Can you feel it? The tingling in your toes, the gooey melting in your belly, the heady buzzing in your head? Yes, it’s that elusive holiday of love, Valentine’s Day. During this time, most people fall into three categories: the happily in love, the desperately seeking or the anti-love advocates.

Sadly, in Utah, due to such a high Mormon culture, very few people between the ages of 18 and 40 are in the “happily in love” category. Instead, most who are Mormon are desperately seeking, and most who aren’t Mormon are anti-love because of all the desperately seeking Mormons.

Today, I would like to focus on those poor, desperate people. But before I continue, I also would like to point out that I am not bashing any of the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Just keep that in mind as you read on.

First of all, this desperation is not common to the nature of human psychology. It’s true that we all have a yearning for companionship, but we aren’t usually disappointed when we aren’t married off by 18. No, it is the nurturing culture of Mormonism which encourages marriage so that families may be created.

Because of this, people have put pressure on themselves to be married as soon as possible. The trend is meet, date, get engaged and get married, all within a very little amount of time (the longest I’ve seen is about a year). So, if you’re female, over 18, not planning on going on a mission and still single, you’re broken. And if you’re male, over 21, back from a mission (because, of course, you went on a mission) and still single, you’re broken, too.

As you can imagine, there are a lot of people out there who feel broken. This means they try and fast-track the dating process to get to marriage as soon as possible. This, I believe, is what has created the anti-love advocates.

I suppose that dating does have the ultimate goal of marriage or partnership, but most Utahns have skewed dating to have the immediate goal of marriage. This is just so wrong.

Dating should be a process in which people get to know each other as much as possible. By the time they feel they are ready to be engaged, they should feel like the person they are committing to is his or her best friend, like there are no secrets between the two of them. And guess what, this usually takes more than just a few months.

I can see why some have become totally anti-love with the idea of marriage constantly being pushed on them. It’s not enough that a person wants to establish a career for his/herself first. A person should be in a committed relationship first and then worry about all of those other silly things like education and work. That mentality is just wrong.

All right, I have to make a confession. I was married at 18. But I kept going to school, I had known my husband for at least four years, dated him for two and been engaged for one before we even thought of marriage. So, after all is said and done, there are exceptions to everything.

Exceptions like me aside, the desperation needs to end. People need to enjoy each other’s company, get to know each other and think about the future before they ever think of marriage. Maybe if they do, we’ll have a few less anti-lovers/desperados and a few more happily in-love couples on Valentine’s Day.

 

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