Perhaps I could invite you to re-read my comment? Or, if it's too long, here is the TL:DR:
Her point: The problem facing young adults is that they are too picky or perfectionistic and Jane should just marry Jack from the ward because, well, at least he has a strong testimony. (And maybe even a couple other good traits as well!!)
My point: People should not commit for commitment's sake. I've seen too many broken marriages and broken souls from that exact problem. They should commit when they feel an emotion, spiritual, and physical connection to the other person. The real problems facing young adults are deep trauma based emotional disorders stemming from years of self-abuse through addiction, entitlement to unequal partnership, and the commodification of sex in our society. I couldn't be happier that I waited to find my 'Alissa' as Matt would say, even though it meant years of wading through the hazy, undefined scene.
@Isaac , You proved her point. Often stated as paralysis by analysis.
I have just counseled the “slow to commit” to date the mother of your children (or the father of your children). By focusing on what you see as the end product, the frivolous will be set aside (whether to much attention to self, to constant fun, and casual membership)
Hmmm, This appears to fall into what I've come to see as the "Relief Society moms trying to figure out what the heck is wrong with the next generation" category. When I see posts in this category, they almost ALWAYS center on one or more of the following as the crux of the issue:
1) Too picky
2) Too lazy
3) Too immature (ie want to play the field instead of getting serious and settling down, waiting for enough money or schooling etc)
I don't pretend that none of these issues exist, however, I frankly disagree with all three of them as the main issues facing young adults today. Essentially, all of them typically boil down to parents and leaders saying: "you aren't married yet, he's a perfectly good guy with a strong testimony, why don't you marry him?"
In answering that question here's a hint that parents and leaders seem to struggle to understand, it isn't actually about how they dress or act around her friends, its that she isn't into him. It's about not feeling the physical, spiritual, emotional, and social connection that drives people to want to find out if love is possible between them. If those base connections aren't there; if you know he's a good Mormon boy but you can't stand touching him, please don't marry him. That's not being picky, that's avoiding a terrible marriage. I've had too many friends fall in love with the idea of being married, instead of each other, and ending up divorced and far off of the path of the gospel because of it.
My favorite illustration of this comes from the Matt Walsh blog. It's a post called "Dear Single dudes, it's time to man up" In which Matt spends an entire article trying to prove that the problem is immaturity, and then inadvertently, completely accidentally, proves my point. Here's an excerpt:
"Trust me, I’m not innocent. I’m married now, but I was once a part of this hazy, undefined dating-but-not-dating scene. I never liked it, because nobody does. I never found any happiness in it, because nobody does. But I was a part of the problem. I was a wimpy manchild, afraid of meaningful commitments, afraid of being alone, afraid of rejection, afraid of the future, afraid of being betrayed, afraid of being loved. Just afraid, really. Afraid of everything.
Then, one day, I met Alissa. She was looking for a grown man, and I was sick of playing games. We were both exhausted. So do you know what we did very early in our relationship?
We defined our terms.
We made our goals clear.
We were open with each other.
We spoke about the future.
We used words like ‘marriage.’
We were clear and convicted and purpose driven. I had ambitions for our relationship. Ambitions. I, like, had an idea about what I was doing and why I was doing it. Can you believe it? I was in it for a reason. I wanted it to become something."
Let's look at the center point of that excerpt: "THEN...ONE DAY...I MET ALISSA..." If I ever meet Matt I have one question for him, is he actually upset that he didn't "man up" with Suzy or Ashley or Mandy or whoever else earlier in his life? My whole point here is that OF COURSE IT'S HAZY AND UNDEFINED WHEN HE HADN'T MET ALISSA YET!!! In any of the above, do you see grand personal epiphanies about growing up and having courage etc? No, he met Alissa.
All of that being said, I don't pretend that there isn't a problem that is specific to this generation of young adults. I just hardly think it has to do with any of the aforementioned three.
To find the issue I'd like to take a look at what I've seen from each of the genders separately.
On the male end of the issue, I see years of addiction to porn and massively multiplayer online video games disrupting their ability to make a meaningful connection with real girls and to stay emotionally faithful to those girls.
