A Welcome Message

It's a great big world we live in. And yet-it's a small world (after all). There are so many different cultures and opinions and theories and beliefs, but there is one thing that exists among them all, and that is FAMILY.

I firmly believe that "the family is central to the Creator's plan for the eternal destiny of His children" (The Family: A Proclamation to the World).

On this blog, I'll share information from my classes, experiences from my own life, thoughts and feelings from my heart-all on the subject of FAMILY.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

What's the Matter with Guys These Days?

NOTE: This is not my regular weekly post-it's rather an observation and my strong opinion on the subject. This week's post on what I learned from class this week is coming.

I often hear people of all ages complain about the dilapidated state of dating nowadays. More often than not, I hear that it's the guy's fault for this decline in the dating trend. "Guys just don't ask girls on dates anymore." "Guys just want to hang out." "Guys don't like commitment." Admittedly, I've been guilty of some of these, and I still don't think they are wholly wrong. Talks and addresses given by latter-day prophets and apostles even confirm some of them. But I had an opportunity in class today that never should have been mine, and it made me think of another reason for this dating decrease, and it's NOT the guy who's at fault this time.

The class is Family Relations. So naturally, we talk about families A LOT. Today our professor decided to have us act out a family therapy session to demonstrate how a certain successful family therapist (please forgive me for not remembering his name) used his interviews to help families. My teacher asked for 3 volunteers-someone to play a 9 year old boy, a mother, and a father. The first to volunteer said he'd be the boy. Then another guy volunteered to be the dad. There was a long awkward pause. The teacher asked again for someone to volunteer to be the mom. Another very long, awkward pause. I sat and watched, waiting for one of the single ladies to jump up. No one did. So I volunteered-I am almost always willing to volunteer, but I really wanted someone else to seize this opportunity and I'll tell you why in a minute.

When I was young and single-ha! I sound like that old person... don't worry, I do realize I'm not that old-dating was a thing. Boys and girls talked and flirted. Girls found excuses to be near or talk to the boys they liked. Boys asked girls out on dates, girls said yes. Boys and girls went on all kinds of dates; single dates, group dates, first dates, blind dates, second dates, exclusive-we're-a-couple dates, getting-to-know-you one-time dates. What changed between then and now? Are guys really just not interested in dating like they used to be? Are girls less interesting now? Are young people honestly not wanting to get married? I doubt it. Young people I know wish they could find the person who is best for them. They seem to long for marriage. Things that I see popping up on Pinterest hint at the idea that girls nowadays spend just as much time thinking and dreaming up their future wedding as they ever did "back in my day" with a game of M.A.S.H.. But here's where I get frustrated... many of those (not all) who are wishing and longing and dreaming don't do anything beyond the wishing and longing and dreaming in order to achieve dating and marriage.

Now let's go back to my example of the class enactment that I was part of. It was a great activity, by the way. It totally helped the class see the impact that healthy family bonds and boundaries can have and it was fun to participate. But here's why I was disappointed that it was me................. I'm married.  HUH?? Why does that matter? Well, as far as the educational aspect of the demonstration, it didn't. So for that I was glad to do it. But there was a whole other opportunity missed!

Here you have a good-looking, seemingly awesome young man (who very well could read this post and if so, sorry for putting you on the spot) in a class with more than a dozen eligible single ladies. Let's assume that some of them are already in a relationship, either married, engaged, or dating. Let's also assume that another portion of them are just not interested in dating right now, or in this particular guy. But some of them, even if only a couple, had to be interested in getting to know this guy better. Why should one of them have been where I was? 

Three reasons:
1) It's a chance to be NOTICED - In a room full of other single ladies on a campus where there appear to be fewer eligible men than women, a girl needs any chance she can get.
2) It's a chance to BREAK THE ICE - Sure, play acting in front of the entire class is a little awkward, potentially embarrassing. But that very thing might prove to be the perfect ice-breaker and could spark future, not-so-awkward conversations.
3) It's a chance to SHOW INTEREST - Let's face it. Guys need encouragement and who can blame them? No one likes rejection, so why would a guy willingly ask a girl out if he didn't have some sort of clue that she would probably say yes?

I can't tell you the number of girls that I've talked to who tell me all about some cute boy that they just wish would ask them out on a date. I get all excited for them and ask about the last time they talked to the guy. Imagine my surprise when they say that they haven't! What?! Why not? "Well, he never talked to me." Or, "what am I supposed to talk to him about? Nothing came up." Honey, I don't care what you talk to him about. Ask him about the color of his shirt, for crying out loud. One time, a girl had been telling me about this guy she worked with for a couple weeks. He was super cute, and he talked to her every now and then, but their jobs kept them in separate parts of the building for the most part. One day though, she told me about how that particular day, the guy had actually come up  to her and said something funny. She had laughed at his joke and then gone back to her work. That was it. I was floored. "You went back to work?!" I squawked said. She looked at me like I was dumb. What else should she have done? Again, my answer-ASK HIM ABOUT THE COLOR OF HIS SHIRT. Is that a magic question that leads to endless dates? No. In fact, it's a really weird, random question. But it's better than doing nothing at all. If nothing else, it shows him you're interested in keeping the conversation going. Hopefully he can figure out the next step on his own. Now, let me not be confusing here. First of all, I am NOT encouraging you to skip class or give half an effort to your job for the sake of flirting. Secondly, I am a firm believer of those old traditions where the guy is the one to ask the girl out and the one to initiate the first hand hold or the first kiss. But the idea that Mr. Right is simply going to see you across the room and then search the whole earth just to find you and ask you out with absolutely no effort on your part is bologna. Some people's love stories come close, but not most. Most of us have to give a little encouragement (some a lot) before any sort of relationship can develop. 

So if you're an eligible single lady reading this, check yourself. Are you a wishing, longing, dreamer only? Do you come off as unapproachable or uninterested? Don't be afraid to put yourself out there a little bit. The guy has to do it a whole lot more than you in the beginning. Don't lose hope if you try once (or nine times) and it doesn't pan out the way you wanted. The right guy is out there. But you have to be searching just as much as he is.

And to all those eligible guys, don't give up on dating! Give it as many chances as it takes. Don't let the art of dating completely die out. I know far too many amazing, beautiful, intelligent and talented single ladies who are worth every effort to get to know them. (A couple of them are here in town-I could set you up.)

I know that there can be drama and heartache and awkwardness (lots of awkwardness) throughout the dating scene that make some wonder, "what's the point??" But the point is that one very major purpose in this life is to have a family. The point is that you will experience no greater growth, joy, or measure of fulfillment than that which you experience as a spouse and parent. So even if it takes you a whole lifetime of pursuit, it's worth it. Your Heavenly Father wants that for you, and so do I.

1 comment:

  1. Very insightful. Thank you for putting it out there.