Dalliance

This is going to be one of those posts where I give advice that I shouldn’t have to give.

Piece of Advice #1: If you are not divorced, DO NOT TELL PEOPLE THAT YOU ARE DIVORCED.

I kid you not, I have had this happen to me twofold. And I get it, the incidence of divorce in my little corner of the world is extraordinarily high-MOST LIKELY because young twenty-somethings are advised from a very powerful organization that shall not be named to get married right after they exit high school (girls) or after they complete an honorable full-time mission (boys and girls if they want to).

So, they do it.

And so, 3-4 years later, a lot of them get divorced. It’s a sad, hard fact that I find rather discouraging, but so is life.

I have encountered two individuals whose reality this illustrates. And for the record, I have nothing against dating divorced men. I get it-we all have pasts and we’re all moving forward trying to find happiness for ourselves. But I DO have a lot of objections to dating a man who has not finalized his divorce, thus making him STILL MARRIED.

Guys, at the very least, I feel that if you’re going to start dating after you leave your marital relationship, you should at least be transparent about the status of the marriage so that your prospective future romantic interest can make an informed decision on whether or not to date you.

I thought that this was common sense, but apparently, I could not be more wrong.

Piece of Advice #2: DO NOT PLAY WITH PEOPLE’S BODIES, EMOTIONS, OR TIME.

The most recent not-divorced-liar-pants that I encountered played with all three.

You see, he and I have history. We liked each other in high school. But for some reason, or many, he didn’t do much about it, as I was “probably interested in someone else.”

Fast-forward a few years, and we reconnect. Thanks to Facebook, I knew that he’d been married. So I asked him point-blank about the status of his divorce, and he responded in the affirmative, that he was a single person. Nothing for me to worry about, or so I thought.

He took me on a handful of dates over the course of the past couple months, and we had a great time. He made out with me, brought me wine, took my hands in his, and told me that he wants me to be his future.

He said some rather frustrating things, too, such as “I don’t want you to wear leggings in public, because people will look at your butt” or “Be a good girl” when I was out with friends. Being possessive, as if we were in a relationship that he wasn’t willing to commit to.

He didn’t make time for me, and I didn’t pressure him to. I’m a “cool girl.”

I saw him once a week at first, and even less after that. But he’d send me gushy messages about how badly he misses me and wanted to “cuddle me for 27 hours” in addition to other pathetic nonsense. He always “wanted to see me super soon.”

So me, thinking that he and I were dating, would decline other offers from perfectly suitable gentlemen, and sit my ass on my couch, waiting patiently for him to show up, and sometimes, he never did.

But alas, the gushy text messages and rather suggestive Snapchats persisted, and my frustration multiplied.

Until yesterday, when I woke up to the realization that he had blocked my text messages, as well as my Snapchat account.

That’s right, folks. I have been ghosted.

Now, I can’t get a message through to him, thanks to his immature handling of the termination of our situationship, but I have some words to say, and they simply must get out, so here they are:

Dear Non-divorced Bachelor,

I have spent most, if not all, of my dating life feeling like a toy. Feeling taken advantage of. I’ve been assaulted, exploited, lied to, and hurt more times than you can count on your fingers. And you have only added to that number. How is it that some people are capable of earning someone’s affection and then slapping them in the face with it shortly thereafter? It’s a level of cruelty and selfishness that I will never truly understand.

If you didn’t feel the things you said you felt for me, then why did you say them?

If you did feel the things you felt for me, but then stopped, why didn’t you tell me?

It’s not fair to leave me to guess what it was that made you cut me off. Because I take the things that I say and feel, and the things that others say and feel, seriously. I foolishly trusted you.

But, thanks to you, I am left to speculate.

Was I too clingy? Was I not attractive? Did you get what you wanted from me, and now I have nothing left to offer? Were you just bored with the game you started with me, and are seeking out a new opponent?

