Overheard at my desk

From one 4-year old girl to another:

"Hey, can I just follow you around in here? Because I'm pretty sure I'm going to like you."

I think the dating world would be a lot easier if that kind of line worked for us. It doesn't, though.

Other things that would make the dating world an easier and less bloody and crippling place:

The suppression of the, "Feel free to treat me badly, mess with my head, and never, ever allow me to get over you" vibe which is emitted by many otherwise lovely and confident women.

The suppression of the radar which somehow enables loser men to, without error, pinpoint the aforementioned women as objects for their campaign of f-wittage.

The deletion of the social norm which says it's not right for me to stomp on the saco de toros of men I observe engaging in such behaviors.

If everyone knew instinctively which league they were in, and which members of the opposite sex were in the same league. This would save a lot of time, embarrassment, and pining.

If many LDS males did not insist on shooting several leagues above their own. It is unfortunate that many succeed at this simply due to the economics of scarcity. All this really does is encourage more fruitless dating while the girls who are in your league and would quite like to date you glower from the sidelines.

If women could stop the genetically hardwired compulsion to start planning the wedding, children, and retirement condo after one date.

If women could refrain from sinking into a depression if there is no second date.

If we could all stop assuming that people are on the same page that we are and that they surely understand every subtle hint we give out. Sometimes our pages exist only in the Book of Freaky.

If women and men could stop dating losers/commitmentphobes/addicts/cheaters under the mistaken assumption that even a loser is better than nothing. (Note: It isn't. Ever.)

I know I've missed some, so please feel free to add to the list.


Jenny said... [reply]

UUUGGGGH! I totally agree with you. Am too busy ranting in my head to actually come up with something constructive to comment.

i i eee said... [reply]

It's the Mormon Scale of Attractiveness that Smash posted on her blog eons ago.

Le sigh.

I have more to add, of course, but I don't really feel like this discussion right now.

I love that quote from that little four year old. I think if we simplified things a lot more, good things would start happening.

Scully said... [reply]

I think we should mention the corollary that just because a woman makes a comment to a man, like saying "Hey, good Sunday School lesson." or "Do you want to share the hymnal?" or "Um, your shoe is on fire." does not automatically mean she has already planned the wedding etc. and should thus be shunned. Some of us are normal.

abby said... [reply]

I think we should reinstate the passing of notes that looked like this:

Do you like me? Circle yes or no

It might sting for a second, but it's easy to move on than having a long drawn out flirt-a-thon which means nothing to one person and everything to the other.

j said... [reply]

Lets say I did agree with this idea that us LDS men are always dating out of our league women (not that I do). If we were to change that, there would end up being some LDS women at the top who would just have to do without because no LDS men are good enough for them. Is it fair that the ones at the top should suffer? :) The general authorities always tell us in conference to marry up, so really we're just following the prophet.

As for my suggestions for making dating easier, I'd like to see singles ward/stakes put their money where their mouths are (so-to-speak) and hold fun activities that require people to come with a date. I think more people would get dates on those occasions then in general.

JB said... [reply]

Hmmm. I dated a commitment phobe because I am one and needed that. Otherwise I totally agree with you. ;)

The Divine Miss A said... [reply]

Abby--I'm all for it. Now if we could just spread the word . . .

Nerd Goddess said... [reply]

Also, if married/engaged/taken people had huge, blaring, neon "Please Don't Flirt With Me" signs, it would make life so, so much easier. At least for those who accidentally flirt with those with fiances and are then so embarrassed they leave the party... not that that's every happened to me...

Good list though. I especially like the quote. I need to put that somewhere.

chosha said... [reply]

What Scully said.

Also I would like it if RS women did not assume that any single man and woman they know born within ten years of each other must be destined to become subject to their matchmaking attempts. Particularly when the least possible amount of observation would clearly identify the guy as gay.

Science Teacher Mommy said... [reply]

Oh, girl, I could write a whole series of novels from this one post!

Boys, the "out of your league" thing is pretty much a myth. It is all perception. Oh, and it is trading UP when you find a girl who is more educated and makes more money than you. Or a girl that served a mission. These things will lay the foundation for a VERY happy life if you would just pull your self out of 1950.

One slightly awkward date does not mean it is not "meant to be." Unless a person is just a complete FREAK, give it 2-3 dates.

