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Pairing off only works in poker and fruit salad

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I'm not sure how many of our loyal followers might have viewed Elder Oaks' YSA fireside the other night, but the message was twofold.

The overlooked part of his message was the best, in my view. Oaks mentioned that we need the "dedication of a lifetime" to truly be centered in the gospel. True doctrine and a great message.

Of course, the part that everyone focused on was his demand to date one another and "pair off" rather than "hang out". I have a criticism and a question.

I agree that it's pretty silly to assume that one date is a proposal, although I do think that this is a bit less common than everyone (myself doubly included) thinks. But the question arises? Why do you need to have the opening stages of a relationship be in a paired off format? I don't see any logical reason that this isn't working or can't work. I know, I know, general counsel, don't send me letters, but I can't see how this attains the status of general counsel. That said, I do have a couple of explanations that are half humorous and half (to me) very interesting discussion topics.

If lots of people are anything like me, they like individual Mormons much better than groups of them. In my ward, I can count on my fingers the number of people that I dislike individually. I have to deal with them rarely and it doesn't matter. But I'd rather make out with a boa constrictor than go to an activity where a large group of Mormons will be present. This is true in regular society, but to a smaller extent. So, it's possible that Individual Molly might be a lot hotter than Group Molly. Certainly viable. You hate her less, you marry her more. I can see that.

But there's one other thing that might just be a specific-to-me issue, but that interests me lots. In a discussion with my roommates, they maintained that I underrate the attractiveness of Mormon girls due to my general prejudice against Mormons (I want to emphasize at this point that I am one of the active Mormon bloggers here. This prejudice is not "I hate Mormons and their dozens of wives" but "I generally feel more at home with nonmembers than with Mormons"). I noted that I think lots of Mormons are attractive, but in retrospect, it's likely that they're right. Not that I can't be attracted to a Mormon, but that it takes a lot more to get me interested. I'm willing to date nonmembers that aren't really any better than Mormons, but seem a lot more attractive for some reason. For example, a young lady that I wouldn't mind hooking up with at present is quite pretty in any context and I think is much more attractive than the vast majority of the girls at church. She's better by most measures and that's understandable. But the last girl that I was sort of with was a slightly better than average looking, slightly smarter than average, slightly nicer than average kind of girl. In other words, probably no better than the sixtieth percentile at your local singles ward. Why does she seem like a much better option than all but the most unattainable women at church?

I think the answer is pretty complex, but it's mostly (for me) just that there's a lot more baggage with the Mormons and that I can just do better outside of the Church. You date a Mormon girl and your church life and social life become a Utah smoothie. People will harass you about getting married and the girl will expect more. Date a nonmember and church stays at church. Righteousness can follow, a gospel-centered life can follow, but the institute building rests on [local corner near campus].

Not being a particularly attractive [read: overweight] male that hasn't been on the mission [read: convert of two years], I'm just a guy that thinks bad thoughts at church. Not that I'm being judged or whatever, but why on earth would any but the most pathetic pick me to crush on? You want a guy with my strengths, you go hook up with Mike (our beloved blogger) or Brett (the proprietor of the best hair of any of our commenting brethren). I can get a decent girl in the Church, but I'd have to work hard for her.

Outside the Church, I still don't have a shot with the cheerleader types (being wretchedly fat). But, instead of being a "bad Mormon", I'm a nice, righteous guy. I'm the guy that'll talk to you about your needs. I'm the great person that helps people. Not that any of that's actually true, but I look great in comparison to a lot of guys that some girls have dated. I'm not trying to get in anyone's pants, I'm just a poor, righteous, sweet Mormon boy looking for Semi-Commital Makeout. Basically, at my local ward, my ceiling in terms of who I can attain is probably between the 40th and 55th percentile....and that might take working hard. Outside the church, I can end up with a 60-70 working less hard and an 80th percentile girl with the work I'd put in in the Church for a 45th or 50th.

So, my questions to you:

1) Generic "would you date a non-Mormon?" Why or why not?

2) Is your attraction to Mormons higher, the same, or less than to non-Mormons? Discuss.

3) What about this "pairing off" thing?

4) Can you do better inside or outside the Church? How much extra credit do you give for being Mormon? (Married people should probably avoid answering this question at all costs. Brett and Katie, answer away.)

31 Responses to “Pairing off only works in poker and fruit salad”

  1. Blogger lchan 

    I'm married, but I'll jump in anyway.

