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Too too precious

June 3, 2007

by Amri

Sometimes, Mormons are precious. They are special. Peculiar. Sometimes they are all at once. Precialiar. That’s our problem. We are so special that we forget that we’re exactly like everyone else.

I’m recently 30 and have spent 12 years in Singles’ Wards. While I’d like the Church to re-think the strategy of Singles’ Wards, my experiences have mostly been good. I’ve met really good people, played lots of ultimate frisbee, held some fun callings I wouldn’t have in a regular ward, and gone to many barbecues. Mormon Singles think they’re special. Not the better-than-everyone-else special because they secretly hate themselves for being single, but the I’m-different-from-everyone-else kind of special.

Mormon singles feel particularly bad about themselves for being single. Because you have to be alone which is lonely but then there are the theological ramifications of being single. Is God single? No, the thought makes reason stare. Heaven does not have single people. To receive all the ordinances of the gospel you have to be unsingle. There’s the practical ramifications too. The Church is built to support families. There are some callings and other ways of serving you can’t hold if you are single. Sometimes you’re more suspect if you’re single, and mostly you’re forever perceived as age 17. We singles feel acute pain over our singleness, because it’s worse than anyone else.

But that’s not true. It turns out everyone in the world hates to be single. Married is the way to be in most every culture and context. Single people everywhere don’t love being single and are looking for ways to rid themselves of the stigma, of the loneliness, of the lesser situation. The funny thing is that at least half the adults in the world, okay I don’t know that, but half in the adults in the US are single. SINGLE. So, say, if we singles wanted to take on the marrieds we could kick their asses and we’d probably win since we have more time to go to the gym and we all know married people get fat.

I only point this out because I am self-absorbed and within a precious Church I have to be even more precious. The first half of my twenties was painful because I was single and Mormon. I felt so isolated and worthless sometimes. And I would get angry at Church policies and doctrine for leaving me out of heaven and other important social situations. Other single people I knew couldn’t understand, and more, they couldn’t offer me any sort of advice or practical example. But I was wrong and the last half of my twenties was re-learning how to view my singleness. Even though no one seems to like it, lots of people are single. It’s not so bad. It’s nice even.

I came around to really like being single. I wasn’t so special, just normal. Like at least half of my fellow Americans. My marital status didn’t have to be fussed over or felt sorry about. It just was. I became single and I liked it. I relished the choices I got to make because I was single. Free, powerful. I never had to compromise or give in or agree with someone even though I knew they were wrong. I loved doing whatever I wanted and I knew I was allowed that because I was single.

And then I met someone really really good. And we dated and dated and now we’re getting married. And the funny thing is I feel really quite lost without my single identity. Who the heck am I if not single Amri? Do I have to be nice when I don’t want to? I am not a sharing Amri. I’m a single Amri. And now I have to adjust and I feel a little isolated and special but I guess I still have half of America on my side. Even if they are fat.

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7 comments

  1. “… played lots of ultimate frisbee …”

    Isn’t that all that really matters? :mrgreen:


  2. i am married and i am not fat. However, i make going to the gym a high priority that many of my married friends do not. I have the philosophy if you really want to have time to exercise you can find it.


  3. Yeah that was just a joke I like to call Married People are Fat. But it’s not true, single people are fat, separated people, divorced people, it’s a welcoming way of being.

    And danithew, ultimate frisbee. Isn’t it about time?


  4. My husband was thirty-seven when we married, his first marriage. He was very concerned about his potential loss of privacy. But (he claims) that living together felt very natural, like we’d been together for a really long time. Yes, I am aware of the dual meaning of that phrase, but choose to take it positively.

    Everybody says being married is hard work. They are wrong. Being married is easy. You’ll love it. You’ll be great at it.

    Best wishes for a very happy life together.


  5. I guess I’ll be the first here to say congratulations on your marriage plans! May you have many more happy identity changes as life goes on for you and your husband.


  6. I say congrats. And also? I have a feeling you’ll get used to being married just fine. Your married life and you will come to some sort of an agreement…just like you and your single life did.

    and that’s just awesome…


  7. It’s really good that you found enjoyment in singleness- I got married later too (27) and learned a lot about myself in those years- things that have helped me make the transition to marriage smoother, and that make me a better wife now.

    Yay for you and getting married, moving on to a new pasture in your life. You will likely find it just as fulfilling and educational as the previous eras. Congrats!



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