Love isn’t easy for anyone, but LDS singles know that for them, romance can be especially difficult. The LDS faith overall, is a wonderful tradition that brings families and communities together. Its principles help to shape and guide moral, fulfilling lives for its faithful members. But when it comes to seeking romantic love, being LDS can feel like a disadvantage.
There are many reasons for that. On one hand, the Church itself doesn’t forbid dating outside the LDS dating pool. But there is considerable pressure to find a partner within your own LDS branch or stake, especially if you’re single. LDS singles wards and YSA wards are examples of this practice.
It certainly doesn’t help that “Mormons” have gotten such a bum rap with non-LDS people over the years. There’s a negative perception that surrounds LDS singles in the minds of many non-LDS singles. This can make it very hard to navigate your local dating scene and find a suitable partner.
Being single and LDS
The modern world paints single living in a very undesirable light. Media constantly reinforces the message that there’s something inherently wrong with you if you’re single. Casual relationships, hookup culture and the like have made dating more accessible than ever before. But true love is increasingly harder to find.
For LDS singles out there, things are no better, and perhaps, slightly worse. The LDS Church has always had a very unambiguous stance on dating. To the Church, partnering up means walking together towards marriage and children. Dating is but a stepping stone on the path towards forming a family. That perspective can be quite daunting for many LDS singles.
The Church does promote abstaining from dating at a young age. It also accommodates young adults with different priorities, such as education, through the YSA wards. But the drive towards marriage and forming a family is ever-present. In theory, there’s no rush, officially, to reach the altar. Yet there’s a reason branches organize YSA and singles wards, and it’s all but subtle.
As LDS singles age, they phase out of YSA wards and even singles wards. Many feel this is a personal failure, and can grow desperate to marry as a result. Desperation is certainly not the ideal mindset to seek out or enter a relationship with. It also tends to scare away the more eligible bachelors (while attracting the least palatable specimens).
Family and community pressures can also be quite taxing on LDS singles. Parents, siblings and members of your branch often approach you with uncomfortable questions. They’re coming from a good place, but that doesn’t make dealing with it any easier.
Finding love in the LDS singles ward
For all the downsides of being single and LDS, there’s bound to be some benefits. They come in the form of the fabled LDS singles ward. The singles ward is a unique take on the typical LDS wards that conform branches and stakes. Their primary purpose is to introduce LDS singles to other single adults that share their beliefs. The end goal is, of course, eternal marriage.
Finding love in the LDS singles ward can be challenging. There’s plenty of horror stories going around about the singles wards. From the tedious or uninteresting pairings to downright overzealous basement dwellers, the dating pool can be very limiting. That’s partially why singles wards tend to be separate from geographic divisions and even across stake lines.
The reason is apparent: the Church wants its young, single population married and forming families in the faith. But that looming expectation can make the environment tense in a singles ward. Especially these days, when marriage rates are dropping among young people, LDS included. People are waiting longer and longer to get married, if they marry at all.
Finding someone with the same romantic and relationship expectations as you can be hard. Even discussing these expectations can be taboo in an LDS singles ward. Particularly if they fail to align with the expectations of the Church and the community. This leads to fruitless attempts at dating between fundamentally incompatible people that can be frustrating for both parties.
And yet, as more and more LDS singles choose to wait before marriage, membership in the LDS singles ward rises. LDS singles are out there, and want to find love, but finding the right match is proving harder.
Looking for love outside the ward
The flip side of dating within your LDS singles ward is looking for love outside of it. While there are some advantages to dating outside the ward, there are also many pitfalls to look out for. There’s obviously a much broader dating pool outside the singles ward, and a great diversity of people. At the same time, this abundance can present its own challenges for LDS singles.
Some LDS communities frown upon this, especially because they associate it with dating outside the faith. Dating outside the ward doesn’t necessarily mean dating outside the faith, though. Many LDS singles choose to date other members of the faith, but outside the confines of the ward system. Setting the terms of their own courtship can make for more fulfilling relationships.
Even dating outside the faith isn’t strictly forbidden. The Church recognizes that its members can build a happy and moral life with non-LDS partners. It does warn against building a life with someone who doesn’t understand or respect LDS traditions or values. This clearly would have a pernicious effect on anyone’s faith. But many non-LDS people with open minds and hearts can make excellent partners for LDS singles.
A dating site can be an effective solution for LDS singles looking to date outside the ward. Despite their fame for casual hookups, many people prefer meeting serious potential partners through a dating site. Profiles allow people to know important information about each other before they even begin to talk. Expectations regarding love, family, faith, and marriage are easier to lay out in writing, upfront. Ready to try your luck outside the ward? Join us at Mingle2 now, and give love a go!