    1) Generic "would you date a non-Mormon?" Why or why not?
    I grew up in Minnesota, so I dated non-Mormons. They tended to be more interesting, but more messed up than the Mormons I dated. When I was 19, I made a decision not to date non-members anymore. Because dating someone who has already had sex (and, by that age, the only guys I knew who hadn't were Mormons) was a hassle. It felt like a full-time job to say no.

    2) Is your attraction to Mormons higher, the same, or less than to non-Mormons? Discuss.
    I don't think there was a difference.

    3) What about this "pairing off" thing?
    I think Oaks is just trying to get people to get more serious. If you like somebody, let them know. Take a risk and actually ask them out. If marriage is the goal, then eventually there needs to be some pairing off. I say don't pair off just to pair off, though.

    4) Can you do better inside or outside the Church? How much extra credit do you give for being Mormon?
    In high school, I don't think there was a difference. In college, I think non-members liked me more, but it was because they couldn't figure me out because I wouldn't sleep with them. And I think that was very appealing to them. While those guys were trying to sleep with me, they got the idea I'd make a great wife because I wouldn't. If I had, I'd just have been like every other girl they'd been with. But, that wasn't really a plus for me. I just ended up with a couple of frustrated, stalker-type ex-boyfriends. With Mormons, that didn't earn me any extra credit because it was more of a given.

    I think the underlying question here is would you marry a non-member? I think if you really buy everything the church is selling, you'll want to get married in the temple and raise your kids in the church. If you date non-members, that's less likely to happen. I know dating isn't all about marriage. And, I know great stories where the non-member converted and it would have been a shame if the non-member hadn't even been given a chance.

    I know, too, that there are happy marriages between members and non-members. This is seriously fine by me (and less of a big deal to me now than it was when I was dating), but from a strictly Mormon point-of-view, it's not the ideal.

  2. Blogger Brett 

    Interesting post. I agree whole heartedly that the dating scene in LDS singles is wards is dire. To answer your questions:
    1) I never dated any members before Katie. Like you I thought Mormon chicks were weird and carried too much baggage. I don’t know what it is about Mormon girls. Also I liked my compartmentalized life. I kept church at church and school at school. Plus it was kind of cool being a novelty. “Hey this is Brett, my Mormon date.”
    2) Well, my attraction is extremely high towards one particular Mormon, but generally, before dating Katie, I really was not attracted to Mormons. I can’t put my finger on it. Mormon girls kind of weird me out. Not that there aren’t any good looking girls in Mormondom, but the vibe they give off is weird. I just thought of the additional baggage of mormon dating: Once you break up, you still have to see each other every Sunday or at other church activities. At least when you break up with non-members, you can avoid seeing them if you want.
    3) I don’t think there is anything wrong with hanging out. Hanging out can give way to pairing off. The problem is when people don’t take the next step. Personally, I don’t think all the pressure should be put on the guy to do the asking for dates. Women can do it, too.
    4) I did way better inside the church. Not only did I find someone who I could drop occasional mild swear words or drink Mt. Dew without getting looks of disapproval, we share common religious beliefs. In terms of giving extra credit for being Mormon, I think it depends on your goals for dating. If all you want are semi-committal relationships, than I think there is no difference whether you date members or non-members, but if you’re looking to hook up for the long run than dating someone with your same beliefs is important.

  3. Blogger katie 

    And now for the 24 year old woman finally getting married next week point of view:

    1) Generic "would you date a non-Mormon?" Why or why not?
    Eh, probably not, although I cannot support this with hard evidence. I was totally aloof from dating in high school (which was good since I didn’t care a whit about my appearance at the time, and thus probably couldn’t have landed a boyfriend had I wanted to), and so didn’t date any non-mos. Then I went to BYU, where non-mos are slightly less populous than liberals. So it was again not an issue. And now I am marrying the proprietor of the best hair in the ward (life is SWEET). There were a few close calls where I could have dated a non-mo but turned them down, but I am not sure whether this was because they weren’t Mormon, or because I just wasn’t into them. At any rate I do actually think that dating non-Mormons is a generally bad idea-if of course the goal is temple marriage. I have had friends who have done so, things didn’t start serious, but then it turned to love, and then where could it go? Only to heartbreak city my friend. Dating non-mos is like playing with fire! You’re going to get burned! (Unless of course you are just an aloof boy looking for NCMO, in which case the burning sensation will come elsewhere). But your partner in crime will probably get burned since girls often equate make-out with romance.

