Close X

Why young LDS men are delaying marriage

April 15, 2011
source: Salt Lake Tribune

Photo from Salt Lake Tribune.

MR says: “Brethren, there is a point at which it’s time to think seriously about marriage and to seek a companion with whom you want to spend eternity.” ~President Monson

John Evans is in no hurry to get married.

The 25-year-old returned LDS missionary lives with his parents in east Salt Lake City. He works full time, pursuing classes at night for a degree in English (with minors in Spanish and business) at the University of Utah. With law school looming, he is building up his savings before courting seriously.

Evans goes on some dates, but they tend to be expensive — dinner and a movie, maybe — so he prefers developing friendships first. Sometimes he finds it easier just to hang out with the guys at his LDS fraternity. Sure, his dad got married at age 24, but what’s a couple of years’ difference?

“My dating pace is right for me,” Evans says. “I don’t feel stressed.”

That kind of modern nonchalance is what may be worrying LDS President Thomas S. Monson and other Mormon leaders, who addressed the issue head-on at last weekend’s General Conference.

“Brethren, there is a point at which it’s time to think seriously about marriage and to seek a companion with whom you want to spend eternity,” Monson said at Saturday night’s all-male priesthood meeting. “If you choose wisely and if you are committed to the success of your marriage, there is nothing in this life which will bring you greater happiness.”

Read the rest of this story at sltrib.com

FEATURED SPONSOR ForeverMints banner 2

Comments 50 comments

artvandalay said...

01:28 PM
on Apr 15, 2011

Report Abuse

I applaud these young men for not being pressured into getting married too early. I was married at 23 and my wife was 21. We both wish we would have waited longer. I personally think that it is irresponsible to urge people to get married before they're truly ready. There is nothing wrong with wanting to live a single life for a few years or more after college.

firebird said...

10:46 AM
on Apr 16, 2011

Report Abuse

Their is a time for waiting for marriage but at 29 of age and a single woman. It gets harder and hard to find a decent Mormon guy to marry. I just can't find a guy who wants to commit himself to marriage. As a single woman, you feel like you're looking through a window at everyone else who is married and you feel like you want a part of that but....what are you going to do when the guys around you want nothing to do with you? When I started school I decided to wait because I felt, young, immature and not ready. I can understand that idea. But now at age 29. The need for wanting, that equal balance to your life is missing. It's kind of a sad thing to be stuck in.

gaius_maximus said...

10:53 AM
on Apr 16, 2011

Report Abuse

Gee, Art! Are you a member? If so, why? You certainly shouldn't be because you clearly don't get it. It's certainly not the PROPHET's fault that you don't get it. Don't accuse him of irresponsibility, or your own regrets over whatever hardships you've had to face for sticking to the plan. Trust me on this: Whatever they were, they're nothing compared to what's coming next. So, either get on the bus or get off it. We've got ground to cover.

carson said...

11:24 AM
on Apr 16, 2011

Report Abuse

Gaius, I would say that the church has more problems with members like you than with art. Those are some very harsh words to be tossing around - questioning ones faith based on a single paragraph of text. I would say you ought to remove the beam from your eye before looking to remove it from others.

lindsay39 said...

11:36 AM
on Apr 16, 2011

Report Abuse

Geez, Gaius...Art was expressing his own experience. That makes his comment absolutely valid. Last time I looked, there was nothing in the church membership rules about checking your own thoughts at the door. Gaius, it's time that you read some of what Joseph Smith wrote about it being each member's responsibility (RESPONSIBILITY) to take the words of the leaders (including himself) and study them and decide if or if not EACH statement was true. And by the way, that was not rhetorical, because he (and Brigham Young) also commented on the fact that they were sometimes wrong. As it should be. They are people. Too many members forgetting that sage advice, too many leaders encouraging them to do it, too. Let's PLEASE leave the myth of infallibility to the Catholics, please. And well said, Carson.

clintonking said...

11:41 AM
on Apr 16, 2011

Report Abuse

I wish the article would have addressed what I believe is a significant reason why young men are apathetic toward marriage: pornography. The larger sexualized culture generally, and secret pornography addiction specificly are destroying the ability of the young men of this church to have healthy relationships.

acks said...

12:35 PM
on Apr 16, 2011

Report Abuse

As a 29 year old single lds guy (WITH OUT a porn addiction) one of a biggest concerns I have is trying to be prepared to provide for a wife and 5 to 10 kids, so many woman expect to stop working right after marriage regardless if they want to have kids right away or not. Getting married before your mature and ready is a very big problem in the lds culture, I currently live in orem, ut and and there are so many 24-25 year old ladies that are already divorced with kids because they got married so young. Is there really anything wrong with waiting to get married until you've had some life exsperence and figured out who you are? and dating longer then 3 months before you get engaged?

bek said...

