Well, you probably didn’t think I could do it. I didn’t think I could do it. After writing 30+ reasons last year about why I was still single at 30, I for sure didn’t think I would be able to come up with 31 MORE reasons. (And maybe let’s just not mention that I thought that maybe, just maybe, I wouldn’t still be single at 31).
Alas, I impress even myself at times. As you may recall, last year I created a beautiful soliloquy about how to respond to the comment of, “I just don’t know why you’re not married”.
I knew why then. I still know why today.
After last year’s list, you have a fairly good idea of why I’m not married, but lest ye be unconvinced (there are still a few of you out there), I have graciously created a fresh new list for your personal enjoyment.
- I may or may not have started this list the day after I posted my “30” list last year. As always, #hopedieseternal
- I have been on several dates where the guy has called me Sister Stitt. On the date. No, they were not with people I knew from my mission (although true in those situations, too) but just…guys…that I know…from life. I guess I still put off that “sister” vibe. #attractive
- We recently had an event at our house where several people came early to set up. My bathroom is the guest bathroom on such occasions and I was in and out getting ready and switching places as others needed to use the loo. Three successive times, the guys left the toilet seat up. I may have said, as I slammed the lid down, “THIS! THIS is why I shall never get married!” #mustlearnpatience #butseriouslyputtheseatdown
- I feel the same way about the toilet paper being flipped underneath instead of over the top. #itsthelittlethings
- Cold hands, cold heart. I like keeping the house at about 77 degrees or higher. But no one will let me. I guarantee a husband would hates it, too, my precious. #slippersinthesummer #fleecepajamas
- But I do drink directly out of the apple juice bottle. Because I know that only my pet peeves matter, right? #millennials #waitiamone #thatmightbetheproblem
- My dates manage to mess up the 3 main things about myself that I don’t like having messed up.
- My undergrad was in Journalism. “So how did you like being an English major?” Communications is not even in the same school or department as English majors. Yes, I love grammar. Yes, I love reading. Yes, I write a lot. But so do lots of people who also did not major in English.
- I served in Brazil. “Oh, so you speak Spanish, then?” Yes, yes, I do. But that’s because I took 5 years of Spanish in junior high and high school. Brazilians speak Portuguese.
- I got an MBA. “Cool. So what did you get your MBA in?” Um…business administration?
- I promise I’m not a brat about it in real life, just on social media where you can all silently judge me.
- In the past, I’ve played a game on Tinder (a dating app) where I try really hard NOT to swipe left (reject) more than 50 guys in a row. I recently had to raise it to 100 as the good pickin’s were slim. Two weeks ago, I swiped left to 174 guys before I found one that seemed even reasonably normal. We didn’t even match.
- I recently threw a bridal shower for a friend. My favorite and only game I let people play is where we draw names, and the winner gets a prize. (Pinterest-worthy instructions pending). We only had a few prizes, but we were having way too much fun, so I just started giving away stuff in my house and grabbed the book An LDS Girl’s Guide to Getting a Date off the shelf. And I gave it away. And it’s out of print. So now I will never remember to touch his elbow, make engagement chicken when things are getting serious, or give him a courtesy kiss on the first or second date (blech!).
- I’m a little TOO into family history. I was once offered a set up and the dude’s last name was Cannon, which happens to be my grandma’s maiden name. Yes, plural marriage in the 1800s produced a lot of Cannons, so you never can be too sure how many cousins you have, and my rule is if you or your parents call them cousins, then you can’t marry them (I don’t care what the law says about first cousins being the only restriction). Well, I just asked him who his grandparents were so I could be sure. He was far enough back in the line, 4th or 5th cousins, but I could tell he didn’t appreciate the question. He didn’t call back after the first date…
- I always thought T-Swift’s song said, “Gotta list of Starbucks lovers; they’ll tell you I’m insane,” so I didn’t think it applied to me (cause, you know, I don’t drink the coffees). Then I realized it was a long list of ex-lovers. Then I realized it still doesn’t apply to me. But I’ve got a pretty darn short list of ex-lovers who’ll tell you I’m insane. BUT, I’ve still got a blank space, and I’ll write your name.
- I’m the resident go-to-gal for my friends on which online dating services are the best. Pretty sure the only one I haven’t tried is FarmersOnly.com, but that’s about it. JK, as I was writing this, I decided to try it out. There are 28,310 members online right now. “You don’t have to be lonely, at FarmersOnly.com.”
