Sunday, December 01, 2013

Relationships, or something like that.


As per custom, it is Sunday night, and I'm sitting around depressed thinking about men and relationships.
Here's a little scenario I've been mulling about in my mind-
A few weeks ago I had a strange experience. I went to a ward party where I was the invisible woman. I tried to talk to a few people, and spent a few minutes with one good guy friend. I noticed while he and I were standing up and talking that a line of girls formed up nearby. Nothing formal. Not a straight line. But little smatterings of girls here and there all watching us talk.
After a few minutes it hit me that they were all lining up politely, waiting for their chance to talk to this guy. He's one of the good ones- good job, good looking, good personality. I have no doubt that there are several girls with unrequited crushes on him.
I teased him about it, and he denied it. But it was obvious to me what was happening. The odds were about 8 girls to every guy. And that's just how it works- you have to "line up" or stand politely nearby and wait for a break in the conversation so you can jump in and talk to the good guys.
I left the ward party and went to the grocery store where I got hit on by 3 different men. One even offered to take my groceries to the car for me. A random guy just struck up a conversation with me about coconut shrimp.
It was a completely opposite experience from the one I had at the church party. I had gone from completely invisible and a total nobody, to guys making up pick up lines involving cereal boxes to talk to me.
Nothing about my personality, looks, outfit, demeanor, etc, had changed from the party to the grocery store. If anything I was grumpier at the store after the let-down of a ward party.
Today as I was looking around church, I had another one of those same experiences. After sacrament meeting was over I looked around for someone interesting to talk to. Yet again I spotted the huddles of women around the one sole good guy. I wanted to say hi to the same guy friend above, but there was a line of women nearby. I didn't bother to get in line. I was boring and went to class. I left church yet again having spoken only to one friend and feeling mostly invisible.
I got home from church and walked the dog. And immediately some guy walking to his car started chatting me up. Again I went from invisible to most popular with nothing more than a set change.
The longer I live, the more I think that the problem is that a Mormon guy meets a girl at church, and never has to worry that he might not see her again. He figures he can play it safe and interact with her at church a dozen times before "risking" picking her out of the pack for one-on-one time.
Whereas a guy in a store, on the street, or in a bar, he always thinks that he might not see the girl again. He's got to give her the full treatment and ask her out immediately, or it may never happen. It's the exact opposite of these Mormon guys who can literally stand in one place while the girls queue up for his attention. (Note: I know there is a guy just waiting to jump on this and complain that it doesn't happen to him like that. Let me add this disclaimer, I didn't say the guy likes the girls in his line. But that doesn't mean there isn't a line.)
So I'm me. You know I don't like to just sit and whine about it.
What can be done to help this situation? Is it just always going to be this way? Or is there something that can be done/taught to make it better or to change things? I'm lost.


I'll be really disappointed on my 40th birthday if my friends don't all give me cats.

9 comments:

  1. Anonymous5:29 AM

    Part of it may be due to the old adage about not pooping where you eat. If a guy at church asks you out and things do not go well there is going to be unavoidable drama and awkwardness with you and it could negatively impact his relationship with others in the ward as well.

    The guys in the grocery store aren't really risking much by hitting on you. Worse case scenario you go out and do not have a good time. They may be more reluctant to repeat the pick up lines they made in the cereal aisle in their office break room.

    As far as fixing things, if the guy/girl ratio is really 1 to 8 there isn't a whole lot to be fixed. Even if every guy at the party asked someone out this weekend, 7 out of 8 girls would be left at home watching netflix with a tub of ben and jerry's. Maybe you should give the grocery guys a try.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What is the point in being in a singles congregation if you aren't going to date within your congregation?

      Delete
    2. I'm with him Erin! Give those grocery guys a chance. You never know. Plus, if they are noticing your hair and other niceties, wouldn't you want to go out with them anyway?

      Delete
  2. Anonymous5:04 PM

    It must feel maddening to be surrounded by LDS people without getting to experience those basic niceties you described at the grocery store, parking lot, etc. That's not so much an observation about "men and relationships" as it is about the culture in your ward(s). I'm confused, though. Did those guys explicitly ask for your phone # or ask you out, or were they merely acknowledging your presence and being friendly? I ask because by your definition, I might be "hitting on" nearly everyone I encounter out in public....

    -Rachel

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There's a difference between friendly conversations over which produce looks best, and starting a conversation over a brand of cereal which leads to commenting on healthy hair, beauty, and marital status.
      You know when it's just friendly chatter and when it's chatter with intent.

      Delete
  3. Anonymous7:35 PM

    So, did any of them ask for your phone number or suggest you "run into each other" again?

    ReplyDelete
  4. Erin,

    Let's be honest, you don't need to change it, and it's not going to change either. I've had a dear friend of mine whom had to go outside the church to find a guy to care about her. Most guys in the singles ward bracket don't have to be too picky. Also, they're not competing with 96.4% percent of people in the world (actually let's bump that up to 99% for the good job, good looks stipulations)
    At times like this, I share the story of my Grandmother. She was strong in the church and married a man who wasn't a member. Now, him converting was not a stipulation of the relationship, and they were married for more than 50 wonderful years. So, take a page out of Grandma Veda's book.
    Let someone else appreciate you if the Wardies aren't doing it for ya.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Anonymous8:24 PM

    What party was this? Thanksgiving dinner? Cause if it was a party at least you went and people talked to you. We are in the same ward and I haven't talked to any member of the opposing gender for the past three weeks in church they aren't lining up for me but then I am not that strong in my looks or job or much of anything. Some of the guys do seem to have harems, I can agree with that.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Anonymous2:46 AM

    A sister from my ward asked me out after my divorce was final. We developed a relationship but w time and more dating I realized it was mot meant to be. We talked through it and she immediately started a campaign to blacklist me in our ward. As I shared this with a group of my single LDS buddies 5 out of 6 had had this same experience. This is not an isolated thing. We date to see if we are compatiable. A not compatiable is still an answer for mature people. Why do "some" sisters feel the need to drive a brother to inactivity if it doesnt work out? I will never date a woman from my ward again. I am currently seeing a wonderful charitable woman from another faith. My advice is go have shrimp Erin! Heavenly Father maybe sending some great guys your way.

    ReplyDelete

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