Okay, so maybe not all of these experiences are only going to happen in a singles ward, but they happened to me in a singles ward and for some reason, no one else was the least bit surprised.
Here are my top most interesting experiences in a singles ward that can hopefully serve as a wake up call to those who may not understand that their behavior can sometimes make others feel…uncomfortable.
1. Getting Stuck in a Gossip Circle That’s Talking about Your Crush
I know I’m not the only one who’s experienced this, and I’m sure the men have gone through similar situations themselves, but there’s nothing more awkward than being stuck with a bunch of friends/ward members who have suddenly started to gossip about the guy (or girl) you’ve developed a crush on.
During the winter of my first year in the Young Single Adult ward, the Relief Society had a sleepover planned at the RS President’s parents’ house which was going to be vacant for the holidays. We were all carpooling over to the house and were planning on a night of gift-giving, girl-bonding fun.
Red flag right there right? Anyways, it sounded like fun and I could have used a chance to make friends because I was seriously lacking in that area at the time. Long story short, it was fun for the majority of the activity, but ended on an awkward note.
The trouble happened on the drive home the next morning, when I was in a car full of girls and stuck in traffic due to the snow storm that had arrived during the night. I was seated in the front passenger seat, which was both a blessing and a curse, when the conversation somehow switched to a guy in the ward I was currently nursing a crush on.
Apparently EVERYONE had gone through a phase in their YSA life that included liking/dating this guy. It almost appeared as if he was a right-of-passage for every girl in the ward to become interested in, and then end up either friend-zoning or breaking-up with him.
The whole ride home included a TON of gossip on this guy’s flaws, mistakes, and dating errors that made him a frustratingly handsome yet annoying guy the girls all loved to hate, then love again.
As someone who was only beginning to get to know the guy, I knew him only as a passing friend. And while I hate to think that their opinions and gossip actually affected my opinion of him in the end (because I did stop crushing on him eventually for a variety of reasons), I can’t help but admit that they might have gotten to me.
2. Being Asked by Your Past Crush if You Like Them—IN PUBLIC.
Okay, so when this happened I had been in the ward for about 2 years and had stopped crushing on this person and had moved on (for those of you who are wondering, yes, it’s the same guy from the story in #1).
While I was no longer interested in the guy romantically, we had managed to foster a pretty great friendship and would hang out with the same group of friends almost weekly. One girl in our group, however, was interested in my guy-friend and it was obvious to everyone.
Almost every Sunday after Sacrament meeting, many of us would meet up to say hello and walk to Sunday school together. On this particular Sunday, I did the usual and went up to this friend to say a quick hi, but didn’t expect what happened next.
He happened to be with the girl who obviously liked him and after we exchanged the usual pleasantries, she nudged my friend as if to remind him of something. He suddenly went “Oh yeah!” and proceeded to say the stupidest thing he’s ever said.
“Say Camille, you don’t like me do ya?” I will admit, I paused for a beat after the realization of what he just said hit me. Then, I burst into uncontrollable laughter.
They both started to laugh awkwardly and my friend was like, “Yeah. That’s what I thought!”
The jealous girl got defensive and launched into an explanation saying, “Well, you had been posting stuff on each other’s Facebook’s a lot lately and well, I thought…”
Once I had managed to control my outburst of giggles I managed to ask, “So, because I tagged him on Facebook a couple times that means I like him? Okay, sure.” I rolled my eyes and waved goodbye as I headed off to Sunday school.
I left feeling both amused and slightly annoyed because I couldn’t believe my friend was dumb enough to ask me that in front of a potential girlfriend just because she was jealous and nervous I might steal him away.
What if I did still like him? That would have been monumentally embarrassing and possibly would have ended our friendship right then and there.
I may be over-reacting, but I’ll just go ahead and suggest that if you’re curious about whether or not someone else has feelings for you and you want to know for sure, do the humane thing and ask them in private. Not in a situation where they could potentially be humiliated in front of others.
3. When Age Gets Brought Up
As a kid, I always thought once I became an adult I would no longer feel embarrassed for how young I was and my experience would no longer be determined by how many birthday candles were on my cake.
I’m now beginning to wonder if that ever ends because a lot of people admit to being mocked when they were young by older generations because of their inexperience, only to be mocked yet again as they gain experience by the younger generation. Either way, in singles wards—especially in wards that are off college campuses—age is still an annoying obstacle for the members.
It’s funny since “young” is in the title of Young Single Adults, but I can’t tell you how many discussions have ended in either silence or incredulity (or both) after my age is revealed.
I even know a couple girls who have lied about their age because they thought guys wouldn’t date them if they were either too young or too old (supposedly ages 25-30 is now considered old if you’re still single in “Marriage Valley,” AKA Utah Valley).
The last time age became a show-stopper was when I went to a recent FHE activity and carpooled with girls I had never met. We had the usual small talk on the ride up, but one girl who appeared to be the youngest of all of us, decided it was a great idea to ask, “So what are all of your guys’ ages?”
There was a literal moment of complete silence as we all simultaneously acknowledged the fact that she really did just ask that question, followed by a general feeling of self-consciousness. Everyone begrudgingly revealed their ages and it was discovered that two of us were over the age of 25 while the girl who asked the question and I were both under 25.
You could literally feel a rift open up between the four of us into an almost “us versus them” type mentality. It was terrible, and honestly ruined the potential for some further bonding and friendship making (at least for the night).
It sucks and doesn’t make sense, but for some reason, age is an even bigger deal when you’re in the singles ward. While I’m not saying this behavior is completely wrong because age can be an important factor in choosing your friends and potential dates, perhaps the best advice to be had here is to try your best to not make too big of a deal out of age.
Get to know a person and see how you like them. Cross the age bridge when you get there later.
4. When a Bad Break-Up is Suddenly Everybody’s Business
When surrounded by people who have the single goal of finding their eternal companion, occasional blow-back is bound to happen.
While people can usually respect your privacy if they see you’ve broken up with the guy (or gal) you had been sitting next to every Sacrament meeting, it’s an entirely different thing if you get the entire ward involved in your drama.
While I personally haven’t had any public break-ups blowup in my face, I’ve definitely seen my share—sometimes they’re just impossible to ignore.
People do tend to start talking if they see you’ve been with three different “boyfriends” within the same month. Especially when the stink-eye you’re giving your ex(s) can be seen clear across the chapel. (Yikes.)
My one piece of advice to those of you who are innocent bystanders simply standing back and watching the show is this: have mercy on the brokenhearted, and try to keep your gossiping to a minimum.
If you run across a girl who has made it her personal mission in life to blacklist her ex and make sure no girl ever goes out with him again, it may be hard not to judge, but try to just take it all with a grain of salt.
She’s hurting, and sure, she just might be a little crazy, but don’t let her behavior completely ruin her ex’s image. At least not in your own mind’s eye.
I’ve seen a lot of sabotage attempts during my time in a singles ward, and I’ve learned that there usually is a lot more exaggeration than complete truth when their tales are told.
5. A Few Honorable Mentions…
These experiences haven’t happened to me personally, but are definitely up there in the awkward moments list:
When you notice your significant other didn’t partake of the Sacrament.
When the person you thought would never get married gets married before you.
When you’re asked to help with the wedding of an ex.
When you’ve been single for so long people start to wonder if you’re gay
When Someone Uses Revelation as a Reason For Why you Should Date Them
For those of you who are confused about what singles wards are, check out our other article to find out more.
I’m sure I missed a few awkward moments unique to singles wards, so help me out and tell us about one of your most awkward moments in a singles ward in the comments! We promise not to judge. Sort of.