I'm a 22 year old returned sister missionary living in Provo. Which means I'm in that grand time of life where everyone around me keeps getting engaged and married.
Except for me.
My love life is a bit lackluster, I go on a few first dates a month that never turn into second dates, even if I want them to.
But believe me, this is definitely not the state I want my social life to be in,
I'm actually really working to meet new people and work towards relationships and marriage! With this holiday season just passed and the influx of engagements on my Facebook newsfeed,
I've noticed a trend in my thought process.
I am catching myself being very judgmental and negative about seeing people in relationships or getting engaged- and these are people that I know and want to be happy!
A lot of it stems from feeling really behind because I've never been in a real relationship despite my best efforts while I see other people (sometimes a lot younger than me) find success so quickly and easily.
So I guess my question for you is: What can I do to change my mindset and just be happy for them?
How can I get it into my heart and not just my head that their success doesn't mean I'm a failure?
Unlucky in Love
It might help you to know that the truth is that MOST people who attend BYU do not get married before graduation. If they did, there'd be more Married Student Wards than YSA Wards . . . and that's just not the case.
Sister Jo says, and I think she's 100% right, that the best way to feel better - regardless of what's going on in our lives - is to be of service. Perhaps make it a new habit that whenever one of your friends announces their engagement that you do something special and nice for them . . . something where you can use your talents to make their lives a little brighter . . .
Feeling judgmental and negative from time to time doesn't make you a bad person . . . it just means that, like the rest of us, you've got something to work on.
You're certainly not a failure. Look at all you've done and accomplished!
Look at all with which you've been blessed!
Now, you haven't asked me to help with your dating life, but we Old People often exercise our prerogative to give advice even though we haven't been asked . . . so here you go:
Bro Jo's List of What to Do If You're Not Married Yet
1. Don't be in too much of a hurry. Treat First Dates very casually . . . in attitude; I'm not saying to dress super casual or to be cavalier, just not to make them into too big of a deal. No pressure. You're just there to get to know someone better.
2. Don't hang out. Not until you're in a relationship, and even then you should be formally going on a date at least once a week. We like to hang out because it's comfortable, but the thing is that the frequent hang-out often leads to nothing happening . . . ever.
3. Don't be negative when you're talking to the other opposite sex, especially on dates. Being down or complaining is a surefire way to kill any chance of a second date.
4. Always look your best whenever you go out. No one is impressed with sweats and sandals. Those of you walking across campus looking like slobs have no idea how many people you're turning off. There are times to wear causal clothes, but instead of being lackadaisical look for opportunities to take your ensemble up a notch. How we dress is an outward reflection of our inner attitude, and people pick up n that.
5. In addition to your regular studies, find a hobby or class or opportunity where you can learn a new skill or grow an underdeveloped talent. Take a ballroom or swing dancing class!
6. Find ways to lift others, in conversation or deed. Helping them feel better will help you feel better.
7. Don't settle for being someone's buddy, pal or back up.
8. Don't pass over good choices because they don't seem to match your list, or ideal, or expectation. And never allow someone to make you think you're "settling" by being with someone you like.
9. Flirt. Laugh. Compliment. Touch. Kiss. A guy will never be a boyfriend nor a girl a girlfriend if he or she is never treated like one.
You're not behind. Trust me.
At your school you're not in last place . . . you're not even in the back half.
It's all going to be okay.
- Bro Jo