Because that’s the way I see dating relationships now-they’re nothing but a game. You can’t trust the one you’re up against; don’t get too close, don’t give too much away. Make sure you’re always the one who cares less, or triumph will never belong to you.

And, in the case that you get bored, just go find yourself a new one. There are plenty of opponents eager to play.

But as for me? I’m done playing now.

 

M.

 

 

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No Prorogation

Today was YSA Stake Conference, which is when a large congregation made of sub-congregations meets to hear their regional and general leaders speak.

My solitary self arrived fifteen minutes early as instructed, and already, the parking lot and a quarter mile of the roads in either direction of the stake center were filled with cars.

I rushed into the chapel and chose a seat almost to the very back of the overflow, actively avoiding eye contact with others, and praying that i’d be left to sit alone for the duration of the meeting. Due to the overwhelmingly large number of attendees, we were all forced to sit shoulder-to-shoulder in order to accommodate everyone.

So there I was, sitting on a fold-up chair next to a red-headed gentleman in a sports coat with above-average singing capabilities, who probably came by himself, too.

To my delight, we avoided each other perfectly.

The fun thing about YSA anything is that the main goal is to get us all hitched. YSA Stake Conference is no exception. Our first speaker was our stake president, a man whom I love and respect. He counseled us to pray to find an eternal companion, and to not delay marriage. He then continued to emphasize that our biggest and most important decision in life is whom we choose to marry, which I agree with (if we decide to marry.)

This counsel seems contradictory to me for a couple of reasons. First off, if marriage is the most important decision we make in this life, why are we being told to rush it? Isn’t the universal advice to “sleep on it” when faced with big decisions?

Secondly, getting married complicates educational and career goals, especially for women in a lot of cases. My mom (whom i’d been texting throughout the meeting) told me that a woman in her ward told the story of how she’d achieved her dream of getting into medial school, but then she got engaged and gave it all up to raise a family. It breaks my heart to hear stories like this, because I don’t see why a person can’t pursue the career of their dreams and raise a family.

I do believe that it can be done, if timed and prioritized correctly.

This is not to say that I think that those who chose to get married young are wrong in doing so. We’re all individuals, and different circumstances yield different decisions.

I’ve been twenty for three days now, and at this stage in my life, I can’t imagine rushing much of anything, much less decisions of whom I choose to spend the rest of eternity with.

Hmmm.

M.

Primitive

I thought i’d humor myself this semester by enrolling in a “Marriage as an Internal Process” course. The entire focus of the class is to stress the importance and benefits of the institution of marriage, and to help all of us suckers figure out what we can and cannot demand from a spouse. It’s been fun, for lack of a better word.

My class has quite the diversity of students. One girl is a single mom, we have three newly-wedded hubbies in the house, a handful of us single people hoping to learn how to change that via this course, and a handful of married women. On the first day of class, we were assigned to break up into small groups and discuss why we thought divorce happens, and why people  choose not to get married. Some of the responses that were given literally caused my head to explode across the four walls of the classroom.

My favorite response? A perhaps twenty-five-year-old wife raised her wedding-banded hand and said in a negative tone, “I think that the cause of divorce can in large part be due to women’s rights.” *Clank!* That was my jaw hitting the floor. Psycho say what?

Let’s dissect this bone-headed comment for a moment. This woman blames the accumulation of human rights for a specific gender as being the culprit for tearing a marriage apart. May I remind everyone that there has to be a cause for a woman to want a divorce, and that there was a time when if a woman was being abused by her husband, she just had to shut up and deal with it and make sure she had dinner ready on time tomorrow to avoid another abuse?

I refuse to see women’s rights as the cause for ANY negative outcomes. Women should have had the right from the beginning of whenever marriage became a thing to back out of it for any time and for any reason, ESPECIALLY if that reason is due to abuse or unfair treatment by her spouse. End of story.