    2) Is your attraction to Mormons higher, the same, or less than to non-Mormons? Discuss.
    Hmmm. Can I split the difference? I will explain. Like you D-Train I like individual mormons way more than groups of them. And even within the range of individuals there are very few I truly feel a deep connection-like wow, we are totally on the same page here. My dating life at BYU was not thus not heavy. There did not seem to be a huge market for loud/funny/democrat/feminist girls. In a sea of 15,000 Mormon men I only met a handful I could envision a future with and none that were quite right. The guys I dated then ended up being the rebellious, kind of inactive types. Finding the combination of spiritual AND cool was like finding a freakin needle in a haystack. Either they were straight and narrow and a dork/jerk, or they were rebellious and cool. So I stuck with the rebellious and cool over the self-righteous dweebs. Luckily Brett has come along, that rare bird who combines faithfulness with normalcy. Seriously though, had I not found him I don’t know when I would have been wed.

    3) What about this "pairing off" thing?
    I think Elder Oaks makes a good point here. But I think he is dealing with more of a BYU phenomena than anything else. When I was there it was hang out city. Girls would knock themselves over concocting ways to bring groups of boys over. And yes this usually revolved around them feeding them. There tummies grew fat, while their ability to make commitments waned.

    4) Can you do better inside or outside the Church? How much extra credit do you give for being Mormon? (Married people should probably avoid answering this question at all costs. Brett and Katie, answer away.)
    Well, scince I am enaggedi will have to say inside. And now I will introduce the full on cheese of an engaged person here. If you can find someone who loves the gospel the way you do, it makes all the difference in the world. So much of Brett and I’s conversations revolve around gospel topics. So much so, that I sometimes think, “I wonder what other people talk about??” We love to discuss things we have been pondering or reading in the scriptures or gleaned from the nacle’ and now, learned in the temple. Us both being Mormons makes an amazing difference. Being able to pray together and know you are both striving for the same goal is just beautiful. It takes the relationship to a whole other level and depth. Not to mention the benefit of having the same standard when it come to the law of chastity. It really makes things so much easier.

    In summation: I whole-heatedly sympathize with the disillusionment of dating other mormons. And yes it certainly takes more effort. In addition to reading their personality, you must all read their “mormoness.” Ie, can I say Hell, can I do an impression of President Monson, can I argue that “Mormon Doctrine” is not doctrine, can I rent a PG-13 movie? But I would say it is definitely worth the extra work it takes to land a fellow saint. In the end what is dating about if not to find someone-if not for marriage-then simply someone who “gets you?” Mormondom is like its own culture and country, with its own language and customs and such. Hopefully the gospel makes up the core of your being. So in any relationship with a non-mormon there will come the point where you cannot connect further, where there is a part of you that they will never understand and thus they will never “get you.” Admittedly in the ward the s are slim indeed, but there are surely gems in the rough. Just start diggin.’

    Whew, super long post…must go to bed.

  4. Blogger Mike 

    Katie & Brett- you two are an absolutely great match- but with Katie doing her undergrad at BYU, how in the world did you meet?

    ok, on to the topic at hand-

    "So in any relationship with a non-mormon there will come the point where you cannot connect further, where there is a part of you that they will never understand and thus they will never “get you.”"

    Katie- I really think that right now, that is actually part of it. D-Train doesn't really want someone to "get him" too much.
    D-Train, I know we've briefly mentioned it, but how much of the not wanting to date members is specifically not wanting a relationship that could be serious?

  5. Blogger Pris 

    As a side note, reading the other threads in the 'Nacle on this subject, the thing that I learned most about myself as a non-mormon male: All I Want is Sex, Sex, and (oh yeah I almost forgot) Sex.

    (#1) Would I date a non-Mormon? Absolutely. See above. But, since up is down and left is right, would I date a Mormon? Sure, 'cause (#2) Mormon girls are hot. Generally speaking, of course--so I disagree with the D-Train on this, which is a bit funny to me. Of course, there would have to be some comprimises and She'd have to have certain traits, like not caring about profanity-laced rants about why SSM should be legal. But that's another topic.

