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Church-leadership and members are facing a relatively new challenge, or at least a more punctuated challenge relative to our history.While single adults have always been a part of our faith community, the demographic of the church is changing with individuals remaining single longer.The other night, over dinner with friends, we got to talking about dating in the LDS world.The demographics at the table: two married (not to each other), and three never-married or divorced.To love self, to love others, and to love God : This is the point of all of the commandments, remember.To some it seems our sexuality undermines our attempts to be good, particularly if you are single.He continued, “It’s clear that it works, you have three kids, why would you not want to bring more of Heavenly Father’s sprits into the world? And this doesn’t even touch of the dates who asked me to go on a scavenger hunt, or to place ideas in a hat and pull them out for a fun date night. I’m not a child, I don’t need to be entertained, and at nearly 40, I certainly am not going to be giggly and effervescent about looking for clues to get to know someone.Lets sit down like adults and have a conversation, over a nice meal, and share our world-views and opinions, and maybe a funny story.
Mormon scholars estimate that, in the United States, up to a third of adult membership in the church is single.
We met for dinner at a local restaurant, and had sat down and were making small talk, but before the salads arrived, he jumped right into telling me how he was searching for his Eternal Companion, and wanted to begin his Eternal Family right away. I was clear in my profile that I already have three children.
Aloud, I diplomatically try and remind him that if he’s in a rush to create an Eternal Family, I might not be the right woman for him to be dating.
Can we do that without distractions, gimmicks and discussing my reproductive parts on the first date?
Can you ask for a second date without a little cute card tied to my windshield wiper or a balloon tied to my doorknob? It seems as though the extra pressure on LDS folks to marry, and thus achieve adulthood, has distorted us in some very important ways.
For those of us who find ourselves unmarried— even if you were previously married— no matter how impressive your resume, career achievement or college degrees, in very manifest ways, we are still treated as adolescents. In my own pool of LDS dating experience (I was married when I joined the church, so I have a fair amount of real experience in both worlds), I have two distinct impressions: the age imbalance is waaaay out of balance in LDS 31 dating, and generally, we’re all nuts.