Things to know

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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Married Really Young or Not at All

Hi Bro Jo!

I'm so glad I stumbled upon your blog! It's GREAT!

Anyhow...A lot of your questions seemed to be aimed at younger LDS members so I have a question about older LDS singles. When I say older, I mean 22. ha.

I'm a recent convert to the Church and one of the things that is scaring me the most is that it seems like there are two extremes in the Church with regards to dating. Either you're married REALLY young (like my age, and younger) or you never get married at all.

I'm 22, about to graduate from college with no boyfriend, no single LDS boys in my immediate area, and am beginning to panic. I know this is silly, but am I doomed to be single for the rest of my life??? :(

Hopefully, you don't think I'm too nuts and help me out!

- Too Late?

Dear Just Fine,


You're not too late and you're not "doomed to be single", so don't panic! (And how you feel isn't silly, either.)

Because our faith celebrates the joys of families many members are drawn to that path younger than much of the world, and there's nothing wrong with that. While there are challenges with being married "young", (and my personal opinion is that 19 for girls and 21 for guys is as young as they should go), if two people are committed to making a marriage work (and believe you me, it IS work), then I think it's fine.

But for others, (most actually) finding an eternal companion doesn't typically happen under 23 (sometimes even 30). If the existence of this little column (now regularly read by over 20,000 people, members and non, in over 40 nations around the world - mind blowing!) proves just a couple things, one of them has got to be that there are literally thousands upon thousands of Single Latter-day Saints who are your age and concerned about marriage. So, not only are you not alone, but there are lots of great prospects out there!

If you're interested in meeting a great and temple-worthy spouse (and as one who is constantly grateful for a good marriage - didn't say perfect - and great kids - they're not perfect, either! - both take lots of work, let me say that you should be!) then there are things you can do.

You've just graduated college; the world is at your feet! Get active in Church Activities in your area; go to Young Single Adult Conferences and Firesides and Sacraments and Institute Classes and everything you can find where you can meet new people with your same standards.

If the pickings are just too slim in your area, consider moving (it's not as scary or as impossible as you might think).

Maybe marriage will happen for you during this existence, and maybe it will happen in the next one; your obligation is to be the best person you can and actively seek those blessings which Heavenly Father has in store, married or single.


And go on some dates!

- Bro Jo


ashley said...

Don't worry at all! 22 is still super young. Enjoy being single instead of worrying about it. You can still travel whenever you feel like it, which I highly recommend. Getting married is great, but once you are married you will never be single again (hopefully). So enjoy it! It's pretty great.

Dave Johnston said...

Whoa! Let's not kid ourselves, here. Being single sucks when compared to being in a loving and committed eternal marriage.

No amount of travel, or other self-focused activities can ever compare.

And while 22 IS still young, it's not like you're 17 and should be giving no thought to getting married, either. Don't panic, but don't be nonchalant, either.

The world, and the Church, is full of sad 40-year-olds that gave no thought or energy towards eternal companionship until the Good Spouse Dating Pool became very small.

- Bro Jo

ashley said...

i'm sure marriage is great, but i've heard enough offensive comments about sister missionaries who go on missions "because they can't get a husband" and how post 21 is old maid status for a sister. being single sucks sometimes, but it's better than rushing into marriage with the first guy around because you're scared of being single for life.

Dave Johnston said...

I'm sure you've heard all of those things. We all have. And I don't disagree with you regarding the "old maid" garbage or the mistakes made by those that rush without thinking.

So what?

None of that negates what I wrote. Nor does it support the idea that being single is better than, as I clearly stated, "being in a loving committed eternal marriage".

- Bro Jo

Anonymous said...

I don't know if it's different in the US (and maybe Canada), but I don't think the pressure exists so much here in Australia. Sure, we tease each other about it, but 18-year old sisters getting married here tends to be pretty rare (though that may be because there's less members here).

And no, 22 isn't old :)

Jessie said...

This is probably the best advice I have read on this subject.