Thursday, April 28, 2011

Singles Ward Hopper: What is Wrong with Women in Singles Wards?

I happened upon this intriguing site yesterday while doing a search to see if the new boundaries for the singles ward restructurings were published.
(by the way, if you need to know what singles ward you are in, go here)

I have no idea how current the site is.  What I do know is that it is hilarious.  And harsh.  

The author, an anonymous thirty-two year old single male lawyer living in Salt Lake City, has been to every ward in the Valley and offers some answers to interesting questions:

How do you know you are at a singles ward?
What do you think of singles wards?
What do you think of singles ward Bishopric's?
Are you inactive? Do you have a testimony?

And, my favorite question, "What is wrong with the girls in singles wards?"

His answer is a slap across the face and I'd like to see what you all think (I've pulled only excerpts, go to his site for a full read-through):

"Two thirds of the young women are overweight.  These girls all think that because they have good personalities, or good jobs, or are well-educated that guys should care more about who they are than how they look.... young men will never want to be intimate with them if they're ... heavy...While beauty isn't the only important thing in a girl, it is the gateway to the other qualities which no man cares about exploring without the attraction...  Like men, women have an obligation to be happy, to procreate, to start a family, to experience humanity and love...Nobody would have wanted to kiss Sleeping Beauty if she were a fatty with a Ph.d.  ...you can't start a fire without a spark."

"The other third of the girls who aren't overweight have a different problem, which I'll illustrate by describing what happens when I go to dinner with them.  We sit down at a nice dinner, and they begin to talk about somebody who's suffering some medical or emotional problem.  They then begin to extol the virtues of holistic/herbal medicine and animal rights, which apparently this person who's suffering doesn't understand.  I nod in increasing frustration as they begin to praise vegetarianism...seems like many LDS women who aren't married seek to identify with bizarre belief systems, as if these beliefs have become their spouses, to the point they become blind to real life.  I am amazed how many women spend all dinner telling me about pharmaceutical companies conspiring to cover up a cure for cancer that holistic doctors have discovered, or who refuse to eat because they are doing "cleanses" with exotic fruit juices, as if somehow these fruit cleansers form covalent bonds with all the toxins in their bodies and clean them out...All of these beliefs have somehow replaced these women's testimonies and retarded their ability to appreciate and interact with traditional, non-artsy, down-to-earth males..."

"Then, there is another pervasive problem that I observe across LDS women before going on dates . . . pride....The girls start behaving in YSA wards like they did in high school, forming clicks, and deciding which groups of people they'll socialize with and which they won't...in which many of the best men in the YSA wards are overlooked because they refuse to participate in the superficiality, or lack the time or inclination to do so."

"The men, of course, have problems too, but not as many in my opinion.  They're overweight also, and some are generally losers...I don't think weight matters as much for men, though, even though I recognize the double-standard...  The biggest problem I've noticed with men as they get older in singles wards is they begin blaming their unhappiness in life on their parents rather than trying to change whatever is causing it themselves."

Interesting, no?  What do you think?  Feel free to comment anonymously;-)

44 comments:

miss kristen said...

My first thought was "wow, thiss guy's an ASS. No wonder he's 32 and not married." But when I got past the initial shock of his comments, a lot of them are true. Especially the High School mentality a lot of women in single's wards have.

Hence the reason I go to a Family Ward-far less drama. Well that and the fact I'll be kicked out when I hit the big 3-1 in four months.

miss kristen said...

The singles ward-NOT the family one.

Kristie said...

This guy is disgusting. He's making all sorts of dumb excuses for his not being married. Honestly, I'd like to see what his definition of "overweight" is because he sounds like he's a just a douche bag looking for a Victoria's Secret model. It's people like him that continue to make girls who aren't stick skinny feel like they are less of a person. I've met tons of girls in singles wards who are of normal weight, above average intelligence (which seems like it's another insecurity of his: having a girlfriend who's smarter than him), and who are perfectly normal human beings. Guys like him need to drop all the whining they have about there not being a good enough girl out there, when he's the farthest he could be from being a good enough guy.

Keri said...

I have never gone to a singles ward more than a handful of times. I really can't speak about whether the young women form cliques, or whether many of them are fanatical about holistic treatments or diets.

However, I believe he may have a point when it comes to what he says about the overweight girls. I think he is overgeneralizing, and yes, he's shallow. It may not be popular or politically correct. He may be missing out on the girl of his dreams because he won't give an overweight girl a second glance. And yes, there are some guys who like chubby women. That being said, like it or not, in society, attraction is based on the physical appearance first.