    (#3) Maybe it's just me being cynical, but it seems to me that the whole "pairing off" thing is a way to build more BabyMakingMachines(tm). I'm all for getting married, finding your soulmate yadda yadda yadda--but does it seem to any one else that the impetus for early marriages is implicitly (if not explicitly) for the BabyMakingAbility?

    I mean, it seems to be that marriage is a big freakin' deal, especially if you think it's going to be for eternity, that one would want to make very very certain that the decision is a good one.

    (#4) Can "I" do better outside or inside? Well, seeing as how there's little market in the Church for whiskey-drinkin', cigar-smokin', rated-R movie-watchin', body modification-havin', profanity user, I'd say outside. But that just be my cynicism again... That being said, if there are any single LDS women out there looking for the above, my e-mail is...

    Can I also add how much I like the term "NCMO"? And, if like D, you're looking for a semi-commital make out, you'd be a SCMO. Hah.

  6. Blogger D-Train 

    What's that? Answered comments the day after a post? That's right....I must be with the family to enjoy blogging this much.

    Ichan: Yeah, the marriage is the thing, isn't it? I think I'd marry a nonmember, but only if I didn't think my prospects of a temple marriage were that high and I thought she at least had some interest in the Church.

    Katie: Man, you're funny. I think demand for loud, smart, feminist Democrats far outstrips the supply in our little corner of the world. Not that the demand is large at all, but, you know.....

    You're right that there are gems in the rough. But I'm right that there are other diggers with bigger shovels (I didn't even mean that dirty, I swear) that are competing for those gems. And, to be honest, I'm just going to lose out most of the time. Even the good diggers lose out most of the time. I could accept a third-tier, but there wouldn't be any point in marrying someone when you think you could do a lot better. After all, our marriage won't be forever anyway if I don't think I'm amazingly fortunate to have the girl I'm with. I'd rather feel that way about a nonmember and try to work out the religion (or at least punt till the spirit world) than marry inside the Church knowing it wouldn't be forever. Why wouldn't it be forever? Because I'm too prideful to accept less than my pride tells me I deserve. Even though third-tier is about what I deserve.

    Brett: You know I'm with you on the baggage. One of the biggest turnoffs is the combination of church and social life. I already feel like church isn't really my time. But it's still my choice and my faith. Add a woman from church and I lose it all. My social life would feature her as a frequent (although not exclusive)player and she'd always be there at church. One of the things I like about church is that it's a break from life. I'm not working on a thesis or flirting with a coworker while I'm there. I can leave all that across the street. With a woman there, it just amplifies one of the biggest worries that you've got. Not that a girl is only worries, but when you're dating someone, it's an issue in your life. You're thinking about it. You're trying to make it work (or not work). I want a break from that, and if not church, then my options are limited.

    Mike: You're right that I don't really want anyone to "get me" and that I don't especially want a super-serious relationship. Those things undoubtedly color my judgment. In terms of immediately being interested in people, I think it's more the Brett Baggage than the Fear of Committment driving things. But, shoot, how do I know that?

    Here's another issue. I don't think I'll ever want anyone to fully "get me". After the Cards drip a game we should have won and I sit around sulking, I don't particularly want to either feel better or for anyone else to understand. I'd rather just be let alone. I'm fine with sharing, but it's reassuring to know that others don't get to know everything about you. Maybe just a little defensiveness that will fade away in the sealing room, but I'm not thinking so. I don't even like to pray about lots of things that I'd rather keep personal. Probably a flaw, definitely a fact.

    Pris: Funny, funny man. I think I'll be calling myself Joe Scmo occasionally. I'll kiss you, and perhaps commit to kiss you again, but forget that daily phone call, baby. You know you're the one, though. I'll be back when the time's right.

    And, yes, it's clearly about babies. Not that it's bad or that it's good, but he even made that link directly in the talk. It's not about happiness, it's about popping out kids, which presumably brings happiness. I view this connection with wary skepticism.

  7. Blogger Mike 

    D-Train, I figure that most of the fear of commitment would be do to not wanting the baggage associated with it- so really it isn't an either/or propisition. I guess that it is just that when you want long term commitment you are dsiring for the two worlds to collide in a favorable way and looking for that to happen so it will change what you are looking for considerably.

