My Life in Zion

The life and views of a Latter-day Saint in the 21st Century…

There Is the Dream of Someone… – Some Thoughts for Single folks

I wrote this open letter and shared it on Facebook over a year ago. But tonight as I watched Frasier on the Hallmark Channel and ate my bowl of cereal at my dining room table by myself, these words came back into my mind. I suppose I’m sharing them again tonight not just for your benefit, but for my own as well. I hope you enjoy:

Originally written and posted 3 August 2010

To My Pals Who are Single –

Last Friday night, once my friends had cleared out and it was just me and Armani (my dog), I did something which no man should ever confess to. – I pulled out “You’ve Got Mail”, slid it into my DVD player, put on a hoodie and curled up on my couch.

Laugh if you must, but it’s a great movie. Had I popped some popcorn it would have been a real Kodak Moment I am sure.

Seeing that it was Friday night though, and I was not experiencing too much romance or any particular amount of comedy, I pulled out one of cable television’s most often played romantic comedies and enjoyed a good movie full of insight.

One of my favorite movie scenes of all time is captured in “You’ve Got Mail” when Meg Ryan’s character is breaking up with her boyfriend. It has obviously been a serious relationship and has lasted some time, but it’s came to the point where they realize they just aren’t in love with one another. It’s a mutual decision to break up. Meg’s character, Kathleen, asks her now-ex-boyfriend almost enthusiastically if there is “someone else” in whom he might be romantically interested. – There is, and they laugh together about it. – And then the pivotal moment comes when he turns to her and asks, “What about you? Is there someone else?”

Now when you watch the movie next time you’ll realize that this all takes place over a fifteen second period, and goes by VERY quickly, but to me it as if the whole world has stopped when Kathleen answers that simple question.

“No,” she says softly as she blinks and thinks about it. “No,” she says again, and then has this brief look of deep thought. “But there is the dream of someone else.”

Perhaps no line anywhere in all of ancient literature, classical dramas of the stage, modern blogging, or even Holy Writ can sum up my current feelings on love better than the character Kathleen Kelly does in that brief instant in “You‘ve Got Mail”.

“But there is the dream of someone else.”

“The dream of someone”, anyone even, and being in love is what keeps us alive as a people. And the way Kathleen says it in the movie almost brings a tear to my every single time, because you can tell that the “someone else” that she’s speaking of is a knight in shining armor to her. She’s dreamed about him. She’s loved him, or even just the thought of him, since she was a little girl, and she can’t wait until the day that she finally finds him.

Yeah yeah, you could say that I’m reading a bit much into the character at this point. And maybe I am. But the point is that everyone who is single holds within themselves that small glimmer of hope, or maybe even the strong and blazing fire of knowledge, that somewhere out there there’s a person who will one day be perfect for them. And that’s what keeps them going.

You’ve heard the following words over the radio so often lately that you’ve probably grown dull to them. However, Michael Buble says it rather poignantly in his recent hit song. So try reading these words today with a fresh perspective:

 I’m not surprised

Not everything lasts

I’ve broken my heart so many times I stopped keeping track

I talk myself in,

I talk myself out

I get all worked up

Then I let myself down

I tried so very hard not to lose it

I came up with a million excuses

I thought I thought of every possibility

I might have to wait

I’ll never give up

I guess it’s half timin’, and the other half’s luck

Wherever you are

Whenever it’s right

You’ll come outta nowhere and into my life

They say all’s fair

In love and war

But I won’t need to fight it

We’ll get it right and

We’ll be united

And I know that we can be so amazin’,

And bein’ in your life is gonna change me,

And now I can see every single possibility

And someday I know it’ll all turn out

And you’ll make me work so we can work to work it out

And promise you kid to give so much more than I get

I just haven’t met you yet

How many of us who are single have felt that way recently? We get all worked up, then we get let down. We start what appears to be a rather promising relationship only to find that it wasn’t the right person, the right time, the right season of life, or the right anything to make the relationship work out. We feel like our hearts have been broken too many times to keep track. Have you given up on dating because you’re tired of being attracted to people just to find out they weren’t attracted to you? Do we make excuses not to date anymore, just hoping that somehow some way love will magically fall into our lives?

I fear that for many single people that the answers to the above questions are far too often “Yes.”

But I’m here to tell you that it shouldn’t be that way.

As a divorced twenty-something Mormon guy living in Alabama I couldn’t be in any more awkward position to date than if I was a Baptist girl looking for love and shacking up in a divinity school for Catholic Priests. Statistically, the odds of me finding a mate who shares my deep-rooted faith, yet accepts me despite my many (and obvious) flaws, are about as good as the odds of dry tar rolling uphill. Yet, there is hope for each of us.

Dating is hard. Indeed, I had forgotten how unbelievably hard it is and the effort that it requires each day. However, it is worth it! Because somewhere out there there’s a woman whom I know I’ll one day be married to. I may know her, or I may not. But rest be assured that wherever she is the girl is well prayed for. Each and every morning and night I beg the Lord to bless her with the things she’s needing in life right now that will one day bless our relationship and our family. – And I would advise every other single person out there to do the same. Pray for your future spouse! After all, what do you have to lose? You actually have everything to gain, because it makes you more aware that you are that “someone” to someone else, and that they are likewise looking for you, searching for you, in love with just the thought of you, and will one day find you.

I recently read a quote which said simply:

When you put the Lord first and give Him your heart, it is far less likely to be broken by others.