01:14 PM
on Apr 16, 2011

Report Abuse

As a mother of young men attending BYU, I understand and agree with what the church leadership is saying. This is a general message to the men who are postponing marriage for mostly selfish reasons. Not all young men are like this. I'm wanting to defend the young men a little bit, since it's not entirely their fault. Many men want to be married, but are intimidated. In conversations with my sons and their friends, they would like a general message to go out to the women also, (understanding this is general and not all girls are this way either). I am also a mother to young women, and am making sure they understand their part in this. A message that would say that the drama, games and expectations that they put on the men push them away. My sons hear these independent young women who want expensive rings, have expecations of the perfect husband, and want to control the relationships on their own terms. In many situations, they feel like "they can't win." My sons hear girls in the library plotting on how to catch the cute guy walking by. They hate the games! Girls and guys, be honest if you like someone, tell them, and be mature enough to accept the outcome either good or bad! Being asked out on a date does not mean marriage. One of my sons hesitates to ask girls out because if the girl likes him, and the feelings aren't returned, major drama can come of it. We need honest open conversations. The drama and game playing is exhausting to the guys! They have a lot to worry about in planning for their future family. The game playing and drama doesn't help when they're trying to find someone. No one is perfect! There is no perfect spouse but there are many wonderful people out there! If there is someone you really enjoy being with...look into it further. Maybe they're not drop dead gorgeous, or what you thought you'd be looking for, Surprises happen! and remember to pray. The Lord knows you both better than you do! He will guide you!

audra said...

03:38 PM
on Apr 16, 2011

Report Abuse

Obviously everyone's situation is different, but as a whole the Prophet and his apostles are stating that this is a problem with MANY, many young men in the church. I know that IF YOU WERE LISTENING to them WITH THE SPIRIT, then the right answer for your life has/will be made known. Yes these young men have worries about providing, expectations about kids, working etc... from young women they date, BUT that should not replace the fact that the Prophet has given counsel. Have Faith, don't be intimidated & look to the future. Oh and FAITH WITHOUT WORKS is dead. Ya gotta try. And those needy/expectation girls...it just makes your choice in who to date that much easier-right?

esthrblu said...

04:35 PM
on Apr 16, 2011

Report Abuse

Bek hit the nail on the head. Our young men are finally standing up to the feminist *ME,ME,ME* attitude that has poisoned our young women and marriages in general. I commend young men for standing up and saying "I'm willing to provide the big ring, house and 10 kids--but I want the love and mutual respect that comes with it." That is not unrighteous dominion. That is saying "I'm tired of being just the paycheck the world says I am." What we are seeing is a mutiny.

esthrblu said...

04:43 PM
on Apr 16, 2011

Report Abuse

I would also add that the Prophet's message is for the WORLD--not just Utah, or even just America.

esthrblu said...

04:48 PM
on Apr 16, 2011

Report Abuse

The church has always said to date for two years. The "6 weeks to the Honeymoon" idea was OURS. The point is not to put off looking because of porn or material reasons.

johnrpack said...

05:28 PM
on Apr 16, 2011

Report Abuse

I think young men would be wise to date 1-2 times each week (though not necessarily the more serious dinner/movie/$50 affairs). Physical affection should be avoided until after one has identified a possible marriage partner -- because it clouds judgment. Rushing into marriage is foolish -- but so is postponing dating. I'd hate to see a 33-year-old decide he's finally ready and get married 6 months later. It takes 2-4 years of dating before one is smart enough to know he's found the right partner. Don't wait to start that process... I dated more than 220 young ladies before I found one who could be my eternal partner (and vice versa). You can't do that if you go steady too quickly or don't date because you're not ready just yet.

middleroader12 said...

06:54 PM
on Apr 16, 2011

Report Abuse

What a pity that many of these young men and women are prioritizing all the wrong things before marriage. A big ring? Useless. Waiting until your education is complete? Tragic. As a couple, you are both robbing yourselves of the opportunity to bond together through challenging times, to grow together and decide together what your life's path will be. My spouse and I married young. We were both 21. I thank the Lord every day that my pre-dating marriage expectations WERE NOT HOW MY LIFE TURNED OUT! My husband of 33 years and I together decided our life, our education, and although not all our wishes came true, I could never have imagined the wonderful life full of blessings that we now have. Most of the time the Lord knows better for you, if you have the right spirit and heart and don't compromise on the important things (temple marriage and stay out of debt) you'll be blessed far beyond your own ability to micromanage your future. It has worked for us and so far worked for our kids that have chosen that same path.

007rob said...

10:04 PM
on Apr 16, 2011

Report Abuse

I have a son who's 28 and not married. He has tried very hard. He's good looking, smart, spiritual and was a joy to raise. I think the problem nowadays is as much with the girls as it is with the guys. When someone likes someone they think, well maybe I can find someone better. Several girls late into the relationship told him they were waiting for a missionary. That is dirty if they don't tell him up front. I say to those girls, sometime in life they'll get back what they dish out. My respect for Utah Valley girls has gone way down since watching him date them. The best seem to be very naive and clickish. They'll get what they deserve.

jonathan said...

11:40 PM
on Apr 16, 2011

Report Abuse

I've never heard the church teach or counsel us to date two years before we marry. But Dr. Laura preaches this all the time.

gaius_maximus said...