Does that mean if you are overweight you will never find a husband? No. But it might be harder, and you should do everything in your power to make yourself as attractive as possible.

Keri said...

Also, I had to laugh about his P.h.D comment. My 32 year old sister who is single, wouldn't date a guy because she has plans to get a p.h.D, and he was a lowly mechanic with a high-school diploma. It goes both ways.

Singletonmd said...

I read his whole blog and want to comment on the rest of it. He feels lost in the world... wonder why? He needs to settle down in a ward. Those that feel outcast and not "apart" of the ward... are they trying? Are they signing up for service projects, and going to FHE, and ward prayer, and introducing themselves to others? Are they setting up appointments to get to know the bishop?
If you KNOW the church is true, then why blatantly ignore the purpose of the organization of wards and stakes. How can a bishop help you if you don't tell him where you are.
What makes me sad is his stereotypes of everyone in the wards. I am super glad he has figured out the world. Good for him.
I think ward hoppers know the very LEAST about wards than anyone else. They don't know how amazing it is to be taught by a fellow peer and watch each other grow and learn and find love. They don't know what it is like to find friends in people you would have never thought you would have been friends with. They don't know the beauty of fellowshipping and becoming family. They are very selfish. period. Not everyone that attends hates them. Hearing the marriage talks get old, whatever. There will always be a talk you don't want to hear. Maybe when I get married I won't want to hear about families and children... who knows. But I love YSA because of what I have done with my time there.

j said...

Well I agree that most guy (I can't speak for all guys) and most girls that I've spoken to, want to marry someone they are attracted to. And if, as a man, you didn't want that, would your wife want to know that you aren't attracted to them? I think that sometimes girls assume we only want rail thin runway models, but that's definitely not the case. But there is a point where size does matter. I'm sure it's a different point for every guy.

I don't know that I've met a lot of the holisiticy type girls he describes, but there are some out there.

As for the clique-ish part? I don't know if that's true or not. I do know that I've had plenty of girls that I was interested in going out with, just not return my phone calls, rather than be willing to say they'd rather not go out with me.

And yes, I don't know that he's qualified to speak as to what a singles ward really is since he's never given one a chance. Never accepted a calling and sacrificed time and effort in the service of others in his ward. At least as far as he describes it. There's a lot more to church than finding a spouse. Even in a singles ward.

S.R. Braddy said...

I've been in singles' wards for ten years, at least, and this... isn't my experience at all.

This singles' ward detractor MAY have valid points on occasion, but his attitude is THIS close to telling women to take off their shoes and get back in the kitchen, and I can't condone that.

Miss Megan said...

Sigh. I thought my weight was keeping me single. Now I know for sure. *roll eyes*

I am really, really glad I'm not a single guy in the church. I feel a lot of pressure, but the men really get walloped about the whole thing.

That being said, I am not at all interested in dating that guy, no matter how room-freezingly piercing his blue eyes are. I read through the whole article and think it's extremely presumptous of him to think he can week through an ENTIRE ward in 4 weeks and pick out all the girls he's interested in. He doesn't stick in any ware long enough to get to know any of them and let them get to know him. No wonder he's so cynical and his luck is so bad.

There is something terribly unattractive about someone who picks out everyone else's faults in such a mean way.

I wonder if I've met this guy... he kinda sounds like someone I know...

Teka said...

Wow. Each singles ward I've been in has it's issues. In one area, the guys ignored the girls to play video games and the girls hated it. One ward was almost WAY TO FREAKING FRIENDLY, which for a girl with social anxiety was scary. I can see where he gets some of his points (some as in he's grouping a whole valley into one stereotype) but is for sure exaggerating it. I could rant like he was about the guys in wards. I agree with 'Miss Kristen' I went back to a family ward for a reason. It has its own drawbacks, but I doubt I could find a ward that doesn't.

Kenedijs said...

Though some of his points are true, they are just as true in a Family ward. I have seen some crazy things in a family ward, like the one guy who always gets up to bear his testimony about crazy things for half the meeting, or the kids who get up to testify that they know that Jesus is true, but those are the things that keep things from becoming monotonous. None of us are perfect and that's what's great about this church. We all have our issues we are struggling with, and the point of church is to come together, learn from one another, and help one another overcome those struggles. The singles wards add a bit to help singles meet one another, true, and can produce some interesting experiences, but would you rather go to a ward of robots?

