Creepy, Not Creepy: The Dark Underbelly Of Mormon Dating

RANT

“Men, take care not to make women weep, for God counts their tears.”

President Thomas S. Monson

Provo, Utah: A Mormon Mecca with a population 93.35% LDS. The Provo-Orem area is home to Brigham Young University, Utah Valley University, and a massive amount of LDS Singles —seriously, massive.

The number of Singles Wards in Provo is incalculable. Okay, not incalculable, but I googled it and can’t find a hard number. Think somewhere in the hundreds.

With such a high number of LDS singles concentrated in one area, you might imagine Provo as a wonderland for Mormon dating; you’d be wrong.

“I had never felt objectified as a woman – not ever – until I started dating the young men that I met at BYU.”

Simply Single

A recent blogpost on Just A Simply Single has garnered a fair amount of attention from the masses. In it, the female writer describes a culture of young men who expect and demand physical attention from the young women they pursue. She chastises them with an I-expected-more-from-you tone.

“A lot of these men are returned missionaries. They hold God’s priesthood. They’ve covenanted with God in His temple. These men are supposed to be an example to the world on how to treat women,” she laments.

And she’s right, respect from young men is not too much to ask for. But expecting respect just because they served an LDS mission, hold the priesthood, etc. is a whole ‘nother story.

Read: serving a mission does not automatically make you a good person. Holding the priesthood does not automatically make you a good person. Being temple worthy does not automatically make you a good person. 

We hope that all of these things will help our young men build character and mold them into the righteous (and courteous) men they might someday be. But sometimes additional schooling is required.

Here’s a little guide we here at MormonHub threw together to help young men better navigate the tricky world of LDS dating (and sometimes just interacting with women in general).

Creepy: Treating BYU like the Celestial Kingdom

@provoguysamiright

Creepy: Bringing up your potential eternal family after the first date

@provoguysamiright

Creepy: Hehehe-ing + “nether-regions” + Institute + blatant thesaurus use = she will never “watch a movie” with you.

@provoguysamiright

Creepy: This.

@provoguysamiright

Creepy: Using a Conference talk to justify your dirtbaggery

@provoguysamiright

 

Creepy: Finding someone’s number off LDS Tools to shame them for immodesty

courtesy of @provoguysamiright

Creepy: Pressuring her into praying about you

@provoguysamiright

Creepy: Blaspheming for a non-committal make-out

@provoguysamiright

Creepy: Asking for her ring size after one (group) date

@provoguysamiright

Not Creepy:

Treating women like they are divine, heavenly daughters of a loving Heavenly Father by acknowledging they are strong, intelligent beings (just like you), not receptacles for your mismanaged emotions, ornaments for your ego, or objects for your unruly sexual desires.

 

Gabriella is a psychology major, Westfalia-dweller, and expert bean-eater. Having spent the majority of her life living in the great Latin-American metropoles of Guatemala and Mexico, Gabriella continues to grapple with the eccentricities of suburban living.
  • Eliana

    Jon I understand you’re frustration and hurt, but I think you may be misunderstanding where these women were coming from.
    It’s common for men and women both to make lists of potential celestial companions and to place those they are most initially attracted to at the top. However, if all of the individuals on that list of potential people don’t feel like they are who God wants them to be with, it doesn’t mean they will settle for any of them.
    I think most lists are just places to start looking.

  • Melinda L. Brown, MA, Ed., TESOL

    Provo, Utah: A Mormon Mecca with a population 93.35% LDS (<– Reference this. Support this statement.) Also, this article is not funny. 3 minutes of my life I'll never get back. What was your point? Super biased and not written well. I'm sorry you took the time to do this. Learn from your mistakes and do better next time. Don't give up writing. BUT, be more balanced and less sarcastic. It's not very funny or clever. Read aloud what you wrote. Is that really what you wanted to share with the internet? If so, then no apologies and continue down that path.

    • Gabriella Loosle

      Thanks for the feedback Melinda! Sorry you didn’t enjoy my article. I have over 100 other articles published on this website (some very heavily researched, others more for fun — like this one) if you’d like to go read/critique those as well 🙂

  • Ray

    Not Creepy: Treating men like they are divine, heavenly sons of a loving Heavenly Father by acknowledging they are strong, intelligent beings (just like you), not receptacles for your mismanaged emotions, materialistic piggy banks for your ego, or court jesters for your unruly comedic desires.

  • Brad

    There are a lot of weird boys and girls from Provo. Don’t think this is so much from one sex as it is from a weird culture that is naively self righteous. I’m Mormon and love it but Provo is not for me.

  • Stargatemommy

    I disagree. While the scenario you gave is pretty awful, I’d say hands down that threatening eternal salvation or status in the church community if you don’t make out with someone is far more demeaning and ruthless.

    • Jon

      More demeaning and ruthless than fooling some guy you don’t love into what he thinks is an eternal relationship? If you are anything like me, you marry for love and because you want to be with that person and none other for the rest of your life. You give everything you have, everything you are, and everything you are going to be to that person. You give them your life. Now imagine, after having done all of that, you find out that you were choice number three on a list. She married you not because she feels the same way about you, but because the other two weren’t interested and you were next on the list. Now imagine that you find out that this behavior is commonplace among LDS women who apparently marry just for the sake of being married, and who don’t seem to realize or care about the eternal impact it will have on the person they marry. What you are rightly objecting to is stealing a kiss. What I am objecting to is the equivalent of stealing a soul.

  • Jon

    A few years ago I overheard four women discussing marriage. One was married with children, two were single, and one was engaged.

    Engaged (holding her ring aloft): I’m so happy [fiancée] finally asked. When I moved into my new singles ward I made a list of four guys I would marry. The first one wouldn’t even talk to me, the second started dating someone else, and then I got [fiancée] to ask me out.
    Married: Oh, I did that too. [Husband] wasn’t my first choice but he has turned out okay.
    Single 1: Really? You made a list? That’s a good idea!
    Single 2: I’m going to make one too!

    To listen to these women talk about men as nothing more than objects on a list, without a thought of love, forever altered how I think about women. What was most shocking is that two women in this small group shared the same experience, and the other two did not seem to think anything was wrong with this predatory behavior. It also made me question how my wife thinks about me. Believe me, the objectification of the opposite gender is not just on the male side. It might be different, but no less ruthless or demeaning.

    • Ray

      Men have been reduced to piggy banks and rodeo clowns by our modern ‘society’. Women are inculcated into believing they should be treated like princesses since the age they can understand spoken language and watch a Disney movie.