Whenever I write about the struggles of single adults, there’s one sure-fire way to enrage the men: Hint that they carry any blame for the growing number of unmarried women. I can’t tell you how many single men have earnestly looked at me in frustration and explained that they simply haven’t felt the “spark” with anyone. But none of these guys can seem to articulate what the “spark” is. They just know it isn’t there, and they can’t imagine moving forward without it.
When I was single, there was this phenomenon with single women that puzzled me. I wouldn’t find them particularly attractive, but after some guy swept them off their feet and married them, they suddenly looked more beautiful. It wasn’t like I was lusting after these married women or anything — I just couldn’t help but notice how marriage was like a makeover, despite the fact that they didn’t change that much about their overall look after they tied the knot.
Although I got a lot of things wrong when I was dating, I had one general policy I still do not regret: I felt it was best to keep my hands off the women I dated.
If there’s one thing that married folks quickly forget after they tie the knot, it’s this: Singleness often hurts. The most frustrating part for a lot of single people who desire marriage is the mounting pressure to get on with it, to find (or be found by) someone now. The unspoken judgment seems to be that the single man or woman would be married if there weren’t something wrong with them.
It was my first year of law school, and I was single. I wanted to be married, but it didn’t matter. I was spending 12 hours a day in class or in the library, so there wasn’t any real chance of my getting to know anyone.
Hey, single men out there, I want to tell you a story. A couple of Saturdays ago, I was doing Daddy Daycare at the house with my two daughters when I asked my three-year-old a question.
A few years ago, I had a Mormon friend who invited me to attend a service at his church (also known as a “ward”). I had visited a Mormon church service in high school, so I knew what to expect — or so I thought.
If you wonder why nobody seems to be the right fit, maybe it’s time to ask what you expect in a spouse and how realistically you’re assessing yourself.
My four-year-old daughter has a crush on the next door neighbor’s young son, Carson, who’s six. The other day, she was playing in the front yard with him when I looked out the window and noticed that she was standing at the edge of the yard by herself. I didn’t think anything of it.
My friends Cris and Sam had been planning their home purchase for months, and finally, after looking at several houses, they found a lovely home that seemed like the perfect fit. They negotiated with the seller, signed a contract, and began making settlement plans. But first, they had to do the inspection.
I recently wrote a post called “Three Easy Ways to Ruin a First Date,” which provided advice on how to make a first date want to run away from you and never call back. My suggestions were: 1) Propose (or at least talk about marriage enough to make yourself sound desperate); 2) Overshare negative information about your life and relationships; and/or
I hate to admit it, but back in my single days, I unnecessarily bungled a number of first dates. And the saddest part was, I didn’t even know I was doing anything wrong.
“If David isn’t interested in me, then I don’t understand why he’s spending all this time with me,” said Allison, an attractive, smart friend in her twenties. Allison had every reason to be confused. Her “friend” David was hanging out with her, confiding in her, and he often flattered her. But at the same time, he could be aloof, he’d never even held her hand, and he only spent time with her when it was convenient for him – basically, he was doing just enough to lead her on.
It was my first (and only) date with Holly Bond, a smart, attractive, successful woman from my church. The date wasn’t meant to be a romantic overture, and I think we both knew that. Holly and I had been friends for a while, and we got along well, so it only seemed natural to go out to dinner at least once.
There was a time during my unmarried years when I griped that the only women who were drawn to me were “old ladies, female relatives and little girls.” I wondered what was wrong with all the eligible bachelorettes who were overlooking me. I should have asked myself what was wrong with me. I might have realized that I was trying so hard to get dating right that I just ended up getting it weird.