About a month ago, a friend excitedly said, “Your birthday is coming up, isn’t it?”
“Wow,” I thought. “How does she remember my birthday? So thoughtful.”
Out loud. “Yes, yes it is.”
Her reply, “YES! I’m so excited to read your blog about reasons you’re single.”
You’re welcome. 😛
For those who are new to this, it may be good for you to know I am 100% serious and not serious all at the same time in this blog. (For context, see my post on turning 30…and then 31…32…and then 33). What you really need to know is that I’m OK. I don’t need consolation just because I’m single. REPEAT: I AM OK. I just like to laugh at myself. But if you feel like chocolate would help, I will accept it.
Presenting yet another year.
34 More Reasons Why I am Still Single at Age 34
- I wasn’t born in Mongolia. I see you are having a hard time with the connection. While in Mongolia a few weeks ago, we stayed with a nomad goat and sheep herder family. They live in the Gobi Desert and there is not much around besides sheep and goats. And gers (the round homes) and an outhouse. (Although curiously they have WiFi). We asked them questions about milking goats and such. They asked why five girls in their 30s were still single. #fair. So we shared some of our current dating “culture” and showed them the dating app Mutual (an app for Latter-day Saint singles). The mother was appalled. She said, “I just feel so lucky I was born in Mongolia.” #perspective
2. Another family in Mongolia also asked us why we were all still single. They then proceeded to tell us that maybe if we wore make-up and did our hair that things would change…
City folk. They obviously hadn’t heard of our goat herding skillz or our Boot Scootin’ Boogie cultural presentation in the Gobi Desert.
3. While in Mongolia, I was actually offered quite a few dates. I rejected them.
4. Also, I wasn’t born in China. After our Mongolia trip, three of us returned home and two went to China for a few more days. In China, my two friends happened upon a park where parents/grandparents were sitting around with umbrellas. That had lots of signs on them. And they were basically dating profiles for their children/grandchildren. They had info like job, salary, and so forth so that grandmas could set the kids up with each other. I am fairly confident my family would do it if it were a thing here, but sadly it is not. #ifonly
5. Did y’all see that ad for the millionaire guy who put up a billboard looking for a wife? Yeah, so did I. AND YOU BETTER BELIEVE I APPLIED! I got the sweetest form rejection letter.
Thank you for applying to be part of the Millionaire Match event with The LDS Matchmaker. We have reviewed your information and think you sound like a fabulous woman!
For this particular bachelor we do not feel it is a match. But the good news is we have amazing, successful men who contact us regularly and so we will contact you in the future when Mr. Right For YOU shows up!
…we have private matchmaking clients who are all looking for a unique match. We have many success stories where a woman contacted us to be considered for one event or bachelor and it was a stepping stone to us finding her husband later!
6. Just for kicks, I looked up their website after because I thought, “You know, maybe it would be worth it to pay a matchmaker to help because heaven knows I’m no good on my own.” Alas, the cheapest plan was $5000. Is $5000 worth it? Sorry, bro, no.
7. Speaking of bros…I read a beautiful article earlier this year (“Something to Lose” on Boundless.org) that expressed many of the feelings I have about dating in my 30s. So, so good. At the end, the article counsels to make room for God to surprise me. So I decided to be real about that and give more guys a chance on the online dating apps. I have nothing against well-trimmed beards in and of themselves, but I’ve never been a real fan of them in potential guys to date because, are you going to make me say it? #scratchyface. But that’s like 98% of the guys on Mutual, so I started being way more open to the bearded men. I mean, I definitely swiped up (“yes”) on guys with beards before, it’s just that I stopped being so selective. And I upped my age limit to 40. I even…well, I’ll just say it. I have swiped up on guys who wear bro tanks (#gross). It’s still a hard pass if they don’t like Harry Potter, though. I have standards.
8. One of my friends started a social experiment called Thirty Day Bae. Basically you sign up to date someone for 30 days. https://www.thirtydaybae.com/about
This sounds like something totally up my alley to try, except…for the part where you have to date someone for 30 days. And blog about it. And have your name and picture on a site saying you did it. I honestly don’t know if I even applied. I’d prefer to think that I didn’t so I don’t feel bad about not matching.
