Monday, January 27, 2014

When Did Dating Become Like a Job Interview?

When Did Dating Become a Job Interview?

Dates I’ve gone on  -  15           85 to go.....

**Disclaimer – I haven’t felt this way on any of the dates I have been on this year**

I’m confused.  Am I on a date?  Or on an interview for a job/eternal companion?

What happened to going in with an open mind?  See if you two have chemistry and go from there?

I had never experienced the job interview date until I moved to Utah, and it happened about five times in a row.  All of them were with guys in their late 30’s who had never been married before.  I could practically see them marking things off a mental check list, and getting more and more disappointed by my responses.

A perfect example.  I met a guy online and we decided to meet for hot chocolate after work (one of my favorite first dates by the way).  I will refer to him as “Wife Employer” or WE.  We order some drinks and without much other small talk, they move into their main requirements.

WE – So do you come from a big family?
Me – Not really, I’m the youngest of four and my sibling are a bit older than me so it felt like I was an only child a lot.
WE – Are they all married?
Me – Yep, I’m the only single one.
WE – Have you ever been married?
Me – Nope
His eyes get wide with hope
WE – So do you want a big family?
Me – You mean a lot of kids?  How many do you consider to be big?
WE – At least 6.  I definitely want 6 or 8 kids.
Me - *Nervous laughing* No probably not.

He instantly looks deflated, his hopes of a giant family crushed in one instant.

WE – So how many kids do you want?
Me – I’m not sure, two, maybe three?
More visible disappointment.
WE – Oh, I like big families.

So let me stop there.  I find it interesting that each guy that has asked me how many kids I want, they never ask me why.  If they did, they might consider my reasoning.  I’m 33, I will be 34 this summer.  When I get married, ideally I would like to wait a year before having babies.  So even if I met someone today, say we dated for 6 months or so and got married, that still wouldn’t put me having a baby until I was 36.  I don’t really love the idea of me having a baby after 38, so that puts me at about 2 babies.

The other thing they would find out, is I would love to be a step parent.  Or that I would love to adopt children.  But when it comes to me, physically popping a baby out of my body, 2 is what I would like.  Will this change?  Maybe, but probably not.  Big families are wonderful.  Small families are wonderful.  Couples who just have dogs are wonderful.  To each their own.

I’m also confused as to why a man who is in his late 30’s, wants to have kids possibly into his 50’s?  I need a nap just thinking about it.  Most married guys I have talked to about this laugh and say “let him have 1 kid, then see how quickly 8 turns into 4”  :)

WE – So where did you go to school?
Me – BYU
WE – What is your degree in?
Me – I actually don’t have a degree.

More visible disappointment.

Ok I get this one, kind of.  You’re right, I don’t have a degree.  In fact, I only went to 1 semester of college before deciding it wasn’t for me.  I wasn’t aware I needed it in order to get married.  This doesn’t mean I think it’s not important to have a degree, they are.  But for me, I had no idea what I wanted to do.  I found working to be a much more useful education.  I have been working since I was 10 years old and I love it, but school, not my favorite.  I might go back one day for a degree in marriage and family therapy, but it isn’t in the plans any time soon.

WE – Did you serve a mission.
Me – No I didn’t.
WE – No?  How come?
Me – I was actually inactive at that time in my life.
By this point, I have clearly crushed his dreams of me being his perfect woman.
WE – You were inactive?
Me – Yes, for 15 years.
WE – Oh.

Yep, I was inactive, for a really long time.  From about when I was 10 until I was 25.  I was a very different person then, but I don’t regret it.  The choices I made and the experiences I had made me who I am today, and I like me. 

WE – You seem to really love your job.
Me – Yes I do.  I had no idea it was possible to be so satisfied by a job.
WE – You are very lucky, most people don’t have that.  Will it be hard for you to give it up?
Me – Give it up?
WE – Yes, when you have kids will it be hard for you to give it up?
Me – Ummm…….I don’t really plan on giving it up.

There it is, the crushing blow.  He may as well be laying on the floor in a heap of “I will never have my perfect LDS family I have always dreamed of” sadness.

This is probably the hardest one for me to explain, and definitely the hardest one for people to understand.  I adore my job.  I have never loved anything so much in my life.  I literally feel that it is a gift from Heavenly Father and that I get to use my talents that he has given me every single day.  One day my plan is to own my own company.  I hope to marry a man who will support me in this dream, who sees how much it means to me and the happiness it brings me.  I don’t plan to work full time after I have kids, I want to still be a mom.  But I know myself well enough that in order for me to be a good mom, I have to balance it with my work. 

So when did everyone, men and women, start treating dates like job interviews?  When did we start putting everything we want into these little boxes, and as soon as something doesn’t match up with your check list, they are immediately eliminated? 

I hate to break it to everyone, but the days of requiring that your future spouse be a virginal model of LDS perfection their entire life, those days are over.

There are wonderful, amazing people out there.  People that have been divorced.  People that have children.  People that were inactive.  People that didn’t serve missions.  People that are converts to the church.  People that have made mistakes.  People who are trying, and truly deserve happiness.

Stop treating dating like you are offering them a great job along with benefits and a 401K.  Open your mind to the possibility that the perfect person for you, might be completely different that you ever imagined.  

And geez people, it’s just a date.  Ease up and have some fun  :)


  1. My fiancee didn't meet most of the requirements on my list. A lot of the check boxes are unchecked with him. If our chance of meeting had been on a dating website he would never have even popped up in my search because he didn't fit the minimum parameters of my searches. I met him and there was something so utterly compelling about him and us that I made a radical decision and decided to put aside my list and check boxes and just decide whether this actual person I had standing in front of me could be someone I would want to chose to be with. And I can't imagine someone more perfect or wonderful for me. After my divorce I had stopped believing that the kind of relationship that we have was even possible. The best thing I ever did in my life was to take a chance on someone who at first glance was all wrong for me in so many ways only to discover there is no one who could be more right. Luckily, I had come to learn from my divorce that we don't always know what is best for us, and that we should be open to what God has in store for us because it's something better than we even planned on.

  2. I still shudder at the memory of so many dude's faces upon hearing my occupation: divorce lawyer. They practically ran for the exits.

  3. That was well said Barbie. Everybody makes mistakes nobody is perfect. I remember when Bednar was here in Colorado a couple years ago, he did a fireside for YSAs. He said something I will never forget. He said make a list of things you want in a companion and become that list. Don't use it as a check list when trying to find your eternal companion. If you think you are going to be able to find someone that meets all of your criteria you are supremely arrogant. What makes you think that if you did find that person that they would want you? I think this sums it up very well. All we can do is focus on us and be the best we can be. My wife is a great person but she went through a period of inactivity and struggled with her testimony for a long time. Her past has made her who she is today and I love her for it. I love reading what you have to say Barbie, thank you.

  4. If you love a flower, don't pick it up.
    Because if you pick it up it dies and it ceases to be what you love.
    So if you love a flower, let it be.
    Love is no about possession.
    Love is about appreciation.