Dear LDS Woman: It’s Time to Break Your Own Heart

Time after time, I have been on the receiving end of hearing girlfriends complain about being single. I’ve grown used to hearing tales of other young single adults who whine and throw tantrums when their knight in shining armor doesn’t come swooping in on a white horse to whisk them away for time and all eternity. 

As easy as it is to judge these individuals for their apparent desperation, I used to be one of these girls. As countless young girls around the world have done, I created a fairytale of what my life could be. Now as an adult, I’ve realized how silly and far-fetched most of those make-believe endings truly were.

It’s one in the morning as I type this article. Other than the soft croon of Erykah Badu’s Tyrone via the television, everyone around me has drifted off to the world of the Sandman. Yet, as I sit here frantically typing these words, I feel immense gratitude for my insomnia. 

You see, this is my thinking time. My best ideas come after midnight. The most powerful spiritual breakthroughs come at this time. I plan my week for my Instagram blog and journal whenever the mood strikes. Tonight, is no different.

As I sit here, the only thing that comes to mind, is the importance of establish a strong foundation of self-worth. You may be asking yourself why this is suddenly so important. It’s because until recently, I misplaced my self-worth by believing that unless it was tied to my relationship status or my future husband that there was no need to continue being the strong feminist woman that I am.

Recently, I backed out of the possibility of a relationship with someone who despite their best attempts to make me happy just didn’t evoke strong enough feelings. Although this was the right decision, I second guessed myself for hurting someone else. I told myself that I should’ve lied and stuck it out and that a relationship meant I had something in common with my other friends. 

I began to feel unloved and unwanted even when I knew the decision was the right one. 

I told myself that I was now older than my mother was when she gave birth to me. I told myself that my biological clock was ticking faster. I believed that I could lie and forget my own happiness and sense of self. 

 

Then I remembered. It wasn’t my job to fix anyone. It wasn’t my role to take all the weight upon my shoulders. I immediately began to cut myself some slack and tried my hardest to tell myself kind things in the following days as I adapted to my new reality without this person as a romantic prospect in my life. 

Now if you’re reading this, your situation may be different from mine. It might include toxic family members, church callings and members who overstep and disrespect, or even a partner who has done you dirty that you’re trying to forgive or you just may be a young single adult just like me who is struggling in the path of singleness, settling for the bare minimum in your dating life. 

Ladies, with your sassiest neck-roll, remind yourself that it’s not your responsibility alone to fix someone. It’s not your job to be the “fixer” who resets everything back into place. Remember that your self-worth is not tied to anyone and that it can only be built by you instead of being validated by others. 

And sisters, if it comes down to removing people who disturb your peace…it’s time for you to break your own heart.

 

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6 Responses

  1. SisterStacey says:

    Ramona, I loved this. I struggled with this for years. I’ve never had many dating opportunities. I’ve been told I’m intimidating (heaven forbid a woman know a lot about the gospel and have a MA degree!). I finally gave up several years ago after yet another guy ignored me and hurt me and I realized it’s just not worth it! I’ve told the Lord it will have to be a Rebecca at the Well with Abraham’s servant experience if He wants me to get married. It’s been freeing and giving me so much peace! I’m not saying it’s not lonely, but I would rather be lonely than in a marriage because I was desperate or thought I could fix someone!
    Amen to all of this!

    • JC says:

      It’s better to be alone than it is to be in hell with someone else. I’m glad you’ve realized this, because so many don’t until it’s too late.

      The church needs to do a better job of teaching this in Young Women’s and single adult ward Relief Societies instead of pushing marriage so hard and idealizing it so much. In that vein, I wish people who’ve been married for several years and got hitched in the 18-23 age range would stop pushing marriage to single fathers and stepmotherhood onto single women who are 30+.

      Entering into a blended family situation is NOT for the faint of heart or wallet. It is a HUGE sacrifice these people are asking these women to make and there are complications and premeditated resentments on all sides.

      I did a similar thing to you and told the Lord that if He wants me to marry a single father, become a stepmother, and take on all it entails, that the circumstances would have to be truly extraordinary and there would have to be a divine hand and divine witness at play. While life does get lonely being single, I would rather be single and have my independence than be trapped in a marriage that isn’t right for me or in a blended family situation where I have no say in how my own life and marriage would play out!

  2. Lily says:

    I ask this as a serious question, because it is something I cannot get over. How do you feel valued when the be-all-end-all of our very existence is supposed mean pairing off? I am 53, never married, childless. At this age, I do not want to get married. I am perfectly happy as is, BUT there are a lot of us in the LDS Church. I know a lot of good women, older, never married, childless, looks have faded and I wonder “does God care about any of us”? Since we aren’t “filling the measure of creation” and “creating an eternal family”? Its like we are just left overs. How can God really value all these left over women?

    • Elisa says:

      I’m sorry you don’t feel valued. Personally I think the Church has created a false idol in the heteronormative nuclear family. I don’t think everyone needs to get married or have kids or whatever. I am glad you have found happiness with a different life trajectory and I just wish the Church could be more validating of that.

      • JC says:

        I agree with this. God’s plans for each of his children are so individualistic, as is the personal revelation people receive for their lives. Marriage and parenthood are not in the cards for everyone in this life – it doesn’t mean it won’t happen later, but it may not happen on earth, and that’s okay.

        Instead of making an idol out of the heteronormative nuclear family, the church would be better to teach members to live their lives in a way that aligns best with the personal revelation they’ve received from God and in accordance to the plan He has just for them.

  3. Heather says:

    Thank you for the good reminder that we cannot be responsible for other people’s happiness. So many of us women are trained to caretake and sacrifice. And those can be virtues, but not if they take over our lives. And as a fellow night owl, I agree that after midnight is when all the good ideas are ready to be explored!

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