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The truth comes out.

The truth is I was never the girl that got asked out much. I have never been the girl who had so many suitors that she had the time and fancy to reject a few dates here and there. In fact, my dance card was usually so empty that I spent more time looking around the room wondering what the other girls had that I lacked.

On those rare occasions, in my younger years, when I would get asked out, I was ecstatic. It was hard not to get too excited over a guy when just the simplest invitation meant everything in the world to me. I HAD BEEN NOTICED. If I got noticed by a man that I had been already noticing for a very long time, I was simply over the moon with excitement.

But the doubts were always there. Why didn’t I get asked out more? Why did less attractive girls, taller girls, less intelligent girls, etc get asked out before I did? Why was I always picked last for the team?

But sometimes I did get picked for the team. And I have had the great fortune of dating some truly wonderful men. In fact, on days where I question everything that could possibly be wrong with me from my head down to my toes, I remind myself that some pretty great men did find me attractive and desirable to be with. And in that, I find comfort. I’m not a social pariah. I’m just not everyone’s cup of tea.

After my column of two weeks ago I braced myself for the inevitable less than friendly backlash we call feedback. I invited it. I welcomed it. I believe everyone has the right to their opinion. (I also have a plaque in my kitchen that says, “Everyone has the right to my opinion!”) And I knew after some of the very inflammatory things that I said, (starting with, but not limited to, “I blame the men.”) that people were going to have some opinions. And that they did!

The overriding opinion was that it is time for me to turn the tables and have a frank discussion with the women. And so here we are.

Women, listen up.

But for all of the reasons listed above, I am not the one to tell the women what they are doing wrong. I’m not perfect, and I’m certainly not doing everything right. Oh don’t worry, I have a few things to say too, but instead, we’re going to let the men do the talking today.

What is your chief complaint about LDS single women over 30?

Anonymous, over 30, Florida, never married

No one wants to “settle,” not take what comes, but you constantly hear “you deserve better”, “you are a daughter of God” “only the best”. It seems that women want to be married to a General Authority directly without the growing process. They want perfection from a man but they expect the man to accept their flaws and faults. It is a two-way street.

Anonymous, 40

My biggest complaint about the LDS “over 30” singles scene was that is seemed just like high school. Stupid adolescent behavior, attitudes, head games, etc. It was really unattractive to see adult men and women acting like stupid teenagers. It only took attending a few “over 30” LDS singles events for me to choose NOT to find a date there … regardless of how fabulous the ladies there ASSUMED they were.

J.H., 28, Utah, never married

I have dated a bit in that arena, but will direct it to LDS women in general. I think they have an extremely skewed sense of reality. The princess complex runs strong. The general attitude is that they’re “daughters of God” and as result, the world is owed them. There seems to be very little concept of equality. I see incredibly out of shape women chasing after fit guys get upset over how ‘shallow’ men are. Women content to do very little professionally or financially themselves complain about how lazy and unambitious men are. My favorite related to the princess complex is how many women are absolutely shrill and ooze negativity… and then, unaware of how ironic it is, turn around and complain that men are too afraid to ask them out.
Yes, there is definitely fear, but it isn’t fear of asking you out… it is fear of you accepting.

Rob, Colorado

The ones I have dated seem to have a chip on their shoulder, wanting their daddy to be the one they want to marry. They need to understand I am not there to marry my mom, so why should they want to marry their father? Growth away from the family they grew up in is needed so as to become the wife and mother in the family.

Anonymous, 33, Utah

Where are the good ones? Haha. Having dated non-LDS women for a few years, I think the expectations may be a little high for any non-Disney character to be. I would cite something commonly known as the princess syndrome or complex.

What is the one thing you would like to change about LDS single women over 30?

Anonymous, over 30, Florida

It won’t happen with the passiveness we teach in the YW program. I would like to see more aggressive, direct women. Women who ask guys out (it would be easy to say it is because I want to spread the rejection around). Let’s face it, the low hanging fruit, the easy marriages, the quick fits are all gone those of us left (both genders) are the more problematic colicky kids with issues both sides have to be engaged in the hunting and finding for this to work at our ages. Speaking only for myself and using myself as an example, I people watch but don’t approach, it will take a direct request by a woman in all likelihood asking me out assuring me that “it’s safe” to get me off the sidelines.

In the church it is easy to fall into the “Women are daughters of God and wonderful just in their existence” and that they are un-flawed gems of inestimable value, and that it is all the single guys fault for not “manning up” It seems to me at this point at our ages, all the apples in the barrel are bruised and seconds, a bit warty and off. Both sides need to be more accepting of what is left in the barrel. Plenty of the remaining apples will taste fine despite their blemishes and maybe some of the apples need some work to prepare and make them ready, but if you never choose an apple to cut out the bruise and polish it; it just stays in the barrel.

