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nellyleyva92

Discouraged about dating, especially within the Church. Just looking for hope.

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I'm a single adult approaching her 30's. My dating years have not been fun. Finding my eternal partner has been...painful. To say the least.From being cheated on to abusive relationships...  What I always wanted in life was to find my eternal companion, get sealed, have children, work with him through life trials and have a Christ-like marriage and family and all that stuff. I had always prayed and lived for it, but as I age, it just seems impossible. All the men I've dated have not only been wrong for me, but they have harmed me in many different ways that I think it's going to take me forever to ever fully recover. Last time I prayed for a good man, I did it humbly and faithfully. I had left an abusive 5 year relationship with one member of the Church for one year. The Lord knows how many times I'd been harmed before, how long I've waited, I've tried, and always did my best to live worthily. 3 months ago, after I prayed humbly for it again, a man came along under the circumstances and time I had prayed for. He seemed perfect! I was the happiest person and thought it had been worth the wait and pain from past experiences...until he showed his true colors shortly afterwards. The relationship not only ended soon, but left me with severe trauma; and self-esteem, mental and spiritual issues. Needless to say I've been asking nonstop: "Why, God?" I'm now both terrified and discouraged about love, dating and marriage.  I've stopped believing in love and help from heavenly Father in this important issue. What bothers me the most right now is that if I ever want to marry in the temple, I have to keep dating within the Church and meet people through Church activities, YSA activities or Institute, but it's horrible to see my ex/ex's there, both mine and my boyfriend ex's are there too, and his potential new dates as well, and they all will be there forever as long as we all remain active, which is what we're all supposed to do, right? We all have to date each other! The Church is so small that it makes it impossible to move on. I don't want to grow up taking Sunday School classes with "the one that got away", or knowing that someday one guy who hurt me might be my bishop one day and I'll have private interviews with him, or ask for his help, or that I will have to visit and minister a sister who happens to be the girl who "stole" a boy I loved in the past or a girl he cheated on me with, or...if there are trust issues within the couple, having to feed attractive sister missionaries at home when I know the husband always has had trouble with wandering eyes or let him fulfill a calling that requires him to work with the girls he dated or had a crush on in the past... or any other attractive sister!  ... I think I've made my point. It kinda sounds funny, I know. But when there's sin, abuse and trauma involved...it is definitely not fun.  If we weren't Church members these situations wouldn't have to happen. The Church creates opportunities for socialization that we normally wouldn't have, and it feels awkward to have to date and marry within this closed environment. Anyone else feels or has felt this way? I know I sound stupid...but I don't know where else to vent and ask for some encouragement. Right now I'm struggling seeing my ex at Church and seeing him hook up with other girls I know. Why do I have to see this? I'm not feeling well to remain 100% active in the Church forever under these circumstances, and at the same time I've given up on eternal love and happiness. My parents are both good members of the Church but terribly unhappy in their marriage, most members of my ward are divorced or unhappy as well,  my relationships have been a mess and the Lord doesn't seem to care that much, at least not in my own personal case. He has let me go through heartbreak after heartbreak and I feel very much alone recovering from emotional, physical and spiritual trauma.

I really need some encouragement, I  really could use some advice or anything, because I'm completely hopeless in this matter. I know I should come to the Lord for relief and definitely not leave the Church...but it's hard when the things that hurt you happen to be ...IN the Church. :(

Edited by nellyleyva92

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Quick thought here; you don't need to go to the same ward as the man that abused you.  Please don't-- that is a COMPLETELY valid reason to switch wards.  

Also: have you considered counseling to help deal with trauma?  I know for me it was a huge game changer.  

Encouragement part coming here in a minute.  

Edited by Jane_Doe
typo

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59 minutes ago, Jane_Doe said:

Quick thought here; you do need to go to the same ward as the man that abused you.  Please don't-- that is a COMPLETELY valid reason to switch wards.  

Also: have you considered counseling to help deal with trauma?  I know for me it was a huge game changer.  

Encouragement part coming here in a minute.  

Thank you for reaching out Jane! I'm really considering switching wards because it's painful to see him each Sunday. It sucks to have to do this and to have to wake up earlier, travel a longer distance and pay more for transportation when my meetinghouse is close. The last thing I heard from my bishop is that it was going to be necessary to have a serious meeting with my ex boyfriend for the things he's done, (I don't know if he's done it yet ) but of course none of us will ask him to stop going to Church or leave the ward, and I know the Lord expects us both to remain active despite all that happened. Anyway, thank you for confirming a decision I've been seriously pondering :( 

Edited by nellyleyva92

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Stop harming yourself.

 

I know what is this thing that you re going through, i also had problems finding a good girl in the church. but i wondered " there's just so many amazing girls out there, why do i have to be so close minded ?" And that thought is leading me to experience a greater happiness in life. So, i started looking elsewhere.