01:54 AM
on Apr 17, 2011

Report Abuse

Save it for your kids, Carson! I know you'd say that. And that's the problem. And, Lindsay, I wouldn't lock horns with me on the scriptures if I were you. I'll rub your nose in them. And I said nothing about checking anything at the door except rebelliousness and criticism, which we are also explicitly commanded NOT to unleash on the leaders, especially the PROPHET. And what the prophet is addressing is very plain for all to see: These young men are worrying too much about being successful enough to afford marriage on their terms, and then losing sight of the reason for that success. They also all want to marry Miss Idaho, or some other beauty queen, while there are plenty of other young women, like my daughter, who'd make more worthy wives with much lower expectations. Listen closely to the stories the leaders are telling of the sacrifices being made be members in other lands to get to the temple to be sealed, which, of course, also implied that they have something to seal. They are condemning us for our worldliness. We are practically surrounded by temples, but too many want the things of the world before they're willing to put the temples to the use they are most meant for. In the mean-time, the humble and poor are managing to obey the commandments that the wealthy and blessed can't seem to find the time and money to. Remember, contrary to the vain babbling of the bobbleheads in sacrament meeting and gospel doctrine class, the parable of the talents has utterly NOTHING at all to do with piano playing, singing or any other skill at putting one's self at the front and center of attention. It is, as Joseph Smith said, only about wives and children, or, more specifically, polygamy. The purpose of life is life, reproduction, specifically authorized, sanctioned reproduction. If you're DELIBERATELY postponing it to get a degree, you're only proving what you're really made of, and that is very plainly inferior stuff. My wife was waiting for us out in the parking lot while that message was being delivered. She saw around a dozen men walk out of the meeting, get in their cars, and leave. We thank thee, oh God, for a prophet... as long as he says what we want him to. Too many take solace in the promise that God will never allow the prophet to lead the church astray. But when has this ever happened? Never! And, yet, the church has always gone astray, and, with members like you openly rejecting the words of the very prophet you would feign claim could never lead the church astray, it is clearly going astray again. No prophet has ever lead the church astray. It has always been, and will always be the members themselves who lead the church astray. But, you may say, we've been told that the church will never be taken from the earth again. I agree. It won't. There's no reason the church can't continue to remain on the earth in spite of the tares outnumbering the wheat. Or, you may say, we have seen the church change much already, and we may very well see still greater changes, including this issue. Again, I agree, but I refer you to the scripture which says that the Lord will give you the desires of your hearts, even unto your own destruction. And too many of you are destroying His church from the inside out, and, in the process, only digging your graves with your own hands and mouths. Stop! Now! Repent! Humble yourselves before the Lord has to let you be humbled by the consequences of your folly. Otherwise, you will see the blessing your ancestors struggled so hard to give you pass to the more humble and more worthy.

qkdebcn said...

10:05 AM
on Apr 17, 2011

Report Abuse

I have read the above comments and I agree with all of them. I do however think it's much harder for the youth generation than it was when I got married at 20. I loved it and I would do it all over again. However if I were to try to do it nowadays the same way I did it (study and have kids), it would be 10 times harder! The cost of university has gone viral. What I paid for two degrees is now the cost for one year in university. But on the other side minimum wages have not grown to keep up with the cost of living. The cost of living has more than doubled just like minimum salaries ... but there lays the problem. People in minimum wages (like students often are) have LOST a lot of buying power. To marry and build your life together was a fissionable plan 25 years ago. Now is a sure road to hardship. And in a word where our youth have grown up with only glimpses of real hardship on TV and in far away lands, when difficulty comes their way they are ill equipped to deal with it. For these reason I believe such young marriages either never start or succumb for lack of hardship-fighting skills. Our youth is scared ... and they should be. These are not the same times we had 20 years ago. But have the parents prepared their children for hardship? As a high school teacher I have to tell you that I see plenty of parents working long hours to give their kids everything, and I mean everything. Yet these kids do little to earn it. Then when they grow up these parents want them to face hardship and embrace it. How? They never learnt how to. It's always been "easy" and they want to keep it that way. Why would any young man or woman be willing to walk into a less-easier life path, ill equipped with the live skills to make it through the rough patches? It's "suicide" and they know it. So they are staying clear. And maybe they should until they are mature enough to handle it.

trurobb said...

12:45 PM
on Apr 17, 2011

Report Abuse

I am 50 years old and I am more inclined to agree with Bek. There are certain expectations that many have about relationships that make it almost impossible to have a healthy relationship. The same things Bek mentions are some of the things that drove my 23 year old son from the church. I live in Georgia now and he has remained in Provo. We talk on the phone often and he tells me about the difficulty of finding a woman that simply likes him. Many of the woman decide they don't like before they ever really get to know him. He seems to feel like they all want blonde, blue eyed, missionaries who attend BYU, have perfect grades, going to medical school or law school, read the scripture morning, noon and night, go to meeting every Wednesday and twice on Sunday, owns only white shirts, yadada yadada... You get where I'm going with this. Totally unrealistic, insurmountable expectations. That is before we get into the trust factor because he too feels that there's a lot of gaming going on out there. I read an article about a friend who lives in Salt Lake. The article was written some time back, but it talked about how there are so many members who have a difficult time finding a spouse. At the time of the article she was in her mid thirties. She is now in her forties, and while I have been married twice (once before I joined the church), she still has never married. And, I must say is very disillusioned, frustrated and hurt. It seems that part of her disillusionment comes from the fact that her mother is white and her father is black. I mention this only in the light that for many this doesn't fit into the perception of the perfect LDS family. I'm not sure how I would categorize it - men trying to attain a fairy tale life or women trying to attain a romantic improbability. All I know is more and more of our LDS children are missing blessing because they seemed to have gotten more and more wrapped up in earthly possessions. Keeping in mind those earthly things can be the desire for the "perfect" LDS boy or girl. And many of us would never ever fit that perception.

why said...

12:45 PM
on Apr 17, 2011

Report Abuse

With My first Daughter at BYU-I I am suppressed at how little dating goes on. Their Bishop had a priesthood meeting telling the men they needed to date, and a RS meeting telling the women to accept and be polite, and it still did not change anything. The bonds these young make through difficult times, will bond them together. It is easy when things are good. They need to struggle and build together, It was/is not easy for my wife and I, but I would not trade those days for anything. The world is too electronic, and too instant. I do not think wither side has been taught what it means to talk to someone, not text etc. and to have to wait, and work for something of value. And do they see where the true value is?

prf45 said...

