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Saturday, December 29, 2007

What LDS Singles Want Others in the Ward to Know

Photo by Roxana Gonzalez
I was pointed to this article in LDS Living Magazine and I really enjoyed it. It is based upon a survey the writer did with LDS singles. The results, I believe, are pretty representative of the singles as a whole.

Ten things are listed, and they include items such as "No two singles are alike", "Most of us want to marry (for the first time or again), but we're not desperate to marry", "We love to serve in church callings and in other church-related volunteer capacities, but we often have less free time than others might think".

One that really stood out to me addressed the issue of the inactivity rate of LDS single/divorced/widowed men. It put some responsibility on the shoulders of the other men in the wards and stakes to help fellowship, friendship, and reactivate 'our men'.

Here is a link to the article:
What the Singles in the Ward Want the Rest of Us to Know by Debra Sansing Woods.

After you read the article, please check back in here and let us all know what you think of the list. Was it on or off? What would you add or take out?


What the Singles in the Ward Want the Rest of Us to Know
. Debra Sansing Woods. December 28, 2007. LDS Living Magazine (online)
(Accessed December 29, 2007)

Friday, December 28, 2007

How Do I Let Go of Love?

Photo by Lynn Davis
A dear friend of mine is going through a painful time that I can completely relate to. He has been madly in love with a woman who has now made it clear that their relationship will never be. He is devastated and asked how to 'kill' the love he feels for her. The pain is unbearable for him. I am on the tail-end of a 'losing love' experience, so I shared the following with him, based upon what I have been learning along the way:

Time. They say time heals all wounds. Time also allows us to grow, change, let go, and move on.

Acceptance. Its hard to accept that what we wanted to the very core of our being - what we believed in and worked for with all we had - will never be. In conjunction with Time, Acceptance will allow us to let go, and move on.

Reality Check. Sometimes, no matter how right something may seem or is; no matter how much we give and work and sacrifice; things still don't work out according to plan. That is part of life and has no bearing on who we are or our worth - unless we distort it into such.

When there is betrayal or some clear wrong doing it is easier to move on because we can use fault and blame, and we have something concrete to hold on to that explains why it didn't work out.

When there is no fault or blame - when it just 'is', it is gut-wrenchingly difficult to get past. As humans we like to tie up loose ends. We don't like unfinished business, and we like to resolve things. When something just 'is' there is no resolution - only acceptance that it 'is'.

Prayer for Peace. When there is no resolution, Praying for Peace is the tool that allows us to Accept and move on. Peace fills in those gaps left behind by the loose ends and unfinished business.

Bite-Sized Pieces. Taking it one day at a time sometimes seems like too much. If it has to be dealt with one moment or one breath at a time, it is ok. We only need to deal with what we have to when we have to. There is plenty of time, and there will be much growth along the way. We need to learn to be ok with that, and find things about the process to embrace. They are there - we just need to watch for them.

Live*Laugh*Love. Along the way, we need to allow ourselves to truly live again; to laugh and cry and mourn and feel joy; and we need to open ourselves up to loving again. Shutting ourselves down at first can be helpful in allowing the wound to scab over and to help us get some perspective. But we need to take care that we don't stay in that place - that we take one baby step at a time if necessary, back into living again.

In the movie Field of Dreams, there was a now much-quoted line, "If you build it they will come." Well, to put that into context for this, "If you allow it, you will heal." We are not being disloyal or showing our love to be any less real when we accept, let go, and move on. Real love accepts the other person and their agency. Real love also loves and respects ourselves and our right to happiness, too. It is a mark of true love, and emotional maturity to be able to put things into perspective and to allow ourselves to live, and to love, again.

I don't believe this will 'kill' love, but I do believe it will help existing love devolve into its proper place and perspective for the circumstances so a person can live and love again.

What do YOU do to let go of love?

Thursday, December 27, 2007

The Formula for a Successful Marriage

Photo by Lynn Davis
Today, on the boards of a site I belong to, the debate raged (partly due to something I posted about men as the sole provider) about roles, responsibilities, and being equally-yoked in a marriage. In the midst of all of that, a friend pointed out this quote which I am sharing with you which is A simple formula for a successful marriage from President Kimball (1978):

"There is a never-failing formula which will guarantee to every couple a happy and eternal marriage; but like all formulas, the principal ingredients must not be left out, reduced, or limited. The selection before courting and then the continued courting after the marriage process are equally important, but not more important than the marriage itself, the success of which depends upon the two individuals—not upon one, but upon two.

In a marriage commenced and based upon reasonable standards as already mentioned, there are not combinations of power which can destroy it except the power within either or both of the spouses themselves; and they must assume the responsibility generally. Other people and agencies may influence for good or bad. Financial, social, political, and other situations may seem to have a bearing; but the marriage depends first and always on the two spouses who can always make their marriage successful and happy if they are determined, unselfish, and righteous.

The formula is simple; the ingredients are few, though there are many amplifications of each.

First, there must be the proper approach toward marriage, which contemplates the selection of a spouse who reaches as nearly as possible the pinnacle of perfection in all the matters which are of importance to the individuals. And then those two parties must come to the altar in the temple realizing that they must work hard toward this successful joint living.

Second, there must be a great unselfishness, forgetting self and directing all of the family life and all pertaining thereunto to the good of the family, subjugating self.

Third, there must be continued courting and expressions of affection, kindness, and consideration to keep love alive and growing.

Fourth, there must be a complete living of the commandments of the Lord as defined in the gospel of Jesus Christ.

With these ingredients properly mixed and continually kept functioning, it is quite impossible for unhappiness to come, misunderstandings to continue, or breaks to occur. Divorce attorneys would need to transfer to other fields and divorce courts would be padlocked."

Regardless of how a couple works things out or views 'roles and responsibilities', those elements President Kimball so eloquently addressed are crucial to the success of the marriage.

With that in mind, what is the most recent thing YOU have learned about being a partner to your future spouse?


Gospel Classics: Oneness in Marriage
. President Spencer W. Kimball. Ensign, Oct 2002, 40

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

What Do I Have to Offer a Mate?

Photo by Chance Agrella
Perhaps the holidays are bringing this out more in the people around me, but a common theme I am coming across right now is people wondering what they have to offer a potential significant other. The list they formulate of ways in which they fall short can be great.

