few took the time to look past the shy ackward shell to the heart beneath... due to love I'm now and 8 cow wife. LOL

  19. I think the best way to avoid getting hurt is to not place so much emotional attachment to a relationship way too early. Treat the girl with respect, but don't rush to become the Romeo to her Juliet.

  20. Gosh there are so many comments, that I haven't read through, that I might be saying something already said. Dating is frustrating but the final result will bring about an eternal companion. From my experience and dating disasters, I'd do it all again to end up with my husband. So, it will be worth it eventually. EVERY dating relationship until you find 'the one' will fail, obviously. Don't lose heart. I don't agreee with some who say you should tell her early on. What IF she spreads the word? Not good. Then you have those who will set out to 'fix you'. But from her side, she is thinking you're the typical guy who is attracted to ANY girl who crosses your path. So she is just thinking that you are not attracted to JUST her and no one should MAKE others like them, it should just happen. There is frustration and confusion on both ends. Possibly you should explain yourself another way. Perhaps that you just have a hard time 'falling for girls in general'. You've had your heart broken and you're a little jaded. Ask her to give you time if she feels you're worth it, if not to tell you so you don't take all this time to see what happens with someone who isn't into you after all. Hope something here helps!

  21. If you're dating someone, wouldn't they know you well enough to know about your issues, your attraction? Why not just say on date #1, "hey, this is me; I'm gay, I'm Mormon, and anything is possible". I don't know, I haven't been 'out there' for a while and marriage does have a way of making one more confident and bold than being single ever could. The thing about marriage that people may not initially see is that it's a journey from Point A to Point B for both parties. My spouse and I started out pretty different people and now we are even more different than before. We make it work because it's a common goal that we're committed to. Recognizing each other's starting points in the journey is essential in order to understand each other's strengths and weaknesses. Dating works the same way but on a different scale, without commitments. Sharing that part of yourself may leave you more vulnerable but you might be surprised how many women find direct honesty desirable and attractive. I'd keep you in the loop even if we didn't click because you're the type of person who doesn't play games; it's a rare quality.

  22. She might not invest everything for you because you might have hurt her. It would hurt to hear that the guy was not attracted to me, if I was really into him.

  23. Hey, me again.

    You said: "I don't really have a right to have relationships with girls when I can't love them and they love me... and I can't communicate well"

    Yeah, there should be a balance of love, and contrary to pop music, I don't think love is all you need. :-)

    May I question you about something? You said:
    "For every guy I've fallen in love with, I've helped them find wives and did everything I could to enable them to be happy."

    Were these guys same-sex attracted as well? Did they know you were? Did you think they were gay, and they told you they weren't attracted to you? Did you ever think you actually might potentially pursue something with them and live happily ever after? What I'm saying is: can you directly compare your role in those relationships with hers in this? Maybe you can, but since you've said you never told anyone about your attractions, and judging from your perspective I've read so far, I'm deducing there was never a real, present hope that it could go somewhere anyway, which seems different to me.

    I don't doubt you loved them enough to care about their welfare above your own, and were in love, but people in love without any hope that it will go somewhere will often invest, even over-invest, as a way of satisfying their own desire for investment and connection in any way possible and package it up in selfless concern. It's better than being bitter and spiteful, and it's maybe better than running away, and I could be totally wrong to even suggest this, but is it possible it's not quite as selfless an emotional phenomenon as you're thinking it was? I believe you're a good person and only wanted the best for them--that's not in question in my mind--but I've been on the receiving end of this kind of relationship and experienced it as something else messy and self-serving mixed with genuine selfless love and friendship, and I've seen it in myself as well, so I could just be projecting. I have no idea what your own motives were or whether you've already considered this or even need to.

    (end long-winded comment part 1)

  24. You say: "I won't tell a girl unless I've already fallen in love with her. And as soon as I fall in love with a girl, I'll probably propose without much delay.

    I see a potential pitfall in the decision not to tell a girl until you're in love--it's pretty you-focused. You're not giving her the option to decide what she's willing to take on or to ask you questions about it and start understanding the issue until after she's probably already fallen for you.

    Let's be honest, you seem like a good guy, and respectable in LDS society, so she's probably going to fall for you and be farther along, emotionally, than you. What if you were to give up some of the upper hand or control in the relationship by trusting her with your challenges and giving her the opportunity to respond? I'll reiterate that your chances at success might even be better if she isn't left to fill in the blanks for too long about why she's not attractive enough, righteous enough, smart enough, or fun enough for you to show the kind of interest she feels for you, or to show the affection she got from the last guy who fell for her, or why you occasionally show affection but not nearly to the degree she'd like you to.

    I submit that given everything you say about true love, then building that love might include risking your own security by revealing your challenge to her even before you're necessarily 'in love' with her because you trust her, appreciate her, and think you could fall in love with her, and you want to build on that.