    I think the whole push to pair off really does stem from what Katie mentioned- the girls desperately trying to get boys to spend time with them, so apartments of roommate girls invite guys over and feed them. It doesn't happen so much outside of the west.
    What does happen is a problem in language- us young folks don't really use the term "courting" any more. So if you are "dating" someone that is a pretty paired off serious commitment. Whereas- there needs to be some mid level between being friends with some one, dating them occasionally, and dating someone fairly exclusively. Even though the one date = engagement thing certainly is overstated- there is still a lot of miscommunicaiton and a lot of conflict over misunderstanding related there.

    oh, and I just got reminded that I need to post something over at CoW. D-Train, you will find it to be quite interesting.

  8. Blogger lchan 

    That's the message on T.V - not just the 'nacle. Most guys aren't doing much to change the stereotype.

    I know you aren't just talking about my post, but I do want to clarify. I don't think all non-members are messed up and after one thing - just most of the guys I dated were.

    My husband joined the church when he was 17, and I would have dated him whether he was a Mormon or not.

    You can still be married and have your own identity. You just gotta find the right girl.

    Kids bring happiness in a way that nothing else will. But, they are the hardest thing and the biggest responsibility of your LIFE, so it's nothing to rush into.

    It sounds like you're not in a hurry for any of it. I say, enjoy being single.

  9. Blogger Mike 

    Well, D-Train doesn't advertise the fact that he is still planning on a mission in between finishing his masters and getting his PhD, but honestly that's a real good reason to not be rushing into anything.

    D-Train, eventually the "well I'm just a new convert" thing will wear off, especially as you pass 22 and you will have to bust out the "well, I'm going to serve a mission" line to protect yourself from the advancements of some Mormon girls. Because pretty soon you are goint to be halfway through a masters, etc.

  10. Blogger Mike 

    Oh, and D-Train, you need a freakin cell phone. I wanted to call you about random stuff (last dragon, if we have any cupons for hot and silvers, a nice little email both of us receieved, etc.)

  11. Blogger Pris 

    I was referring more to the comments on the two M* posts, but seeing it here was the catalyst. You're semi-right, I believe. However, I firmly believe that the sexualized nature of the non-Mormon male has been completely overstated to the point it sounds like a simplified after-school special. As far as I'm concerned, this belief is on the same validity of the "one drink will make you an alcoholic" faux-doctrine. It's more dangerous, though, because it automatically ascribes nefarious motives to any thing I do as a non-Mormon male. What's worse, once that belief is formed, there is very little I can do to change it.

    For sure, there are guys out there with the primary objectives of getting in a woman's pants. However, it's been my experience that the number of people who are this way are vastly lower than what we've been lead to believe. Relying on media descriptions, it seems to me, is dangerous: if we did that, we'd be convinced that the number of murderers are vastly higher than the actual total. Beyond that, I'd also argue that the depiction of the sexualized male has increased at a similar rate as the depiction of the sexualized female--because of this, I don't believe we can separate the depiction of 'males' from the general sexualized culture.

    There's difficulty in making judgments from personal experience as well; I know of no non-Mormon male that I can definitively say that Sex is his primary objective. That is, I'm not that way and none of my male friends are that way. But that doesn't change your own personal experiences--I just don't know the geographic place, time, or the type of guys you dated. I think, also (and this may not apply to you personally) that when one has been ingrained with strict standards, they are more sensitive to actions that may even remotely test the standards. Thus, hold hands on the second date may signal a red flag even though (hypothetically) from the non-Mormon male's perspective, it's a completely innocent action. I think this may be why the sexualization of non-Mormons is so overstated in the Church.

    I do not deny that with many non-Mormon males, sex is a question in the relationship. The option is there, if the couple so chooses. My own personal stance is just that--if I want to do it with her and she wants to do it with me and we have proper birth control, I'm all for it. If any of those three criteria aren't met, then there will be no sex. However, the "will she have sex with me?" is about the 27th most important thing on my list when looking at a possible date. For some, it may be higher or lower. For some, it may even be #1. And in my mind that's okay as long as the guy's respectful about it. Some aren't, and I have no sympathy for them.

    The sex question is only one of the multitude of questions that couples must answer to make relationships work. In so far as that's true, I don't believe it should have any more significance than another other trait you care strongly about.

    The point is this: I think it's an offensive stereotype to say that non-Mormon males are only interested in sex. It's like me saying "All Mormons are gangbangers--just look at those polygamy folk." While it may be true that "dating someone who has already had sex...was a hassle. It felt like a full-time job to say no", it's not true that that is representative. I know many many many single non-virgin non-Mormon American males (myself included) for whom that's not true. These same people would find it insulting to have a potential date think they are only in it for the physical pleasure.