Most recently several male friends expressed some very deep and tender feelings about how they feel 'undesirable' as a mate due to financial/work situations they are each currently experiencing. They had other things on their lists, but the financial/work thing was at the top of both lists.

It breaks my heart to see anyone in such pain and isolating themselves, yet, in many ways I can understand where they are coming from.

I understand it is a little different for men than women, with the 'pressure' to be the provider and all . . .but many of us struggle with those same thoughts and feelings - wondering what on earth we have of any value to offer any one.

They say there is someone for everyone and they say there is a time and season for everything. I don't know what the answer is other than I know we all have value and worth in His sight - and sometimes that may have to be good enough (I am not being blasphemous here - I think you know what I mean).

Maybe that is part of it - learning how to let that be enough and to not worry so much about what society or our own insecurities and doubts say about our worth and value.

I am reminded of the book (I forget the author and title - I'll add it when it comes to me) which explained that just like the actual dollar amount of tithing we pay may be different from the dollar amount someone like Bill Gates would pay - it is all 10%. So, when we give of ourselves, it may not look the same as what others give - but if it is 100% of who we are and what we have, then it is sufficient, and all that we are expected and required to do.

How does YOUR list of what you have to offer compare with your list of how you fall short?

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Teach the Children: Christ and Santa

Photo by ljsendoorn
One thing I did with my son as he was growing up to help keep Santa in the proper context was use this story: Teach the Children (it plays music, too)

One year, our RS made wooden trees with nails to hang wooden cutout ornaments on, and then gave us the list from the story of what each represented. Before that, I had store-bought things I used, and my son got to hang each on the tree as I read the story.

One year I created and sewed ornaments to go with the story, and gave it and the ornaments out to everyone.

We still read the story and do the ornaments each year. It is just one of several ways we try to keep the true Christmas Spirit in our home.

What things do YOU do to teach your children about the true meaning of Christmas?

Holidays and Family

Photo by Karin Wassdahl
Because the holidays are typically a time for family gatherings, I thought it appropriate to list some family resources in my post for today.

Whether it is learning how to build a stronger family unit in your own home, or learning how to deal with difficult extended family members, the church's website has some great info to help.

Building a Strong Family: A Few LDS Resources

Some of the categories covered are Husband and Wife, Parent and Child, and Individual Family Members.

May your holiday season be filled with peace, joy, love, and light!

Monday, December 17, 2007

LDS Single Adult Resources

Photo by Roxanna Gonzalez
There is a free relationship/dating class online from BYU - it is geared more towards youth/first time daters, but there is some great info in it:

BYU Online - Dating: Romance and Reason

Here is the full list of FREE BYU ONLINE COURSES

The church (LDS Family Services) offers relationship classes for free, and I think there is a manual for it that is available for about $3.

The church website lists some great info for single adults as well as info on how to contact the closest office to find out about the classes:

LDS Family Services - For Single Adults

A listing of various singles dating sites, and resources for singles activities/leaders is at the LDS Section of About.Com

Utah LDS Singles Hotline: 1-800-537-6726

Singles Activities Websites (Utah):

Please add any other free or low-cost LDS Adult Singles resources YOU know about.

Thank you!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Red Flags

Photo by Kerry A. Adamo
Red Flags is a term people use to describe huge warning signs about others and their behavior or personality. Being single, I have discovered many other singles put a great deal of time into looking for red flags and put a great deal of stock into the philosophy they should 'run' at the first sign of anything they believe to be a red flag.

Everyone has a different idea about what is a sign of trouble. In my own life I am going through that phase we all experience from time-to-time when a lot of challenges hit at once. Its just life, and one day at a time I am getting through it; but to an outsider it could appear to be a huge red flag about me and my life.

Because of what I am handling, I have shifted my own focus from dating to dealing with the challenges, so it puts me in a quandry of sorts when men come along who want to start something. How much do I fill them in about, and should I fill them and in and let them decide what to do or just brush them off for now as the timing is off?

All of this got me thinking about red flags and what we, as individuals consider to be red flags and what we do about them.

What do YOU think is a red flag?
What do you do when you first see something which might be a red flag?
How many red flags are in your own life?

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Kissing is Gross

Photo by Chance Agrella
A sweet lady on another site commented that she didn't get what the big deal was about kissing - she thought it was gross.

It got me thinking about my own views on kissing and how they have changed over the years. My pre-marriage philosophy on kissing is quite different from my post-divorce views.

I think kissing being gross depends on who you are kissing and why.

I didn't date until about 8 or 9 months after my divorce was final in 2002. I think I had been divorced a year or two before I finally let a man kiss me.

In my youth, I was not quite as selective about kissing partners as I am now. I can count the number of men I have kissed since my divorce on the fingers of one hand, and I am happy about that.

Its not for everyone, but I find personal peace and joy in being selective and in treating kisses as something personal and special. I won't kiss just anyone, so anyone getting a kiss from me knows it means something and that I am genuinely interested in him.

He also will know that his lips will be the only ones exploring mine. I don't kiss more than one man in the same time period. I have to stop dating one man (the one I am smoochin') before I will kiss another one. I am a monogamous kisser.

For me, when kisses are exchanged as a means of expressing genuine interest, affection, and in monogamy - they are wonderful.

For me, anything else is kinda gross.

How do YOU feel about kissing; and in what ways, if any, has this view changed over the years?

Who Matters Most to You?

On another site, the question was asked if we honestly care about others more than ourselves. It got me thinking about how much I care about others, and how I prioritize or rank that.

What I came up with is the following:
If it were between me and Osama you can bet I'd let him 'take the bullet' ;-p

Generally speaking, I care about others a great deal - but I also have boundaries which dictate just how much I will sacrifice and for what purpose.

* For a worthy cause (like to save a life) - I'd lay down my life for almost anyone
* For those closest to my heart - I put their needs ahead of my wants
* What my son needs comes ahead of what anyone else in my life needs - except when I need to take care of my health really badly. Then he has to do a holding pattern til I am up to it. I can't take care of him when I am not functioning. If I were married hubby would come ahead of, but not at the expense of, my son.

I think you get the picture.