    To tell you the truth, I used to think similarly about my future relationship with a woman, that by the time I knew I loved her, that would be that, and we'd get engaged. It could happen that way. But now I think it had more to do with never having been in a romantic relationship, so everything was abstract. This is why I might say things that don't apply to you because I may over-identify with certain things you say that sound like my past thoughts. Sorry if that's the case.

    As for proposing 'without much delay', that may be fine, but try not to let eagerness to take what seems like your one true shot make you hasty or let it take advantage of her. You may fully believe you're ready, but as you talk with wives of primarily same-sex attracted men, you'll find that she needs to be ready, too, and years of marriage will reveal realities she might not have considered, especially if you never discussed the experience with anyone else, which leads me to my final point.

    (end long-winded comment part 2)

  25. You say: "As far as having mentors, the greatest One has helped me out so far... but I'll think about your comment."

    I used to believe similarly, and I won't tell you what to believe about deity. That's personal and sacred. I'd invite you to consider the possibility that we are in this life together not to isolate and refuse to learn from each other. I submit that leaning on or trusting the arm of flesh is not the same as learning from each other's experiences and allowing 'the Spirit', or our intuition, or whatever you believe that still, small voice to be to testify to our hearts and minds which parts of those are useful and right for us personally. Even my parents were wrong sometimes and are quite thoroughly imperfect human beings. It doesn't mean I wasn't to bother listening to them and considering their experiences in determining my own decisions based on doctrine, belief, and 'the still, small voice'. Good people are all around, in and out of the church, and have experience and perspective to build on, once you have your solid foundation built.

    You're undertaking a specialized endeavor in seeking to sublimate dominant attractions in favor of what you desire and believe in, and perhaps God can 'perform a miracle', but don't neglect the possibility that God may help you through resources available to you and might help you find those elements which are most correct and useful.

    From what I've read on your blog, you have certain wise outlooks and are a really good guy, but you do not seem so unique that the experiences of others who are completely church-faithful and in so-called mixed-orientation marriages couldn't make your experience much better and more likely to be fulfilled.

    After all, the happiest, most successful marriages I know of involve people who were wise enough to learn from the experiences of others and humble enough to recognize they were not too righteous to encounter the same realities almost every similar couple encounters, so they prepared for those possible challenges.

    In my mind, it's one thing to believe ourselves humble because we rely exclusively on the Lord, which usually means our personal 'impressions' and the agreed-upon doctrines built by the voices of prophets long-since passed on, but it's another to be humble enough to learn from the mere fellow humans journeying as we are, and to take that learning to the Lord and have faith in his ability to help us sort out the truth for ourselves.

    You may be disinclined to give much weight to my advice, since I'm an out, gay, former-LDS agnostic dude, but I have been there, though I'm a different person from you and with different experiences, perspectives and background, and I have a lot of friends who are trying to do what you are, and a lot who have been doing so for years, some happily so. But then, you may well find your miracle in a way most people don't. I wish you well.


    (end long-winded comment.)

  26. I disagree with the idea that dating should only be about finding a spouse, and not about friendship. I hate dating, and I found that I could only stand dating at all once I allowed myself to view it as a means of making and developing friendships. Developing friendships without expecting someone to marry you for it is actually pretty selfless. It's an opportunity to give someone a friend, no questions asked. It sounds like that's what you want, and what you try to be. I think that pursuit is admirable, and I thank you for being kind and respectful to my sisters.

    A good question to ask yourself is if someone can truly be your friend if they don't know crucial things about you.

    The best advice I can give you from my experience is to prayerfully become the best person you can be for the spouse Heavenly Father has in mind for you. Follow His directions with faith and hope that He will answer you, and He will lead you to the person you can love and trust completely. If you stay close to Heavenly Father and His guidance, He will make it clear to you when you've met her. It may not be in this life, but your efforts to be who she needs you to be will not be wasted either way.

    I wish you all the best,

  27. You know, you're awesome. In a weird sort of way, it's good to know that dating is frustrating for everybody haha. I really liked what you said-- "It takes a lot more love, faith, and courage to continue loving someone, and showing that love, when you realize that your love may never be returned." It's so true! That's part of Christ-like love. I really admire you for your faith. You're right--if it's in your patriarchal blessing, and you are living the Gospel, and waiting on the Lord's timetable, it'll happen. Go, you!! You can make it. Stay strong; you're an example to so many of us. :-) I hope someday to meet you and your beautiful family.

  28. Omo: You made my day when I read this. You and I have some things in common, and in the end we've chosen to believe in different worlds… but I'm glad that you felt like you could comment here, thankful that you thought of the spirit here in your comment, and happy that you add to the discussion.

    To comment 1: Were the guys I fell in love with same-sex attracted? I don't know. Some of them probably were. But I don't wear it on my sleeve and I don't think, deep inside, that it should effect a major difference in how I treat people. I should just love them and support them no matter what. Did they know? Some of them did. And have I ever pursued it? I've never thought that pursuing something with a guy would enable me to live happily ever after… I think that it's pretty obvious from everything here that I believe the exact opposite.