  12. Blogger Pris 

    I should say that the "You" in the above comment is not directed at any one single person, but at those that believe what I'm arguing against. If English has a non-descript second person plural pronoun, I would be delighted in knowing it.

    So, even though I use Laura's comments as a foundation for my own polemic, she seems to be a fine and decent human being (despite living in Idaho, but what can you do?) and you should go read her blog.

  13. Anonymous Sue 

    Wow, you sound creepy. Describing the value/quality of women based on what percentile of quality you believe she has? Ick.

  14. Blogger D-Train 

    Woo-hoo! I did once finish second in a creepiness contest.....and was distraught that I didn't finish first.

    I'll just make this a mini-rant since I only just now arose and showered. Sue, I don't mean to describe the value of women in any sense. I do think that there are dating leagues and that there are certain guys/girls that other guys/girls cannot be with based on this alone. Obviously, there can be no relationship based solely on a girl or guy's qualities "on paper". But isn't that what informs your first decisions about people? There are people that are more and less physically attractive, more and less intelligent, more and less "churchy", more and less wealthy, you name it. To say that we don't notice that is painfully naive, ignorant of our own experiences, and ignores the value of a first impression. I know that I'm not a top tier guy, just because I'm not terribly attractive, I don't give off a very churchy image, and I still ride a bike at 21. None of that makes me better or worse than any other guy in my ward. But it does mean that there are certain girls that are essentially off limits.

    My question, then, is: what's wrong with being honest about that? Except in very rare situations, attractive men end up with attractive women. Admittedly, as a non-attractive man, my odds are better than for a woman in my shoes, but the point still remains. I can get a better looking, more intelligent, more fun girl outside the church than inside at this moment. I know that a brutal percentile scale makes that seem cruel or whatever, but I'm obviously not trying to lift myself up (after all, I recognize that I'm basically a third tier guy).

    The most important characteristics of a person aren't on paper. But, seeing as I'm not currently with anyone and don't have anyone that specific in mind, the paper is all I have to look at. All things being equal, why shouldn't I look for physical attraction or intelligence? Why shouldn't I take the pretty girl that I like over the not as pretty girl that I like?

    We inherently do that every time we ever break up with anyone. The message that we're sending them (unless we're giving up on dating forever) is "On paper or off paper, I can do better in a relationship than you". If not, you'd either marry or get off the pot for good. Maybe the words are nicer, but the point is the same. I don't think you should ever hurt anyone by telling them "you're a 30th percentile guy", but there's no point in lying about the fact that this happens in an abstract conversation.

  15. Anonymous Steve (FSF) 

    I'm a married male, but may have some helpful insight due to a sinful past. In general, Mormon women are very good at it. In my single days I had less intimacy at Michigan than at BYU, but gf to gf, the Mormons won hands down.

    Many years ago at a national company meeting, I was introduce to another Manager from Southern Cal. (I’m on the East Coast). Upon learning I was Mormon (but a cool one not offended by coarseness) he said, “I gotta tell you, Mormon women are incredible in bed. I have dated seven of them, utter animals, all of them!” I wryly smiled knowing exactly what he was talking about. Then he added, “I would have married any of them in a heartbeat, but they all had the same condition. I had to join the church to marry them and there is no way I ‘m going to give ten percent of my income to anyone!” I said, “I really question your judgment. That sounds very inexpensive to me”.

    To this day, he repeats that story every time he sees me and has a belly laugh over it.

  16. Blogger lchan 

    I don't know if this will surprise you or not, but I agree with everything you wrote. Except holding hands would never be a red flag (although I get your point, you'd have to be an incredible Molly to be worried about holding hands).

    I wasn't saying T.V. was right in its depiction - I'm just saying that the stereotype isn't just put out there by Mormons.

    Here's the thing: my 19 year old self decided to stay away from a certain type of guy. But even the guys I'm talking about weren't only interested in sex - I think that's a rare guy, an insecure, sad, pathetic, rare guy - but they were interested enough, persistent enough, that it was a hassle.

    And, before that my six year old self decided that I'd only marry a Mormon in the temple. What a non-mormon guy who is interested in a mormon girl is up against isn't just a matter of sharing similar beliefs - he's up against what she believes is her salvation. That's pretty heavy.