05:10 AM
on Apr 18, 2011

Report Abuse

Marrying the right person is more important than marrying by a certain age. And the foundation for a good marriage consists of two people who are truly ready to take that step. Simply put, good marriages- and bad marriages- can happen at any age. You have to know yourself, and you have to make the right decision. What someone else thinks is irrelevant.

artvandalay said...

12:04 PM
on Apr 18, 2011

Report Abuse

gaius, I cannot tell if you're post is a joke or not. If not, then I am really saddened at the pious judgement you're throwing around. I don't want to "lock horns" with you on the scriptures since you made it clear that any attempt would be futile. I don't think that there is any problem with me having my own opinion and still practice my religion. What is wrong with saying that somebody shouldn't get married before they're ready? I think marriage is important, but I think there is unwanted pressures being placed on our youth and some of them are getting married just because they're feeling that is what is right and may have not spent enough time to find some red flags. So please excuse me for thinking that perhaps the brethren are a little off the mark on this one. This added pressure may be good for some, but I think that it may have some serious damaging effect for others. That is just my opinion, and I will be sure to make sure my children understand that they should only get married when they're ready. As to your question about the prophets never leading us astray. I can assure you that they would be the first to admit that bad advice has been given in conference in the past. These are men after all.

klr56 said...

04:16 PM
on Apr 19, 2011

Report Abuse

To prf45 "Marrying the right person is more important than marrying by a certain age" I would disagree with that statement mainly because I believe that you should be able to marry just about anyone with the same goals that you have and make a very good marriage. It's more important to BE THE RIGHT PERSON in a marriage. I have been married to a wonderful man for over 30 years, and we have several wonderful children (none were perfect) and we've been through good times and bad (having buried some of those children) and I am grateful that my husband keeps his covenants faithfully. We have the same goals. That's what counts.

klr56 said...

04:17 PM
on Apr 19, 2011

Report Abuse

To artvandalay - As I've always told my children _"If you wait until you're ready to marry, you never will."

ammon said...

11:27 PM
on Apr 21, 2011

Report Abuse

I think what the Lord is saying is that the primary of FOCUS of the young adults should be an eternal marriage, not school or fun or anything else. Of course those things are all okay, but they should never replace what life truly is about, and that is family. Young adults are becoming increasingly casual to making and keeping commitments as the world increases in having selfish "one-night-stand" relationships where the two are completely not committed to one another nor respectful. So I do not believe that our leaders are trying to pressure us young adults, rather they are REMINDING us to hold to the rod and follow what the Lord commands.

ammon said...

11:45 PM
on Apr 21, 2011

Report Abuse

O course after reading a few other comments I would also like to add as a 21 year old young adult myself that I do not feel pressured into getting married. I mean, that is all about I keep hearing in conference, at church, in my classes as BYU-Idaho. But I know, as some of you well put it, I have to be ready. Of course ready is a broad word to use. When is one ready? No one is truly READY for marriage, only committed to beginning one and making it work out. As ALL of our covenants have so directed and pointed to us, we are ready when we are WILLING and in so implying that we are willing to make and keep sacred covenants with the Lord. At one point or another that leap of faith is needed to be taken. You guys are right, it is amazingly discouraging nowadays for young adults to court and marry. But the simple fact of the matter is that it is what needs to be done and in implication it needs to be our highest priority. Life without family and experience with them is not a life at all. This is our Father's Plan. Please respect each other's comments and opinions. We are all given that agency and should allow others to do so without reacting irrationally. Thank you! :)

wahlymom said...

08:25 AM
on Apr 25, 2011

Report Abuse

I have 2 "children" of marriagable age. I am torn from wanting to protect them from getting hurt and wanting them to find happiness with an eternal companion. Many young people now days do favor the more casual "hanging out" to formal dating. This is what the Brotheren were counsiling against. They didn't say that you should marry at 21 or anything of the sort, just that you should keep yourself open to the possibilities even if you don't feel "ready". No one is EVER "ready". There is a good reason that the physical urges are so strong when you finally find that special person. They help us overcome the fears and doubts. When I met my husband of 23 years I only agreeded to go out because I was too polite to say no. It was a "pity date". After the second date I was breathless and disappointed to be home at 10:30. I literally chased him down for our 3rd date. We need to encourage our young people to date a variety of people and help them listen to the spirit for promptings. This will lead them to marriage at the "right time" whether that is 19 (like I did), 27 or 34. My mother-in-law saw that my husband was a bit "twiterpaited" after our 2nd date, so she set him down and had a conversation. She counseled him to listen to the spirit and pray for guidance AND to not ignore his feelings because he had a "plan" that didn't include marriage for several more years. Good advice, it made him stop and think and 23 years later I am grateful.

littlekahuna said...