There is a profound truth there. And the real question is, “What are my priorities in life?” Because until you get those straight and put God first, there really isn’t a lot of a point to serious dating anways. You have to love and understand yourself as a child of God before you can ever begin to love and understand anyone else in the manner in which they deserve.

As a Christian dating and love are doubly difficult, because when we enter into a relationship we often get our own emotions mixed up with the emotions which the Holy Spirit can produce in our lives. – Yikes huh?! – Paul taught the Galatians that the Fruits of the Spirit are feelings such as “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, etc” (Gal. 5:22). Sounds familiar to those kinds of things we start feeling when we’re “falling” for someone doesn’t it? In dating, more than at any other time in our lives, we should truly be praying to know God’s will rather than our own. Not that God Himself has any particular preference in whom we marry. Our loving Father in Heaven in fact leaves our choices of whom to date and marry ENTIRELY up to us. – Free agency sure is great! – However, He does care about us, and will warn us if we are going down the wrong path and romantically pursuing those who will not be beneficial to our lives in the long run. So that admonition to “pray always” never rings more true than when we are dating and preparing to make the most important decisions of our lives in whom to marry. It is important that we don’t get so wrapped up in our own emotions that we miss out on what God might be telling us. – I repeat, it is important that we don’t get so wrapped up in our own emotions that we miss out on what God might be telling us. – Follow the Holy Spirit, and learn the difference between God’s Guidance and your own romantic feelings.

The eternal truth that “it is not good for [man or woman] be alone” is built into our very natures. We were created in the very image of our Creator to grow up, leave our parents, and literally become one with our spouses. “Neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.” We are programmed to feel lonely for a reason when we’re single. It is so that we’ll try to rectify the problem by finding a spouse. – So, I ask of you my single friends, when is NOW the right time to start looking for that companion?

(Hint: The answer was in my question.)

Waiting until the time is “just right” to date someone is never a good idea, because while you’re preparing and planning your life it is going to be just passing you by. Everyone wants to be skinnier, tanner, richer, more educated, have a nicer car, and so much more so as to impress those whom they want to date. But in the end those are all very shallow and temporal things, nice things, but temporal things. So while you’re working on those things, go ahead and date some other folks as you’re preparing for “the right time” in life, or you’re going to end up old and single.

In closing, I would like to remind everyone reading this that there are no better opportunities than when we are in romantic relationships to show true Christian Charity. Men, ask yourselves, “If Jesus Christ were dating/married to my girlfriend/wife, how would He treat her?” Would the Savior ever demean her or put her down just for a joke? Would the Savior open doors for her, or always stand up when she entered a room as an old fashioned sign of respect? Would He yell at her, or be short with her just because she was short with Him first? Would He be spiteful and unforgiving? Would He hold a grudge? Or would He always find the little things to do for her? Would He make dinner for her and clean up the house, unasked? Would He surprise her with unexpected gifts? Would He always remind her how beautiful she is? Would He be considerate of her wants and needs? Would He sacrifice Himself, His own wants and desires, for her when necessary? – Likewise women, ask yourselves the same hard questions. Just because we men are rough and tough doesn’t mean that we don’t have essentially the same feelings, wants, and desires as you. We are simply more simple minded creatures, but we still require that feeling to “be needed”. So as we men venture out to court you or continue in courting you, please be just as cautious with our feelings as we’ll attempt to be with your’s.

Like Kathleen in “You’ve Got Mail” there is that dream of someone out there that brings a big goofy smile to my face every time I think of her. In my mind I see a woman who knows just how amazing I think she really is. When we see one another it’s as if we’re watching a beautiful sunrise for the first time. She captivates me. She understands and appreciates that she’ll always come in second in my life, right behind the Lord, but knows that she is a princess to me and deserves to be treated as such. We‘ll raise a family together, and she’ll understand her divine, sacred, and awesome calling as a mother, and she’ll teach my children the tenets of our faith in her everyday actions and virtues. She’ll testify alongside me as we get older, serving missions to far away places and teaching people about the love of Jesus Christ, and we’ll grow old happily together. – To me she will be my world, and I’ll do everything within my powers to make sure that she is the happiest woman in the world and that she‘s well provided for. And although she may not be “perfect” as far as the world is concerned, she’ll be perfect for me. And that will be all that matters.

Wherever you are dream girl, I cannot wait until I find you or figure out who you are.

As for the rest of you, I’ll be praying for you too.

“Dating”, “Relationships”, “Marriage”, they’re all big and scary words, but words and situations which we must gladly accept in our lives to live up to our true callings and potential. Whether you are single and not interested in dating, single and dating wildly, in a committed relationship, or already almost in holy matrimony, there are basic steps you can make to take your life and relationships to the next plane of success. Hopefully something you’ve read here has been beneficial for you today.

My fellow singles out there, I wish you the best in your search for that “someone”. The trek to romance may be long and arduous, defeat and heartbreak may seem ubiquitous, and love itself might seem hopeless, but I promise you and testify that it will all be worth it in the end. A million terrible dates are worth just one moment with someone you truly love…You just don’t realize that until you get there. So keep going until you find the one of your dreams, and I pray that when you find one another that you’ll recognize it, and it will be one of the greatest moments your lives.

Happy courting my friends.

Your single pal –

Stan

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One thought on “There Is the Dream of Someone… – Some Thoughts for Single folks

  1. Pingback: Call Me Exegesis « My Life in Zion

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