So, when it comes to who you care about, and just how much, in relation to how much you care about yourself - where do others fit in?

In honor of the question, a little musical support:

You Mean the World to Me

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Deep-Voiced Men

I was directed to two articles about the fertility of men with deep voices, as well as their attractiveness to women. The conclusion is that higher testosterone levels create not only the deeper voice, but the fertility as well as that 'thing' that attracts women.

I am an alpha female, I find myself more attracted to men with deeper, soothing voices than I do those with mid-high range voices. However, I don't know if that is because I am sensory-oriented and the lower voice is more pleasing to my ear; if the lower voice is an 'alpha' male thing which just naturally pulls at my 'alpha' female instincts; or if it is in any way related to the findings of the study.

First, links to the articles:

A Man's Deep Voice Could Mean More Offspring

Man's Voice an Indicator of Sexual Potency: Study

Second, two questions:
Ladies: how does a man's voice affect you and your attraction to him?
Gentlemen: how low/high is your voice, and how much has that affected your attractiveness to women (i.e. how much attention does your voice get you?)

Friday, December 7, 2007

Drawing Heaven into Your Marriage

I read this review on Meridian Magazine's website, and I can't wait to get the book. The very principles and concepts I have been discovering along my own journey, and more, appear to be addressed in this book by H. Wallace Goddard.

Part of Maurine Proctor's review reads:
It is simply the best book on marriage that I have ever read, and I will always count it as a treasure in our library.

Though having a sweet companionship in marriage seems to be a universal dream, the world is fleeing from marriage in a sad resignation that the dream is sometimes hard to execute. Realizing the awesome power of married love and moving to live in oneness with another person requires not just good psychological principles or commonsense generalities that don't tell us much (like “communicate with each other”).

No, the joy that we hope to find in our marriages comes back to understanding some core principles and true solutions found in focusing on Christ, ideas that Goddard outlines with clarity.

“We will only succeed at marriage as we use eternal gospel principles to become more of what God has invited us to become,” he affirms.

I'll write more on this (my own review) after I get it and read it. I think the concepts in this book could be helpful in dating and seeking a mate, as well, if I am understanding the review correctly.

In the meanwhile, if you have read it, please leave some input here as to your thoughts about the book and the concepts it teaches.

If you have not read it yet but plan to, what do you hope to learn from it? What questions do you hope to have answered by information contained in the book?

NOTE: Meridian Magazine offers the opportunity to order this book for $16 with shipping charges as low as $3.75 (shipped via Media Mail) through their website:

Thursday, December 6, 2007

The BEST Bride and Groom First Dance, Ever!

A friend posted a link to this video elsewhere and I love it! I stated that if I ever get married again and if I have a reception, I will not only steal this idea, but improve upon it.

He is holding me to that. *LAUGH*

For your general delight and entertainment, I now present the following YouTube video:

Video from kevfla

If YOU did such a thing at YOUR reception, what song would YOU use?

Monday, December 3, 2007

How do YOU Get Over a Breakup?

The question was posed, and what I came up with is the following:

one day at a time and one step at a time.

I allow myself to cry and grieve as long as it is getting it out of my system and helping me to heal, rather than sucking me into depression and pain.

I find things to do with my life that bring me joy.

I give myself permission to hurt, to be angry, to forgive, and to love and trust again.

I allow myself to heal at my own pace, date when I feel like it, and stay away from dating when I feel that is the right course. I know me and I know what I need. Trusting myself in this area helps me to trust myself again in other areas.

I remember the great things about him and our relationship, and look for what I can do better next time - and what I need to screen for better, next time around - not because he was/is a bad man, but because clearly I need a better match. I use the experience to grow.

I remember that it is not someone else's job to heal me, love me, or make me whole. That is my job - and if I am not healing, feeling loved, or whole, I have only myself to blame.

I remember to live, to laugh, and to love. It gets a little easier every day.

A song about saying goodbye:

video from YouTube user CloudShin

So, what do YOU do to get over a breakup?

Saturday, December 1, 2007

The Dastardly Deed is Done . . and . . About Acceptance

I don't really watch TV - we don't even have TV service here. But I have caught a few episodes online of a few shows which friends rave about. From them, I have gleaned the words for a few truths I have discovered about relationships.

Two of them are:

1- In every relationship there comes a moment when you either move forward and see where it goes or you lose it. (Bones) Julia Roberts is quoted saying something similar, "If you love someone, you say it, right then, out loud. Otherwise, the moment just passes you by."

2- The best feeling in the world is being with someone who loves you so much that not only do they see who you really are, but they love and accept that person. They do not try to make you fit into some preconceived mold of what 'their mate' should be like. Even when it is hard for them, they accept who you are and try to give you just what it is you truly need. (Bones and Grey's Anatomy)

The gentleman I blogged about yesterday called again today and I told him to not call me anymore. We talked a little first, and as much as I tried to explain it to him, he would not hear me. He just kept insisting he loved me, he missed me, and he would call me again sometime.

Now I am again in the position of having to do something that will hurt someone, but is the right thing to do.

There is an object lesson in this about listening to others and respecting the wishes and boundaries of others. Every act of not doing so puts them in the position of having to put you, forcibly, into the position of having to comply.

Sometimes the right thing to do is to let go and walk away.

It's like that quote from the book Jonathon Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach:"If you love someone, set them free. If they come back they're yours; if they don't they never were."

Doing the Right Thing

Photo by Lynn Davis
I once dated someone who was a fabulous guy in many ways. He also had some serious 'issues' that needed to be addressed. His family intervened at the same time I had made some discoveries about certain things that were going on.

I stopped seeing him months ago, but he has continued to try to be a part of my life. The good things between us were amazing. But his baggage is overwhelming. It could be dealt with and brought to a tolerable level - if he made the choice to do so. But, he wants to have his cake and eat it, too, and I am nobody's 'cake'.

Earlier today (Friday) he called, but didn't leave a message. It's been a while since he last tried to get into my life, and I thought perhaps he was finally over it. Apparently not.

He is a total extrovert, and extroverts need to be around others to feel alive. He takes it to the extreme of being unwilling to let anyone - including his former wives and girlfriends, out of his world. I have no problem being friends with men I used to date. I am still on friendly terms with most of them, and good friends with a few of them.

