Mormons aren’t dateable because we are more focused on marriage than on dating. Instead of getting to know someone for an hour or two, we focus on whether or not there is a temple marriage in the future for us—will he or she be someone we could spend the rest of our lives and the next with? This distracting way of thinking prevents people from actually getting to know each other. It also prevents commitment—if you think you have to commit to marry someone the moment you agree to go on a date with them, then of course you will avoid any dating situation.
Mormons aren’t dateable because we are striving for perfection in themselves and others. As a people, we work to become more like Jesus Christ. We tend to create impossible standards for ourselves and others. We are too hard on ourselves thinking, “there is no way that I could get married because…,” and then proceed to list an innumerable amount of imperfections, flaws, and mistakes. Unfortunately, it doesn’t stop there. We look around at other people and begin to create lists of reasons why he or she are not right for us. They are too good, too bad, too happy, or too sad. We somehow think that there will be an idealistic version of a match in the form of Ken or Barbie doll. Sadly, the dream never comes to fruition.
It’s like an analogy about Tupperware that I once heard.There are hundreds of shapes, and sizes of Tupperware—some are round and some are square. You can’t fit a round lid to a square bottom. We tend to have misperceptions of who we actually are and what would be the best fit for us. Anyone who tries over and over again to place a round lid on a square bottom will experience nothing but frustration. Even if the lid is slightly too big, or too small, it won’t fit. We are looking for a right lid. If we are honest and admit who we are and what we want we may be successful.
Don’t Date, Group Date, Why aren’t You Married?
Mormons aren’t dateable because it is a rough transition from being told we can’t date (before the age of 16), to all of a sudden being told we need to find an eternal companion (once you return home from your mission, that is, or graduate from high school). Old habits die hard, and trying to do things you have tried so hard not to do for so long can be a little daunting. We must break the habit of hanging out and instead get in the habit of dating. Suddenly spending one -on- one time with a member of the opposite sex can be a little challenging when we aren’t used to doing so. Know what to say, or how to communicate what we are feeling becomes near impossible because we haven’t had to do that before.
Shhhh, It’s Intimacy
Mormons aren’t dateable because intimacy is a taboo topic. Some Mormons hit one of two extremes: either they are scared to death of even just holding someone’s hand, or, they get as close to the line of sexual relations as they can without actually having sex because we never talk about what those expressions are. This swing, in either direction, is completely unhealthy.
Options, Options, Options
Probably the biggest reason that Mormons don’t date is because there are too many options. For example, imagine walking down the potato chip aisle at the grocery store. If the store only has one kind of chips, the decision on what to buy is easy, you do it and move on. However, if there are Doritos, Sun Chips, Corn Chips, Pringles, and Lays, the decision becomes more challenging. Although each type of chip is good, which type do you want to eat forever? We don’t want to be stuck with something that is less-than-the-best, so we all just keep trying to find something better.
If Mormons are so undateable, then how do we get married? We need to let go of bad habits and start focusing on actual dates. If we stop looking for perfection, talk about the taboo, find a middle ground, and admit who we truly are, we can make the big decision. But, let’s start small: for today, just pick one ‘problem’ to work on and start the path to becoming dateable now!