Mormon Discussion

Sunday, November 20, 2005

This post contains the word "SEX." Viewer discretion is advised!

I'm confused by Mormon dating. I'm not going to lie.

Before boys go on missions, they are encouraged to date many girls. This apparently lets them find out what they like in the opposite sex. Girls are encouraged to do the same thing.

Fast forward--boy goes on mission, comes home man.

Man is then encouraged to get married ASAP!!! Girls are encouraged to do the same thing. Snap up the RM like he's plated in gold and poop diamonds, ladies! POKE OUT YOUR FELLOW RELIEF SOCIETY COLLEGUE IF YOU MUST but marry that RM.

Except for...um...where was the "sustain a relationship with someone so you know how a relationship functions" stage?? It seems pathetically lacking...

I think that this is all about sex.

Don't steady date anyone before a mission, because you might make-out (which inevitably leads to sex. All the time. So never make out. And no kissing with tongues, or as one bishop described it, "No porno kissing."). If you have sex before marriage you jeopardize your chances of going on a mission.

Ok, noble goal. I like it. 16 year olds don't need to be having sex anyway. So, I'm cool with this.

Next, after mission...it's like "MARRY MARRY MARRY!" flashing like a crappy neon sign in singles wards. RIGHT NOW. Do it! Just met her?? Doesn't matter! Buy her a ring! Marry her!!

What? You didn't know that she has a gimp leg?? Too bad! Marry her!

What? You don't know how to communicate your feelings effectively in a relationship?? Um, oh well. Marry him!!

Why this pressure? Because you are 20. You want to have sex. Really bad. And ALL your nonmember friends around you are like, "Dude, you're 20. Why are you not having sex?" So the church is all, "Go for it! Have sex! WITH YOUR WIFE!!!" Which, again, is a noble goal. Don't have sex before marriage. I think that's cool too.

So, you find someone and you marry them right away because you both really just want to do it.

And you don't take the time to have a working relationship because you're too busy imagining them naked.

That's what I think.

Because why else would there be this HUGE noticeable gap in the relationship stages? It's first--date everyone and have no serious relationships and then next--date someone for like 4 weeks and then propose. Get married the next day.

The church says that you shouldn't wait once you "know" that this is the person you want to be with.

Um, fine, that's noble too.

BUT HELLO?! Hasn't anyone heard of the "honeymoon stage" in the relationship? Where, if someone asks you what irritates you about the other person, you sigh lovingly and bat your eyes and imagine their beautiful face and say, "Nothing..."

Give it like 6-8 months. Then you notice things. Like he picks his teeth at the dinner table and then SUCKS the food out.

Or she has a habit of leaving her dirty underwear all over the house.

Or he has a secret stash of Bobblehead dolls.

Or she really, REALLY freaks out when someone dies on "Days of Our Lives."

Then when someone asks, "What drives you nuts about your boy/girl friend?" you'll have a whole laundry list of crap.

AND THAT'S WHEN YOU KNOW YOU CAN MARRY SOMEONE.

Because when you have no idea that he belches every morning and she has a neurotic need to have all the soup cans with their labels out, you don't know the person. So how can you commit to spending eternity with them? Ok, to be fair, they probably won't have all that irritating crap in eternity, so I'll say spending the rest of your mortal life with that person?

When you are really in love with someone, you can say, "Ok, my love of my life blows his nose into the cloth napkins at fine restarurants, has the dirtiest and grossest bathroom I've ever had the unfortunate chance of peeing in, eats everything with his hand, refers to my mother as 'The Skunk,' and sort of smells really terrible after he plays sports. But, I love him, in spite of all these things that drive me nuts, so I can honestly say I could commit to being with him forever."

So shouldn't we have a sustain a relationship stage? So young people can get to know better what they like and don't like in a relationship?

Not to mention, in a relationship, you have to learn commitment, sacrifice, and communication skills. You have to learn how to work out problems and have discussions, to give and take, to have friends and a life outside of your dating partner. You essentially learn what it entails to be an effective partner.

I wouldn't marry anyone who hadn't had a serious, long-term relationship before me because I'd have to spend all my time teaching him to do the things you learn in long-term relationships.

So why does the church skip over what seems to be a rather important developmental stage??

Because they are so focused on keeping us away from pre-marital sex. Which, again, is a lofty goal, but marriage is so much more than sex. In all honesty, I would much prefer to marry a non-virgin who had cleaned up his act and had a past history of serious, long-term relationship than a virgin whose longest relationship was 2 weeks.

Unless the virgin was an RM plated in gold who pooped diamons. Then someone in RS would lose an eye, if needed. I love me some diamonds!

9 Comments:

  • I think you've summed up the problem of the Church's stance on sexuality quite well. What is less clear is the solution. I have my own ideas, but they are fairly heretical.