Sometimes, though, it is appropriate to let go. It doesn't have to be ugly or hateful - but the relationship does need to be severed, for whatever reason. This is one of those cases, and despite telling him that previously, he still persists in his attempts to keep me as part of his life. His behavior and choices are simply too toxic for that to be a good idea.

So, now I am in the position of having to decide which unpleasant option I am going to utilize to deliver the killing blow to the continuing contact. I know whatever I do will hurt him, but I also know it must be done. I am not the type to intentionally hurt anyone, but I am also not the type to allow this kind of thing to go on.

So, tonight I cry for what I know I must do - for having to hurt someone in order to 'do the right thing'. Just because something is the right thing to do doesn't mean it is the easy or pleasant thing to do.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

I am a Person - Not Your Shrink

I have run into this phenomenon a few times, and I must say it is puzzling and annoying. It goes something like this:

Gentleman monopolizes conversation with ramblings about himself. Anytime I try to interject a comment or ask a question, I am talked over.

Then when he finally pauses to take a breath, he asks me, in an insistent tone, “Aren’t you going to ask me anything about myself?” (or something along those lines).

Sir, I am not your shrink. I am not being paid to listen to your self-indulgent prattle, nor am I being paid to give you more motivation to continue on in your endless diatribe.

I am a person. I am interested in conversation, which involves the free verbal exchange between two people of information, ideas, and insights. This is how singles get to know each other better – by both of them getting an opportunity to talk about themselves and ask questions about each other.

Call me when you get what the difference is.

By the way, trying to force me into some pre-made cutout of what you think I should be by dictating and directing my actions is a fast way to get an ‘adios’.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Good Matches According to Dr House

Photo by Alberta Schmidt

On the show House, Dr Gregory House sees a patient’s wife and has a conversation with her about how their integers are mismatched. His theory is that 4’s marry 4’s, 7’s marry 7’s and 9’s marry 9’s. He tells her that she has at least 3 numbers on him, so she must have married him for some ulterior motive.

Now, in the show (this is also the one in which Dr House gets shot) it is also discussed how, to him, everything is connected. This ties in with his integer theory with the wife.

So, according to Dr House’s theory of matching integers making good matches, on a scale of 1-10:
What are you?
What was your former spouse when you married?
What were they when you divorced?
What were you when you divorced?

If you were not married, apply it to your last big breakup.
If you are widowed, apply the marriage questions, not the divorce ones.

Did a change in physical appearance in either or both of you affect your marriage or precipitate your divorce?

What are you now on a scale of 1-10?
What integer(s) do you ask out or seek dates with?
What integer(s) ask you out or seek your time and attention/dates with you?

Since I rarely get the attention of 9-10’s and get a lot of date requests and attention from 7’s and 8’s, does this mean I am a 7 or 8?

Is there something to the integer theory?
Does it apply equally to men and women, or is one gender more driven by it?

What do YOU think?

Thursday, November 22, 2007

What are YOU Thankful for?


Photo by Chance Agrella

Every year on Thanksgiving Day we have a tradition in my home to share a few of the many things we are thankful for. I would like to hear what YOU are thankful for, too. Here are a few things I am thankful for on this Thanksgiving Day:

I am thankful for being able to do a job that I love. I am thankful I am living my dream.
I am thankful for being blessed with this amazing son to raise, care for, love, and learn from. He is one of the greatest blessings in my life.
I am thankful for the roof over our heads, our utilities, food in our bellies, and clothes on our backs. I am thankful I have a reliable vehicle.
I am thankful that every year my health gets a little better and I get a little stronger after being so desperately ill and immobile for so very long. I am thankful I can now walk on my own two feet – and in 4” heeled boots, no less!
I am thankful for the technology which allows me to make better use of my time and work from home so I can be with my son. I am thankful for technology being in place which allows me to work, period.
I am thankful for all those who love us, care about us, and pray for us – who are so good to me and my son.
I am thankful for my friends who are always there to help me when I need it, to set me straight when I mess up, and lift me when I fall and cannot get back up. They are amongst the greatest blessings in my life.
I am grateful for the men who have blessed my life with love, laughter, and learning. There is not one of you who have not taught me something about life, relationships, or myself. God Bless You All.
And, I am thankful for you, my readers, who give me the motivation to keep writing and to keep perfecting my craft. You challenge me to be better and to work harder. You inspire me with your words and insight. You are amazing in your own right, and I am so very grateful for the glimpses into your world, life, and heart which you have allowed me.

Here is a little Happy Thanksgiving Treat for you, from me:

Thanksgiving Prayer by Johnny Cash from YouTube user cwag03

So, now that I have shared my list: What are YOU thankful for?

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Playing Hard to Get: Points to Ponder

1-Numerous people have posted on an LDS Dating site I belong to various situations they were in, detailing the behaviors and ‘signals’ the other person was displaying. To these, the overwhelming consensus of other site members has been, “He/She Just Ain’t That Into You”

It should be noted that these very same behaviors and signals would also fall under the ‘playing hard to get’ and ‘keeping some mystery’ categories.

2-Numerous people have posted on that very site various situations they were in that involved the object of their affection ‘going poof’ the very moment they finally returned some interest. The overwhelming consensus of members of that site was that the poofer was a game player who was not truly interested in anything but the ‘thrill’ of ‘the chase’.

Reality Check:

If you have to play games and manipulate someone to create a relationship, you don’t have much of a relationship to start with.

Only wanting someone because you don’t know for sure that they want you is not the hallmark of healthy behavior.

When you start with the game playing, how is someone supposed to know if you are ‘playing hard to get’ and ARE genuinely interested in them, or ‘playing hard to get’ because you are NOT interested in them?

When you ‘play hard to get’ how is someone supposed to know if it is part of your courting ritual or if you are only into the ‘thrill’ it offers?

As demonstrated by the differing views about 'playing hard to get' and 'keeping some mystery', there are all sorts of people in the dating pool who look for all sorts of things. Some want game players and manipulators. Some want straightforward and honest. It is a great thing as it shows there is someone for everyone. We don’t have to rewrite the core of who we are in order to find a great match.

