Thursday, June 27, 2013

Arranged Marriages, Anyone?

There was a thought-provoking article in Meridian Magazine today giving advice to LDS Singles as to how to deal with their single status in a productive way. I couldn't help but think of my daughter, recently returned from a mission, and feeling bombarded by daily Facebook updates of friends announcing their engagements. All of her friends but two are either married, about to get married, or seriously dating.

I emailed her a link to the article, but I wish now that I'd read it before I went to the temple this morning. You see, I ran into an old acquaintance at the temple, one whose son went to high school with my daughter. Apparently, her son is feeling just as demoralized over the whole single scene as Allison is. All of his friends--male and female--are either married, getting married, or going on missions (the girls, that is). The only solution my friend and I could come up with for our children was that maybe her son and my daughter should get together to at least commiserate.

I really liked the recommendations offered by the article's author, Jonathan Decker, a marriage and family therapist. For a long time, he was unmarried, himself. His suggestions certainly rang true for me, personally. You see, I didn't get married until I was 31. As he put it, LDS singles need to follow 3 rules to be happier:

1.Build a life worth living without a partner.
2.Be the type of person you want to attract.
3.Be open to options you’ve not yet considered.
Hey, I did all three of those and it worked. I finally met...not the man of my dreams, but the man I really needed. It wasn't until I hit 30 that I finally realized I probably wasn't going to get married, so I might as well make the best of my life alone. And I got right down to it. I began to carve out a career and was feeling pretty good about myself to the point that I'd almost lost all desire to date. But when the opportunity came to socialize, even though a good friend of mine pushed me into it, I basically followed Decker's second suggestion, dolling myself up and trying to be smart and sophisticated...that was the night I met him. And finally, I didn't let the fact that he was 7 years younger than me turn me off. I figured that if he could handle the age difference, so could I. And we have!

However, if LDS Singles like my daughter and my friend's son aren't willing to try those kinds of approaches, there's always one other solution:

Arranged marriages. Hey, it works in a lot of cultures. Why not ours?

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