9. Speaking of matchmakers, I got a message on LinkedIn earlier this year. The message began, “I know this is a little unconventional, but I came across your profile and wanted to ask if you were single by chance…I am a matchmaker.” She went on to ask me to create a profile on Executive Matchmakers to match with a VIP bachelor. I messaged back that I was likely only a good consideration for Latter-day Saint VIP bachelors and she told me that’s who she was trying to match. So of course I filled out a profile! I’m still waiting…
10. Matches! Ooh. Those are fun. But rare.
I mean check this out. Dude’s profile: “Smile because you just came across one of the coolest guys you’ll find on Mutual. :-)” What??? I found (one of) the coolest guys on Mutual? Swipe up! Alas, we didn’t match. I didn’t smile.
11. I went to a home and garden show earlier this year. I stopped by a booth about water softeners, as you do, but really only because they had free candy and I needed it. Started chatting with the owner man. He discovered I was a Latter-day Saint and single. He said, “OK, so I have an employee who is just so incredibly wonderful and…” yada, yada, yada. He told me that if I were interested in a set up, to just shoot him an email with my info. I thought about it for a week and then I emailed. What the heck, right? But…the guy is in his mid-20s and owner dude thought I was, too. I’m not, as you see, because I am 34. And owner dude figured the age was too far apart, and here I am without a water softener employee man for a husband.
12. Mutual has an Instagram. And I follow it for some reason I can’t remember. They posted this year that 560+ married couples #MetOnMutual. I know they intended it to be inspiring. But it’s only 560 couples. The chances are just…so infinitesimally small.
13. Approximately 4 minutes into a family reunion with extended relatives, I had two offers to set me up with someone. When your family reunion produces more potential matches than any other method, you know you’re doing something…right. Right?
14. One guy on Mutual matched and read I like to ski from my profile. He asked, “Ah, but do you like skiing enough to go on Sunday?” I wrote back, “Nope.” He deleted me. #fair
15. Another match on Mutual was like (summary): “So how Churchy are you? Cause I drink a bit and I’m not really into the law of chastity when dating someone.” Cool, dude, um…not me. But I hope you find someone. *Pro tip: I’m not sure Mutual is the place you want to be looking.*
16. As you know, last year I “won” the Mutual game…which means you literally go through every single single person (yes, you read that right). And then there are no more matches. And then every day, you get on and swipe through only those who added that day. Saves so much time…sort of…if you don’t think about it at all. But still…every single single person who added in the last year AFTER going through all those who had ever previously added Mutual ever and…here… I… am.
17. Ah, you say, that can’t be every single single person. And you are RIGHT. Because recently Facebook launched a portion of its app called Facebook Dating! You better believe that I tried it out because I didn’t have enough reasons for my blog yet!
It is OK. I don’t love it because you can’t narrow down religious preferences any further than Christian (yet!) and you can’t un-match with someone, you can only block them and just the mere act of “blocking” feels harsh when really you just think the guy is pompous/weird/socially awkward. But at any rate, there are some Latter-day Saint guys who have signed up for Facebook Dating that I’ve never seen on Mutual! So now I really will have a chance with everyone.
Although I already won Facebook Dating in like 10 minutes and went through everyone that fit my filters and every day I pick up the newbies. It’s so new that no one is really on there yet. But I am committed! (at least for up to two more weeks). Because if there are few guys, there must be fewer gals, too, so I stand a higher chance of not being skipped over for hotter gals because they’re all still leery of a platform that already has all your personal information, location, and photos gaining additional access to your potential relationship preferences, connections, conversations, and so forth.
18. From time to time, I wonder if there is anyone, ANYONE AT ALL, who I have ever gone out with, or who I know, or who I didn’t give a chance to who is still single. Who might be someone I could be interested in. The answer is…yes. I’m not going to admit to there being more than one person because that’s too scary to do. But I did half-heartedly and completely benignly and for unrelated reasons reach out to one of those men recently. And I just don’t know why he didn’t pick up on the idea that maybe we should go out again.
19. So, OK, Facebook Dating also has a solution to the problem in #18. Yes, you heard me right. There is a feature called “Secret Crush.” You add that person as a secret crush (but they don’t know it) and if they independently add you as a secret crush, then you are both informed, and then I assume you date, right? I’m WAY too scared to try it. Also, it feels so 5th-gradey when people passed notes to each other about who was crushing on who.
20. Which reminds me. In 5th grade, I got passed a note that said, “[Name] wants to know if you’d ‘go out’ with him.” I don’t know about you, but “going out” was a thing in my elementary school. I really have no idea what that even meant to “go out” with someone, but I *think* it meant that you talked to each other at recess. And maybe dialed their home phone numbers and asked their mom if you could talk to them? Or *maybe* you didn’t gag when you were their swing dance partner in PE? I really don’t know. Because I obviously said no.
