I’ll preface what I say with this quote from President Ezra Taft Benson:
“Now, brethren, do not expect perfection in your choice of a mate. Do not be so particular that you overlook her most important qualities of having a strong testimony, living the principles of the gospel, loving home, wanting to be a mother in Zion, and supporting you in your priesthood responsibilities.
“Of course, she should be attractive to you, but do not just date one girl after another for the sole pleasure of dating without seeking the Lord’s confirmation in your choice of your eternal companion.
“And one good yardstick as to whether a person might be the right one for you is this: in her presence, do you think your noblest thoughts, do you aspire to your finest deeds, do you wish you were better than you are?” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1988, 59; or Ensign, May 1988, 53).
As YSA sometimes we focus too much on trying to find that Disney ideal of prince charming or finding your princess on the first date. There are many people I’ve gone on dates with that have many qualities that are important to me and for one reason or another I haven’t been able to commit to anything beyond a first or second date. I realized why this has been a case because of some experiences I’ve had lately.
The first reason why I haven’t been able to connect or commit to anyone I’ve dated in the past while has been because I was always expecting some perfect situation where there would be sparks and things would just fit. This unrealistic standard was unfair to many of the people I went on dates with. While I had fun on each of my dates and there was definitely room for the relationship to grow. My unwillingness to recognize the potential for a great relationship in them was a huge stumbling block for me.
The second reason why is because I had a positive view of my own self-worth (pride). I will always be the last to admit it, even if I am very aware of it, but I am often very prideful. What I mean is that I often feel that because I have such great qualities I think that any girl would want to date me (at least that’s what happens in my head). This way of thinking is unhealthy to me and those I date because I evaluate them on a scale based on how I see myself, to see if they measure up to what my “standard” is. In retrospect I believe that many of those whom I terminated relationships with are much better than I am. To avoid being overly self deprecating I’ll leave it at that.
The third reason why I haven’t been able to connect with anyone is because I didn’t allow myself to be vulnerable. I was always closed off and kept myself in a safe secure place emotionally. While you might not think this is bad, to protect yourself from harm and being hurt emotionally. This type of behavior doesn’t allow anyone to enter emotionally either. I equate this to being in a castle with friendly visitors wanting to enter but not letting down the draw bridge. I know the reference is antiquated, much like a draw bridge requires work done to open it, for a budding relationship work too must be done for it to grow into something deeper. When I did this, these girls I dated were literally at the door waiting for me to open up and let them in. My actions effectively closed the door to progress in a relationships before it had any chance.
There are a lot of other things that I have discovered about myself over the course of the past few years with regards to dating. One of take homes from my minimal life experience is to just take risks, put yourself out there and don’t be afraid of rejection. I have been rejected more times by myself before I have even given others the chance to accept or reject me.
Is this a sure fire guide to relationship success of course not, I’m single. If it were then I wouldn’t be single. I still have things to learn, but most importantly I will be moving forward with what I have experienced and putting myself out there. Wish me luck guys.