Relationship Coach’s thoughts on challenges facing LDS Midsingles

On this past Sunday’s episode (February 3, 2013) of Mormon Times TV, Relationship Coach Matt Townsend shares the struggles fellow LDS 30-something Midsingles face.

Any thoughts on his advice?


15 thoughts on “Relationship Coach’s thoughts on challenges facing LDS Midsingles

  1. Hearing nothing new from him. The same bleck I’ve always heard “Be your best self and you’ll attract the right person”–“we should focus on what we have”. Since I was 25 years old I realized I needed to be whom the Lord wanted me to be–and that was what mattered. But–I also realized that staying in Utah was not going to take me to whom I needed to be. And now I realize that whether in Utah or not–“dating” is what has NEVER happened. I’ve never been “pursued”–I’ve NEVER been “courted”. Yes–I get tired of all of the “marrieds” walking around thinking just what he stated that “Oh–I wish you had what I have” crap. I get that all of the time. But when I’m realistic and say “Oh–marriage is probably not going to happen, so I have followed what the Lord wants me to do”–then I get lines like “Well–don’t give up!” Kay ya’ll–I have not had a date in YEARS–and I’m not going to go out and chase one down. It is true what he said that the “searching” is useless–at least on my side (I’m female). So–what do I face now, socially? Nothing. I face nothing. I live out of state, in a stake that, forgive me, but basically ignores all needs of the mid-singles. The only activities they have are too far away for me to afford to go to. I live 1/2 hour away from a great large city, where we could have GREAT combined activities, if any of the ward and stake leaders cared to get things going. But basically, we’re ignored. And the only activities they do do? Stupid break the fasts and dances. I swore off dances when I was 27. I taught middle school–I AM NOT going to find my eternal companion in a supposed “dance” where the lights are low, they’re booming way too loud music, and no one is dancing or talking to each other, except for the 1 or 2 engaged couples there. THAT is NOT the way to meet ANYONE!!! And certainly not the way to get to know them. We have brains–big ones. Most mid-singles have great amounts of brains. Why are we not allowed to use them to create fun activities where we’d actually get to know each other? When I was still a “YSA” we were asked to suggest activites (what a freaking good idea is that!!!) Most of the “YSA” activities in the ward I was in at the time were poorly attended–especially the “special” ones (like the stupid dances). So, I suggested that we go to a museum. So–we did–one Saturday mid-morning. My word–we had people drive almost 2 hours to attend that activity–and everyone had a GREAT TIME (it was a great museum too!!!) So my personal opinion is this: they can reorganize the YSA wards all the want. They can lecture us, tell us to “be the right person” all they want. And the married people can continue to “try” to understand us–which they never will (cause they don’t know what it’s like to be a mid-single–especially one who has NEVER been married)–but until we are allowed to start using our brains in creating activities for ourselves–until we aren’t all grouped together into large groups with men the same age as my grandparents (hello???)–until the stupid “dance” idea goes out the stupid window–and we actually DO better things with ourselves (service activities, go to museums, go to national parks and hike, letter exchanges, explore cultural activities in our areas, plan activities for the youth in the church, clean the churches, volunteer together in our communities, I could go on and on and on)–we’re never going to get ANYWHERE!!! Oh–and my final bit? In this day and age EVERY single mid-single I know, is ONLINE–so WHY OH WHY Are people called into callings who are allowed to refuse to use the Internet (one problem in my stake)?????? HUH??? It should be REQUIRED no a days!!!! Yes–I have an opinion about all of this. But–as has been my reality since I was 15 and started pointing out to people that dating was different than I had been taught it would be, and that the boys did not seem to “notice” or care about me (yes–I began noticiing the issues the Church now has when I was that young)–I will probably not be heard for a good 10-15 years. Ugh!!!

    1. Actually many areas now have active Midsingles Programs (including Midsingles Wards) and Midsingles activities which are entirely organized by Midsingles themselves. While you may think most people are online, on online dating sites, most Midsingles are not (since 80% of LDS Dating sites have profiles with people who are still married, inactive, or not members of the LDS Church). See the list of local Midsingles Facebook Groups and perhaps local Midsingles Wards listed on this blog that you might be interested in attending or participating.

