Yesterday after opening session of LDS General Conference, I found myself alone in a room with three eligible bachelors. Earlier during breakfast (one young man was in the kitchen with his computer), this great blogarooski came up along with the post, "Singles Ward Hopper: What is Wrong With Women in Singles Wards."
Before I knew what hit me, I hear, "So you wrote about what is wrong with women, what about men? What's wrong with men in singles wards?"
"Ooooh no, I'm not getting myself in that kinda trouble. No way."
They prod some more.
"No way, NO way. That singleswardhopper guy is anonymous for a reason. No."
They prod some more.
I give in.
"Well, you are going to hate me for saying this, but it really is a case-by-case basis."
"We know that! But generally speaking. Generally."
I thought and I thought and my mind kept saying, "Nothing is wrong with them. Not every person is a match for every other person. That doesn't mean there is anything wrong with them, they just aren't my match."
I finally concluded, "In my experience I encounter a lot of guys who are slackers."
Naturally, this brought about some defensive behavior. Gear down big shifters. I honest-to-goodness don't see one trait that is overwhelmingly negative, that was just the best answer I could come up with when my honest answer didn't fly with them. Truth be told, a lot of women are slackers too. My definition of "slacker?" Behavior that is detrimental to relationships - human, divine, etc.
If you are living with your parents with a good reason like saving for a house or school? Totally acceptable... as long as mom isn't still making your bed for you and serving as your alarm clock.
If you are still in school? Great! As long as you are working towards a goal.
If you are playing video games eight hours a day? Not okay. I can't bring myself to view heavy gaming as anything but slacking and a relationship-time thief, even if you do have a good job. You see, I want my future companion to pay more attention to me than his video games. Call me crazy. And that reason is why I chose "a lot of them are slackers." There is a certain demographic of men, let's call it the 18-25 year old single male, that has a propensity to give in to the temptations of all gadgets electronic and sucking.
If you are stuck in an endless cycle of "What am I doing with my life?" Dissatisfied with where/who you are? Making no motions to change that? Have a "the world is out to get me" attitude? I consider these slacking as well. I have had the pleasure of dating some spectacular men. Truly. I'd say at least half of them were in some phase where they didn't know what they wanted out of life in general, which left them in no position to make decisions about romantic relationships. They all eventually conclude, "I don't know if I want you in my life," and the dating subsides. Of course, I think the real reason is always he's just not that into me, but that's another post.
Back to my original answer. What is wrong with the men in singles wards?
Many YSA males have challenges to overcome, even if as simple as working up the nerve to ask out a young lady or as complicated as battling addiction. Challenges make us stronger and we either break them or they break us. That's what separates the men from the boys. And you know what? Overcoming challenges is hot. So keep at it.
Addendum: Interestingly enough, one day after publishing this, I came across a CNN Article: Why Men are in Trouble.