Too bad we can’t have some kind of review where we can exchange info on others. Those who want the ‘playing hard to get’ crowd get those names and numbers from those who want the ‘straightforward and direct’ people, and vice versa.

The rest would be left to play amongst themselves. lol

As for me, well, I prefer the straight forward and direct approach. I hate games and I hate being put in the position of playing mind-reader. I hate both so much I won't do either.

A fun expression of my sentiments:

From 'Grease': You're the One That I Want by Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta

video from YouTube user katiedaily

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

I Miss His Smile . . .

Photo by Roxanna Gonzalez
Today I got a lot of good news and I wanted so much for there to be someone special here to share it with. My thoughts immediately went back to someone in my past whom would have been especially great to tell - and to celebrate with.

We had a great deal in common, and we truly enjoyed each other's company. We were so very compatible in so very many ways. The problem was there were some very big, bad, major issues which could not just be overlooked or brushed aside. As great as the good stuff was, was how really bad the bad stuff was.

The great stuff I had with him was the very stuff my dreams had been made of. I dreamed for so long of someone I would have that level of compatibility with whom I could also work well with. And work well together, we did.

The bad stuff was just - well, intolerable by the standards of any reasonable person. If those things were being addressed it would have made all the difference in the world. But, they weren't and there was no sign they ever would be. Discussions with me and all around him got exactly no where.

There was nothing left to do but walk away. Unless I wanted to 'settle' for living in an intolerable set of circumstances.

Sometimes I wonder if this is what being divorced and over 30 has come to - either 'settling' for intolerable situations so you aren't alone; or being alone and hoping you 'qualify' for that sweet matchmaking in the millennium.

What helps YOU in situations such as this?

Monday, November 12, 2007

About Sexual Boundaries

I was looking up something else and saw this video on the list. I watched it (It is about 36 minutes long) and I cried.

This is the most beautiful and informative explanation about sexual boundaries in dating I have ever seen. It is presented by a Christian church.

The message gets even better the further in it gets.

I hope you enjoy it and as get as much out of it as I have. Just ignore the poetry/scripture stuff at the begininning. The good stuff is when the pastor starts talking.


Sunday, November 11, 2007

Handling the Demands of Others

On a dating site I belong to, the question was asked how to handle it when we feel others are putting demands upon us. My reply went over well, so I thought I would share it here:

Disastrously Undiplomatic Dani's List:

* Talk to them about it
* Start saying 'no' more often
* Figure out what I am doing for them that they should be doing for themselves and give that stuff back to them
* Give myself permission to have a backbone, boundaries, and human limits
* Love them and respect myself

What do YOU do when you feel like someone is putting demands upon you?

Here is a short video I found on YouTube which I thought was really great about boundaries. Enjoy!

Boundaries Are Essential for Healthy Relationships by AskVictoria

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Holiday Breakup Ploy

Photo by Chance Agrella
I have now heard about this ploy from multiple guy pals; and I am not sure if they are teasing me, or if some guys really do this.

It works like this: a guy is dating a gal, and as the gift-giving holidays approach, he breaks up with her. Then, once the holidays are over, he reconciles with her. This means from around November through February he is out catting around and avoiding giving any gifts to the woman he supposedly is crazy about, with the intent of getting back together with her once the holidays are passed.

Would any guy in his right mind actually do this? Is any guy so completely cheap and heartless he would do this?


Any guy who thinks that is appropriate behavior clearly is not mature enough or caring enough to handle being in a real relationship.


Friday, October 26, 2007

Reclaiming My Life

Photo by Richard Hampson
I realized today that I am sinking countless hours into something which is getting me nowhere except exhausted and frustrated. It has moved up the priority list in my life, at the detriment and expense of those things which are truly important to me.

Today, I began reclaiming my life. I thought about what my ‘ideal’ life would be like, and then applied ‘real-life’ to it. Today, I began my journey to living my life my way. I thought about the life I would want to have if I was married again . . .and compared it to what my life is like now. I realized that I have foolishly believed that my life would only change into what I wanted if there were a partner here to help carry the load. I was blind to the fact that without a partner here I can still have, in large measure, the day-to-day life I wish to have.

I started with making my teenaged son breakfast before school. With our schedules and other circumstances I have always been sure to have quick, healthy things for him to eat for breakfast, but it has very much been a ‘fend for yourself’ meal.

No more. While admittedly there will be days when I simply won’t be able to do it, one of my steps in reclaiming my life is to make breakfast for my son each morning. Today I made him two breakfast sandwiches: so he could eat on the way to the bus. He was running late and I knew he would not be able to sit down and eat today. Some days it may be as simple as a bowl of cereal, juice, and a cup of yogurt. Other days may be a full-blown breakfast feast. Regardless, it is important to me to do this act of love for my son.

He used to be able to get breakfast at school, but not anymore. In the mornings he usually is running late and will skip breakfast even if he has time to grab something. It is important to me that he eats in the morning, it is important to me that he starts of his day on a positive note, and it is important to me that he knows I love him. For us, this little thing will accomplish all of that.

I run my own business, and it has slowly infiltrated my life to the point that it is taking precedence over all else. No more. Starting today, I have set hours. Unless there is some urgent reason why I must work a little longer, or alter those hours, they are set.

I am from this point forward selfishly and ferociously guarding my life and priorities. I realized I have given ‘life’ control of my time. No more. While I will have to allow for unexpected circumstances, my life and my day is mine, and I will ensure that what I value most shows in how I live each and every day.

If ‘For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.’, then I want my every day to reflect that my treasure is God, Family, and Country. I want there to be no question in the minds of anyone observing my life, including myself, where my heart truly is.

Some will claim this is me applying the ‘Law of Attraction’. I think to a large degree the 'Law of Attraction' is grandiose bullpuckey designed to lead us off course, but that is another post for another time. What I do know is that I have the power and responsibility to create the life I want, in accordance to God’s Law and to His Holy Will. In humility and obedience to Him and His Will, with every allowance for ‘curve balls’, I can have my best life if I will do my part to ensure it.

What do YOU do to live your best life?

