Am I Really Too Picky?
After my last post “Dating: The Two Main Things That Irritate Me”, I got some feedback of people commenting that all of my posts were about dating, and dating with the purpose of marriage. It’s true, most of my posts are about dating in some way, but if you really think about it, my whole life revolves around relationships or lack of them. I am a member of a completely family based church (I’m a Mormon), I am fully immersed in the singles ward and now branching into the mid-singles world, I run a branch of a dating service and to top it all off, I plan weddings. Yep, the vast majority of my life revolves around dating, marriage and families. There is no way to avoid it. But honestly, I don’t think I would want to.
Being a single, 31 year old Mormon isn’t always easy, but I actually enjoy single life. I am not the kind of girl who is in her Bishops office every other week, crying because I’m not married and how my life is miserable. I live under no illusion that once you get married that life will be perfect. Does it mean I want to be single forever? Not at all. I would love to meet a person I actually want to spend the rest of my life with (right now I would be excited to meet a guy I don’t want to punch in the throat during our first date, but I digress). I would love to have a family and a home. But I also know, without any doubt, that Heavenly Father will make the option of marriage available to me when he knows it’s time. For some reason, this is all I need to know.
Now don’t get me wrong, I still wish the process itself would speed itself along. There are days when I swear I can hear my uterus calling out “Remember me?? I’m only useful for so long!!”. It would be nice to pop out a few kids before it turns to dust, but again, I don’t have much control over that. Until that happens, if it does, I am very happy to live thru my siblings and treat their kids like my own. I also don’t think I should just be sitting at home, waiting for my man to come along. I fully intend on living life until the next step is ready to happen.
All of us have a list of qualities our dream spouse would possess. And don’t think this is just girls, pretty much every guy I know has a list too. My list used to be pretty basic, I would like him to be rich with heart problems. Hahaha, I kid J My actual list used to be a little longer, until a few years ago when Elder Bednar came to speak to the YSA here in Colorado. It was an open Q&A forum. One guy got up and asked something along the lines of “What do you recommend we do to help us find a spouse with all of the things we want”. Elder Bednar started talking about all of the qualities we had on our lists, looks, spirituality, education etc. Then he looked at us all and did something I would never forget, he chastised us. Honestly, he got pretty upset, well, as mad as Elder Bednar gets probably. He basically looked at us and said “You have a list of all these qualities she needs to have to be worthy of you? Just who exactly do you think you are?”. Then he said the most profound thing “That list needs to be for you. That list needs to be for YOU”.
Yes he said it twice, he felt it was that important. All of the things on the list that this dream person needs to have, those are things YOU should possess. And if you have them, the other people with those qualities will be drawn to you. This has stuck with me ever since that night, and it has helped me as I try to improve to be the best Barbie I can be. Over the years, my list has evolved into three basic things. I will not get into a relationship unless he has the following things;
1. A job
2. A car
3. A current temple recommend
Much to my surprise, in the last month I have had three separate people tell me that I am being too picky. Really?? Too picky?? Let me point out that not one of the qualities I listed is a physical feature of any kind. Also, nothing on this list is anything out of that persons control. So how is this honestly being too picky?
Let me break down my list and the reasons behind my choices.
A Job –
Now of course there are exceptions to this, but very few. I have several friends who are in medical/dental school, and literally cannot have a job. Obviously this is an exception. If you are spending 80 plus hours a week studying for your future career, there is nothing wrong with this.
Also, this is a tough economy. I know people who were laid off a year ago and have been unable to find anything in their specialty.
Here is my reasoning behind this being a must have for me. I have also been in the position of being unemployed more than once. While looking for a job, I work every contact and apply to everything I am even remotely qualified for in the mean time. Daily I am making phone calls, sending emails and setting up interviews. I am not so prideful that I am not willing to work retail or deliver pizzas (I have done both for years at a time). The problem I have, is with the multitudes of men that I see that are doing the bare minimum. Working as few hours as possible, or applying for things online and never following up on them. I know that if it ever came down to it, I would be willing to work 5 jobs to support my family. Why shouldn’t I ask the same of a man?
A Car –
It doesn’t have to be a certain make or model, or even a nice car. Just a car. I have dated guys before without a car, and I ended up becoming a chauffer. That sucked. Get a freaking way to be independent, end of story.
A Current Temple Recommend –
Much to my surprise, this has been the one that is the most difficult to find. I decided to phrase it as “have a current temple recommend” because it encompasses so much of what I need. Someone with a strong testimony, active in their church callings, pays their tithing, is a worthy priesthood holder etc. I know I need someone who has a testimony of the gospel for himself. Not because his parents say it’s true. Not because he just goes with the crowd. And definitely not because it’s what I want for him.
I was talking to a friend this last weekend who wanted me to be aware that men with current temple recommends are hard to come by right now. Sadly, this is the case for both young single adults and middle singles. Maybe I was setting my standards too high? I started getting extremely depressed about this. Then I started getting frustrated. Then I got pissed. My poor mother and sister got to hear the majority of my rant. I sure love that they put up with me.
Let me give you a little background on myself. I was raised in the church, but I was inactive for 14 or so years. My parents divorced when I was about 8 and my father became very less active. I suffered from depression and severe social anxiety to the point where I refused to go to school and dropped out in the 8th grade. I am by no means a “Molly Mormon”. During the years I was away from the church, I did a lot of really dumbass things. I ended up with a very dark and difficult addiction that took me years to overcome.
I knew I was never going to have the life I wanted unless I put myself together. In the fall of 2004, I started attempting coming back to church. I phrase it that way because I think people who have never left the church, don’t understand how difficult it can be to come back. It isn’t a “One day I woke up and stopped doing everything bad and was 100% active again”. For three years it was more like 2 steps forward, 5 steps back. Most of the time if I decided to go to church, I had been at the bar the night before. I couldn’t figure out how to leave the life I wasn’t happy in, to go to a life I couldn’t figure out how to be happy in.
I have been on the bad side of life. I have sat in a Bishops office with him telling me I was probably going to be excommunicated (it was only by the grace of the Savior that I wasn’t) and it was then that I realized that I needed to decide what was more important to me. Having “fun”? Or progressing toward a happiness that I couldn’t even comprehend? I made my choice in 2008, and I didn’t look back.
I am sharing this because I want people to know it hasn’t been all sunshine and roses for me. I worked and still work hard every day to keep my life going in the direction I know it should.
I made these choices for myself. Not for anyone else, and I know that is a quality that I need in a spouse. Needless to say, I can be a little, well let’s call it “opinionated” J The last thing I need is a guy who won’t stand up for what he knows is true and right.
So this leads me to why I was getting pissed off that night talking to my family. I have overcome so much, don’t I deserve someone who has these basic qualities? I am not saying he can’t have a past, heaven knows I have one, I care about how he is living his life right now and if he is moving forward and growing.
So do I feel that I am deserving of a man with these qualities? Yes. And I will not settle for less. These are qualities I would expect in myself. There is no reason I would not expect them in a spouse.
So if this makes me “picky”, does it mean that it’s ok if I have high standards? You bet your sweet ass it does J