by Dr. Randy Gilchrist, LDS Psychologist
www.LDSdimension.com (FREE LDS online dating site)
Tired of being single? Tired of trying to find someone over the months, years, even decades with no luck? It is very common and understandable to feel sad, frustrated, and even hopeless. Worn out from such feelings over time, many LDS young adults and mid singles can become tempted to give up. Singles can start to think things like, "maybe I should just give up", "maybe I'll just accept that I'll always be single", "maybe I just wasn't meant to be married", etc. Why do we tell ourselves these things? It's pretty understandable. To self sooth. To enjoy life again without the pressure and the letdown. To feel good about ourselves again. All of these aims make sense. But is giving up a good place to stay? I guess that is a matter of opinion. All I can offer you here is mine, and I hope you will find it useful.
Searching for Marriage--Don't Give Up On It!
In my opinion, the best plan is this--never give up on preparing for and searching for marriage--hopefully a temple marriage--but take brief breaks along the way as needed. Maintain your hope, but be easy on yourself. Pamper yourself along your dating journey. Pace yourself. Balance connecting with others with caring for yourself. Search for a potential spouse, but search for and enjoy relationships with friends and yourself along the way. The rule of thumb I suggest is to stay searching for dating and marriage as long as you are able to stay fairly positive, hopeful, and optimistic. And then take steps to step back for a while and recharge yourself when those traits are lacking/absent. Don't force it. Don't burn yourself out. Rejuvenate yourself but then head back out into the fray as soon as you're ready again.
Reasons for Marriage--Spiritual and Psychological
The reason I suggest to keep trying and searching for marriage is twofold: what I understand spiritually about the importance of marriage, as well as what I understand psychologically about it. At the end of every article I write for LDS singles, I always add the scripture "…neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord" (1 Corinthians 11:11). This is the way the Lord designed it. This is the way it was meant to be: man and woman are to be married and spend their lives together.
After creating Adam from the dust of the earth in the garden of Eden, the Lord says, "And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him". --Genesis 2:18. Furthermore, there is the scripture where Jesus says, "Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder". --Matthew 19:4-6. Finally, in the 1995 Proclamation to the World on the family, it states, "We, the First Presidency…solemnly proclaim that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God…Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan." In sum, marriage is the Lord's ultimate design and will.
Psychologically and emotionally, marriage, provided it is decently healthy and happy, is associated by research with many more positive outcomes over singlehood. Such outcomes include lowered levels of depression, suicide, anxiety, and self-esteem, as well as higher comparative levels of general life satisfaction, happiness, and longevity. In essence, a decently healthy marriage boosts psychological and emotional health and happiness.
Conversely, for the record, it is also healthier psychologically and emotionally to be single versus dating or being married to a very unhealthy partner. Verbal abuse, physical abuse, emotional neglect, addiction, and other negative factors by a partner is very traumatic and damaging in any relationship. Such individuals are very dangerous to be involved with and are not good marriage material. So in short, unless you can have confidence that your dating partner would make a reasonably respectful, giving, decent partner, it is best to keep searching. Don't settle, but keep looking.
Since succeeding in such a task can be a long, frustrating journey, pace yourself accordingly, but never give up. Be proactive. Reach for the stars. Live your dreams. You can have the marital happiness you seek. Because "…neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord" (1 Corinthians 11:11).
**To readers: to submit a question to Dr. G for a future Q and A column, please send your questions to email@example.com. Also, please register for a free account at www.ldsdimension.com for access to previous and future Dr. G articles.
|2016-10-21||Randy Gilchrist||Dating, Psychological health|
About the author
Hello, my name is Dr. Randy Gilchrist (aka "Dr. G"). I am a licensed clinical psychologist, a licensed marriage & family therapist, and a certified hypnotherapist in private practice in Roseville, CA (www.dr-rg.com), practicing since 1997. Also, I am happily married in the temple (Manti) since 1996 and have 4 sons. I am a volunteer writer and contributor to LDS Dimension. I use my training, education, and experience to share insights with LDS Dimension on all things of interest to the LDS dating community. Please read my articles and columns on this site to assist you in your online dating journey. Also, to be considered for an answer in a future Q and A column, please email me your dating/relationship oriented questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Finally, I also offer a powerful, effective worldwide custom hypnosis recording service just for LDS Dimension members for weight loss, pornography, and many other issues of concern to those in the LDS dating community (please learn more now at www.dr-rg.com/lds; email me questions to email@example.com).