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Saving Marriage

Photo by J. Stewart
I was thrilled to find an article and an interview on CNN.COM from Award-winning Journalist, CNN Contributor, and Radio Talk Show Host Roland Martin about saving marriages. He has hit it right on the nose religiously, secularly, and statistically in his commentary on marriage and divorce. Our pride and society may claim otherwise, but the facts cannot be denied.

Some of what he has stated are topics I have also covered in this blog. It is not because we are in agreement that I am blogging about him today. It is because he said it so much better than I did, and his commentary is so much more fact-driven than emotion-driven. I feel perhaps sending you, my lovely readers, to his article and interview will help explain and support the points I have been making; but in a much more clear and effective way.

He points out that many are just too quick to exit a divorce at the first sign of trouble rather than trying to make it work. His statements about his own divorce in his first marriage is thought-provoking. He uses the movie “Why Did I Get Married” to illustrate some of his points.

From an LDS perspective, our leadership has also said the same things on the topic of marriage and divorce. The ongoing theme is that the answer to marital woes is not divorce except in the rarest of circumstances such as in abuse. Over and over members are urged to develop in themselves those qualities of selflessness, forgiveness, compassion, and tenderness which will make them a better spouse to their partner. The focus is on improving self and developing solid communication skills, rather than blaming the spouse or trying to make them change to suit ourselves.

Enriching Your Marriage

The Women in Our Lives

What God Hath Joined Together

What can be learned from all of this can be and should be applied in our approach to dating. If we prioritize developing strong partnership skills in ourselves, and seek out those to date who have those same skills, our chances for finding a partner with whom we can create a happy, healthy, and lasting union increase exponentially. Above all else, we must be absolutely committed to the vows me make of being a loving partner and of sticking it out. Some of my own blogs on the topics may be found here:
Communication and Selflessness: The Heart of a Happy Eternal Union

Celestial Dating

Roles and Responsibilities

The Change in Family Values and its Effect in Dating

What have your own experiences been in marriage and divorce? What are you, as a single, doing to prepare yourself for an eternal union, and to find a like-minded partner?


Roland Martin Website
Accessed October 26, 2007

CNN.COM,US Section,'Commentary: Saving Marriages Must be a National Priority', Roland Martin, October 24, 2007
Accessed October 26, 2007

CNN.COM,CNN Video Section,'Saving Marriages',Interview of Roland Martin by CNN Correspondent (not named),October 24, 2007
Accessed October 26, 2007

LDS Website,‘Divorce’,Dallin H. Oaks, Ensign, May 2007
Accessed October 26, 2007

LDS Website, ‘Enriching Your Marriage’,James E. Faust,Ensign, April 2007
Accessed October 26, 2007

LDS Website,‘The Women in Our Lives’,President Gordon B. Hinckley, Liahona, November 2004
Accessed October 26, 2007

LDS Website,‘What God Hath Joined Together’,President Gordon B. Hinckley,Ensign, May 1991
Accessed October 26, 2007

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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Being Single: Dating During Personal Crises

Photo by Roxana Gonzalez
At times in my life when I have experienced personal setbacks, I have considered pulling out of the dating arena until things return to ‘normal’. My friends have always counseled me to continue to date. They state that my circumstances do not define me, and that in those times of high stress, being able to get out and have fun and get that personal boost which dating can bring, could be exactly what I need to keep my morale up.

What I have experienced tells a very different story. I have discovered that in this day and age, people in the dating world are horrifically quick to judge people by their circumstances and by the curve balls life throws at them.

If you are hit with a sudden financial low: you are presumed to be a ‘gold digger’ and a ‘lazy lout’.

If you are hit with struggles with your kids: you are presumed to be a bad parent.

If you are hit with any type of legal woes: you are presumed to be ‘guilty’ and ‘deserving’ of them.

If your way of dealing with difficult people is not the same as your date’s ways: you are presumed to be either a ‘trouble-maker’ or a ‘doormat’.

The list goes on.

Where in the world did society come up with this notion that they are the only ones with valid trials not of their own doing: and everyone else brought theirs upon themselves and ‘deserve’ them?

How did dealing with a normal part of life known as ‘trials’ suddenly become a hallmark of some deeply-rooted character flaw?

People are so very quick to make assumptions based upon what they think they see, they frequently miss the bigger picture; and as a result, the truth. This mistake comes with a heavy price when it comes to relationships and eternity. The scriptures clearly tell us that we will not be found ‘innocent’ when we have been so quick to deem others ‘guilty’.
Luke 6:37
Moroni 7:18

It reminds me of that game I used to see in magazines where a macro view of something was shown, and from that small section, you were supposed to guess what the big picture was. It was a rare occasion when anyone guessed correctly.

DO YOU KNOW WHAT THIS IS? *Answer at end of post. Photo by Chance Agrella

What this all boils down to is the philosophy I adopted previously, and which still applies in this circumstance. People are people and I am not responsible for what they think, feel, say, or do. I am only responsible for what I think, feel, say, and do. This means that I have every right to continue to date and live my life; just as those who feel otherwise or choose to be quick to cast me as something or someone other than I am, are free to do so . . .somewhere outside of the realm of my life.

*ANSWER: The photo is a very close up shot of the petals of a sunflower. As the picture illustrates, seeing one small part of something does not always mean we then know what the 'big picture' really is.

This blog post is one in a series on Being Single. Through the run of this series, please give feedback regarding YOUR experiences with being single and LDS, or ask any questions you may have that I have not addressed.

Like what I wrote and want to buy me a cherry coke?

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Being Single: The Divorced Ones - Service and Self-Sufficiency

Photo by Chance Agrella
Sometimes, divorced singles may encounter the ‘attitude’ whether real or imagined, that they are a burden on their ward or stake because they need help financially, emotionally, or physically (help with lawn care, help with home repairs, daycare to attend church functions, etc). Please keep in mind that it is generally difficult for anyone to ask for help; and those without partners and all of the additional burdens that the divorced face, usually do genuinely need extra help and service.

The church and the gospel promote self-sufficiency; but both also promote charity, compassion, and service. If someone genuinely needs the help, they need to be served with compassion. They are not being ‘a burden’; and serving them should be looked at as an opportunity for those serving them to receive the blessings that come with sacrifice, compassion, and service.

No one wants to be a ‘charity project’, but everyone appreciates receiving kind and compassionate service when they need it.

