Guest Post: Things I Wish I Knew As A Single Latter Day Saint
By: Ramona Morris
I never wanted to get married.
I never wanted to get married.
I NEVER WANTED TO GET MARRIED!
Before joining the church just before my twenty-fourth birthday, I had always stood firm that marriage wasn’t in my plans.
When most girls were crushing on boys, I had my life planned out to the smallest detail. I would become a reporter who travelled all over the world looking for amazing stories. I made several phone calls to fertility clinics to find out how I could become a mother without needing to sign my life away by something as boring as marriage.
Years later, my life plan hasn’t worked out too well. I’ve travelled a bit, fell in and out of love (with the bad boys who were no good in my life) and given up my dreams of becoming a journalist.
One thing that has changed a lot is my views on marriage. Now I’m not saying I’m out here looking for my Prince Charming to sweep me off my feet and we gallop off to the nearest temple to be sealed for time and all eternity but I can say that I’ve gone from abhorring the thought of marriage to actually considering it a little more than I thought I ever would.
Still, in recent years I haven’t been able to enjoy dating. There is so much pressure on young Latter-Day Saints to find the one, pop out a few kids and raise their families in the gospel that even the most innocent of conversations between friends can alert those pushy elders whose sole purpose is to rush us rebellious single saints down to the nearest courthouse and off to the nearest temple.
I first felt that pressure when I attended a YSA temple trip in 2018 in the Dominican Republic. I convinced myself that I was not on the trip to find a husband and focused on teaching a dating workshop and preparing myself to receive my endowments. Still, I received messages inquiring whether I was searching for a potential companion on the trip or if I planned to waste the opportunity to be around so many other young single adults.
When I visited Idaho/Utah months later, the pressure followed. Now in the “Mecca” of dating for Latter Day Saints, I was expected to return home with a viable candidate.
I wish we taught young single adults the importance of being alone, discovering who they are and becoming the best version of ourselves before seeking out our eternal companion. I wish we’d stop guilt tripping those of us who choose to focus on our education over finding someone to love.
My biggest wish is that we would stop the culture of marriage shaming. You know what I mean. It’s the belief that unless someone is married, that they won’t be happy. It means that some of us don’t get excited by weddings or engagements but just feel immense anxiety knowing that unless we have someone to love as well, that any communication that doesn’t cheer for a quick marriage the loudest is seen as jealousy and bitterness.
So even as I approach my 29th birthday next year, I recognize the importance that finding myself and jumping headfirst into marriage isn’t a massive timeline that I need to undertake to make someone else happy.
Sure, it means people will probably stop throwing the bouquet and hand it to me personally in hopes that my dream guy will be right around the corner. It may mean that I have to travel some more to find myself. It may even mean that I might never get married in this lifetime.
What it doesn’t make me is bitter, unafraid or unmoved by love.
It just means that for right now, I’m just living my life differently…
Ramona Morris is a sassy-day saint from the small Caribbean island of Barbados. In her almost four years as a member, she’s dealt with the good, bad, and in-between of being a convert to the church. Her goal is to live the gospel as sassily as she can. Follow her on Instagram at sassydaysaint