And people need to DATE. Hanging out and making out just leads to broken relationships, guilt and mistrust. Not that I know anything about this . . . .

"One and only" is just c-r-a-p. If that is what you are looking for, then it is going to be a long and lonely life.

And friends make the best lovers. Really, guys, if you are "just good friends" with a girl and you aren't a pre-mi any more, then SHE IS THE ONE. Stop looking for sparks that only flare up occassionally after the first year or two anyway. Attraction is not unimportant, but it is much lower on the list of things that make you long-term happy than most would suppose.

And girls, be willing to forgive A LOT. Married life will be an exercise in this important attribute anyway. Decide what is important and throw out the rest.

Is there anybody single in the Denver area? I know a really cute, single guy out there. He has a fair amount of baggage but he is employed and very nice. I think the right girl could really turn him around. (It isn't a set-up, and I'm pretty sure he bats for our team, Chosha, so I'm just throwing him out there for any takers.)

N.F. said... [reply]

The suppression of the, "Feel free to treat me badly, mess with my head, and never, ever allow me to get over you" vibe which is emitted by many otherwise lovely and confident women.

Thank you, whether you knew it or not, for reminding me that I am a LOVELY and CONFIDENT woman. ;)

Anonymous said... [reply]

If women would start believing in themselves more often, as in ALL THE TIME. Not just when they have a boyfriend, or a spouse, or even a date. If they all knew their worth before all of those things, and found ways to be happy without those things, think how much better off they'd be while they were single, AND then in turn, they'd be happy if and when those things come... easier said than done? ABSOLUTLY

Anonymous said... [reply]

science teacher mommy, what if you're great friends but there's NO attraction at all? i know you're supposed to marry "your best friend" but what if you have absolutely no desire to even kiss that person?

i i eee said... [reply]

Physical attraction is important -however, I'm afraid that a lot of men have been trained to believe a certain formula equates attractiveness. It's kind of like how porn has misinformed men of what sex should be like.

This of course isn't always the case for all men, but I do think it goes back to the "league" thing. Some guys see Victoria Secret commercials, and seem to think that that is what they need to be fulfilled sexually. The thought of being with an average girl with cellulite and a crooked nose probably horrifies some men, because they've been trained to be attracted to models in push-up bras and thong underwear, with air-brushed thighs and plumped up lips.

Coming full circle to the first anonymous comment: I don't know exactly what you mean by women needing to "believe" in themselves, all the time...I'm supposing you're referring to our lack of self-esteem. It's true, we women are much too harsh on ourselves. But it's not easy "believing" when you haven't had date in five years. We shouldn't base our self-worth on the amount of attention we receive from men; however we're told from day one to base our lives around men, and if most men seem to ignore us, it's near impossible to not feel the sting of failure.

Jimmy said... [reply]

I think a big problem is the desire on the part of some to give in to the urge to mess with the love liveds of others. Those fix-ups, those questions (when are you going to find someone) really clutter things up and add pressure.

Some women need to lose the superiority complex when deep down they know they're no better than the men they choose to date. The laments of habitual loser-daters get tiresome after a while.

Oh and the the, "Feel free to treat me badly, mess with my head, and never, ever allow me to get over you" vibe which is emitted by many otherwise lovely and confident women..."

we have a t-shirt for them:

It's not easy to be a decent male of the species, either. Being left on the sidelines, watching women choose the Bad Boys, Handsome Losers, etc. can be a little discouraging, especially when the bough breaks, and they come looking to Decent Male for consolation.

In other words, it's a mess for everyone.

Saxon said... [reply]

It's not easy to be a decent male of the species, either. Being left on the sidelines, watching women choose the Bad Boys, Handsome Losers, etc. can be a little discouraging, especially when the bough breaks, and they come looking to Decent Male for consolation.

I can relate and totally agree

i i eee said... [reply]

I agree, Saxon and Jimmy. I have a friend that puts herself through the same crap over and over again, because she tries to date wannabe Abercrombie models. And they all end up treating her like dirt. (I think the latest is just gay, and using her as a beard, but don't tell her I said that.)

At the same time, my last relationship was with a supposed "Decent Male," and he was far from not having issues with commitment, marriage, the whole kit and kaboodle...amongst other things.

Science Teacher Mommy said... [reply]

A question first: Have you ever kissed that person you say you have no desire to kiss? You might be really surprised. The reason I say that is because I've learned that 90% of what makes sex wonderful is love. Love that is built from sacrifice, self-control, committment and yes, friendship.