I have to agree with many of the comments, he is lost because he's not let himself go and it's sad to see that he's reached that age and not had meaningful experiences and made meaningful friends. He might as well have stayed in a family ward and been a nursery worker (not that nursery workers aren't the best calling in the world, whereelse do you get condoned to play with toys, eat treats, and just generally goof off? It's more that you do what you do and the little kids will likely never remember you, or the ward for that matter, nursery workers seem to just disappear and then when they get called to something else, you see them and say "Did you move? Where have you been for the last five years?").

The biggest thing I notice is his attitude... he's already set his mind of how a ward is, how a person is, and "figured" out the world. The world is what you make it. Wards doubly so. If you go and attend to be active, you'll enjoy life! If you go thinking that it's lame and you hate it, it will be just that and you'll be miserable for the rest of your life, cause you'll quickly find out that the family wards are no different. (In fact, my family's ward I think had more drama than I've seen in our ward... granted I was a primary teacher and kids both the old and young, but sometimes more of the old, are very dramatic.)

Dashbo's no-brainer math for right-brained folk. said...

This guy sounds like he is miserable. I would conjecture that he is not happy with himself and that leads to a weird/incorrect way of perceiving women and men around him. Of course, that doesn't excuse his rude behavior.

As far as his dissatisfaction with girls he has actually dated, I think he isn't very good at recognizing women he would enjoy getting to know. If he has had nothing but bad dating experiences, it is your fault even if he doesn't know it.

Dashbo's no-brainer math for right-brained folk. said...

change that last "your" to "his"

Janae said...

Yeah I'm pretty sure that while he may make valid and harsh points, he is probably also a douche bag who seems to refuse to question his own faulty outlook.

I especially like that he spelled cliques "clicks." And he probably thinks he's really smart.

Shayla said...

This cracks me up! You're either fat because you don't eat whole foods or crazy because you do. He really wants someone unrealistic, at least at his age. What 30+ year old girl can eat crap and still be skinny?!

Larissa said...

I love all of your thoughts on this matter. I really wish I knew who this guy was and then I'd probably go, "OoooOoooOooh..."
I do think, in a round about weirdo way, he is trying to say that we all need to be the best we we can be, but if you are overweight, vegan, or young, you aren't the right one for him.
I agree with Melissa and the rest of you - the bonds and amazing experiences we have had in singles wards are not forged from four weeks, or even 12 weeks. The bonds are strengthened every day and continually growing. My life has been blessed blessed BLESSED because of the folks I've met in the singles wards (most of you, actually!). I feel sad for anyone who has denied themselves this opportunity.
I also agree with the testimony we heard Sunday - in our singles ward! - If you are looking for a ward to be shallow and callous and biting, that is what it will be. If you are looking for a ward to be wonderful, uplifting, family-like, then that is what it will be.

Ru said...

I just found your blog because I was googling the ward hopper guy -

I think his biggest issue is arrogance. To say that he can pin down whether a ward is good or not, figure out whether a guy is addicted to porn, or whether a girl is stuck up or (gasp) a Democrat within 30 seconds just says volumes about the fact that he's someone who makes snap judgments and isn't very nice. It does not shock me at all to find out that he has proposed to multiple girls, only to be turned down. If you're the kind of person who finds fault with everyone (2/3 of women are too fat, and the remainder are hippy weirdos?) then you're never going to be happy or be able to make someone else happy.

On top of all that, the whole tone was extremely aggressive, and I don't think many girls--LDS or not--are into that. Then again, we're all doing cleanses and protesting pharmaceutical companies. ;)

(Clearly, I wanted to find someone to complain to, hahaha.)

LovelyLauren said...

I actually found this website quite awhile ago and wanted to rant to someone about it, only to find that people looked at me weird and had no idea what I was talking about.

I just spent the whole time thinking, "if you're so perceptive, then perhaps you should turn the lens on yourself and realize that no one is interested in you because you're a misogynistic, homophobic jerk with serious issues." But that's just me. And I bet he could tell that I'm a democrat just by looking at me.

He makes some good points about the problems in singles wards, girls who form cliques and act like they're still in high school and guys who have double standards, but I think he's so jaded and cynical about the whole affair it's no wonder he can't meet a girl he likes. Although piercing blue eyes comment was just hilarious.

Obolus said...

I think the ward hopper guy is emblematic of a larger-than-we'd-like percentage of the YSA male population.

But why has this contingent arrived at their apathetic state? Is it merely media saturation and shirking responsibilities? Or is it possible that YSA wards themselves are inadequate religious communities?