21. Every year I think of just one more thing that I could use on a potential future wedding registry that would give me a reason to get married. This year, I thought a nice set of silverware would be delightful instead of my mismatched multiple sets. And then a friend gave me one as a gift for helping her. Crisis averted. No wedding registry necessary. Again.
22. The library frequently tells me I can’t hold anything anymore because I have a maximum number of holds placed. NO HUGS FOR YOU! Also, how come only #dadjokes are popular? How come #singlegaljokes aren’t a thing? I am SO GOOD at making people groan.
23. I’m getting a little burned out of online dating. I mean, aside from the endless swiping and not matching, I just feel bad for a lot of my Mutual guy friends now. Johnny is a guy I saw on the beginnings of dating apps years ago before dating apps were mainstream (I’m such a hipster, as you know). I hadn’t seen him for years…he popped up on Mutual this week. Made me sad. Jesse pops up about every 3 or 4 months. I just feel bad all those relationships he got off Mutual for aren’t working out and that he has to get back on. I just want err’body to be happy, you know? And when did online dating start making you feel empathy toward complete strangers you’ve never talked to?
24. Instead of making a list of things I want in a man this year, I made a list of things I want in a new water heater. 50+gallon at least, Ultra Low NOx, gas, energy efficient. Still trying to figure out why someone would buy a 6-year one instead of a 12-year. And just waiting for a good sale.
25a. Ooh, maintenance reminds me of something. I was super lazy this year and DID NOT want to fix my broken sprinklers. So I paid some company to come do it for me. One of the guys said, “Why didn’t you have your husband do this?” That guy is dead now. Oh wait, no, I calmly told him I didn’t have a husband to do it. He said, “Well, I’m single.” And a little wink. Yes, yes you are single. And will continue to be.
25b. I took an Uber earlier this year when my car was in the shop. The driver dropped some weird comments about how he was just doing Uber for a side gig and he has a really great job and is a really good member of the Church and wants a family someday and I was like…huh? And then he tried to ask me out. Oh…just…no.
26. When I was in the young women program many years ago (pre-social media and the cloud), we saved little quotes and stories as hard copies. One of our activities was creating a filing system to easily organize things (I know, the times have changed!) Anyway, this year, I finally went through it and saved what I wanted. Incidentally, I threw away (ok, recycled) all the stuff on marriage. Joke’s on you, 15-year-old Liz. I don’t need that letter to my future husband or any sappy love poems! #hopedieseternal
27. A few years ago, a married friend invited me to her house for dinner with some other friends. It seemed super casual and I told her I had another commitment beforehand so I’d be a tad late. Turns out I was much later than anticipated and she seemed pretty put off by it. #sorry. Come to find out AFTER the party that she and my aunt somehow had a connection and that they had someone they wanted me to meet who was going to also be at the party but he was on his way out as I was on the way in, so I RUINED IT. You have to tell me these things ahead of time people! I’m a perpetual over-scheduler!
28. When I first met one of my new neighbors in my new neighborhood, they asked if I had any children. “Nope. Not even married.” “Darn,” they said, “We were hoping that there would be a little neighbor friend for our little guy.” Well, I certainly had hoped that too, now, hadn’t I??
“You know,” I said, “you can fix that. Perhaps you have someone you can set me up with?” “Oh, no, no, no…none of our friends are good enough for you. We can tell.” I had known them for literally 3 minutes. They don’t know me! Remember…I am willing to let God surprise me!
Ok, fine, I might not be willing to let Him surprise me that much.
29. Toward the end of last year, I was suspiciously and randomly invited to a dinner with an extended family member. I knew something was up. Family member had invited a guy over who she wanted me to meet. People are so sneaky! Alas, we weren’t a match, but he is a very good guy, so it was a nice try.
30. A friend invited me to a sort-of double date/meet and greet/not sure what it was, so I offended the guy by being late (over-scheduled again) and offering to pay for my own dinner. He didn’t allow me to, but I felt stupid because then I realized it was a date, kind of, probably. Also, I didn’t really offend him. But also he is now a good friend, but also he is not interested.
31. Many years ago, one of my favorite senior/elderly (what is PC on that one?) couples in the entire world told me that they bought their marriage license with a $2 bill (or 2-$2 bills? Can’t remember). I just thought that was super cute and decided I’d do the same, but you know, inflation. Salt Lake County is now $50 and I only have $10 saved up in $2 bills.