Today in class, we watched a documentary on mail-order brides. Don’t even get me started. Well okay, i’ve already started. Mail-order brides are a perfect example of objectification. And it makes me sick. The featured “couple” was a British dentist who had mail-ordered a bride from Thailand (I’d estimate she was approximately a third of his age). He seemed like the happiest camper alive-his arm flab draped over her shoulder as he told the story of how they came about as a couple. She said nothing, she couldn’t speak English. He was the most gluttonous, repugnant man I’d ever seen, and she was a dainty, lovely, submissive Asian woman.

He talked about their relationship, and she sat in total oblivion. She spoke no English, but he told us not to worry, he didn’t mind so long as she had food on the table for him when he came home. He told us how he allowed her to visit her friend who lived down the street so long as she called and asked for permission. I’m not sure how she did so, due to their language barrier. She bore him three children, and she looked like the saddest, most disappointed woman I’d ever seen. But we’ll never know how she felt, she wasn’t given the opportunity to express herself.

This crap i’ve described for you goes on TODAY. It’s trafficking. It’s wrong, and it’s dehumanizing. Any old rich guy can hop online and pick himself out the prettiest, naive, foreign woman, and take her to wife. Granted, these women go into it willingly, falsely believing that these rich, old Western men will respect and love them. I cussin’ hate the patriarchy.

I’ve been angry about this all day. Mostly because there isn’t a damn thing I can do to change it.

On a lighter note, I learned that the reason i’m attracted to Brad Pitt is his exceptional facial symmetry. So do with that information what you will.

M.

The Young and the Faltering

At 18 years old, I feel like life is passing me by. I can’t scroll through my newsfeed on Facebook without viewing an annoyingly-ecstatic ex-classmate’s engagement announcement. THESE CHICKS ARE MY AGE. I’m all for everyone making their own choices and doing whatever the hell makes them happy, but I’m not going to lie, I’m jealous of these girls. Their lives actually seem to be going somewhere. 

Granted, I am nowhere near being ready to make such a commitment. I can’t even commit to a breakfast cereal long enough to buy the Costco-sized value pack. Which is totally fine, especially for someone as young as myself. But let’s be honest, at this rate, all the relationship-worthy men will be snatched up by my fellow pubescent peers. 

Lately, I feel as though nothing is necessarily wrong, but nothing is definitely right, either. I just want some golden opportunity to jump out at me and steer me in some progressive direction. Currently, I am floating through life. Indecisive, uncommitted, and scared to death. 

The decisions I’m supposed to be making right now will determine the quality of the rest of my life. The thought of making a wrong (or lesser) choice terrifies me. I’d like to wave my rights to make any more life decisions, because past experience serves evidence enough that I am not capable of making aforementioned decisions. 

I think the most frustrating part about it all is that at this time last year, when I was still drifting through the breeze that was high school, I thought i’d have it all figured out by now. I was convinced that somehow, upon my graduation, everything would fall into place, and I would discover who I truly am and what my real passions in life are and all that jazz. I could not have been more wrong. 

To be frank, I don’t have the slightest clue of what I am doing. 

All I want is to be happy, and to find people to surround myself with that will help me be happy. I can no longer endure this wishy-washy, floating-around, take-it-day-by-day lifestyle. I want to pursue something gosh dang it. 

And all this talk about preparing for my “future” is ridiculous. We never stop preparing for the future. I seem to have forgotten how to live in the present. Why do all of my actions have to somehow prepare me for this thing we call “future?” Why can’t I just do something that brings immediate satisfaction every once in a while? 

In summary, I think i’ll pass on the whole “growing up” thing. That way, I won’t have to deal with watching disgusting couples be happy together, choosing a career path, the patriarchy, or anything else for that matter.

I think instead I’ll go back to the days when the hardest decision I had to make was whether or not I wanted sprinkles on my ice cream cones and I could spend hours outside playing in the sprinklers with the neighborhood kids, and nothing was a waste of time. 

M.