- I pretty much see the same guys no matter which app I’m on, though. And I match and re-match on all the sites and we chat and, well, that’s about where it ends.
- This is STILL the most common message I get on Bumble (a dating app). “Ev’ry day…like the one before!”
- I get a little stuck on guys for yearzzz. From about 1st grade to 5th grade, I had a mini crush on one of my classmates and aspired to do everything he did (he was a smarty pants), which basically meant we were just really good friends. In 5th grade, I will admit I switched my affections over to another kid until this other kid (accidentally) kicked a soccer ball into my face at recess. Then back to the first guy for another year until junior high, where all crushes go to die.
- There is legitimately a dating advice program called, “It’s not you, it’s your technique.” My friends and I are working on a rewrite of it called, “It’s not you, it’s your personality and the way you look.” #bestseller
- The closest I’ve sat to a guy in about 2 years is in the family history class I teach, as I lean over to point out names of dead people on the computer monitor. #romantic
- My family has a marriage pecking order I had to follow. The order of who got married is as follows: 1, 5, 4, 2, __, __. Guess the next two numbers and you’ll find out whether it will be my youngest brother (6) or me (3) next!
- On my mission and shortly after, I (jokingly?) told God that I’d get married last of all if He’d just help all my wonderful companions get married (I should stop joking with Him). Now, I know that was not a real bargain. (Right?) But I do still have 1 of my 9 mission companions who is not married. But if we count MTC comps, then 2 of my 13 companions (yes, I had 4 MTC companions, long story) are not married. So I don’t know which fake bargain we’re working under here, but it seems like it’s still in place, dang it. #dontbargainwithGod
- Speaking of missions, I used up all my prayer blessings for silly things. One time we prayed for someone to offer us food to eat at the next house we went to because we were so dang hungry and it was a Sunday. Next house? Voila! They offered us cake. Another time we prayed that a member would drive by and give us a ride because we had missed the last bus home in the area and would have to walk half an hour in the dark in a not-so-great area to get to a different bus route and we’d get home late. And it was raining (because it always was). But, a member drove by and offered us a ride. So many awesome miracles like that, but I kind of wish I hadn’t used up all the blessings of serving a mission then, because I sure could use those blessings now. #stockpileyourblessingsmyfriends
- Oh, and about that mission thing. There’s a joke in nearly every mission that the more rain you endure, the hotter your spouse will be. It rained pretty much every day in Curitiba. Every. Day. I. Was. Soaked. My future husband’s probably so hot he’s burning in heck.
- A few months ago, a friend asked if she could set me up. The guy ended up calling me (a rarity) but we played phone tag for a bit until we finally chatted, just to find out he was going to be out of town that weekend so he couldn’t take me out (not sure why he called so soon, then…) Alas, we tried phone tag the next week and finally I just texted and said, “I’m going to go all millennial on you and say we ought to just set this up over text message or we might not be able to get a hold of each other.” He sent a message back, “Ooo..I’m sorry. Can’t go on a date with a girl unless she can talk on the phone… 😉 haha.” He may think he’s noble or funny, but I couldn’t very well text him back after that now, could I? And it was too late to call. We never went out.
- A few people have gone so far as to say that I’m not married because if guys know I blog about dating, they won’t ask me out. Well, now, sirs. Can ya tell me, then, why all my friends who DON’T blog about dating also AREN’T married? Besides, I did a quick analysis. Of my 56 blogs, only 11 are directly about dating. Also, my first blog about dating was in 2013, when I was 27. Also, also, the demographics of my blog are largely female and/or guys I’ve already been out with and mercilessly shut down. #sorryguys #stillfriends? Not my potentials. And how does that account for all those other years of being single before I started blogging about dating? Let’s not give my “dating blog” all the credit. Remember the book I’m writing? “It’s not you, it’s your personality and the way you look”.
- Speaking of this “dating blog” I do feel like I need to keep it going with your favorite topic, so I have to keep getting material. Quick poll…which should I blog on next?
- The guilt of dating
- Dating in your 30s
- Most unique ways I’ve been set up/asked on a date
- Most unique ways I’ve set others up on dates
- My experiment with a matchmaking service
- Best online dating apps/services
- The 3 C’s women need to quit if they want to date more
- I have to remind myself every day, “Gilbert Blythe never was, nor will be, a real person.” I’ve considered dying my hair a deep auburn, just in case.