      If your stake does not have an active Midsingles Program and you see a need, why not talk directly to your stake leaders to assist you? In order to be “courted”, it does require to get out of the house and attend activities. And flirting and giving signals that you are actually interested in dating, may actually help too… πŸ™‚

  2. Love how it’s assume I haven’t done all of those things. I have created Facebook groups for the area–and notified those “in charge” about it all. I have asked, and will continue to do so. And I love how it’s assumed that I was talking about dating online. Nope–not what I was discussing at all. I was talking about Facebook, about Twitter, about online means of communicating with people. Would love to have a Midsingle group in my area where the Midsingles actually create the activities–but thus far, none of these needs have been paid attention to. It’s okay–there are more “important” needs right now. But the assumption that all areas of the World Wide church have an active Midsingles program is completely false. Oh–and “getting out of the house”–yup–been there, done that. But when there are no activities to attend in the area, it’s kind of difficult to “do that”. Yup–advocating for it. But–as I said, the speaker said nothing new. I”m just REALLY tired of married people giving advice to those whom are unmarried in the church (and have never been married). They truly have no idea what we encounter every day–so they really should just communicate with us, not to or for us. That’s truly my main point. Oh–and I’ve spent a life time of flirting and trying to “send signals”–to no avail. At this point, I don’t care any more, truly. Yes, I want to get married–but if a man needs a girl to fall down swooning in front of him in order to “get the signals”, then the man is not worth my time. I have other things the Lord needs me to do on this planet. So sure–flirting is “good”–but if guys don’t respond to the flirting–and then can’t figure out years later while they’re still single–well, it’s probably cause the girl has moved on.

    1. If there are not official Midsingles activities in your area, why not take the lead and start unofficial Midsingles activities? No one is stopping you to invite people to go to dinner together at a restaurant, or have game night at someone’s house, or when the weather gets nice, have a picnic, go on a hike, etc etc? The key is for you to be proactive.

      In some areas, once leaders “see the need” by seeing the success of unofficial activities, will then they will make the activities and program become more “official”.

      1. Matt the leaders see the need. Single households are approaching HALF the congregation (mid-singles on up). I can tell you from my own experience of trying to get stuff going. Once they feel they have someone else looking after it, they can wash their hands and move onto ignoring it!

    2. It’s really simple; stop “sending signals.”
      Put away the semaphore flags, stuff the Morse code key back in the drawer and try plain English. Just tell the guy you’re interested. It takes five seconds or less.

  3. DO NOT READ UNLESS YOU WANT A DATE: Give me a break… Its about men asking for a DATE, making a day/ time/ place, and a woman saying yes or no. Thats the grits of it. SIMPLE. And men, if you can’t handle a few rejections from other women, maybe I need someone more strong enough. I’ve seen many men tell too many women; “I’d like to see you again” or “we should get together” and even, “I like you” , “whats your number” (and it gets lost or they forget what the girl looked like and who’s number it is, or they don’t get the nerve to ask), and the worst one- “I’ll see you at the next dance”. Yuck. They leave women hanging. Be honest and go for it. Rarely do I see a man actually saying, ” Will you go out with me on ___ day at ___ time?” Women, if the time is wrong, ask for a different day. Lets face it, many of us do have high self esteem, are feeling good about ourselves, and having lectures (like this) telling us we need to look at ourself again, is boring, and to us who are already educated and successful in life- it’s actually a put-down. If anyone said that to the awesome man I like, I’d tell him/her that they don’t know what their talking about. It’s all in knowing HOW to date. I can go into a bar (not drink), or a public forum, and be asked out within 1 hour. Men need to know how to ask a woman out, just like the rest of the world. 1- Have a pen ready or your phone and calendar ready when you go to church or activities. 2- Ask for a date, giving a day and a time. 3- Women, say yes even if their not mr perfect, because the more you date, the more Mr. Perfect will find you. 4- Show up. Thats it. Done. Repeat. If a man doesn’t ask a woman out, she won’t ask the man out because she will think he’s not even interested. Recently I’ve found out, now in my mid-singles, that a lot of men had crushes on me years ago, that I didn’t know about. 2 of them I seriously was dying for them to ask me out. Why didn’t I know? Don’t ask out= going nowhere.

