Now that I've had a good day or so to ponder this article that caused quite a stir in my head, I'm ready to put a few thoughts down. I did email it to several people and have a couple conversations with friends, and wow - reactions all over the board.
Upon an initial read, I could personally identify with many things that this author brings up. Do I necessarily agree with her course of action? No. But I applaud her for being honest and bringing up the fact that we are indeed human, with need for closeness with other human beings, and just because we're promised amazing blessings in the eternities, sometimes that's not enough for us to hold out in singledom forever, without companionship, etc. Getting a dog doesn't fill that gap.
As singles, we may go weeks without any sort of human touch - not even shaking hands or hugging anyone, and that, my friends, can get lonely after awhile. Hence the weirdness I see in church meetings with girls sitting next to each other, rubbing each other's backs or playing with each other's hair. Always strikes me as odd, but hey, that's what we're driven to. Gentlemen, you can't get away with that.
Like the author, I never really imagined myself not getting married. At the age of 30, I still don't feel any sort of pressure to do so quickly, however, I know that I am not capable of maintaining single life forever. Men are that they might have joy in this life; I think there are options for those of us who don't find ourselves happily in a relationship with a fellow member of the church, standing in front of the temple steps. Making the same choice as the author and breaking a serious law - yeah, probably not the best move. But many of us are going to have to find other options, make choices outside the Mormon norm, and learn to be okay with it. Regardless, the Lord loves us. You can still pay tithing, attend your church meetings, serve in callings, go to the temple, even if you have a spouse that doesn't. People do it every. single. day. Would it be easier to have a spouse who's on the same page? Absolutely! I could only hope to be so lucky. But at the end of the day, I have to stand on my own testimony and relationship with the Lord, not ride on the coattails of my family or friends or spouse.
As for some of the reactions I received in emails:
One female friend wept for the author's open rebellion in such a public forum. I'm personally kinda glad the article was written.
Another female friend had never really thought about the fact that men need to be providers of some sort, and independent women don't have a place for them. For me, the jury's still out on that, but for some Mormon men, maybe that is the case? Though I personally don't want to my family to be dependent on seasonal sales of alarm systems and pest control so......
Sorry if that was mean. I just need a little more structure in my life, that's all.
Male friend said:
Brilliantly said, and something to think about, as I seek relationships that expand my horizons, though friends, dating, and while improving my relationship with the Lord. There is a balance to be had, not going so far that we miss out on spiritual blessings.
I could edit and rewrite this a million more times, but when you have a goal to blog more regularly, time is of the essence! Further feedback appreciated - these are interesting times.