- People tell me I’m picky. I prefer the word focused.
- I have a lot of older friends who are wonderful, beautiful, incredible, and…not married. I feel like they just look at me like, “Oh, chil’, you don’t even know what it MEANS to be single.” So I accidentally made another bargain with God that I would wait if they could get married first. (Someone please tell me to stop bargaining with God.)
- This summer, my grandma called me up and said, “Lizzie, we need to go shopping today. I’m buying you a new dress.” I am not a shopper at all, so it’s good if someone makes me go. I’m not going to complain because the dress is darling, but then she told me it’s because she thinks I need to dress up more if I want to get married. Schooled by grandma. #shes90 #sheswayclassierthanIam
- Every girl who gets married in our family gets a quilt made by my grandma. I jokingly (geez louise, guys, please just stop me from joking!) told my grandma that I was sad I would probably never get a quilt at the rate I’m going. So she offered to just make me one right now. #hopedieseternal #Isaidno #lonelyquilt
- I’ve recently been read/listening to Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln. He and I are alike in a lot of ways, as I found out, because of this famous quote found in the book:
I can never be satisfied with anyone who would be blockhead enough to have me.
- You made it! You made it to 31! And so did I…I really feel like I’m still single at 31 as some big joke to finally dash the last of the “plans” I had for myself. Unlike most of the women-folk I know, at around age 24, I created a plan for what my life would be like if I were still single in my 30’s and beyond because, even then, I was obviously scared I wouldn’t be married by now (I just want to hug my 24-year-old self and tell her that it really isn’t going to be all right, but that it’s actually a lot less awful than I thought it would be, and that I’ve had some exceedingly awesome opportunities). But there were some significant milestones I was going to implement at or by age 31 (don’t ever pick an age for your goals, my friends). Unfortunately, I’m not as secure in living the single life I thought I could achieve by 31. So it’s just one last little joke that I actually made a “31 plan” and can’t even do that. #hahaha #somuchfunny #notreally #but #notbitter
And there you have it. 31 reasons. Do you believe me now?
But, as I said last year, and I’ll say it again, there are probably more than a million “reasons” why I’m still single at, now, 31. I have to admit it’s a little bit harder this year. I need to decide if/when I’m going to the midsingles ward or to a family ward. And it’s the “abound and abase” principle which is so difficult: be happy in whatever situation you’re in, but be motivated enough to change things. Keep looking for opportunities to date and get married, but don’t let the lack of what you want most affect your outlook on life. Don’t be overly focused on marriage, but don’t forget marriage is the most important thing. Believe what others tell you that: “You’re still young; live your life”, but also remember your childbearing years aren’t getting any longer. Maybe someday I’ll blog about what all of THAT is like.
But for now, I’ll just say this.
I feel like God frequently helps me understand why He has me where I am at certain times in my life. I often feel like my life situation–not just my singleness, but my jobs, where I live, my Church and community service, and who I interact with–are all indicators of a grand mission I was sent here to fulfill. Weren’t we all sent here “for such a time as this” (Esther 4:14)?
And since this is my own blog, I’ll just reiterate some of my modified thoughts from last year.
- I have chosen to do what God would have me do and be where He would have me be right now. In this moment. I am astounded nearly every day that if, instead of asking why I’m not married, I choose to ask, “Am I doing what you want me to do?” the answer is, “Yes!”
- Maybe some of my “reasons” I’m not married are legitimate enough that I need to change myself to be the kind of person that my future companion would want to marry. And if that’s so, I thank the heavens I’ve been given some extra time. And if it’s just because God has other places for me to be, I’m so grateful for those other enriching and wonderful opportunities I’ve been given. And if, which I also suspect, God is just letting me figure it out, well, then, I guess I’m mature enough to handle that, too.
- God knows me. And he knows what I need. And he also knows what some future husband of mine needs. If the crazy who will want to marry me someday is anything of what I imagine him to be, he’s also out there on his knees somewhere, praying that He can do all that God wants him to do. And he’s out there serving and getting answers to his “why’s” as well.
So without further ado, bring it, 31. If all else fails, I’ll be on the #nextlifeplan.