Monday, August 29, 2011

Dating - Maybe I Should Just Become a Crazy Cat Lady..

Dating – Maybe I’ll just become the crazy cat lady…

I’m single.  I’m Mormon.  And I’m 31.  This triple combination seems to strike fear in any girl under the age of 25.  Well, just about any LDS girl really.  I remember being 18 and thinking “I can’t even imagine being 30 and still single.  That would be so horrible!”.  Oh young, stupid me.  This was also at a time of my life where I wanted a wedding so badly, but I didn’t really think much about the marriage part. 
I am actually grateful to be 31 and single.  No, really, I am.  I have had a bad run of dating some of the biggest losers possible.  If I was married now, that would mean I had married one of them, and I can guarantee that I would also be divorced. 
For the first time in my life, I feel like I am actually ready to move onto the next step.  That marriage, and especially a family, is something I really want.  And not just a wedding (even though, yes, my entire wedding is planned out in my head.  Give me a break, I’m a wedding planner, it’s what I do) but an actual marriage.
So after a lot of self reflection, last week I decided to sign up for an online LDS dating website.  I had signed up for one of these 4 or 5 years ago, but only met some very strange men (ever hear my story about my date with the polygamist?  Yep, he was a winner…) so I gave up on it.  I have faith that this time won’t scar me for life, and who knows, I might even meet someone special.  But, I have some concerns.  I noticed that so many of the guys (online and in the singles ward) can be lumped into specific categories.

The “I will not settle for anything less than a super model” guy;
One of my biggest complaints with singles ward (at least the ones I have been in) is that there seems to be only 3-5 girls that get asked out.  This is not an exaggeration.  I understand that these girls are very, very pretty and seem to have a “wow” factor to the guys.  The amusing thing to me, is these girls “hot to crazy” ratio is way off.  These girls are hot yes, but, they also seem to have a lot of issues (meaning bat $*** crazy).  If an average girl did half of what these girls did, guys wouldn’t even give them the time of day.  I get it, this is just how guys are and always have been, a pretty face and a nice body makes up for a lot apparently, and I’m not trying to change them.  But I swear I will get a migraine from how much I roll my eyes at the situation. 
Since taking the last few years to really try to get to know people, it breaks my heart that I know countless beautiful, strong, smart, spiritual women, who any guy would be lucky to even get a date with, NEVER get asked out.  Guess what buddy, you aren’t a 10 either.  Guys, give these girls a chance!  Ask out someone you normally wouldn’t.  It’s just one date.  They aren’t naming your future children.  If there isn’t a spark, maybe you will make a new friend.  But you never know, she could be the one.
Also, stop being so caught up in them having the perfect body.  This goes for guys and girls!  I was sitting in church a few months ago and one of the speakers was in his 60’s.  I remember thinking, “back when he was our age, I bet he was a hottie".  Not saying I was into the guy, but that looks don’t last forever.  Guys loose their hair, women have kids and get stretch marks.  Our boobs will sag, men will get man boobs.  Concentrate more on finding someone you love to be with and talk to, and be ok with the fact that no one is physically perfect.  I know it’s strange to hear me say this, considering I love to see a hot guy with his shirt off, but the perfect body is not a requirement for me. 

The “I live for the outdoors and idolize Bear Grylls” guy;
I get it, we live in Colorado.  It’s beautiful here and there are a lot of fun things to do outside.  But why is it every guy seems to be obsessed with doing everything outdoor possible, and expect a future wife who will be just as gung ho as they are?  Granted, I am a little biased.  I didn’t grow up in an outdoorsy family, and I dated one of these Bear types several years ago that was so obsessed with these activities, it has forever left a bad taste in my mouth for it.  In the last few years I have learned to enjoy a nice hike, even camping for a night or two.  But my motto is still “pretending I’m homeless is not my idea of a vacation”.  I like the idea of one day buying a camper and a cabin on the lake with my family, but month long trips backpacking in the wilderness, eating berries and peeing in bushes is my idea of hell.
My worry is about how so many of these guys think they must marry a woman who has the same hobbies as they do.  Talking to my sister and her husband about this issue, my brother in law laughs and says “What the heck is a hobby?  You get married, have kids, have callings.  There is no extra time for hobbies.”  He is Elders Quorum President, she is in the Primary Presidency and they have 6 kids.  I think they make a good point.   Hobbies are fine to have, but I don’t think you have to have the exact same as your spouse.
It’s kind of like how some people think you need to listen to the same kind of music.  Please, once you have kids, it’s nothing but Barney and Disney.

The “I’m just having fun” guy;
What is going on with all of these 30 plus year old guys who have no motivation to get a real job and pursue having a family, or at the very least a real relationship?  I know too many who live with their parents (** let me clarify.  Of course there can be valid reasons for some people to live at home.  Going to school, help with family issues etc**) but honestly, if you are 30, have a degree and are not physically disabled, why can you not support yourself?  Hard work is a quality I value more than just about anything.  And if I think you are lazy, I will run as fast as possible the other direction.
Or if they do work, they spend all of their money buying the latest toys, tv’s etc.  Again, maybe I’m the only one who doesn’t like this.  Material things don’t matter much to me.  I’m the girl who doesn’t want a real diamond because I think they are a waste of money, and I know most girls don’t agree with me.
Also, it’s ok to date age appropriately.  So a lot of you will laugh that I am the one saying that considering I’m a bit of a cougar.  I think 10 years above or below my age is acceptable to date.  But when I see these 35 year old guys only hitting on the 18-20 year olds, we have an issue.  These guys that are still living in Provo in their mid to late 30’s and only date girls still in college, yikes.

The “I’m active in church…for the most part” guy;
This goes hand in hand with the “just having fun” guy.  You can tell more about a person by watching how they act then you would by dating them.  Having a guy who does the right thing because he knows he should, not because he is trying to impress someone is a huge factor for me.  I know a lot of guys who go to church either for the social aspect, or because it’s expected of them.  They do just enough to fly under the radar.  This is not the kind of guy I am looking for. 
After thinking about the men I admire in my life, I’ve noticed some things that help them stand out.  Ladies, pay attention to the guys who volunteer to stay after church to collect trash.  Or at the end of a meeting starts putting away chairs and tables without anyone asking them to.  These are quality guys!

The “I won’t make the first move, and she needs to do all the work” guy;
I have one thing to say to these guys.  Grow a pair.

The “I’m angry and bitter so no one wants to date me, which makes me even more angry and bitter” guy;
I’ve been surprised by how many of these guys there are.  I understand, getting your heart broken sucks…a lot.  But if all you want to talk to me about is how bad your ex wife screwed you over, or why women are crazy, you can move right along.  If there is one thing I have learned in my life is you attract more flies with honey than vinegar.  Not sure why I would want to be attracting flies, but I digress. 
Think about it, at a party, are you more drawn to the person sitting in the corner alone with a “screw you” look on their face, or the person who is up talking, laughing and enjoying themselves?  Crap happens, it sucks, but deal with it, learn what you can, and move on.  There is a big amazing world out there with some incredible people you could be sharing it with!

So what is it I’m looking for you ask?  Well, maybe you weren’t even thinking that, but I’m going to tell you anyway.
There are 3 requirements I have before I will get into a relationship with someone.  He needs to have;
1.       A Job
2.       A Car
3.       A current temple recommend
You would be surprised at how difficult this is to find.  Some people disagree with my requirements, they think they are too strict (no really, I’ve had guys tell me my expectations are too high), but I stand by them.  If he has those three things, then we’ll see where it goes and if the chemistry is there.
So wish me luck as I pursue that next step.  And if you have someone you want to set me up with, I’m open to it  ;)