Dating as a Study

So, if you’ve been reading my blog over the last several posts you may have discovered something: I was dating someone and then I wasn’t.

I apologize beforehand if this post is a little scatter-brained, but sometimes that’s how the most profound things are manifested, in my case.

Dating in the Latter-day Saint culture is a “horse of a different color.” (Thank you Wizard of Oz) It’s true, sometimes dating is fun, sometimes it is appalling, frustrating, depressing (when there is a lack thereof), sometimes it is successful and sometimes it is not.  The reality is, sometimes relationships come from a series of dates, sometimes they don’t.  That reality is followed by, sometimes people break up. The thing we need to remember is (I learned this in my Strengthening Marriage and Family course – please don’t read to much into that admission….) that our divine worth is not based on what other people think of us.  We should be careful not to let the opinions of other people, or even the point of view of another person (particularly a date) define who we are or determine our worth.

Okay, so do you want to know the dating gossip in my life?  I have been asked out on dates by 7 Latter-day Saint males in my life. I have on the other hand been asked out by 10+ non- Latter-day Saint guys (And because I’m not prudish, hateful, snobby, or prejudiced – I went…). I have had my share of bad dates and my share of good dates.

Top 2 worst date experiences:

  1. Frist date at BYU, a Freshmen asked me out ( I was a JUNIOR – I transferred, don’t judge me.) and we went on a triple date to the Creamery with 2 couples from his ward. He worked at the Creamery and so used his discount and his meal plan to pay for our date (a whopping $4 – kudos Mr. Frugal). I felt like what chaperons must feel like at Stake dances. He also proceeded to follow me to work after class everyday like an unattractive puppy.  I’d say this is one of the funnier experiences….
  2. A date that ended with these words, “I better get going (it was only about 10pm) but before I go, I wanted to talk to you. I have really enjoyed getting to know you, but I’m not interested in dating you.” This was our first date. He’d been gone all summer, and had, prior to leaving for the summer, definitely initiated some cuddling and lingering, smoldering eye contact after doorstep hugs.

Top 2 Funny Experiences:

  1. On a first date, my date was pulled over going 80mph on the freeway. I told the officer I had been distracting him and gave him a charming smile. He complimented my nail polish, informed me that his daughter would love it and let us go with a warning. You’re welcome. If only I could get myself out of tickets when I’ve been pulled over.
  2. Uncooperative dress. I’m not sure I need to go into more details. Haha, basically I was fighting to stay modest while my dress fought to become a shirt. Super embarrassing. Super funny in hindsight. ‘Nuff said. (This became a funny little joke between me and the guy while we dated for a short period of time.)

I am going on my 3rd year at BYU. I have not had a boyfriend the entire time I’ve been here and have been on probably 3 handfuls of dates (yes, that’s somewhere around 15 maybe…possibly less). This last year has been particularly dry and unfruitful. I tend to find guys who have…. issues when it comes to dating, relationships, and their selves. Yes, issues is a word that will suffice. I’m not saying I’m perfect, I have been accused of being abrasive, hard to talk to, and perhaps condescending at times and of course I have a strong personality and a tendency to be rather sarcastic. So, yes I have my “bee-zy” moments, to quote a friend. In my defense, I tend to become very passionate about things. But that doesn’t mean that I allow those comments to define me or alter my true character. Instead, I think about these comments and wonder what I can do, to change those opinions or to stop them from forming in the future. Simple things like taking a deep breath, smiling and then giving someone my full, undivided, and cheerful attention. Taking the time to ask someone how they are doing and then actually listening to their answer. It’s amazing how much happier I am when I’m trying to let people see the person I want to be, rather than the person I may feel like being.

As a female Provite, it can be very frustrating to watch a nice guy go out with not-so-nice girls. And it is even more frustrating to watch extremely nice, wonderful girls sit at home (often with other nice wonderful girls) and not date, at all. I have friends, and have experienced myself, the relationships that fizzle out because there are certain “feelings” or “impressions” the other party feels. I have experienced the infamous DTR! I have experienced the 0 to practically-dating-in-1.5-weeks and also the practically-dating to not-dating-at-all-(ever)-in-2.5 hours.

The point is, dating is a part of an experience that we accept into our lives the moment you move into the Provo city limits. You are agreeing to weird dating situations, awkward door moments, uncomfortable pre and post relationship interaction, and to Bishops teasing you (out of love, duh) in order to encourage you to date or to get engaged (depending on the maturity of your relationship, of course.)  Sometimes, these experiences can cause problems and do become distractions, sometimes these experiences will make you happier than you ever imagined you could be or will be ever again. These experiences teach us to problem solve, communicate, compromise, serve, and love. These experiences prepare us to help others. These experiences allow us to become the people we need to be in order to accomplish our personal missions on earth.

There is a blog that focuses on dating experiences in the BYU area. These ladies and gentleman (recently added) vent, rant, explain, and discuss various aspects of dating in BYU and one particular blog resonated with me. It’s in response to the newly instated gentleman blogger and I think it presents a very good perspective on how to look at bad dating experiences. http://byudates.blogspot.com/2011/09/splendid-magic-date-ball.html

In case you were wondering, I may be dating someone now. It’s been rather fun and easy-going, and my last dating adventure has made me appreciate this new one.

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