01:32 PM
on Apr 28, 2011

Report Abuse

Thanks, BEK! A wise mother and wise woman. My daughter works as a pediatric nurse and she's beautiful,intelligent, and kind and loves to laugh. But, she's finding that dating is not easy in the twenty-something world! She broke off a "bad" engagement with a young man who was not all he professed to be. (Sadly a manipulative lier). She did so with grace and courage and we were really proud of her. She also believes in being straightforward and having honest communication and doesn't believe in playing games. She's not a drama queen, or as I used to tell my girls as they were growing up..."No Miss Snootytoots around here!" So, here's this lovely girl trying to make it on her own, keeping busy with activities and working on her many talents and who would love to be married, but finds that most guys already have a stereotyped image of what kind of girl they want. Or, when they meet a girl they try and change who she is to fit the image. Several of my daughter's friends are having the same problem---all educated and attractive, but short on the dating offers. They all say that the guys seem to have that stereotyped image of what kind of woman they want and usually she has to be a size 4. I suspect that some readers are thinking 'Aha! Her daughter is a sweet spirit, but hits the Twinkies too much.' Sorry to disappoint, but that's not the case. :) So, young men and young women, I would advise you to approach others with an open mind and a welcoming heart---don't let the good ones pass you by because you have a preconceived image! P.S. I can't resist the opportunity to add this: What's with the guy at Church who made a comment to my daughter about 'finally showing up'. She often works the night shift, gets home at 6:00 a.m. and still goes to at least sacrament meeting. Staying awake is not an easy task after you've been saving children all night. :)

stheresa said...

04:11 PM
on Apr 28, 2011

Report Abuse

Your forgetting the big picture , all this selfish talk is making my stomach turn. there was a couple who waited until just the right time to get married. then they waited until just the right time to have children. well the children never came .They waited so long they went to another home. This is a true story. There are spirit children waiting to come down just for you to be there parents. I had 4 mentally disabled children,and have no doubt that they had picked me to be their mom, because they knew I would have patients, and love and teach them the Gospel no matter how hard, and its been hard, but I wouldnt of changed it for any thing.They picked me and I picked them, and I haven't let them down.

davidg9035 said...

01:30 AM
on May 06, 2011

Report Abuse

I have a little bit of different perspective on this issue that stems from my personal experience as a convert to the Church. I grew up in Indiana, far from the center of LDS culture. I became a touring musician in the mid 70's right out of high school with all of its attendant non-LDS-like behavior. Six months after my 20th birthday, I joined the Church - a complete turnaround in my spiritual life and my comportment. 18 months later, on my 22nd birthday, I left on a mission for Brazil. Two years after that, I returned to the US and spent the following four years at BYU...and what a culture shock it was - much worse than what I had endured with living for two years in a different country and speaking a different language. The contrast in attitudes between young LDS women at the time and my previous non-LDS girlfriends was just staggering. My observations: 1) LDS women were significantly more materialistic. 2) A "pioneer bloodline" was always looked upon with greater favor than those of us from "gentile" backgrounds. 3) I found it nearly impossible to simply go on a casual first "date" an LDS woman without a debilitating specter of concern on the woman's part over whether or not I was going to be her "eternal companion". You can only imagine how fun those dates were. Now I'm the father of five sons, the first three of which are all old enough to have served successful missions. They remain active in Church. But hearing their experiences with dating leads me to believe that little has changed from the time I attended BYU. In fact, I believe it has gotten worse. While I am sure there are many factors involved in this cultural phenomenon, including recent economic ones, it is clear to me that in many cases we are not teaching our young women to trust their hearts and the Gift of the Holy Ghost with which they have been blessed to look at a young man's heart, rather than his pocketbook. I don't wish to generalize. I have no doubt that there are many wonderful young women in the Church who do not fall into this trap. But my observation, both in the world and in the Church, is that our young men do their best to become what our young women expect them to be. If those expectations include wealth, prestige and a last name that matches a current apostle, our young men will naturally do all they can to oblige - and delay marriage in the process. I have also observed what others here have mentioned - a desire on the part of both young men and young women to marry the "picture-perfect" spouse. Our collective and incessant focus on perfection has become a destroyer of marriages within the Church and has been undermining the natural development of healthy relationships between young men and young women in the Church for decades. I hope for their sakes, it will stop.

davidg9035 said...

01:35 AM
on May 06, 2011

Report Abuse

I have a little bit of different perspective on this issue that stems from my personal experience as a convert to the Church. I grew up in Indiana, far from the center of LDS culture. I became a touring musician in the mid 70's right out of high school with all of its attendant non-LDS-like behavior. Six months after my 20th birthday, I joined the Church - a complete turnaround in my spiritual life and my comportment. 18 months later, on my 22nd birthday, I left on a mission for Brazil. Two years after that, I returned to the US and spent the following four years at BYU...and what a culture shock it was - much worse than what I had endured with living for two years in a different country and speaking a different language. The contrast in attitudes between young LDS women at the time and my previous non-LDS girlfriends was just staggering. My observations: 1) LDS women were significantly more materialistic. 2) A "pioneer bloodline" was always looked upon with greater favor than those of us from "gentile" backgrounds. 3) I found it nearly impossible to simply go on a casual first "date" an LDS woman without a debilitating specter of concern on the woman's part over whether or not I was going to be her "eternal companion". You can only imagine how fun those dates were. Now I'm the father of five sons, the first three of which are all old enough to have served successful missions. They remain active in Church. But hearing their experiences with dating leads me to believe that little has changed from the time I attended BYU. In fact, I believe it has gotten worse. While I am sure there are many factors involved in this cultural phenomenon, including recent economic ones, it is clear to me that in many cases we are not teaching our young women to trust their hearts and the Gift of the Holy Ghost with which they have been blessed to look at a young man's heart, rather than his pocketbook. I don't wish to generalize. I have no doubt that there are many wonderful young women in the Church who do not fall into this trap. But my observation, both in the world and in the Church, is that our young men do their best to become what our young women expect them to be. If those expectations include wealth, prestige and a last name that matches a current apostle, our young men will naturally do all they can to oblige - and delay marriage in the process. I have also observed what others here have mentioned - a desire on the part of both young men and young women to marry the "picture-perfect" spouse. Our collective and incessant focus on perfection has become a destroyer of marriages within the Church and has been undermining the natural development of healthy relationships between young men and young women in the Church for decades. I hope for their sakes, it will stop.

missstephanie32 said...