    Because, really, mormon boys aren't that different from non-mormon boys. My post comes off black and white, like mormons=virgins=good and non-mormons=sexfiends=bad and the reality is far from being that simple.

  17. Blogger NFlanders 

    I'm a bit late to the party but...

    1. I only dated non-Mormons. This may be due to their scarcity in the areas where I lived, but I don't think so. I think it was because of my answer to number 2.

    2. Though I know Pris has the opposite opinion, I always found the non-members more attractive to me. I've never been romanticaly interested in a Mormon woman.

    The logical result of 1 and 2 was that I married a non-member. I think part of it was that I didn't want a wife that would pressure me to be fully active in the church or make me feel guilty if I didn't go.

    The only down-side is that my wife is a little wary of my returning to church. I think she has an unspoken (and baseless) fear that if I return to church, I'll meet a member there and ditch her for a Molly.

  18. Blogger Arwyn 

    I'll join you in being late, N, and toss in an unmarried LDS girl POV here.

    D-Train, interesting post -- as always. I didn't see the fireside, and being out in the middle of nowhere and not actively attending Institute, I don't hear a lot of the messages sent to singles these days. Maybe I'm missing out?

    Well. My answers, first off:

    1) Since high school, when I went out steadily with a nice LDS boy, I've only dated non-Mormons. I attend school with a small handful of LDS guys, two of whom are married, and the other two of whom don't consider me "datable" material. I think I scare them; intellectual women, I find, tend to scare a fair percentage of good old Mormon boys. But that's a discussion for another post.

    Like lchan, I made a decision when I was a very young girl that I would marry in the temple. That's a decision I'd like to stick to -- but I'm also open to the idea of marrying an open-minded non-Mormon who respects my ideals and my principles and beliefs. My religion is very important to me, but at the same time, it's not the most important thing I'm looking for in a date. Perhaps some might say I have my priorities out of order, but I like the order they're in.

    2) Again, I'm in a skewed sample here, I think. We don't have many Mormon males out here, and they're not interested in me -- and I find people who dislike/dismiss/are scared of me entirely unattractive. What I do find attractive about Mormon boys is the clean lifestyle. I went out with a guy once last winter who smoked heavily, and that was incredibly unattractive. I went out with a guy more recently who drinks a little, doesn't smoke, is quite open-minded, respects me for who I am...and I find that more attractive than the average fresh-off-mission, steeped-in-converting boy.

    Plus, I think beards are good-looking. Don't get as many of those in the Church. ;)

    3) Frankly? I think single-dating is good. If you want to really get to know someone, you've got to spend time with them alone. At the same time, I'm someone who's a lot more comfortable in groups. I prefer to get to know people in a crowd, and it's really hard for me to make that transition. So I end up with mixed feelings -- especially since (I guess rather like D-Train), I'm not one that people tend to want to pair off with in the LDS social circles I've moved in.

    4) Can I do better inside or outside? Frankly? Outside. The kind of guy I'm looking for doesn't jive well with the Mormon identity, and the way most young men are raised in Mormon culture. Maybe someone with a religious bent, yeah -- but probably not Mormon.

    Hmm. I know there's more I want to say on this, but it's late and I've just finished finals, so it'll probably keep.

  19. Blogger Mike 

    "The kind of guy I'm looking for doesn't jive well with the Mormon identity, and the way most young men are raised in Mormon culture."

    Part of that may have to do with where you've met the Mormon boys. My first thought was "head down the road to Boston, there should be plenty there"

    The midwest doesn't seem too bad either- any college town with more than just a few members there will probably have at least a couple somewhat less than traditional guys who sport some facial hair. (Though most of them will probably be democrats)

  20. Blogger Arwyn 

    That's possible, Mike. The local Mormon boy (the one from New Hamshire) is the one I get along with best. We imported the rest from Utah -- so maybe I should amend that to say "the way they raise them in Utah..."

    And, hey -- if I'm open to dating non-Mormons, I feel I'd be a tad hypocritical if I limited the pool to Republicans only. Really, temporal politics over eternal salvation?

  21. Blogger Mike 

    I don't think that I consciously let political persuasion influence who I'm interested in, however, I must admit that I have (on more than one occasion) been guilty of totally objectifying a woman due to her political leanings.

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