Anonymous, 33, Utah

Now this is certainly not all women, but I see a lot of women who have silly requirements, at least they seem silly to me. Like, “he has to be at least xxxx feet tall, so I can wear my 6” stiletto heels.” Don’t they realize that only 15% of American men are over 6’ tall and only 3% over 6’2”? So a 5’6” woman has already eliminated 85% of men. So if the ratio is already women out numbering men 4 to 1, this seems like a silly requirement, cause there are not that many men to start with.


At this point we haven’t even got into education, how much money he makes, church membership (1% of US population), active church status, and the all-important looks and personality. How often are moms really going to be running around in these huge shoes? I could run the statistics and tell you the probability of finding a guy that meets any criteria you want.

Another silly criteria is “he must be a good dancer.” How often are they going to have opportunities to dance? A few weddings a year, maybe throw in a few date nights where you go dancing at most? Just seems like a requirement that is often listed, yet seems kinda more like a thing that should be a want and not a NEEDS to have. Plus, I don’t know too many guys who wouldn’t learn to dance if it made a woman they cared for really happy.

I don’t have too many real serious complaints about LDS women. There are lots of amazing women out there. I just can’t seem to find enough of them to find one interested in me!

Anonymous, 33, New York

I just wish they’d say yes when I ask them out! Or at least return my phone calls!

Matt, 33, Utah, never married

I would change the fact that a lot of them have this laundry list of things they expect from a guy. Granted some of the things on that list are things you should want (testimony, job) but I’ve seen some things that really aren’t that important in the eternal scheme of things on that list as well such as having a goatee or beard or not having one (depending on their preference). For a woman to not date someone because he doesn’t have a goatee means that she could be missing out on a guy that could be a good match for her. So I would say lose the list and focus on whether he has the essentials like a testimony, job or schooling (not necessarily 6 figures but enough where you’re not starving).

Do you find that LDS single women over 30 expect too much from men?

Rob, 37, Colorado, never married

No, but again, we are living our lives as best we know how. We may have a home, car and all, and yet when we date it seems that more is wanted than security of being able to provide these same things.

John, 41, Utah, divorced

I think the problem might be the success issue. When you marry young, you don’t have any real success to speak of and you both are solidifying your personalities. As you get older, you are more set in your beliefs and your level of success determines your social interactions. Also, what is success for a man might be different for a woman.

As a guy, I felt most successful when I was married, had a family, and was working. Without the family, work just doesn’t have the same meaning or zest. Volunteer activities and church are more meaningful ways of replacing family interaction, but even then it’s only a slight fix. We have been told over and over that no success in the world will overcome failure in the home. So if our marriages fail, then what’s the point of worldly success?

And I’ve met plenty of women who are successful and yet their crazy quotient is so high that no man wants anything to do with them. When he finds out what her crazy index really is, you will see him run away.
Is it possible that too many successful women just don’t see that their success is the problem. Men have to compete all day long in the job market. Why would they want to compete at home? And if they aren’t competing, then will a successful woman give up her success in order to be a stay at home mom? Will she take a cut in income if the guy makes less than she does? Most likely not.

Success has a price.

Craig, 50, Utah, looking for wife #4

Many women want the men to take all the blame. “It is their fault,” “they are responsible for fixing everything that is wrong.” Do women expect too much of men? Certainly when they have this attitude they do. Should they expect more than men are often putting forward? Quite possibly. But to put all the blame there, and then expect them to be able to resolve all the problems is definitely expecting too much.

Ian, 38, Illinois

Several women were initially excited about the fact I have a law degree but cooled off noticeably when they realized I wasn’t actively full-time practicing and have been pursuing my acting/writing dreams. One even admitted that since I didn’t make as much as her father she didn’t see how I could raise/provide for a family.

Thank you to all the men who sent in thoughtful and sincere responses.

Now, for my 2 cents. After all, it is my column, right?

Gossip

Women, you are your own worst enemies. Stop it with the gossip! Singles wards, and the LDS singles scene in general is absolutely rampant and rotten with the stuff. Two people can’t be seen talking to each other in the hallway without tongues wagging about “are they, or aren’t they?” And if they are- is it really your job to go tell it on the mountain? I have seen too many couples be forced into keeping perfectly healthy relationships a secret from their friends because of the vicious, no good, busybodies in their circle of peers.

Backstabbing

This is a subject that hits a little too close to home for me. The backstabbing that goes on among some single LDS women can be downright appalling. If you are so jealous, petty, small-minded, and pathetic that you have to go around planting little vicious jabs at people behind their backs all because they dared to live a slightly happier life than you, you have serious issues. You know who you are. If you can’t stand to see other people happy, and you just have to go around spreading vicious lies and rumors about them, (maybe even going so far as to say you did it to help them learn the “truth”), you need professional help. You give all women a bad name. If you cause drama just to be in the middle of it, when really the situation didn’t involve you at all, you are ruining things for everyone else.

Leave people alone. Let them live their own lives. Your petty, pathetic, and jealous ways are unbecoming and totally transparent. We pity you.