07:14 PM
on May 11, 2011

Report Abuse

SERIOUSLY!!!! This article is addressed to the WRONG age group of men!!! There nothing wrong i think waiting till your ready in your mid 20's or late 20's! This article needs to be addressed about the men who are 30 adn over who have never been married and cant seem to make a dame choice!!! And or grow up! I have had many heart breaking siuations where older lds men are not interested in marriage or even dating. they one just want a hook up and or they just want to play around and be single !

missstephanie32 said...

07:54 PM
on May 11, 2011

Report Abuse

middleroader12 , wahlymom, 007rob,prf45,klr56, all your comment wow!!! Very true and powerful! i agree with all you said and To klr56-your comment of As I've always told my children _"If you wait until you're ready to marry, you never will." is sooo true!!! I am on and off lds singles sites and I have come acrosed a few lds men who are now 40 and over nad never been married. stheresa what you said is simular to what klr56 said! The really sad part is here that no matter what most men and women are going to do what they want. I see even my guy friends say they don't care still what the leaders say and that they think their circumstance is different. I also think women need to not expect so much from men all at once with material things!

hrwoman said...

02:32 PM
on Jun 08, 2011

Report Abuse

bek, I totally agree with you. Listen to the Prophet. One will know when the right time, right place, right person is by following the Spirit and working it out with much prayer and fasting. The opportunity will come with much patience. "After much tribulation cometh the blessings." (Doctrine and Covenants).

motherof3 said...

11:07 AM
on Jul 21, 2011

Report Abuse

my only son is giving up on the girls at byui. most of the girls in his ward seem to be seeking mr perfection...he isn't there girls...and YOU are not perfect ! so the young men are giving up because the girls are wanting to much out of their date. the young men are being chewed on for not marrying...well the girls need to realize that they need to seek what our Heavenly Father see's in his mighty sons not what the world says is necessary. yes, there are some young men putting off marriage because they are selfish also. so girls stop your 'oo he must be wealthy, handsome, going to have high paying job, popular, mr athlete, mr ooo aww he isn't there. so if you were so perfect...wait wait is that why you are not dating ? no one fits your list. yes, i have met many of the girls whom do this. i am sad to see them choose the world choices. my son's list is..is she honorable, does she live as a daughter of God, does she focus on eternal joy and temple blessings, does she see me for whom my Heavenly Father see's now and is attainable, does she want to have fun, focus's on simple fun that doesn't cost a wallet full of money, wants to focus on eternity and a loving family.... so as you see my son is trying.

vio said...

02:43 PM
on Jul 21, 2011

Report Abuse

life is definately something we have to live in faith. in everything we gain for strong testimonies, so we faithully have to do so in the most serious subject our eternal partner and partnership including our future children. even when we fail in a marrige, we will know that there is a plan of salvation very personally prepared and carefully in our eternal father hands. young men should be prepared in loving and caring, in daily responsibilities and even developing talents and opinions, spirituell experiences while growing in their priesthood. a humble young man will be prepared for an eternal love when he is aware of himself as a son of god. we have etarnal truth, the lack is in a parents home when we as parents do not preparing our sons and daughters with the principles of truth.even here in europe education and not games, more time of good books and music, more experieneces in voluntariy work worldwide if possible or more like HIM, developes deep feelings to find the enternal promise, partner so that the perfection of man starts right on godly roots through tempeldoors. Not sozialising with mormons thoughts but with eternal truths, starts at home and in our hearts, guide young men and women to their eternal companion. True worship is a family affair!(Bruce R. Mcconkie)

mollyelisabeth said...

12:05 PM
on Aug 10, 2011

Report Abuse

I am a 24 year old YSA, and I feel like the men alone can't be blamed. We were all raised in the same generation, in the same culture, whatever new phenomena that affects the men, certainly must affect the women as well. I think that both sides are guilty of judging someone before they truly get to know them. We've all spent our entire lives imagining and dreaming of the day we would meet 'the one' ... I think it's all too easy for everyone else around us to fall below the mark when it's an impossible standard that we've created as our measuring stick. Having said that though, I went to college in a heavily LDS area, expecting the fun dating stories that my mom told me about from her college years ... and then graduated having gone on maybe only five dates the entire experience. My only consolation was that I was far from alone in that regard. While there were a handful of girls who were asked out multiple times a week, most of us felt lucky if we'd been asked on one date in any given year, that's sad. After college I moved to an area where I was the only YSA. Many people were concerned that I was removing myself from the dating scene, but seeing as how I had had such little success in college with dating ... I felt like, realistically I wasn't going to be missing much, I didn't date in college, and I wasn't going to be in this area either, there wouldn't be any kind of change. But there was a change. I moved, and all of a sudden I was seen as attractive, datable even ... and men were asking me out! I couldn't believe it. I had spent my entire college career believing that I was unwanted by men, and accepting that as simply my lot in life, and here were men (not hoards) but certainly more than when I school, interested and asking. LDS men are wonderful, wonderful, wonderful ... and I have tried to understand why there has been such a difference. And I think a large part of it has to do with dream vs. reality. The men who are interested in me, have said that they're interested because they think I'm cute, or funny, or whatever ... but they don't have this specific image of what they want like so many of us single LDS folk do. They realize that there's something about me they like, and they want to get to know me better ... no agenda, no ignoring me because I don't fit an image they've been creating their entire lives ... because they don't really have one. So, I've tried my best to put away any 'image' I've had ... and instead, just be open and ready for whichever awesome LDS guy I end falling in love with.

puppyjar said...

