A response to YSA Man

I read an article today from the Deseret News website. It was from Ask Angela and it was an LDS man writing in about his complaint that LDS girls all have too high of expectations. He wrote “I have always wanted to marry a Latter-day Saint woman. But after being in the dating game for eight-plus years and well over 1,000 dates, I’m about ready to throw in the towel! LDS women are told constantly that they are princesses, and to an extent that’s true, but it’s going to all of your heads and you’re expecting these men and these dates and these engagements that are only found in fairy tales! I’m not Prince Charming. I’m a real man, and I’d like to find a Latter-day Saint woman who understands that and isn’t expecting me to be this perfect and unrealistic guy. How can I get these LDS ladies to stop going after something that doesn’t exist?”

Boy its a good thing that I am not Angela because I would have had a thing or two to say to this man. And yet when I finished the article, despite the fact that his letter hadn’t been addressed to me I still wanted to put my two cents in, so here is the reply that I would have sent to him had I been Angela. BTW, Angela gave a good response, perhaps a little kinder than I would have been…

Dear YSA Man (I use the term man here loosely as I have no evidence that this letter is actually being addressed to a man and not a boy.)

Let me start by asking a question. Is there a chance that just maybe the fault is not on the part of the LDS women in general and more on the fact that you obviously are looking for and dating the same type of woman over and over again, perhaps when you are looking for a mindless twit, thats what you find. Because I promise you, the good ones are out there…in droves…with so much to offer…waiting for someone to rise up enough to see who they are.

Like you I had been in the YSA scene for too many years. at least as many as you have been. And since I am an LDS woman I hope I can give you a little in sight into what at least some of us are thinking.

Just as you suggested I was told on multiple occasions, by multiple people that maybe I was being too picky. And that maybe thats why at 32 years old I was still single. Maybe I can show you what I saw.

I saw dozens if not hundreds of girls who desperately wanted to get married, who were doing everything they could to better themselves, they put extensive effort into their physical appearance, consistently attended FHE groups, institute and activities in an effort to “put themselves out there.” They developed their talents and spent the time that they were “waiting” for their “prince charming” bettering themselves through school and career. As a result many of them had masters degrees and Phds, graduated at the top of their class from BYU Law school, had great careers, made far more money than they needed to support themselves, these are girls that loved the Lord and devoted their life to living the standards that they professed to believe. These girls were beautiful, fit, active women.

And I saw weeks turn into months without these girls going on dates. Maybe the occasional date here or there but nothing very encouraging. I saw them baking cookies for undeserving boys who were just playing the field, inviting boys over for dinner, and trying to find a sense of satisfaction in  their lives without a relationship and many of them succeeded. I saw the braver among them ask guys out themselves in an effort to make sure they were “doing their part”

I also saw other girls, show up to church dressed as immodestly as they could get and still be somewhat appropriate for church, girls who behaved a bit like “princesses” who couldn’t be bothered with attending FHE because it might cut into her time shopping for expensive clothes, I saw girls who maybe had testimonies, but if they did were careful not to let it show, and these girls went on multiple dates a week.

I attended ward temple nights with 20 other girls and three guys, I attended FHE when only girls showed up even though there were equal numbers of guys and girls in the group.

And I had many conversations with both guys and girls about life and about dating. I heard a lot of things from guys, some of them were good men, that I had respect for, and others were guys I thought were good guys that I soon lost respect for.

Some of them talked about how they didn’t know what the problem was, they were dating, they were trying to do the things they were supposed to be doing, they were trying to look beyond just the physical appearance and find a woman who would be the kind of wife they wanted. And it showed in the girls they dated, they dated all kinds, not only the skinny blond floozy Mormon girls, and they developed relationships beyond just romantic ones, they had girls who were friends that they didn’t feel the need to flirt and be obnoxious with.

I saw guys who had legitimately had their hearts broken, but instead of picking up the pieces and moving on they allowed it to devastate them to the point that they were too broken and afraid to move ahead.

I saw guys who saw only a pretty face and a sexy body, I saw guys with an addiction to porn, I saw guys who sat at home and played video games. I saw guys who couldn’t be bothered with home teaching and all that stuff. And I saw guys who made a joke out of their inability to commit.

I saw (and continue to see) guys who flaunt their opposition to the counsel to get married and move forward with their lives, and I saw men who self righteously looked down on those who were “destroying the family and God’s plan of marriage” while all along feeling content to stay single well into their 30’s while good women mourn the fact that they may never get the opportunity to have children.