    Women SIMPLE: Smile, Inspire, Make it meaningful, Prepare to say yes, Let it be, Enjoy or enough of that one and show interest in someone else if he doesn’t ask!

    Men SIMPLE= Smile, Invite, Make a date, Plan the time, Let it be, Enjoy or enough of that one and show interest in someone else if she doesn’t ask!

    Ya, I just made that up πŸ™‚ It’s simple. If I wrote the 2 page book, how much should I sell it for?

    1. Correction:
      Men SIMPLE= Smile, Invite, Make a date, Plan the time/Prove your worth, Let it be, Enjoy… or enough of that one, and show interest in someone else if she doesn’t reciprocate! After a while, ask up to three more times in different ways, then Enjoy or Enough of that one, and show interest in someone else if she doesn’t reciprocate!

      It once took a man several phone calls, letters, and flowers till a beautiful woman said yes to a date. She smiled. And later when when he committed, she smiled some more. And when he stopped, she stopped. Just don’t stop and she’ll smile forever.

    2. Regarding crushes: It works both ways. I don’t know why, but women seem to have this secret combination that’s against letting guys know that girls are interested in them. Some of us are really shy, and sometimes we feel like a girl is out of our league and won’t dare ask her out for that reason. Yet, if we knew that there was just an inkling of interest, we’d ask because “out of my league” is equal to “definite no”. And an “inkling of interest” = “a reasonable possibility for at least one date”.

      And yes, a lot of us may be afraid of rejection and have our reservations about asking for one reason or another but if you’re not getting asked on dates and we’re not asking you out on dates, and we have mutual friends that know there’s a spark of potential there, STOP HIDING IT!

      That’s my 2 cents.

      1. Oh yeah – and that same “secret combination” seems to be equally opposed to hinting to the female subjects of such crushes even something so simple as “I think he might be into you – I saw him looking at you three times,” or something to that effect.

        Sometimes all it takes is a friendly return glance/smile (rather than a standoffish avoidance of eye contact) to tip the scale as to whether a guy comes to talk to you or not.

        And for heaven’s sake, get away from your lofty and involved conversations with your girlfriends (read: “secret combinations”) when a guy that likes you is nearby. You WON’T regret it! Especially if you do it a few times!

  4. Thanks Matt for your suggestions. I think they were really good. I agree that you have to go on and live your life and listen to what God wants you to be and how you can be part of the human race. Being “single” shouldnt keep you from being part of the human race. There is a therapist named Dr. Pat Allen that has helped the sexes understand each other and find ways to “mate and relate”. The church or those interested in helping this growing population might find it helpful to study some of her work and use it to help the singles. I will share what I heard her tell a man in his 30’s who was considering trying to find someone to marry. She asked him if he wanted to live to see his grandchildren and that if he did then he get busy. She then went on to say there are men who are GIVING UP THE RIGHT to have children and grandchildren these days. As a single women- I am reminded of my shelf life (fertility) a lot of the time– as to imply that the men have more time and choices when it comes to having children. But I havent heard it put that way for the men. Also– she does say that men after 50 do not live as long if they are not married or in a loving relationship. Men don’t do as well in old age and women actually fare better. In other words men need us women in old age. So sometimes changing the perspective of the situation can help people see what the big picture is.

  5. The problem with his points of being who you want is that it perpetuates the leper concept. It is saying, in essence, if you were more spiritual, smarter, better, etc. you would be married. You are not because you are not being who you want to be. And ward members buy into this as well. Quite frankly, I know a lot of really amazing singles. I don’t know why they aren’t married. I don’t know why I am not married. I think rather to make his point in a less, you have leprosy kind of way, he should have started with the idea that it is hard to focus on what is outside of your control. By focusing on what you can control, you have greater happiness. Self-improvement is always a good idea, married or single. And by further developing your relationship with a loving Heavenly Father who has a plan for you, you are likely to find peace in the journey. Just my 2 cents. πŸ™‚

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