There is a proverb that says something to the effect of ‘if you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day; but if you teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime’. Many divorced singles want and need only to be taught how to do various things in order to then fend for themselves. They may not have the aptitude, tools, or skills for certain things . . . but anything they can be lovingly and patiently taught to do for themselves is a great thing.

This blog post is one in a series on Being Single. Through the run of this series, please give feedback regarding YOUR experiences with being single and LDS, or ask any questions you may have that I have not addressed.

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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Being Single: The Divorced Ones - Finding Balance

Photo by Roxana Gonzalez
When a divorce occurs, there are many things which happen. One of the biggest ones is having to carry all of the burdens alone. If children are involved, most commonly, one parent has sole custody. That parent oftentimes does not have backup. They are on their own for all of the child rearing, discipline, and care: with no partner backing them up to or with the kids. Even worse, and just as common: the rules are different between the two homes which is confusing for the kids, and which the children will take advantage of. This makes parenting even more challenging than it already is.

Just a few of the things divorced singles have to deal with, and usually more than one or two of these things are being simultaneously dealt with:

Custody and visitation issues and scheduling
Parenting alone
Being the sole provider for the household
Going to school to update job skills
Working full time, sometimes more than one job
Trying to find daycare
Severely stretched finances
Feeling overwhelmed with all the additional responsibilities and issues
Emotional issues personally and in the children

Those in leadership in wards, branches, stakes, regions, and in singles programs need to understand these things so they do not inadvertently add to the burdens already being carried.

Divorced singles absolutely need to be given opportunities to serve: they desperately need the blessings and the perspective-shift serving brings, as well as the spiritual boost that accompanies it.

However, they need compassion as to their particular circumstances, as well. They are usually overworked, financially-strapped, and without backup to help with the children. Transportation, time, expenses, and daycare are just a few of the obstacles that may be faced in the successful fulfillment of callings, and in participating in church singles activities.

This blog post is one in a series on Being Single. Through the run of this series, please give feedback regarding YOUR experiences with being single and LDS, or ask any questions you may have that I have not addressed.

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Monday, October 15, 2007

Being Single: The Divorced Ones - Matters of Intimacy

Photo by Chance Agrella
The adversary works fervently at mocking all that is sacred, and at leading as many as possible to utter destruction. Once you have been married, and have experienced physical intimacy, it is extraordinarily challenging to ‘turn off’ that faucet. As human beings, we have natural drives and urges to mate and procreate. Once we have experienced these things, it seems to, in many cases, make that drive stronger.

When you are divorced, you not only have to deal with sleeping alone at night, but also with the deprivation of that physical intimacy, and satisfaction. Add on top of that, being thrust into the dating world, and having the continual temptation to cross boundaries and have once again what was lost . . .if even for a moment.

Feeling ‘lonely’ can be one aspect of our dilemma, but it is by no means all or even most of it. A study in the early to mid 1900’s with newborn babies concluded that as humans we need touch and physical affection in order to thrive.
“Psychologists and physicians agree that human beings need affection and loving touch in their lives. We’ve all heard of the infamous study where infants who didn’t receive affection and touch failed to thrive or even died. Our culture, however, places so much value on independence and a certain rugged individualism that it serves to diminish the value of affection overall.” (1)

We are counseled as single adults that the standards in the For the Strength of Youth booklet also applies to us. Many LDS single adults scoff at that idea, making it difficult to find someone to date with shared values. Also in dating, it can be difficult to find someone to date who honestly presents their standards and lives them. This contributes to the temptation levels those who are earnestly seeking chastity in dating experience.

If you accept a date with someone who presents themselves as living a moral life, and then discover on the date, in the midst of what started as innocent, that they are pushing your boundaries; you now have to have the clarity of mind to end the encounter. For some, this is not an easy task.

It is readily accepted as fact that the number one challenge faced by LDS Singles today is the sin of immorality in all of its forms. We are being targeted in our already-weakened state. The sin second only in seriousness to murder, this is a popular means of destruction the adversary chooses. Many LDS Single Adults indulge in such immoral behaviors as ‘Friends with Benefits’ and 'NCMO’. The justifications run rampant, but church counsel against such behavior is clear:
“If we are single and dating, always treat our date with respect. Those who are dating must never treat their date as an object to be used for lustful desires. They should carefully plan positive and constructive activities so that they are not left alone without anything to do. They should stay in areas of safety where they can easily control themselves. They should not participate in conversations or activities that arouse sexual feelings, such as passionate kissing, lying with or on top of another person, or touching the private, sacred parts of another person's body, with or without clothing.” (2)

We have to decide every time we accept and go on a date where our lines will be. We can decide them in advance; but with every date, we must recommit ourselves to them, and reassess if they are high enough or not. We have to find that balance between craving physical affection and having firm boundaries which maintain our morality.

In some cases, this may mean remaining dateless for extended periods of time as we continue to weed out those who do not share our standards, or with whom we would not feel that our virtue is safe.
“In cultures where dating or courtship is acceptable, dating can help youth develop friendships and eventually find an eternal companion. Youth in the Church are taught to wait until at least age 16 to begin dating and to date only those who have high moral standards. A young man and a young woman on a date are responsible to help each other maintain their standards and to protect each other's honor and virtue.” (3)
This is just one of many challenges we face in the dating world. Things are not how they used to be 15+ years ago. Being divorced only adds to challenges singles face in dating.


1- Raising Children to be Affectionate by Shari Steelsmith October 2, 2004.
(accessed October 15, 2007)

2- Chastity. Additional Information > Keeping the Law of Chastity.
(Accessed October 15, 2007)

3- Dating and Courtship.
(accessed October 15, 2007)

This blog post is one in a series on Being Single. Through the run of this series, please give feedback regarding YOUR experiences with being single and LDS, or ask any questions you may have that I have not addressed.

Like what I wrote and want to buy me a cherry coke?

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Being Single: The Divorced Ones -Shame and Guilt

Photo by Chance Agrella
Shame and guilt are just two of the many feelings divorced singles experience in the days, even years, following their divorce.

The gospel is heavily about eternal couples and families, so anything experienced in life which is less than that can leave a person feeling like an utter failure. Not a good feeling to have when you already may have those feelings of failure, just by virtue of having gone through a divorce.