32. I went to the midsingles conference this year. I did. And I even met a few guys. At the very tail end of the last few minutes of the last day of the conference, I even met a guy who asked for my number! Because he was building a website. And he was looking for a freelance editor. And I do freelance editing/proofreading on the side. He hasn’t even contacted me for that. #superfail
33. In the last year, I was really starting to settle into my singlehood and feel really OK that this could be my life. Not that I didn’t want to get married anymore, but that I felt OK about the direction my life was headed. Well, the devil and his minions caught hold of that info, and they were like, “Wait. What? She’s not sad about being single anymore? We can’t attack her by making her feel lonely in a world of 7 billion people?” Nope, they couldn’t. *Cue the intense attack on many other points of weakness/difficulty in my life.*
I decided I’m going to take the easy route and go back to being sad about being single. #ha.
34. One of my friends said I get surprisingly personal on my blog. Well, then. Better keep up with the #oversharing then. As some of you know, I started a new job a little over a month ago. That change came from nowhere in my plans for this year. Earlier this year, my department went through some massive restructuring and changes. As I began to evaluate many things, including where I would land in the mix, and what I wanted next in my career, I knew staying was not the right thing for me. It was time for a job/career change. [Side note: that’s one of the places where the adversary really got me down this year. When a job is a huge part of your identity (rightly so or not), it’s just #hard].
Thus commenced an intense job search with lots of networking, applications, so. many. interviews, jobs turned down, a lot of prayer and pondering about where to take my next step in life, and finally a fantastic job offer accepted. I am so grateful to be where I am and doing what I am doing now.
But what does this have to do with being single? Every single date I went on this year (bar one last week so that doesn’t count), was in the time period when I was redefining my life, deciding what I wanted in a career, and applying for jobs. It was an incredibly stressful time and for many more reasons than I will share here. But I feel like I didn’t have the emotional capacity to even give any of those guys a fighting chance AT ALL. Now, looking back, I’m not even sure I would give them a chance in a normal situation, haha. But I really don’t know. And either way, I feel like I was probably the worst date I’ve ever been in my life! So #sorry to those guys who will probably never see this.
Goodness, I feel like that one was actually a real, legit reason and now I feel kind of emotionally exhausted and like that was a real downer. #Sorry to you guys, too.
So why am I still single? After 160 reasons, are you really still wondering? Well, I kind of know, but I also know that’s not the right question to ask either. The right question for me is, “What am I doing with the time God has given me?”
I have been given a lot. And I’m grateful. And I’m happy. I really am. Now, there are a few things that get me down.
The Salt Lake Temple is closing this year. That makes me sad. I always wanted to get married there. And now I either 1) wait 4 years until it’s open again 2) never get married so it doesn’t matter or 3) get married somewhere else. I’m finally starting to feel OK with whatever happens, but it’s really, truly been a hard thing for me to think about. Or I guess I could get married in the next 3 months which is #UtahPossible but probably not #LizPossible.
Another thing? Y’all know about the Ogden Valley Charity Garage Sale I founded and have helped run for 21 years and that raised over $200K for charity? Yeah, well, I have always and forever desperately wanted to share that experience with someone I would marry because it is a huge part of who I am and it means A LOT to me. We had our last year this summer. It was time to end it as it was becoming too big and for heaven’s sake, when was the last time you did something insane for 21 years??? It was the right thing to do and the right time to end, but it still makes me sad (for more reasons than just that, but also that).
And oh goodness, every year I’m reminded that my idea of having a big family is getting smaller every year.
So those kind of things get me down. And a few other things, too, like when guys don’t know how to use “you’re” and “your” properly. But what gets me up? Faith. Family. Friends. Being cheesy. Sentence fragments. #hashtags
But really, I am where I need to be. Every once in a while, I just get that feeling that reminds me I am exactly where I need to be in my life. I thankfully even felt it once this week. And really, truly, honestly, I feel so much faith and hope. I’m not a sad, hopeless case. I don’t need a pick-me-up from my readers telling me that life isn’t all that bad. Because it’s not. I know it’s not. Life is pretty cool sometimes! And I sometimes wish that being single was actually even my greatest challenge, but #spoileralert it’s not, because most of the time, it’s not really even a challenge at all.
So today… Today, I feel a great sense of trust in God. And that is all I need.
But just in case tomorrow is different, #chocolate. Without the dates, please.