    By Blogger NFlanders, at 5:42 AM  

  • What about arranged marriages? I've heard that those are the most succussful marriages. Arranged marriages have a sort of screening process, right, where the family evaluates who their child will marry. The long term relationship is a screening process in itself. Like you say, mormon culture doesn't have a screening process, beyond "I prayed about it." Sorry, but, "I prayed about it" isn't a very reliable way to go about choosing a spouse.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:17 AM  

  • Ned--My ideas, as well!

    Anon--Arranged marriages are succesful from what I've heard. However, i don't think they would work in this society because we focus so much on marrying for love, rather than compatible lifestyles. For instance, my roommate and I are completely compatible in lifestyles. We deal very well with the others' habits, we have been best friends for years, and we never squabble over money issues. Forgetting for a moment that she's a girl and therefore marriage is impossible in most states, I still wouldn't want to marry her because I'm not in love with her. While I love her, I don't want to be with her forever just because she's compatible with me. I wouldn't want to even if she were a guy. So, while arranged marriages are successful from what I've heard, I think this society in general really likes the idea of falling in love with someone. The problem I see is that the church's pressure to avoid premarital sex doesn't really allow someone enough time to actually fall in love with the other person. They just think that because they really, really like that person a lot and they are in the honeymoon stage of the relationship that everything will work out ok and so they rush into marriage.

    I think it would be better to have more time to get to know the person, so that they both know they really are in love, as well as compatible. I agree that choosing because you prayed about it isn't the best screening process.

    By Blogger mellancollyeyes, at 12:26 PM  

  • The other issue with sex is this.

    No, No, No, No, No, No, No,... well, you're married now so. YES

    What the hell are we supposed to do with that? Isn't implied that sex is dirty and nasty unless you are married, and then kids, you're on your own.

    I can't tell you how many 26+ year old mael RMs there are floating around who have no idea how to date, who to date, and what to do once they are on a date... I want to smack them all and say, "Did you freaking turn off your hormones? GET MARRIED!"

    By Blogger Blog God Award Committee, at 2:05 PM  

  • That's a really good point, as well. I hate that issue too.

    By Blogger mellancollyeyes, at 6:41 PM  

  • I agree with Margie's Sister Mabel. But get this: I used to go to a single's ward with people up to the age of 45, some of whom hadn't dated in YEARS because they were afraid of "messing up" and breaking the law of chastity. They were/are even afraid of making out. OUr bishop even told us that people "shouldn't even hold hands if the guy knows he's just going to go home and m****."

    What kind of crazymaking is that? Turning off one's hormones on a 2 year mission can turn into becoming a stone for twenty years and having severe psychological and sexual problems.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:27 PM  

  • You people must live in some messed up Mormon communities because in the one I grew up in, while a few exceptions may fit your discription, no one started worrying about an RM finding a mate until he gratuated college without ever having a relationship. Sometimes our own interpretations and implementations of the doctrines wind up far from what the prophet intended. Even so, the concerns are legit.

    By Blogger Garrett, at 10:08 AM  

  • First of all, is "Porno Kiss" a Mormon term or something, because Amy Duncan said porno kiss once when she was talkingabout french kissing. As far as I am concerned, porno kissing is oral sex!!!

    I have to say though that I have a real problem with people saying aranged marraiges work better. What is the standard here? Less divorce? How much divorce can we expect when the women aren't even choosing who they marry?

    I have had friends that were going to have 'arranged' marraiges and you know what their parents cared about? Number one money, number two prestige and three, was this person gosiped about.

    I certainly cant tell you what methods work best to keep a marraige together but really, is marraige so important? Does marraige garuntee happiness for a familly, an individual? There is too much emphasis on marraige in religion and society in general. Sex before marraige is over rated and putssex on a pedistal. Sure, sex is important but I think when it is considered so sinful and so antisipated that people want it more. Plus, too many people get married just to fuck when it is about so much more!!!

    By Blogger *Ashley*, at 2:53 PM  

  • I think you all have it a bit wrong. I can speak from experience that the way the church culture works can work out just fine right. I must admit I never went on a mission, but I pretty much fit the mould enough to make a comment.

    I'm form Australia and at the time was living in a very very small community where there were three members. We lived 500 Km away from the nearest Branch. One weekend we travelled down I met a young widow (20) and her young Son. We went home and I thought nothing of the event.

    A couple of weeks later a mutual friend gave me her number and I called her. From that first conversation I knew I would marry her.

    Under three months later we were married and during our "courtship" I lived 500 Km away from her. We have now been married for over three years now.

    The friends who lived in the same town as me were similar to us. They had known each other two weeks when he proposed and married a month later (legal waiting period) and have been married for over 25 years.

    I think it is difficult to generalise. If two people truly have the guidance of the Spirit when seeking their mate I know it can work. No matter how sex mad they may be.

    I think the real problem is the naive understanding of marriage that many young people have. When you enter marriage you need to understand that it is something that must be worked at. That the lustful first few months will not last and that Hollywood movie style romance is not real in any sense. Marriage is hard work and if you know that before you get married then no matter what perceived superficial problems (picking their teeth etc) there may be you can work through them.

    At least that is how it has been for us.

    By Anonymous Brenden, at 8:37 PM  

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