In a local ward, singles are surrounded by examples of their goal: married couples & families. YSA wards can be good critical mass, but because they remove families from Sunday worship terms like "marriage", "family" and "parenting" become abstractions rather than something to be observed at church.

I would argue that YSA males are removed from their roles as mentors to youth/children and, concurrently, they are removed from a weekly observance of examples of their next step: married males.

Do you want LDS men in their 20s/30s to put away video games and become more spiritual? Then surround them with fathers and High Priests who will show them what it means to walk up to their covenants, and Aaronic priesthood holders who will look up to them. This will re-insert them into their natural role.

Kenedijs said...

I respectfully disagree with Obolous in their comments. I lived at home for about 2 years and attended my family ward in exactly what they are describing, and not only did it limit the amount of contact I had with other single adults and prospects, it stiffled my spiritual growth. I was continually hounded by the "fathers" and "role-models" that yes in an ideal setting would set these great examples, but in this case, enabled the stunting of my spiritual growth. Every talk, every lesson that involved the terms of "marriage" "family" or "parenting" continued to be a dagger to my heart as they would discuss these topics and any comments I had on the matter were quickly dismissed because I wasn't on the same plane of existence as they. Infact, any comments I made were dismissed as I was the inferior one who obviously had something wrong with him because he was not married yet. Yet, I was the one put with home teaching companions who even though they were corporate executives, couldn't pull themselves together enough to do the simple task of home teaching once a month and I was left to pull the weight of a full load of families to home teach by myself. In comparing the two years I spent there and the two years I have spent in the single ward, I have grown at a significant, exponential amount since moving into the singles ward and learned more about these terms than I did in the family ward. This likely is because the topics were more focused on their application to my current situation, but also because my opinions and insights were valued. The role models and examples of Bishoprics, High Councilmen, and Stake leaders in the single system have been much more of an example and role model than I ever viewed the men in my family ward as being. My spiritual growth has also increased, nearly to the point it was as I served a mission. Now, I definitely represent a different group of men than the ward hoppers, but I stand firm in my belief that neither the singles ward nor a family ward would make a difference as it is their attituded that precludes them from reaping the benefits of either. Until they come to terms with following the wisdom of inspired leaders and take part personally in the organizations of the church, they will indefinitely remain on their present course.

Obolus said...

Much respect, Kenedijs, to you and your experience. In remote areas, perhaps a YSA ward would work best.

But my comments were directed more towards the main LDS corridor, wherein the ward hopper in question lives and operates. If YSAs were to unify with the rest of their local community in Salt Lake, Ogden, Idaho, California and Arizona then there would be far fewer people in the situation that you described because all of these singles would have many of their peers present at church with them.

And quite frankly, seeing a bad example of a father/husband at church is just as important as seeing a good one. Both offer an invaluable lesson to the observer. I'm sorry you felt marginalized in EQ because you weren't married, but that dynamic would change if there were 12 guys like you in the quorum instead of one or two. My proposal won't work unless all YSAs are expected to participate.

Which is exactly the program that married off most of our current leaders. They attended their family wards and had huge multi-stake activities where they were exposed to many more YSAs than the limited dating pool a current YSA ward usually provides. Hence all the ward hopping and desperation to get into BYU. The church of the 50s and 60s accomplished more than the current system with a simple activities program, and they did it with the largest generation of singles to ever grace the church: the baby boomers.

Unknown said...

I think the guy definitely has some issues. He does make some valid points though. I am currently in a YSA ward. I have a love hate relationships with YSA wards. Personally I wish they would just get rid of YSA wards all together. We could all go to a family ward and then we could just have regional YSA activities. I think that this would provide way more opportunities to meet people. I think that this also would provide more incentives for the LDS men to date. In singles wards there are so many activities. Some men might not feel like they need to date because they get enough social interaction with the opposite sex anyways. If they got rid of singles wards maybe the men would actually have to ask a girl out on a date to have social interactions with the opposite sex.

J.W. Rock said...

