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Monday, August 29, 2016

One Girl's Story - Part 1 of 5: Lonely at the U of U

[Dear Readers,

A special treat this week.  Five posts, all from the same sister.  I'd like you to see how life changes and evolves in just a few short years.

Best to you all,

- Bro Jo]

Dear Bro Jo,

I am 21 and a Junior at the University of Utah.

I am so single, that it is becoming absurd.

Most people find out I am single or haven't been on a date in ages and are totally surprised.

I love my life here at the U, and I am making tons of friends, LDS and not. I am super involved in campus and at the Institute on campus. I spend a lot of time with my institute friends, and spend a lot of time helping out with LDSSA events.

I am a very outgoing and social person, smart, hardworking and nice, and I would say I am quite the catch!

(I have been told I am as well)

My friends and family alike, all joke that if I had of chosen to attend BYU, like I had originally planned in High School, I would for sure be married by now.

So I am curious. Why is it different at the U?

I have met a ton of AWESOME worthy priesthood holders recently through the Institute, LDSSA, and my campus involvement, but I haven't been asked out by any of them, even though several people are pretty sure at least of few of them are interested in me.

(Based on the way these guys treat me, I would say they like me as well, and I try to encourage it, I talk to them whenever I see them, I flirt, I touch their arms, and they reciprocate it, but NEVER have tried to ask me out, though one of them has my number, and tries to arrange to sit with me at U sporting events)

My best friend's husband told me a couple weeks ago that I should slow down, as the fact that I am so busy and involved is a total turn off.

However, I don't feel like it is, and the guys I am attracted to are also super involved, so in theory, wouldn't they like girls who are as well?

The other week I had a good male friend tell me that I come across as sociable, and flirty, and fun to be around, but not date-able.

That guys don't think I am interested in dating seriously, so they don't bother to ask me out.

So I am confused.

Is it possible that I am actually giving off this vibe?

Or is it that these guys really aren't interested in me enough to DO anything about it?


- One Lonely Ute

Dear Ute,

Perhaps they mean to be complimentary, but with due respect to your friends and family one is no more likely to be dating (OR married) by attending BYU vs. the U.

What you're experiencing isn't school specific, it's an epidemic in Church Culture.

In our world of video games, lack of in-person communication skills, and man-boys whose parents pay for their lifestyle and never taught their sons to date, we've become overrun with Marrying age Guys who just aren't socially or emotionally prepared to be Serious Single Dating.

Girls are at fault, too.

They chase boys away with future mission proclamations (even if she's sure she's going to go, no girl should make that public until the papers are in), impossibly high expectations, and their own brand of hiding in a virtual world.

And both sexes place Way Too Much Emphasis and Pressure on First Dates.

Those first few dates are about getting to know a person, should never imply any kind of commitment (even if there's a little bit of kissing), and shouldn't be reserved only for people you already know "really well".

Look, you're not alone in your frustrations.

I hear from Men and Women all the time, from around the world, who feel just like you do.

The solution, dear sister, is that you need to start doing some training.

Pick out a guy (or four or five) that you know that you think should ask you out and tell him so. "Hey, I've been expecting you to ask me on a date; how come you've never done that?" The answers you get will be Very Educational for you . . . and I wouldn't be surprised if you get a few dates as well.

The best way to "advertise" that you're available for dating is to go on dates, and the best way to get some of these sadly-never-trained-LDS-Single-Men to ask you out is to teach them how to do that. 

Keep me posted on how these conversations go, will you?

- Bro Jo


Anonymous said...

Lately I've been running into girls who say they're very busy. I'll request a phone number and then some girls don't respond to texts or calls. I text once the following day to let them know it's me and remind them of where we met. If they don't reply that day then I'll text again the evening of the next day. If they don't reply then I'll wait a day to make a phone call. If there's no answer I won't reach out again.

When girls DO respond and I offer to treat them on a simple date, they claim to be unavailable. I suggest lunch but also offer later that evening if she has class/work and dinner may be easier, but instead of opening more possibilities at a date, I wonder if it makes me sound "too available" for them. Sometimes I'll suggest a brief lunch date 2-3 days in advance and they'll say they can't. When I open it up and ask what day they can do, they claim that "this week won't work" for them. After so many of these little obstacle rejections I don't follow up.

I'm not very tall or built, though I began lifting weights and am working to get muscle. I have no squared jaw and can't grow a beard for my life (takes FOREVER to get a few cheek hairs in and my face looks uneven). I refuse to grow a man-bun, but I am (though nervously) open to the recently trendy buzz and swipe hair do. I'm not white; it IS Utah haha so that DOES factor in small or large degrees with many girls (and guys). While gut is inclined to say "most"...of these girls do this because they're not attracted to me, I do believe that some girls legitimately do keep themselves very busy. They often plan a lot of activities with their roommates, dedicate a lot of time to school, work, callings, clubs, service groups. Many here in Utah go home every weekend for family events.... I guess it's nice that they regularly have something to do, but it makes it very difficult to get dates in. Running into several of these girls becomes frustrating. You feel like a nuisance to them when you offer a few days/times options and they reject them all. I can't speak for every guy out there but, when I'm interested in a girl that's busy involved in so many more things than me, I feel I won't be good enough for her, that she'll judge me negatively for not being as involved as her. I feel like asking her out means I'm competing for her time with all of the activities she's passionate about, and that I'll be easily replaced by those things if I don't meet her expectations.

My advice to the OP is to not make it sound like she's so busy. Similar to how girls like a little mystery in a guy, keep all your extracurriculars a little more to yourself. Don't sound like you have so much going on. When you're around guys, ask them about things they like. Joke a little, play along with any teasing a guy gives you. If a guy mentions an activity let him know it sounds like "so much fun!" (unless you totally dislike it), and mention that it'd be fun to do something like that together sometime. Don't ask him out or keep probing at it from there, but leave it for him to react and move forward. He'll usually be excited when a cute girl says that something he likes sounds like a lot of fun. Throw a compliment his way every once in a while: his shirt, shoes, anything. You will completely make a guy's day when a cute girl like yourself liked something he had. Lastly, if a guy still doesn't respond, then he might not read into these kinds of things, or he may simply not be interested in dating you. It's tough and upsetting as you read from my post above, but it happens. Even then, if what you say about others saying that you're a catch is true, then this will not happen often and you'll likely get some dates going very soon.

Best of luck!

Bro Jo said...

Girls AND Guys often use the "I'm really busy" as a non-confrontational way to tell someone they're not interested.

They say they're busy, but what they mean is "I'm too busy . . . FOR YOU".

Sister Jo says that this "too busy" attitude - even for "good and honest reasons" - is why so many find themselves still single in their late 20's and early 30's.

It's like she and I both say, we water what we want to grow.

- Bro Jo