Sunday, 29 June 2008

Loss of Potential

I went to a Young Single Adult Fireside/Family Home Evening tonight. It's held once a month at 7.00 in the evening, hosted by a family in the Maldon Ward. They're a lovely couple, and have the patience of Saints to have 8-12 YSAs crash their living room once a month. Anyway, I was looking around at the mix of YSAs, and was thinking, this is shocking! There were 4 ladies there, including me, and 5 men. The ladies include a PhD Student/part time lecturer (me), High School Music Teacher, HR Director, and Social Worker. All of them are bright, capable, stunning (seriously, all 3 of the other ladies there are gorgeous!) and just generally stellar women. The men are much less impressive. They're all rather underachieving with little or no ambition. Well, one of them is a bit more impressive than that. He's just been signed by a major music label, and improving all the time. So one who's on the ball. However, the rest were shockingly lost. I also work with the Youth of the Church. In that capacity, I get to see the next generation in their formative years. The young men and women I see there are so impressive. They've got such shine and excitement and drive. And yet, I look around at Men just 10 years older and think, What happened? Where did the conviction, the drive, the enthusiasm go? These same men were once the rising generation. And I'm sure their leaders looked at them in the same way I look at the current generation. Somewhere along the line they got lost. Obviously not all the Young Men lose their shine. But my question is, where are they? I look around at the (so called) eligible men in any given ward and think, I wouldn't spend 10 minutes alone with any of these men, much less the rest of my life! I just keep thinking that Bonnie Tyler had the right question: Where have all the good men gone?


Kaia said...

Well, hon, that's the sad thing I think once you get much beyond regular college age - the good men are either already taken, they're gay, or they're probably too involved in their careers, and thus aren't attending YSA events.

With women, on the other hand, there seems to be a bit of the opposite. Granted I'm in a pretty female heavy field (if I only I was a black male - I would have gotten a sweet fellowship at Harvard or UC Berkeley for my PhD), but there are three kinds of women in my program, both faculty and PhD students: married (not very many - at the moment, I may be the only one), divorced (about half of the remainder), and never been married (the other half of the remainder). The few male faculty in the department are all married.
I was talking with one of my friends in the program, and like you I think, she's seeing the writing on the wall. She does not want to permanently remain a single woman, and is worried that she'll end up like all the single female faculty in my field. Furthermore, all 4 of you ladies are not exactly working in fields where you're likely to find a decent man, except maybe the HR person.
I vote going after the musician. Is he hot? Are there any hot LDS guys working on PhDs over in the science/math/engineering departments?

Nate says you either need to go cradle robbing (have any recently returned missionaries around?), or steal someone's man.

As for the youth of the church, I think it is surprisingly difficult to not seem to have excitement and drive at that age, unless one is a total burnout.

You'll find someone.

Coila said...

1. Men leave the church a LOT more often than women do.

2. The ones who stay are the ones who can stand to be told how they're not as good as the women.

3. This may be a BIT simplified, but is pretty honestly how I see it.

M & M said...

Good question! I myself lucked out and found a great guy at 22, but let me tell you I had to get through a few toads to find him. Of course dating the toads helped me to appreciate all the wonderful qualities my husband has.

I feel your pain though, I really do. The dating market seems to get slimmer every year, especially for single adult women. I know so many incredible, intelligent, beautiful, fun, artistic women who can't seem to find a good guy. However, I'm really proud of all of them for not "settling" for less than they are worth.

Keep at it Adele, I know your British boy is out there somewhere. I mean, at least they're all herded and trapped on an island, right?! In the meantime, if you get discouraged just pop open a package of cookies and watch some Bridget Jones...always makes me feel better.

Heather said...

I was going to comment on this post when I read it almost a month ago, but life got in the way, and now I don't know, with your technical difficulties, if you'll get this or not, but here goes...

I've thought about this phenomenon a lot. Only a handful of my women friends from high school and college are married, and one of them only recently to a wonderful man from Brazil.

Like you, I've noticed that most of the 30+ single male crowd in the church just seem to be drifting aimlessly along and are not really worthy of the women they could marry. I have heard of a few exceptions, like the nephew of a lady in my last ward. He's in his late 30's, self-made in business, and invests his extra time and money building orphanages in Africa and hanging out there with "his kids"--he's LDS and humble and kind (that was the impression his aunt gave me anyway ;) ) So they may be few and far between, but they are out there! :)

I really admire all the women in your league who don't languish about wishing their life were different, but are busy seizing the day and making their lives beautiful and full. As you know, the blessings will come in the Lord's time and in the Lord's way.