Princess Complex

The men mentioned it multiple times above, and it needs to be addressed. Sitting around, looking all pretty, focused entirely on your own vanity is annoying to everyone around you. I’ll put it bluntly – exactly what do you bring to the relationship? Really well done nails? A penchant for crafts? So many clothes you take up two closets? Do you really think that your husband should have to work and make money just so you can buy clothes and repaint the living room to this year’s popular color schemes? What exactly do you bring of value to the relationship? You might have the latest hair color technique, but how many hours did your man have to work to make enough money to pay for your latest hair color? Get off your pretty, white, perfectly coiffed high horse and be someone of value.


Be someone who contributes and makes a difference.

Modesty and Hypocrisy

This is a subject that just breaks my heart. I am sure it happens everywhere, but I saw it in droves in Utah.

Women who were embarrassingly scantily clad for a Saturday night out on the town, and yet taught sweet, prim, lessons on Sunday about temple attendance and modesty on Sunday. I was horrified just how popular it was to remove the garment to wear something a little sexier to go out dancing or to a party. And then act like there was nothing wrong with such behavior.

Hypocrisy is just as unbecoming as gossip, backstabbing, and immodesty.

Single Moms Who Won’t Shut Up

As I type this I’m pulling out my battle armor. I know I will get some women very angry responses about this, but it needs to be said.

Single Mothers- we get it, it isn’t easy being a single mother. But there is absolutely nothing more unbecoming than listening to you talk over and over again about just how awful your ex-husband can be. In fact, sometimes the more you rant and rave about him, all we are wondering is what is wrong with you that you married him in the first place?

And right up there on the unbecoming scale- when you complain about how he doesn’t pay his child support, or won’t pay for half of your child’s soccer fees this year, so your poor, poor child won’t get to play soccer. And you say this waving your fake fingernails, fresh from the salon, through the air, talking about your favorite place to go clubbing, while drinking who knows what at a restaurant. You couldn’t possibly have been bothered to not go out one Saturday night, save $25 and put it towards your child’s soccer fees? Which is more important? Your Saturday night fun, your child’s recreational activities, or just getting to blame everything on your ex?

He is your EX. Leave him behind. Be the kind of woman who can move on and provide for herself and her children without him. Yes, your children need a father. So allow him to be a father. Maybe it won’t always be easy, but neither was being married. A divorce requires just as much compromise and communication as does a successful marriage.

Just Say Yes

As I spoke with the men as I wrote this column one thing really struck me- how often women say no. Ladies, take one for the team. Do it for your sisters. Do it because you are a good person who gives everyone a chance. When you get asked out, SAY YES. And if and when he asks you for a second date, and you just aren’t feeling it- say yes again.

What?

Yes, say yes again.

Why?

Sometimes the first date just doesn’t go well. We all have nerves. We all say stupid things. We all make dumb mistakes. Because we all deserve a second chance, don’t we?

I can’t help but think of a date I went on a few years back. I had no expectations of the man before the date. We barely knew each other prior to the date. And to say the least, our first date was incredibly below average. I was really disappointed, because I had heard a lot of good things about him. But the truth was, we hadn’t had a good time on our date. We just hadn’t clicked. It was all very awkward and strained. Much to my surprise, he asked me out again for the very next day. I guess we both felt we needed a do-over. By the end of that second date, I started to see a guy in there that was worth knowing. On our third date, I was sold. He was great. And we went on to see each other many more times. I have always been glad I didn’t discard him after that first date.

Everyone deserves a second chance. That’s why you say yes to the second date.

Breaking Up is NOT that Hard to Do

So you get the first date, and now you will go on that second date too. But then it is time to say thanks but no thanks. Please, for the love of all your sisters in arms out there, be gracious about it and actually tell the poor fellow no thank you. Don’t ignore calls. Don’t make up stories. Just very politely let him down.

I spoke with one anonymous fellow this past week on this subject. He shared with me a story involving a very kind Valentine gesture he made for a women he had gone out with. He put a great deal of thought and effort into making her this little gift. It was nothing creepy or “too much.” In fact, any woman I know would have been flattered to received such a fun and thoughtful surprise. Her response? ZERO. NOTHING. She never called to thank him, never sent an email, nothing. I wish I could just reach through this computer screen and throttle her for being so insensitive.

In Conclusion

As I began this adventure of asking men for their input, I was hoping for the magic answers I’ve been waiting for all my life. Why isn’t he more into me? Why don’t I get asked out? What’s wrong with me? What do guys really want?

Ladies, you’ll just have to trust me on this one. I’m not hiding anything back. No one sent in the magic formula for straight or curly, thin or curvy, tall or short, blond or brunette! And I was really hoping someone would!! If I had received it, I promise, I would have shared it with you.

But the truth is, there is no magic answers. Oh how I wish there were. I did however, get multiple responses making it clear men don’t notice clothes, shoes, or haircuts. And yet I also got multiple answers making it clear that men are visual creatures. Which leads me to conclude that men are just as confusing as women when it comes to knowing what they want.