 

I had to start looking on the outside mainly because the girls in the church sometimes happens to be extremely selective, they wanted a God, or to be more fair, something like a prophet or someone who just came out of the scriptures. There's other ways of course, you just have to beautiful, rich, talented, funny, kind. And only then, they will at least consider you.

 

Anyways, start thinking out of your box, there are so many good men outside the church, there are some who are better persons at all.

 

There is no need for you to pass such a great suffering in love, the church is just a congregation, a place where people meet to hear from the prophets, remember that humans are a big family, there's much more people outside the church than inside.

 

But please, suffer no longer. There are many lost sheeps, and among those, i'm Shure there is a great man that will respect and treat you just how you deserve, and you can even bring to church and be happy. Just dont spend your life single and sad, that will do you no good, thats for shure.

 

I'm sorry for my english, i'm not a native speaker of this language.

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Ok, my encouragement is below.  Warning: my encouragement isn't to pretend that life is only rainbows.  Thunderstorms happens before the rainbow, and the below does indeed talk about the storm too.  This also was something I have been meaning to write for a while.

 

 

“You promised you’d keep me safe!” my daughter cried, laying on the pavement in tears, her bike tangled in between her 5-year-old legs.  I had spent the last 4 months encouraging her riding her “big kid” training-wheels bike --  much to her terror.  We had spent many nights with me literally holding her up, and her screaming in fear.  After many many encouraging talks, she was finally ok with me letting go and walking beside her.

And then she fell down.  

In the middle of a flat drive way.  At a speed of 30 ft a minute.  She didn’t even have a scraped knee.  But none of that mattered to her as she sobbed “Mommy, you promised you’d keep me safe!”

As I helped her up and gave her big calming hugs… amongst all of the “it’s ok” mommy-pats on the back, I was admittedly was a little…well of course she was ok.  She was always safe.  Yes, the fall was scary, and it stung, but she was ok and safe.  I was always right here.  And we were going to figure this big kid bike out, and I know that she’ll love it.  This was just a little bump in the much bigger picture I could see.

My mind then flash back to my last big scare—so keenly feeling the anniversary of my last miscarriage.  I had miscarried before, but this was worse, as things went very badly.  I remember the ambulance lights, EMTs rushing, the look of fear on their faces as I won’t stop bleeding.  The near-death experience was a nightmare came true, and… it terrified me, haunting terrors, and may deep deep scars. 

I had cried “You promised you’d keep me safe!” many times the months afterwards, writhing in pain and loss.  Cried it to my Parents in Heaven.  And I had needed many many hugs, from the divine and people on earth.  I was still SO scared.  Scared what would happen is I wasn’t physically here for my family, including the 5 year old I was currently trying to comfort.  Was I safe?  Could I keep her safe?

And then, from Heaven, came the giant pat on the back for me.  Yes, I was safe.  Even when things sting horribly, terrify me, and worse thing I can imagine happen.  These was all bumps in the much bigger picture He could see.  I was safe.  She was safe.  I am safe.

 

Nellyleyva92,  I can't know all the details about the storms you've been through.  I can't remotely pretend to know the big picture God sees for you.  But I can say that God too, keeps you safe.  

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I'm sorry for your struggles.

- Try online dating (but ask lots of questions). 

- Stop … oh what's the word … creating scenarios in your head that may not even be true or happen. 

- Put your thoughts and energy toward what you WANT not what you don't ('what you feed, grows'). Find some positive affirmations to repeat if that helps.

- Make sure you're in the right frame of mind and the type of person you want to meet before getting serious with anyone. 

- Check your library for 'It's Just My Nature' by Carol Tuttle. Trust me on this one.

I'll pop back in if anything else comes to mind but hope this helps. {hugs}

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@nellyleyva92 I am not sure what you think of this..some people who live in low density lds areas try dating outside the church. They have a 3 date rule and then ask the person to start attending church. I think that it would take a strong personality to pull this off.

Edited by Sunday21

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38 minutes ago, Sunday21 said:

@nellyleyva92 I am not sure what you think of this..some people who live in low density lds areas try dating outside the church. They have a 3 date and then ask the person to start attending church. I think that it would take a strong personality to pull this off.

I lived in a remote rural area of Brazil, and that was one of most used ways. There was not even enough girls.

I moved and that unfortunately still keeps going on, now i live in the capital of Brazil. But we still have to find lost sheeps and bring them back so we can date them 😎

 

I suggest nelly to try this, the experience won't hurt. Just stop being selective, stop this thing of " i only date church guys", this will only you deprive you from metting awesome people.

