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 

You may also like...

9 Responses

  1. Caroline says:

    “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.”

    Amen! Thanks so much for your reflections on this topic, Ramona. I absolutely agree that our Mormon community needs to stop pitying single people and looking at their lives as less-than. Being single offers wonderful opportunities for self-development and connection with others. A good marriage relationship can too, but I don’t think one is necessarily better than the other. Ramona, I hope someday you get the chance to serve in Young Women so that you can contribute a more healthy attitude and perspective on being single.

  2. RoseE Hadden says:

    Brava!

    I had to be quite nasty for a number of years to get the well-meaning aunties to leave me be, but at last boundaries and peace have been established. There is more to life than marriage, and marriage (TW: blasphemy) is not for everyone.

    • EmilyCC says:

      Good for you and your boundaries! And, I would love to read more about how to explain to others that marriage isn’t for everyone and that doesn’t take away from others’ decisions to marry.

  3. Mary Young says:

    I was just turning 20, the product of a thoroughly dysfunctional family, and disillusioned by a dishonest young man I’d thought I loved. So I prayed mightily and committed to follow the answer. Therefore, I stopped dating, concentrated on school (BYU), work, and learning more about this religion I’d so recently joined. I found myself. I learned the value of my 12 years of Catholic school and the forward-thinking theology the Dominicans taught us. I learned that this was completely compatible with Mormonism, my religion professors’ admiration of J. Edgar Hoover notwithstanding. And I was deeply, profoundly lonely, mocked by my family for even wanting an education and pressured to be the obedient daughter, at home forever to care for everyone else. That’s when I met a returned missionary who wanted only to teach the Gospel his whole life, a man who was quite prepared to take what was then a very low-paying job because he was an idealist, a committed Christian, a person who believed a testimony was to be lived. It’s been 51 years, eight children,19 grandchildren, and all the various joys and ills of life. And love.
    We’re still liberal idealists, progressives, teachers. We’re still in love.
    Know thyself is the best advice ever given.

  4. SisterStacey says:

    As a single sister over 40, I feel this. I had my life all planned out to include marriage and it hasn’t happened. I’m at peace with it. I gave up on dating five years ago and I don’t regret it. I love my life and right now, giving it up for a man seems foolish. I know how hard marriage can be. Not to say I’m not lonely. I am so lonely. But I’d rather be lonely than in an unhappy marriage.

    • EmilyCC says:

      I’m glad you have found some peace, but I can see how it would be lonely. I hope your loneliness can feel a little less with the sisterhood here; I know it has helped me when my marriage has also felt lonely.

  5. EmilyCC says:

    I married young, so I really appreciate when single people talk candidly and are vulnerable about their experiences so I can learn and be a better friend. Ramona, your post also helps me to see how I can become more empowered in my life. Thank you.

  6. NonnyJ says:

    After nearly 50 years of marriage to the same man, I agree with you Ramona. I feel I was stunted in being able to know myself, to know who I am and what I had the potential to become. It took me a long time to break out of the mold I had been conditioned to believe was the “one right way.” I would like young women to know they have options of their own choosing and not have to live up to the expectations of others.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.