11:58 AM
on Aug 31, 2011

Report Abuse

Wow why would anyone post their feeling on here? There are really some mean and judgmental people.

kimyushin said...

09:05 PM
on Aug 31, 2011

Report Abuse

i got married at age 28 and now all i wish is that i got married so soon. by the way i would like to share my feeling regarding SA the stressful life of my life is when i was a single adult.. and the happiest moment is when i see my children growing,, i thought my 2 yrs mission is the very best of my life (well it is my best 2 yrs since i haven't got to married) but i guess there are thousand reasons why married after it..my principle to have healthy family.,, first faith in the plan have faith to heavenly fathers plan and Jesus Christ second you have to work and you are committed to work just to have sufficient to your need third pay your tithing that the windows of heaven smile upon you and your family,. last and most important you love your wife or husband that you are going to be married.. with love and respect makes you and your family looks perfect in all sense...

sciencestar said...

05:59 AM
on Sep 04, 2011

Report Abuse

A few years ago the the Los Angeles Temple president said, "if a woman is 40 years old and still single it's because she hasn't been asked. But if a man is 40 and still single, it's because there's something wrong with him." that quote made everyone laugh, but there us some truth to that, but on both sides. Too many times women get caught up on details of the guy instead of seeing his great heart or spirit, his compassion, etc. The same goes for the guys, they look for the slim, blonde girl and look past the girl who might not catch a second look, and not give her a chance. When folks stop acting so selfish, maybe the leaders of the church won't have to keep telling us the same things over and over again. The grass isn't greener on the other side, it's dead.

prob said...

04:10 PM
on Sep 14, 2011

Report Abuse

My situation might be, or not, different from most of the people posting here. I was inactive 22 year old in the church. I was also not interested in a relationship at the time, because of being burned in the past. I never went on a mission, which I do and don't regret. I smoked and drank, but I still believed in the church. My friend met a woman online and was scared to meet her alone. So, I went with him to meet her at her place. When she arrived, I remember her getting out of the car and it was like slow motion. She had the most beautiful smile and long, curly brown hair (3 months went by and little did I know that she was an actual natural blonde). We had pizza and eggnog that was diluted with Dr. Pepper (it's really good). She and I talked for six hours, while my friend didn't say a word. My friend and I left that night. I asked my friend why he didn't say anything that night? He doesn't know. She and I were really good friends for about a month (but secretly we had a crush on each other). We started dating and later on, eloped and worked hard together to become active in the church again. Two years later, we got sealed together, including our oldest daughter and now we have been married for over 11 years and have 3 wonderful daughters. The reason why I am still with my wife is that I didn't go in expecting her to have a "Supermodel" body, even though, to me, I think she's hot! I love her, because she makes me laugh and drives me nuts. We work well together. Without her, I don't know how I can survive! I need her as much as she needs me! We make choices together, because we communicate! We've had our up's and down's, but who doesn't? Marriage is work! I am glad that she came into my life unexpectedly. People say that they shouldn't change for someone. I believe that to be true. But I also believe that when you love someone, you change for the better and vice versa! I have no regrets how my life has turned out! I know that this might sound corny, but when my wife returns home from work, she's still as beautiful as the first time I met her! I can't wait for what the next 11 years and on brings us! Now, as for these single adults, who are going off to college or whatever they are doing. It is okay to have expectation, but they have to be the RIGHT expectations. Each of these couple, when going on a date need to ask what they want in life, instead of thinking all about all this superficial garbage. Pray, going with what the spirit prompts you to do, instead of expecting that this guy or girl is looking for the "Perfect" person. No one is perfect. But I also believe that the first date should determine if he/she isn't respecting you, that should be a red flag! I think that they should have an LDS dating/pre-marriage seminars that talk about these issues at BYU and other colleges. I think it would help.

anothermom said...

04:20 PM
on Oct 04, 2011

Report Abuse

My husband and I were married when I was 28. After almost a decade in singles' wards I had pretty much seen it all. One of the big problems I kept seeing were the "lists" that so many people had. Obviously there are a few reasonable criteria to keep in mind when searching for a mate, most importantly looking for someone who is temple-worthy since we have been commanded to marry in the temple. I feel that insisting on someone who respects you and is willing to communicate and work together are also reasonable. These were never the must-haves that I ever heard of being on someone's list though. He has to be taller than I am (I have more than one friend on the tall side who is still single into her 30's because of this requirement), she has to be blonde, she/he has to be in really good shape, she/he has to be at least this old and no older than this, etc, etc and more than one of these lists were actually written out and consulted before even considering dating someone. It's incredibly sad to see people rejecting potential eternal companions off-hand on the basis of things that are merely a part of this life and which will be meaningless or non-existent in the eternities. I was told more than once that in many circles I was not dateable as a sister who had served a mission. I was blessed with the opportunity to become close friends with a brother in my ward, who was four years younger than I (we met shortly after his mission while I was in grad school). After almost 2 years of friendship our relationship unexpectedly became romantic and eventually led to our getting married. I fell in love with my best friend, someone I wouldn't have automatically looked to date, especially since some of his dates were a year or less out of high school while I was getting ready for a ten year reunion. I am eternally grateful for the opportunity we had to get to know each other as friends, it has definitely given us a head start in communicating in marriage. Sometimes the perfect opportunity for marriage doesn't fit into our picture of the future. We need to be emphasizing the eternal issues, not the temporal ones. It breaks my heart to see friends praying for an opportunity to get married while they refuse to consider anyone who doesn't fit into their perfect mold. At the same time I know others who are giving up and settling for relationships with people who can't take them to the temple because they are tired of being lonely. I agree with a comment made above that no one is ever truly ready to get married, but you do have to be ready to work together and truly commit to your marriage.