On the female end of the spectrum, I see them often being raised to be entitled. We teach our daughters that they are princesses or queens and deserve a man that will treat them that way. Why? Because we see a lot of male jerks out there that will text for a date and then honk to get them to come out. Who will get in their pants and then head for the hills, or who would even abuse them if given the chance. We obviously don't want any of that for our precious daughters (AS WELL WE SHOULDN'T!!) so we teach them early on that they are queens and princesses entitled to a knight in shining armor. (Note I didn't say princesses entitled to a prince, I said entitled to a knight, quite purposefully. A prince would suggest an equal relationship). The net effect of this is that, despite our best intentions, we are raising girls who believe that are inherently better or more valuable than their male counterpart (none of which is helped by post-modern feminism, of course). We're raising girls who have doors opened for them and, in response, flip their hair with an attitude of "well, I am a queen, after all" as they get in, or raise their eyebrows in shame if a chair is ever left un-pulled out for them. My message here is that yes, our girls deserve to be in a relationship of mutual respect, but the mutual word is just as important as the respect word. My point is that, if girls were taught to be grateful for chivalry instead of entitled to it, we might see it on the rise instead of dying off.
Finally, I'd like to conclude with observations that appear to me to be issues on both sides of the gender line. Those are the advent of tinder-esk apps creating a feeling expendability among singles. (IE, "Well, she's nice, but I have 584 matches to get through here.") And the further commodification of sex in our society making it more and more difficult to engage in a committed, meaningful relationship. I specifically did not mention texting and participation trophies that so often get a bad rap, because those appear to me to be surface indicators of deeper problems.
It's so easy to look from the outside and assume we know someone else's motivations--too picky, looking for perfection, etc. But can I share something I discovered from the inside? I have come to believe that a major reason some delay marriage is due to breaking the law of chastity and then not fully repenting.
As a single woman, I dated three men who fell into this category--when we became close enough, each admitted earlier breaking of the law of chastity. I saw how it impacted their lives (in one case it led to a short, disastrous marriage, in another to terrible consequences I can't relate here).
The thing is, if you saw these guys, you would not think anything unusual of them. They were just average ward members living normal lives. They weren't "weird" or "off the rails."
I remember reading that President Ezra Taft Benson said in effect that immorality would be the scourge of the elders of Israel in the last days. I've seen firsthand the truth of this statement. The thing is, no one typically advertises their immorality, so people on the outside attribute other motivations to their apparent hesitancy to marry.
I understand now why our Church leaders continue to emphasize the importance of chaste and virtuous lives. TV and movies may make it look like unchastity has no consequences, but the truth is that it has long-term, devastating effects unless one repents and is cleansed through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
I'm sure that this is true, especially as regards to younger single adults. Most of us changed the things we looked for as we matured. As an older single in the church, one who never imagined being single in my fifties, I've heard many interesting explanations of why people don't find a spouse. Because there is so much variety among single people, most of the reasons have validity in some cases. However, I've seen the same failings in many people who have married. There are also other reasons people don't find a spouse. Those of us who deal with this particular trial learn to trust in Heavenly Father's plan, despite the judgments of others. Many people in the church can never really accept singles as anything but flawed. The idea is that if you had done what you should, God would have blessed you with a spouse. Somehow, you messed up. This is as true outside the church as within. Our society tells us that it isn't okay to be alone and that if you are alone, there is something wrong with you. Some people have even been told that they should have married just anyone, because then they could have gotten a divorce and at least they wouldn't still be single.
People who were blessed to easily find their spouse find it difficult to realize that it isn't that easy for everyone. Just as some people are lucky enough to be good at a skill or profession that is valued and well-paid, some people are lucky enough to easily find someone they can marry.
I've watched my nephews and nieces struggle to find spouses who are dedicated to the gospel. They weren't looking for perfection, just someone who truly believes, is compatible, and who is willing to work on creating a good marriage. All three nephews finally found lovely girls who have strong testimonies, want to be mothers, and are good people. My nieces are still struggling. They both served missions, are very active in the church, and are attractive and smart. One is a little shy. They dated and tried to make things work out, but so far, they've had no luck. One niece finally left the church to date a nonmember who has everything else she is looking for. She will probably marry him. This is something I was not willing to do.
At the present time, there are not only many more young women than men their age, but there are a large number of men addicted to pornography, not valiant in their testimony, or whose personality doesn't meld with theirs. Please be kind in your evaluations of those who struggle to find a spouse. The pressure and pain is hard enough as it is.
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