Hey, I just wanted to leave a comment and say thanks. I am kind of knew to the whole LDS religion, and am still trying to decide if I want to join, but so far I really like it and at this point I just am making sure it is something I really want in my life. I went online yesterday to try and find out more information about singles wards, mostly just where they were and when to go, and the first thing I saw was the website you describe here. At first I started reading it thinking it would give a good idea of what to expect, but then after getting a ways through it I started to really get worried about ysa wards. Then I was thinking about it and realized this guy is kind of sabotaging his own lovelife, and there are some things he should address in himself before blaming it all on something he doesn't have to attend in the first place. I went to find the site and email him some advice on talking to women, but the site is mysteriously not working today, and your site is. So I read what you said, and felt a little relieved. I also really liked the link you put up about finding the ysa ward closest to you. After reading some reactions to this idiot, and finding out where my ward would be, I am excited to go check it out. I hope to just get a feel for what types of people attend, and don't expect to meet my soulmate or anything like that guy was. I would consider it a highly successful visit if I just met two or three people close to my age who I can relate to. I am also new to my city and new to the church, but so far I have been having a very positive experience and feel like I am in a place spiritually that I have never been before, and can't wait to make some friends to share that with. Well, single friends I mean, I actually have three good friends who are great mormon guys but they are married with kids.

Anonymous said...

Did anyone else read this picturing Collins from the Mormon version of Pride & Prejudice?

This guy sounds like the type of jerk who is a douche to every girl around him and then complains that the reason he's still single is because girls just don't go for nice, decent guys like him.

Anonymous said...

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Larissa said...

J.W. Rock - I hope you enjoyed your singles ward! I also greatly appreciate you sharing your comments with us! Doesn't it feel so great to know there are more people like you out there? Congratulations on all of the changes you've made in your life - it's a big step!

Kaci said...

Oh how happy I am to have found your blog. I read his website and I felt was that he is a big Jerk! There is definitely a reason that he is 33 and not married. I don't think that he deserves to find a girl. No girl should put up with that kind of crap.

thaumkid said...

I finally read this guy's post today and thought, "Fantastic! A large number of LDS girls across Utah are liberals or feminists? There is hope yet!!!"

Correlation may have helped ruin his life, but so many others my age have escaped it.

Anonymous said...

He has been tempted to break the law of chastity a few times.

His LADIES have been tempted MORE THAN A FEW TIMES.

Awwww yeah, baby. What a stud!!!

Plus, he thinks the Mountain Meadows Massacre was justified. This guy is a catch!

In short, it's not that he's a complete douche bag, it's that the ladies are too fat or dumb for him.

Uh huh. Yeah. Keep telling yourself that, douche.

Anonymous said...

As flawed as his perspective is, I do think many here are being to harsh! Put yourself in his situation. From any point of view other than an LDS perspective, this man is highly successful. However, he cannot enjoy what he has accomplished because he has not been through the necessary "rite of passage" to move forward in our unique Happy Valley culture. He must be feeling very pressured and very stressed. No wonder he's become a little bitter after ten years of searching. Rejection is hurtful, no matter who you are and can easily lead to depression.

In regards to being picky, I think we all have a right to be so. If there's one choice that it is meet to be picky, I think selecting an eternal companion is most deserving.

I, for one, do not agree with all the things that he has said. There may be some truth, but there is also a lot of exaggeration. We don't have to agree with him, but I also think that by attacking him and bringing him down we become the very things that he has outlined and described. That being said, let us agree to disagree and leave it at that!

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Jahaziel Vazquez said...

Honestly, you're being just as judgemental as he is: he's obviously frustrated, and he's being very blunt about his frustrations. I don't agree with everything he says, but he does have a point. I understand these are very sensitive topics for different people. I have a friend who always wanted to date me. I think she's an amazing person, but she extremely over-weight, and I've never been attracted to her. I think it's because to me it shows a lack of personal care or self respect: specially because weight is something we can control (typically) if we change our dieting and exercising habits. I suppose it's similar to how women are not attracted to creepy or awkward guys. Just because a guy is creepy or awkward, it doesn't mean he's a bad person. He could be a great person, he just doesn't know how to portray himself in a better light, but it's still his responsibility to change and to learn social dynamics.

Jahaziel Vazquez said...

I agree with you. I think people should take care of themselves (says the guy who loves to eat cookies haha) but yes I wholeheartedly agree. Looks matter, genetics actually don't have that much to do with our looks: a lot of it has to do with our dieting, exercising, grooming, and styling habits, so it's really up to us to take care of ourselves

Jahaziel Vazquez said...

I HATE YSA wards. Jk. You're totally right, I love the bonds that you create when you integrate yourself. The problem I see is that guys like to date or marry a little bit younger than them, and when they're 31 they're put in a ward full of old farts (no offense to anyone) so that's what's kinda lame haha. I guess that's why they ward hop too

Jahaziel Vazquez said...

I love your comments. Super on point.

Jahaziel Vazquez said...

HAHAHA that's funny

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