Tuesday, April 13, 2010
I am starting to stick out.
Today a good friend of mine (and also an off-limits crush) got married. This week, a significantly younger cousin of mine will get married, the second one to do so.
My last remaining mission companion who is single just announced he was engaged on Facebook. Most of my mission buddies have been married for several years now and have a baby. My friends from college wards and even high school are all married. Heck, the girl I took to prom has been married for three years and already has four children.
My mother (who wants to be and is an awesome grandma) has sweet, wholesome intentions and does her part to tactfully and lovingly encourage me along by asking about my dating prospects and reminding me of everyone I know back home who is getting or has gotten hitched.
I am acutely aware of the fact that I am not yet married and am reminded of it more often than I would like. I am the only son in family with a unique last name and a proud family heritage that would end if I stay in my solitary state. When compared to the typical Mormon marriage standards, I am becoming a menace to society since I have not yet found a wife and started a family.
Because I have the desire for a happy, postcard-like eternal family, yes, I am frustrated that I do not yet have a companion. There are times when I achingly yearn for it. Seeing couples growing old together is a beautiful manifestation of love, service and devotion. There have been many opportunities for me to possibly move forward and get married.
My last year at BYU, I was all but crazed to take advantage of my remaining time and find a wife. The clock was ticking. I almost did. I already had the ring. In the back of my mind I wanted to (and hoped I could) marry the gay out of me. I prayed about it in the temple and was frustrated that I didn’t feel I had received an answer either way, and this was a huge decision for me.
Feeling that I needed to talk to someone, I called my father from the parking lot almost in tears to discuss my situation, saying that I liked this girl except I did not find her physically attractive. My father is one of the nicest men alive and helped me think through the benefits and challenges the decision would bring. He suggested that many times it is the spirit and personality we are attracted to rather than the body. He counseled me to do what I felt was right and told me that there was no ticking time bomb ready to go off if I didn’t get married at BYU (even though the last three generations in my family had).
Ultimately, I never asked the question. I let things fizzle because deep down, I knew I could never truthfully love her to the fullest extent. I could never give her the true measure of devotion she deserved because I thought I would always have wandering eyes. And so I remain solitary and single to this day, having never yet truly been in love.
Contrapuntally, though, I am comfortable being single. Having never acted out on my attractions, being single and Mormon is essentially a safe holding pattern where I can remain in the knowledge that I am still alright in eyes of the standards I am subject to. Yet, I am starting to stand out. I don’t want to fly in circles my whole life long. I just can’t see which way to land.
Who knows what the future will bring. I may get married one day (to which sex is still up in the air). But in my comfortable holding pattern I feel like I am missing out on much that life currently has to offer. I want to experience life. I want to live. I want to love. But right now, I am feeling left behind.