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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.
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