anothermom said...

04:24 PM
on Oct 04, 2011

Report Abuse

To prob, the Courtship and Marriage course is offered through most if not all LDS Institutes and it does talk about the issues you presented.

karenchallis said...

04:17 PM
on Apr 14, 2012

Report Abuse

As a result of lds men procrastinating marriage some lds women are settling for non lds husbands.

osmfmly said...

12:37 PM
on Jun 06, 2012

Report Abuse

I find just as much stress falls on the shoulders of young men and women who choose to marry at a relatively young age. It never fails that someone graciously tries to talk them out of it, or points out the flaws of an intended. I married at 19. If I had it to do over again, with the same man--I would do it sooner!!

px4storm said...

04:06 PM
on Jun 27, 2012

Report Abuse

I realize I am late to this discussion. The Prophet said, “Brethren, there is a point at which it’s time to think seriously about marriage and to seek a companion with whom you want to spend eternity.” Notice he said the men need to find somebody with whom they want to spend eternity. The ladies need to help with providing the incentives to the men. Many of these comments have talked about the characteristics of the Daughters of Zion (2 Nephi 13). Who would want to be with somebody like that for eternity? I am not saying all women are bad, but the number of good to bad is not heading in the right direction.

bridget said...

12:41 PM
on Oct 25, 2012

Report Abuse

It's typical of some Mormon men to have their pick of the cream of the crop of the Lord's daughters and still balk at commitment. In short, Mormon women are probably the most chaste you can find, and yet Mormon men can't be satisfied with them. These guys usually expect far more than they could ever deserve. They date and date and yet no one is good enough for them. A righteous man is not like that. He will ask the Lord to direct him, and he, like Isaac and Jacob, will be happy with the Lord's selection.

vanessa1979x said...

07:56 PM
on Jun 07, 2013

Report Abuse

There is something you don't get, a pschologist mentiong to me that one of the biggest problems we are havent in usa is that men are immature, they are about 5-8 years behind. so basically if you 30 yrs you think like a 25-22 year old. The reason why is because we live in a lay-back enviorment. Men in other countries mature faster because life challenges are harder. And yes lds return missionaries mature more because they had gone on missions, but not by much. Now marriage is what you make of it! it has its challenges. But you got to be HUMBLE in order to work. My personal opinion waiting 2-3 yrs until children comes is not a bad idea. Because a couple got to know each well and enjoy themselves before a family comes. I do strongly believe some people are meant to be marry before others. That's why you fast and pray to your heavenly father if u should be marry at certain time, or with such person. He is the one with answers.

al2265 said...

03:54 PM
on Jun 27, 2013

Report Abuse

When I returned from my mission I was prepared and excited to marry my financee.We dated a couple of months after my mission then she told me flat out that she was calling off the wedding because I didn't have anything financially and never would.I returned to the singles ward and was treated like a leper because I didn't have any money no car and was beginning a career.The young women all basically told me that I wasn't a good prospect because I had no money.I met my wife at a church dance and she is five years younger than I am but she was interested in me for me not what I had or didn't have. That was twenty six years ago.We have two wonderful daughters and still struggle financially but we do it together with the Lords help.I worry for today's generation that doesn't want to get married due to finances.If they trust in the prophet and in the Lord more importantly they can make it.I have two wonderful nepfews one a returned missionary that don't want to get married due to the cost.I wont interfere and tell them what they should do but it is a great concern to me for their eternal welfare when the Lord ask them why they waited for a nessacery eternal principal in their lives

judes said...

06:59 AM
on Jul 06, 2013

Report Abuse

I believe there is a need for pre-marital counselling. We are told to be chaste and virtuous (good) and then we marry, we then can do all the things we were told not to do previously. Huge disconnect! And lots of problems ensue especially with sexual intimacy. One Young Women's teacher told her "girls" when they were visiting RS that hips are only used for bearing babies!!! Women have to learn to own their own sexuality (and that doesn't have much to do with sex); it has everything to do with how a woman feels about herself, her body and her ability to relate to her partner emotionally, sexually, etc. We need to talk more about intimacy, what that means and what it looks like in a marriage. Emotional intimacy, spiritual intimacy and some physical intimacy needs to be explored BEFORE the wedding night. When a woman and a man feel emotionally safe with each other and have talked about intimacy in a sacred, trusting way, becoming one in the flesh isn't a problem....However, there are too many marriages where the adults who teach young people don't have this worked out in their own marriages. How can they then prepare their children? We need to discuss these issues, folks, instead of shoving them under the carpet, hoping all will be well. There are too many marriages that break up because emotional and sexual intimacy don't exist in the marriage.
Leave a Comment
Login to leave a comment.