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On 10/18/2019 at 6:15 PM, Serviteur du seigneur said:

I suggest nelly to try this, the experience won't hurt. Just stop being selective, stop this thing of " i only date church guys", this will only you deprive you from metting awesome people.

This is bad advice, as we marry who we date. IF the OP wants to marry in the church her best option is to date guys who are already members.

OP try online dating, even people from other countries. I have a single brother he needs to get married....just sayin.

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Dating can be discouraging...  If you are looking for hope... that is in Christ and his promises that NO blessing will be denied the faithful.  They might be delayed per the perposes and plan of God but not denied.  Put your faith firmly in him, do what you know he wants you to do to the best of your ability.  Then trust in him and his promises

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I would suggest a change in your strategy.  

One thing that this world unfortunately lies to young women about is that they can have it all, school, job, career, love, etc.  Except this is a fairy tale and not reality.  Why?  Because as you are finding out, women don't have as much time as men to get things together IF they want to have children.  High risk pregnancies start age 35, plus the increase in birth defects.  If you get married at 30, space kids out 2 years apart + a little bit of solo time at the beginning you are looking at max 2 kids before things get problematic.  This is true because they don't take donor eggs after age 30 for example and the longer a woman waits the harder it is to actually conceive.

So what do women do-unfortunately, the same thing you did which is have one or two serious long-term relationships.  Why be in a relationship for 5 years?  That is way, way too long without a marriage commitment. In addition, that is quite honestly a long time to be in a relationship without sexual relations.  I'm not saying you've had them; just that most relationships do not last that long without sexual relations.  Most men aren't going to be in a long-term relationship like that without sex.  If the woman says no to sex-the man has a choice, either marry her or move on.  For a man to be in a non-sexual serious relationship for 5 years . . . quite honestly I can't imagine a single man being in that type of a non-sexual relationship.  That does not compute with from what you've said is an abusive relationship.

So you were in a 5-year relationship + 1 year off, that's 6 years. So you basically wasted half a decade on one man.  That's not his fault-that's yours, and the fault of a bad culture teaching bad values.  You shouldn't be in a relationship longer than year without really good understanding of whether that relationship is going to end up in marriage or not.  If you figure a year for a serious relationship, a few months of fudge room on either side-you are looking at having a max of 7-8 serious relationships prior to age 30, and that's if everything goes right.  More likely than not, you are looking at maybe 4-5 serious relationships prior to age 30.  This is because some should fizzle out in 2-3 months, but you might have several short relationships in between the serious ones.

That said, the past is the past-all you can really do is learn from it and not repeat the same mistakes again.  That's why I suggest a change in strategy.  What change?  Well first I'd suggest be more active in the process.  Active in identifying what are the main qualifications that you want in a husband. Prioritize you list and be specific.  If you want him to be a romantic-then write down what things would qualify a man for being a romantic (roses, poems, singing, etc.).  If you want him to be a good provider-then write down things that would qualify him as being a good provider.  This might be, "I want him to have a good job in these fields, I want him to be out of school and employed".  If you want him to be a good father, then write down how you will know he would be a good father.  This might be "I want to see him interact with younger siblings, or children".

You need to IDENTIFY specific traits and qualities that you can measure concretely. As in, I know he will be a good father because I've seen him interact with younger siblings and he enjoys roughhousing with them.  Rather than just having this fluffy "I love him", you need to know exactly why you do-and you can identify those things b/c love is action.  It's easy to say the words "I love you/him/her", but unless it's backed up by something concrete it's just words which have no real meaning.

If you have a concrete idea of what it means to be a good husband, what it means to be a good father, what it means to be a good provider, then it becomes very easy to discriminate and you won't get trapped into a 5-year long relationship which blows half you dating lifespan!

On the opposite end of things, why would your dream guy want to even marry you?  What qualities and characteristics do you bring to the table? How can you help HIM in a marriage?  Would you be able to properly care for newborns and teach them the Gospel? A mother's influence on her children cannot be overstated.  The greatest influence happens until age 5-after that it's largely correcting the mistakes you made as a parent from 0-5! Do you willingly do things you know you shouldn't do?  Do you have strong morals to teach your children well? Do you take care of yourself, physically, mentally, spiritually?

If your dream guy came along, how would you make yourself stand out among all the other women who might want him!  Unfortunately, in today's world too many women give up their chastity in an effort to make themselves stand out to the guy they want . . . and that leads nowhere.

So, change your strategy, identify what you want, identify what your spouse would want in you, change yourself to make it happen and then put yourself in situations where you can find that guy.

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9 hours ago, omegaseamaster75 said:

This is bad advice, as we marry who we date. IF the OP wants to marry in the church her best option is to date guys who are already members.

OP try online dating, even people from other countries. I have a single brother he needs to get married....just sayin.

There's an app created to members, i think it's called mutual.

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