It is common to experience a drastic drop in self-worth, and to feel utterly overwhelmed by new life circumstances which are to be dealt with alone. Most do not get married expecting to get divorced. Divorce is against all that most people believe and hope for when they first make their wedding vows.

It doesn’t help matters when outsiders, well-meaning or not, feel at liberty to commentate on our predicament. We realize, better than outsiders, what we and our children (if applicable) are going through. We need help and support and compassion: not judgment, criticism, or lecturing.

Why we got a divorce is not relevant to anyone other than us and our partner. It is good for us to understand why so we can correct it and have a better chance for a successful union down the road. Unless something happened which involves or needs to involve confession to our bishop, counseling, or law enforcement involvement, no one outside of the marital union has a ‘need’ to know the circumstances. Please respect our privacy. You don’t have to know details in order to love and compassionately serve us.

We just need to know that we have value and worth: that we are needed and loved. More on that will be covered in a future blog.

Making sure we know you are available WHEN we need you, is one of the best things you can do. Hugs, babysitting (when applicable), a lunch date, mowing the lawn for us, are all great examples of ways to compassionately serve us.

This blog post is one in a series on Being Single. Through the run of this series, please give feedback regarding YOUR experiences with being single and LDS, or ask any questions you may have that I have not addressed.

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Saturday, October 13, 2007

Being Single: A Series Begins

Photo by Chance Agrella
I was called as a single's rep a few months back, and serving in this calling has been very enlightening and educational for me . . .and for the married couples also involved in the program.

Our singles program started with all married couples running it. They are all age 50+. All, to my knowledge, have never been widowed or divorced. One confided in me that she 'married late' (I think she said age 28).

One of the women has been inviting a married sister to attend the singles activities because she feels this woman is 'lonely'. Her husband is away for work a lot. He expressed some discomfort with this idea.

Today, after the singles social there was a ton of extra food. We decided to run out plates to those who were unable to come, shut-ins, etc. One sister was asked if she needed us to make up some plates to take to anyone on her 'route'. She remarked that none of them were shut-ins and if they chose not to be here she was not going to take food to them.

I took food to those on my route. I felt really badly when I did so as one sister clean forgot about the social, and would have gone if she had remembered. I should have called and reminded everyone. I slacked off in my duty. I won't make that mistake again.

What I think a lot of people don't get is that 1/3 of this church is made up of the singles in it; and we have needs, concerns, and challenges which married people do not. We need help, encouragement, and compassion: not judgment and criticism. We need to feel cared about: not alienated.

I am going to start a series in this blog on the topic of being single and LDS, in an effort to help others understand what it is like; and maybe be better able to compassionately serve the singles in their wards, branches, and stakes.

In our little town, there are over 300 singles (ages 18+) just in my stake alone. Of those, exactly half (according to one of the counselors in the Stake Presidency whom I spoke with who performed the research) are completely inactive. We have to do something. We have to reach out more effectively. Can it be any more clear that the singles are in need, NOW?

Through the run of this series, please give feedback regarding YOUR experiences with being single and LDS, or ask any questions you may have that I have not addressed.

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Thursday, October 11, 2007

Too Picky . . . or Being Practical?

Photo by Chance Agrella
I have heard a lot of complaints from singles revolving around this idea that 'other' singles are 'too picky' and that is why they are still single. When asked about their own 'wish list', they balk.

This article was pointed out on a website I belong to, and while I totally agree with the concept, there is something lacking.

What the article is saying, in my perspective, is also what I say to those complaining about the 'too picky' thing. There is a difference between being 'too picky' and 'being practical'.

The things the article points out in the discussion about being too picky are all superficial or even shallow things. If we are looking for someone to build a lifetime or longer with, of course we should not be prioritizing such things.

However, when it comes to the things that revolve around our basic needs, or the foundation of creating and maintaining a lasting and happy relationship, there is no such thing as 'too picky'. You MUST have some serious discernment and discretion if you want to avoid divorce court.

There are certain personality and lifestyle traits in men which are simply not realistically well-suited for my needs. Some other women may well be able to compensate and tolerate. With my own life circumstances, it is not a matter of choosing to carry the weight in those areas or to be patient with them. The reality is that for a union with me to work, those things must not be present. My particular circumstances will not allow for them.

So, in weeding out men with those traits, I am not being 'picky', I am being 'practical'. See the difference?

As the article points out, a right match for us may not match at all the cardboard cut out based on fantasy we have created in our minds. What a blessing and wonder it is when you find someone who is 'everything you never knew you always wanted' (paraphrased from the movie 'Fools Rush In').

Also as the article pointed out, if we want to increase our chances for even finding a right match, we MUST broaden our horizons and open our minds.

Before we do any of that, though, it is crucial that we make ourselves a good partner first. If we don't have that cargo ship filled with steamer trunks down to one carry-on (emotional 'baggage' reference), we need to take a step back and fix ourselves before we subject others in the dating world to the train wreck that is us.

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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Men Just Want to Make Women Happy

Photo by Chance Agrella
As dumb as it may sound, there is something I didn't really 'get' until a few days ago. It is just how much men just really want to make women happy. It was when I was listening to those wonderful voicemail messages the other day, that it 'clicked' for me. In the days since, I have observed many more instances of this, and have been amazed at what I have seen.

Dr. John Gray, author of Men are From Mars, Women are From Venus, has a few fun and interesting clips available on Youtube.

In one of them he addresses this very concept in a most entertaining and enlightening way:

He quickly addresses the happiness issue here:

And, for those men who feel a bit clueless as to how to make women happy, here is one last clip which explains 'Venusian Scoring'. Very funny . . .and very true.

I honestly don't think women notice and appreciate this aspect of men nearly enough. The story Dr Gray shared about the clean kitchen and glass on the counter is something I, myself, have very much been guilty of across the span of my life.

Though in recent years, I have developed a much greater 'attitude of gratitude' generally speaking, it is only in the past few days I have realized how much I need to work on fully recognizing and appreciating the men in my life and all the wonderful things they do just to see me smile and make me happy.

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Copyright © 2008 - 2010 Daniella Nicole. All rights reserved.