Thats what I saw, let me tell you what I wanted. I wanted a man who would love me, who would be faithful to me, who would treat me like the daughter of God that I was. I wanted a man who would commit to me and to our family, I wanted a man who was willing to stand up and be a leader. I wanted to have a family, I wanted to love and support my husband in reaching all of his dreams, I wanted to treat him like the son of God that he is. I never wanted a perfect husband, (he would have been impossible to live with, with all of my imperfections) but I did want a man who WANTED to be perfect. Who wouldn’t complain that I wanted him to change, because of course I want him to change! Thats why we are here after all! And I hope he wants me to change as well.

My list didn’t say anything about his having served a mission, or making a certain amount of money, having a certain calling or looking a certain way. It didn’t exclude men who had been divorced, were struggling with depression, had other problems or difficulties they faced in their lives, it didn’t exclude imperfect people.

I watched my friends, marry men who did have porn problems, who didn’t have jobs, who hadn’t served missions and who weren’t nearly as handsome as the pretty girls they married. I watched them put their husbands through school. And they did it because they found men who loved them, who committed to them, and who wanted to change. And they believed in them.

fortunately I didn’t listen to those who told me to “stop going after something that doesn’t exist” and I found what I was looking for. Or better yet, he found me, because yes that is in fact what “real men” do.

So pardon me if I don’t have a lot of sympathy for you in your little pity party of “no body wants me because I am not prince charming, they all just want to change me and won’t accept me for who I am”

Try to stop focusing on “who I am” and start thinking more about who you could be and I bet the girls will start flocking to your door. Just be aware, you might have to turn your video games off long enough to open it!

sincerely,

A Latter-day Saint Princess

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A wonderful guy, who I actually went on several dates with, sent this to me after we had a conversation on this same topic.

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If you want to make me a sandwich…I want to eat your sandwich

I think girls have an incredibly difficult job when it comes to dating. We are supposed to sit by demure and pretty, flirting just enough to instill some confidence that we will say yes and not too much as to be considered forward.

We are to smile, laugh at their jokes, touch them playfully and generally send an over all message that we are interested…assuming of course that we are. Then if they get the message, and if they are interested in us…they might ask for our phone number. Or they might not.

If they do ask for our phone number they might actually call us…or they might not.

When you think about it, it really is no wonder that girls get the reputation for over analyzing things. “Was that text sent with a smiley face or an exclamation point.” It could make all the difference.

We are constantly left wondering,

I have a dear friend who went on a boating trip. She really only knew one person there so when she met this incredibly attractive man and starting flirting with him she really hoped he would ask for her number. The day was going great, the sun was warm on their skin, the water was cool and refreshing. She was flirting with him…he was flirting with her and boasting about how he made the best sandwich ever.

“I’m not sure i’m convinced” she said with a coy smile

“Well than I might just have to take that as a challenge” he answered back. She was quite sure he would suggest they get together so he could prove his culinary prowess to her but just at that moment a rope caught in the propeller and he went diving to see if he could undo the damage. During his struggle with the rope he cut his hand and his friend took him to the hospital to get stitches.

He never got her phone number and since they didnt know any of the same people she figured she would never see him again.

The following week she was at church and as she was standing in the hallway who should she see but mister sandwich boy.

Excited to see him again, and thinking that perhaps fate had given her another chance…but also in a terrible hurry since she was supposed to be teaching the lesson in just a few seconds, she rushed up to him and stammered…

“If you want to make me a sandwich, I want to eat your sandwich.”

The words were no sooner out of her mouth than the reality of what she had just said hit her and in the awkwardness she mumbled a few words about how she had to go and went to teach her class.

“I want to eat your sandwich..” A common phrase in our house now whenever we want to tease her about her aggressive flirting. In reality we all sympathize. Its hard being a girl. Its hard waiting. Its hard putting yourself out there and waiting to see if some guy is going to pick up on it. Its hard being left to wonder what he is thinking and why.

I went to a dance this weekend. There was a slow song and they announced that it was ladies choice. I wasn’t about to ask a guy, I hate ladies choice. But then as I was looking around for my friends this guy walked toward me. He was buff, he was good looking, and he was almost past me. Before I even knew what I was doing I asked him to dance. We danced and then we talked. And after awhile when another slow song came on we danced again. It was nice. He was interesting. turns out we have some mutual friends.

I wouldn’t mind seeing him again. I wouldn’t mind going out on a date with him. If he wanted to make me a sandwich… I would eat his sandwich. But I have done my share of waiting and wondering what a guy is thinking and if he is going to do something about it. So I will not think about it. And while I am busily not thinking about it I will enjoy another new day. I will not text our mutual friends to see what they have to say about him…I will not try to manipulate a situation where I know I will see him again. Who knows maybe I will just go to the kitchen and make my own sandwich!