The other 10% you figure out as you go.

No matter how attractive initially that person is, if you can't see yourself cuddling up to them to spend an hour or two talking after sex is over (or before it starts) then the act itself will get old REALLY FAST. This is something I think we get a little mixed up on in LDS circles because of the whole virginity thing. I think, at least subconsciously, it is easy to equate sex with marriage, especially at first, though sex is just a part of marriage--a beautiful expression of deep, heartfelt love, but only ONE expression of that love.

My first several months as a newly married was confusing and difficult: the physical relationship seemed to dominate and overpower the friendship and love we had built outside of the physical attraction. It was only when we settled into our life, adjusted to one another and sex wasn't a daily expectation/obligation, that we became really happily married.

I really agree with the false sense of female attractiveness lamented here. As in Nem's hilarious post about the kinky VS sleepover ad. Just because it isn't technically pornography doesn't mean that the video game, commercial and sitcom women don't distort reality badly for the rest of us.

And, girls, marriage and sex will do very little to change your self-esteem issues. I once knew a really fabulous woman--pretty, smart, great mom, talented, but in her mid-thirties with self-esteem as poor as many teenage girls. As I came to know her better, I think her number one problem was that from the age of 13, she either was going out with a boy, or had a steady boyfriend, or was waiting for a missionary, or was engaged, or had a husband. She had spent so little time getting to know herself over the years that she felt like she was without identity or worth. Very dangerous that.

I don't have any good answers for why it so many wonderful LDS women don't find Mr. Right or why that number seems to grow all the time. I don't know why so many good, righteous sisters in womn in my ward come to church by themselves even though many of them have been sealed in the temple. I don't know why some men can be so strong and good and committed and others just give up so early on the things that will make them truly great.

I told Plantboy the other day that we had better raise our boys to be good husbands, because there was no doubt in my mind they would have any number of fantastic young women to choose from. I just want them to be worthy of it.

i i eee said... [reply]

Great comment, sci teach mom.

I do have to say with the physical attraction though...sometimes it's not about the actual attraction, but it's about worrying what other people think.

Reminds of this short story I read once...can't remember what it's called, where a very beautiful man has a love affair with a very ugly woman...everything was great, except he didn't want to be seen with her. Thus, their relationship crumbled.

Jenny said... [reply]

I know physical attraction is important in a relationship. I could find statistics to back myself up but I don't feel like it. It may have varying levels of importance in different relationships, but I would never encourage someone to make out with or pursue a seriously relationship with someone they are unattracted to. I am saying this based off the degree I got and the countless hours of lectures I attended where the teachers taught this.

I don't think attraction really blossoms over time like many other important aspects of relationships do. Except in the case of arranged marriages and then in that case I hope it does.

I agree that over several months and years relationships change, but if attraction isn't there a relationship shouldn't be sought out. I would have been so insulted if my husband was not attracted to me when we were dating. It's not because I'm shallow, but because those feelings are important in starting and maintaining relationships.

Anonymous said... [reply]

What if it worked like those Garanimal clothes for little kids? Hey, you're a panda and I go with pandas, so let's get together!

kristen said... [reply]

How about if we just get some eligible bachelors in this state? Is it too much to ask for a guy with an education, spirituality, and a good head on his shoulders?

Mary said... [reply]

I've enjoyed the STM comments. I could have married my best friend, but thought I should wait for the "magic". In hindsight, I think I could have been just as happy with him as I have been with my husband. And yes, we have a good marriage. I do not believe in the one and only. And Miss Nem, have you thought of a change of scenery? Have you tried doing the asking like your 4 year old friend?

I wish I knew the answer. My daughter at BYUI is a fun and delightful human being, but rarely gets asked out on dates. She's only 20. I'm thankful she gets to leave the saturated Mormon culture of Utah and Idaho and remember what the real world is like during the summers. Otherwise I think she would go crazy.

Nemesis said... [reply]

Mary, my situation isn't so very bleak, actually. I've only been in L**** for a year, so I'm still getting to know people. And I've gone out on a lot of dates with really nice guys this past year--more than in some other years. It's more just the general singles scene that's messy, especially with my friends who fall into the "seem to only attract jerk men" category.

Have tried doing the asking before. It has never really worked for me, but that's not to say it never works out ever.

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