20 August 2006

The Dating Game

I want to go back to school. Like...now.

For various reasons (none of which include my undying love for the testing center and midterms). The one that I've been thinking about recently involves one of my least favorite topics in the world-dating.

I'm not saying dating is a bad thing, I'm just here to explain that dating while in a family ward is terrible.

I have a friend who got home from his mission a few weeks ago. Since he's been back we've spent quite a bit of time together getting re-acquainted with each other and figuring out where we stand relationship wise. Part of this excess of time together is because there isn't anyone else around. Of our old "group" all the girls are either engaged or married, and the boys are either on missions or in other states. So we don't have any other options. And part of it is from just enjoying one another's company.

My problem with dating while in a family ward starts in the home. More specifically, mine. I love my family. But when I don't date, they tease me and pester me about getting out more and the importance of dating and all that. And now that I have been, I'm getting teased about whether or not I like him, and I can't get married yet, and make sure you go to your ward at BYU and he goes to his and...etc. etc. etc. It's one of those damned if you do, damned if you don't kinds of things. I hate it. I hate it.

Dating is something that doesn't come easily to me. This is hard for most people to understand, especially after looking over my book and movie collection, but it is. I don't know why, exactly, and the 'why' is, in any case, too personal for me to share in a public setting. Suffice it to say that I am really having to work at telling myself that dating is ok, when what I really want to do is put up walls and run. None of this is because he has done anything wrong-it's just me being me. I hate that my family-specifically my dad and siblings- pokes fun at me for this. It's hard for me. It's really hard for me to put my feelings at risk in a relationship. It's why I've never had one. And now, when I am finally trying to get past this fear, I am being teased by my family. I know they don't mean to hurt me, but it does. It hurts.

The other part of dating that I hate in a family ward, is that a ward is like a small town. Everyone loves to be part of everyone's business, at least in the Relief Society end of things. I don't know about the men. But I am so sick of hearing "are you dating anyone" or "when are you getting married", etc. I get the feeling that "when are you going to have kids" is probably going to go on that list too when I actually do get married. I don't know what makes people think that these questions are in any way appropriate. They can really touch nerves with some people. Is it really any of their business whether or not I'm dating someone?! If I was getting married, wouldn't I have some kind of rock to show for it? It's such a dreadful part of Mormon culture. You don't see that anywhere else, because Mormon's tend to marry younger than most others (no thanks to common law relationships and the like).

So for the sake of my sanity-I'm excited to be back in a singles ward where "who's dating who" isn't such a big deal. When *everyone* is having at that market, then whether or not I'm dating anyone won't matter so much.

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