    As far as what I wanted for my friends, guys and girls, and my disposition on that, there have definitely been times when I was selfish. When I held on to a relationship because I didn't have any other friends… and knew that if I was completely honest that people would move on, for whatever reason. It happened anyway, and everything blew up in my face. You know the feeling. Today, I really, honestly, try to put their needs and desires and happiness above my own. Yes, it's fulfilling… but loving others and doing the right thing is good for me, as well as good for them. Sometimes it means that when they withdraw, I don't go chasing. Sometimes it means that I spend a lot more time alone. But I've found that simply loving people, and not worrying about the end result of that love, but simply loving them and helping them to come closer to Christ, has helped me find good friends, make a difference in the world, and come closer to God.

    To comment 2: I don't know if I'll tell her early on. Sometimes I think that I'm afraid of being vulnerable, but when I think about the rest of our conversations, that's not really the issue. Or if I'm passing judgment on others and deeming them unworthy of the knowledge… but I don't think that is accurate, either. I'm still trying to figure out how much of an impact this may have on my life, and what exactly I'm supposed to do with it if it is a part of my life in the future. I never told anyone before beginning this blog, because I never felt like it was necessary. I've asked the question in prayer, but the only answer I've gotten so far is the importance of maintaining public anonymity - hence the pseudonym. And yes, I agree that we both need to be ready - I've taken enough marriage prep courses to know all about the potential mishaps of exuberant haste.

    And comment 3: It's not that I want to isolate myself. It's that I'm still learning and growing and, at least to me, it's important that I make the right decisions. If/when I get closer to marriage, then I and my wife will turn to the Lord, make decisions, and then probably ask advice from others. Whatever happens, it won't just be my marriage… but ours. I want her to be a part of the choice, and so I can't make that decision yet. I have good friends who have experience with being faithful and married (even with my issues), and a network of people to draw on who could find other good examples. My comment wasn't a brush off. Like I said, I'll think about it.

  29. Question: Is the reason you would want a potential spouse to know about your SSA feelings for you or for her? Is it because you think that even if you met someone you loved you might still have problems... or because you just feel like you should be honest with her?

    I guess I would say that as a wife, I would want to help my spouse through his difficulties, but I don't want to know every thought he has. If my husband thinks Angelina Jolie is Hot... I don't want to know. But if he's looking at porn or something I would want to know so I could help him.

    I don't think that anyone you date or marry needs to know that you've had thoughts or feelings about men. If your not acting on them, it's really a non issue. But if you were dating girl or were married and felt the need to look at porn or something, then that's something you should talk about as a couple.

  30. wow. you are inspiring, to say the least! i just found your blog and i am amazed at how much i got out of your posts that apply to my life and my relationship with my Heavenly Father, you are a gifted writer with a point of view that needs to be heard... keep on keepin' on!


  31. you really have your head on your shoulders. I don't doubt that one day you will find a girl good enough for you (and she has to be amazing to deserve someone as great as you) and you will make each other very happy, despite your SSA. I really enjoy reading your blog, it is so uplifting and gives me great insight into those struggling with certain issues that seem taboo to talk about in church.
    You are an amazing person, and i really hope you find that happiness in eternal marriage eventually.

  32. Heavenly Father does love you, you are right. And even in the hardest of times, if you hold onto His words, His commandments, His promises, & His love, you will find joy. I have a quote I'd like to share with you.
    "I've learned that we don't change the Lord's plans with our prayers or reading the Book of Mormon, but we bring OURSELVES in line with his plans when we do - when we read or pray, we aren't asking for things he wasn't going to give us before, but are putting ourselves in the right place to receive them and see them."
    You sound strong, and I just want to give you a pat on the back.

  33. I'm sorry, but to those of you who seem to think that there cannot be a happy marriage without physical attraction, you are very obviously not old enough to have a liver-spotted spouse, are you?

    I'm nowhere near that age, and I can see how for some couples that is one of the least important things in their marriage.

    Honestly, thinking on this topic, I begin to wonder what would happen if I fell in love with a man who was not physically attracted to me. My honest answer? I'd be honored. That out of all the beautiful, amazing, wonderful women in the world; he chose ME. That my personality and my testimony were so attractive that he fell in love with me, and physical looks weren't a decisive factor. I've seen too many couples who settle for an attractive-but-below-par mate simply because there were sparks.

    I'm a practical/hopeless romantic. I want embers that grow into a roaring blaze, not sparks that will fizzle out.

  34. Thank you so much for this post. This is applicable to something I've been struggling with the past several months. I found out the guy I had been dating wasn't physically attracted to me, and it absolutely crushed me. We're trying the whole "just friends" route, but it's been difficult for me. I wonder whether it's emotionally healthy for me to continue our friendship. I'm in love with him and would do anything for him. Sometimes it seems like I give and give but barely get anything in return. Reading this post helps me to realize that he's giving me all that he can right now, and I need to be there for him. It's sad knowing that he'll probably never love me in the way I want him to, but I think he loves me in his own way.


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